Newswise — Florida Atlantic University’s María de los Ángeles Ortega, DNP, APRN, in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, has been awarded a three-year, $1.3 million grant from the Administration for Community Living’s (ACL) Alzheimer’s Disease Program Initiative for a groundbreaking project designed to advance health equity and improve quality of life for individuals living with or at high risk for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) and their family caregivers.

ACL was created around the fundamental principle that all people, regardless of age or disability, should be able to live independently and participate fully in their communities.

FAU’s project, “Connecting Communities to Caring-Based Dementia-Specific Services and Supports,” is designed to link historically underserved and marginalized communities in Broward County with specialized dementia services and supports. In addition, this initiative also aims to improve dementia capability for service provision to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are living with dementia as well as their families.

According to ACL, many older adults and people with disabilities need help with the daily tasks of life or require physical assistance such as help with dressing and eating. For others, it is help with making decisions and planning. Still, others require a blend of supports. Each person is unique, and the help they may need is unique as well. 

“This grant represents a substantial opportunity for our interprofessional team to make a profound difference in the community. Not only will it allow us to extend specialized, caring-based services to those most in need, but it also presents an invaluable learning opportunity for students on our Davie campus in Broward County,” said Ortega, principal investigator, professor, associate dean of clinical practice, and director of the FAU Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center within FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. “Students will gain firsthand experience about the Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center’s mission, and most importantly, the essence of transforming lives and practice through embracing caring, knowledge and compassion.”

The Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center is a unique and integral component of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and is grounded in the college’s philosophy of caring. Their mission is to meet the complex needs of persons with memory disorders, such as ADRD, and their families through a comprehensive array of services, compassionate and innovative programs of care, research and education. The center’s intention is to treat each person as an individual, with dignity and respect, enabling each client to function at his or her personal best while maximizing their quality of life.

A key component of the project is engaging new interprofessional community partnerships. As such, the FAU project team will collaborate with Holy Cross Health – Fort Lauderdale; the Daniel D. Cantor Senior Center in Northwest Broward; the Memory Disorder Center at Broward Health North; Aging, Inc.; the Broward Coalition on Aging; and FAU’s Lisa Kirk Wiese, Ph.D., an associate professor in the College of Nursing, who has expertise on increasing the understanding, early detection and prevention of AD in rural populations. 

As part of the project, the team will jointly create and provide dementia-specific resources and supportive services to Spanish speaking patients and families; co-create tailored dementia-specific education and training for health care providers; and identify resources, services and community connections within Broward County to assist individuals and family caregivers.

“This grant from the Administration for Community Living’s Alzheimer’s Disease Program Initiative will help to enhance our Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center on the Davie campus, which serves as a beacon of hope for individuals and families affected by neurological disorders,” said Safiya George, Ph.D., the Holli Rockwell Trubinsky Eminent Dean, FAU Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. “Dr. Ortega, her outstanding team and community partners will replicate, tailor and implement  innovative programs and services currently offered at our Boca Raton center for clients and families who will receive these services in Broward County.”

- FAU -

About the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing

FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing is nationally and internationally known for its excellence and philosophy of caring science. The College was ranked No. 11 nationwide by US News and World Report in 2021 for “Best Online Master’s in Nursing Administration Programs” and No. 32 for the “Best Online Master’s in Nursing Programs.” In 2020, FAU graduates earned a 95.9% pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®) and a 100% AGNP Certification Pass Rate. The baccalaureate, master’s and DNP programs at Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The College is the only one in the U.S. to have all degree programs endorsed by the American Holistic Nursing Credentialing Corporation.


About Florida Atlantic University: Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students across six campuses located along the southeast Florida coast. In recent years, the University has doubled its research expenditures and outpaced its peers in student achievement rates. Through the coexistence of access and excellence, FAU embodies an innovative model where traditional achievement gaps vanish. FAU is designated a Hispanic-serving institution, ranked as a top public university by U.S. News & World Report and a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit