The East Mediterranean Brain Health Initiative seeks to provide dementia care to underserved populations

Irish woman Elaine Howard and her colleagues have been awarded for their dementia care initiative at the inaugural Atlantic Senior Fellow Awards.

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Howard joins geriatrician Hany Ibrahim and neuropsychologist Stelios Zygouris, who together form The East Mediterranean Brain Health Initiative (EMBHI), as being one of two award recipients at this year's awards which were hosted on July 15 in Oxford.

As winners, the EMBHI has been awarded £50,000 ($62,000).

Dr. Penelope Brook, Executive Director at the Atlantic Insitute, said the inaugural Senior Fellow Awards recognize, support, and celebrate impactful work that is emblematic of the vision and values of the Atlantic Fellows global community. 

The EMBHI works to deliver better dementia care services for underserved populations in the East Mediterranean. Starting with Greece and Egypt, the team's aim is to create a vibrant community of expertise in the East Mediterranean that will work collaboratively to implement better brain health services. 

It is hoped that other countries will soon join the Greek-Egyptian initiative including Turkey and Jordan. Some 2.3 million people in the region are thought to live with dementia. Worldwide, roughly 50 million people have the disease (World Alzheimer Report 2018) and that number is expected to triple to 152 million by 2050. 

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Howard, a native of Co Kilkenny, has a Master of Science in dementia and is an Atlantic Fellow from the Global Brain Health Institute at Trinity College in Dublin.

Working in both the private and NGO health care sectors, Howard’s expertise lies in developing and implementing personalized care for people with dementia, facilitating changes in practice, and sharing knowledge to enable practice and policy change across the wider sector. 

She also has extensive experience in operational management and service model development and implementation within the financial services sector. 

Howard’s passion for dementia care motivated to her to become an Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health where she met the other members of her team, Hany Ibrahim from Egypt and Stelios Zygouris from Greece. 

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The Atlantic Institute, based at Rhodes House, University of Oxford, supports the global network of Atlantic Fellows to learn and work across programs, borders and disciplines to advance fairer, healthier more inclusive societies. It supports a lifelong community of action among Atlantic Fellows by providing them with access to long-term resources, wider networks, and opportunities to connect, learn and collaborate to tackle inequities. Currently, there are almost 400 Atlantic Fellows from 61 countries.

You can learn more about The Atlantic Institute on their website