KENNETT SQUARE, Pa., Oct. 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Felicia Chew, vice president of clinical services at Genesis Rehab Services, was approved as a co-principal investigator for a $4.7 million contract funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Chew joins a team of researchers, including co-principal investigator Natalie Leland, associate professor at the University of Southern California's Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, to study treatment approaches for nursing home residents with dementia.
Felicia Chew
Felicia Chew, vice president of clinical services at Genesis Rehab Services

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

More than half of America's 1.4 million nursing home residents live with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. On any given day in any of the thousands of nursing homes across the country, medications need adjusting and activities require adapting as residents are monitored for changes.

But when compounded by inconsistent routines, communication difficulties and under- or over-stimulating environments, these diseases can often result in disruptive behaviors like aggression and agitation. If left untreated, such behaviors can contribute to adverse events such as accidental falls, resident altercations and injuries to staff.

To manage these progressive, fluctuating and unpredictable symptoms, patients are often treated with antipsychotic medications, many of which have serious side effects including death. As a result, agencies including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are eager for ways of enhancing quality and safety with patient-first approaches that don't depend on medications.

This multi-million funding award, titled, "Optimizing Care for Patients with Dementia: A Comparison of Two Non-Pharmacological Treatment Approaches," will allow the project team to study two separate, yet successful non-pharmacological approaches to care: a transdisciplinary model where the care team collaborates to treat the patient holistically, and a multi-disciplinary approach where members of the care team each bring their own lens of specialty expertise to the treatment approach.

The project will address a key clinical dilemma: managing disruptive behaviors while reducing medications and maximizing residents' safety, abilities, and quality of life. Families and care providers, including physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, speech-language pathologists, physical therapists and occupational therapists, will all benefit from the study.

According to Chew, "This is an incredible opportunity to provide the evidence to support what we understand to be sound clinical care if we are truly going to make a difference in the quality of life for the individual living with dementia."

"This project was selected for PCORI funding not only for its scientific merit and commitment to engaging patients and other stakeholders, but also for its potential to fill an important gap in our health knowledge and give people information to help them weigh the effectiveness of their care options," said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH. "We look forward to following the study's progress and working to share the results."

Chew and Leland's study was selected for PCORI funding through a highly competitive review process in which patients, clinicians and other stakeholders joined clinical scientists to evaluate the proposals. Applications were assessed for scientific merit, how well they will engage patients and other stakeholders and their methodological rigor among other criteria.

Chew and Leland's award has been approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract.

PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions. For more information about PCORI's funding, visit   

About Genesis Rehab ServicesGenesis Rehab Services (GRS), a subsidiary of Genesis HealthCare (NYSE:GEN), is a leading provider of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, respiratory therapy and wellness services, primarily for the older adult population. As one of the largest and strongest rehab organizations in the country, GRS partners with skilled nursing centers, assisted living facilities, independent living facilities, hospitals, home health companies, adult day care programs and outpatient clinics to provide comprehensive therapy services. GRS currently operates and staffs rehab gyms in 46 states and the District of Columbia.  For more information about Genesis Rehab Services, visit For more information about Genesis HealthCare, visit

MEDIA CONTACTAmy Chmar443-537-5382

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