Newswise — On January 6, 2021, Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center’s Neuroscience Institute held a ribbon-cutting for its new Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health. The center will offer integrated, high-quality screening, diagnostic and treatment services for adults living with cognitive or memory impairment caused by conditions such as various types of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease.

The Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health will be led by Manisha Parulekar, M.D., AGSF, FACP, division chief, Geriatrics and Florian Thomas, M.D., Ph.D., chair and professor, Neurology and Neuroscience Institute; Laurie G. Jacobs, M.D., AGSF, FACP, chair and professor of Medicine and Lisa Tank, M.D., chief medical officer, Hackensack University Medical Center. 

“According to 2017 statistics from the New Jersey Department of Health, approximately 170,000 adults in New Jersey are living with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Mark Sparta, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center. “These statistics predict that the number of New Jersey residents with Alzheimer’s disease will increase to 210,000 residents by 2025 — a 23.5 percent increase — making the Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health a critical component of cognitive health care for aging New Jersey residents.”

With a focus on early diagnosis and prevention of cognitive impairment and dementia — as well as patient and caregiver health and wellness — the Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health will offer:

  • A population health screening and referral program in partnership with Hackensack Meridian Health primary care providers
  • Individualized diagnosis through medical and cognitive assessments
  • Psychosocial assessment and psychological care
  • State-of-the-art treatment for cognitive disorders
  • Access to clinical trials
  • Caregiver support and wellness programs
  • Allied health services and referrals, as needed
  • Community and clinician educational programs

The Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health will include an interprofessional team of specialists in geriatrics, behavioral neurology, neuropsychology, health psychology, geriatric psychiatry and social work. This level of collaboration will allow the center’s team to identify “best in class” diagnostic tools, create guidelines and model programs for dementia care, and produce publishable research that will provide far-reaching benefits for people with dementia in the U.S. and around the world. 

“In addition to providing comprehensive care for people who are living with dementia, the center will engage in population-based clinical and translational research to advance the science of dementia care,” said Ihor S. Sawczuk, M.D., FACS, regional president, Northern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health, chief research officer. “That means New Jersey residents who are living with dementia will have access to some of the most advanced, most promising therapies before they are widely available.” 

“The center will provide patient and family centric care and support,” said Dr. Tank. “The resources and tools provided to the family will guide them through this challenging disease process and maintain quality of life.”

“In New Jersey, the lifetime risk for Alzheimer’s disease at age 65 is one in six for women and one in 11 for men,” said Dr. Parulekar. “The Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health is a one-stop regional hub for dementia care that will not only benefit today’s older adults, but will ensure that we are ready to provide leading-edge care for the next generation of older adults as well.”

In addition to providing expert clinical care and access to promising clinical trials, the center will also train the next generation of providers and community-based groups to evaluate and care for individuals with dementia.  To achieve this mission, the center’s clinicians will collaborate with organizations such as the Greater New Jersey Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, Act Now Foundation, the national Alzheimer’s Association, and Wyckoff YMCA to provide community and clinician education, support groups, and access to community-based resources.

“Through a robust program that integrates screening, clinical care, research, education and supportive services, our goal is to provide a streamlined pathway for older adults and their caregivers to access the latest, most comprehensive cognitive care,” said Dr. Thomas.

The Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health has already received philanthropic support from several public and private funding sources, demonstrating a high level of backing from the cognitive care advocacy community.  

The Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health is located at Hackensack University Medical Center Neuroscience Institute, 360 Essex St., Suite 303, Hackensack, New Jersey, 07601.

To support the Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health, you can make a donation here.

For more information, contact PR manager, Mary McGeever, [email protected].



Hackensack University Medical Center, a 771-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in New Jersey.  Founded in 1888, it was the county’s first hospital. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet®-recognized hospital for nursing excellence, receiving its sixth consecutive designation in 2019 from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The academic flagship of the Hackensack Meridian Health network, Hackensack University Medical Center provides award-winning care on a campus that is home to facilities such as John Theurer Cancer Center, a consortium member of the NCI-designated Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and recognized as the #1 hospital for cancer care in New Jersey by U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-21 "Best Hospitals" Honor Roll; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, designed in collaboration with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Recognized as being in the top 1% of hospitals in the nation and #2 in New Jersey by U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-21 "Best Hospitals" Honor Roll, Hackensack University Medical Center also ranked as high-performing in nine specialties: cancer care, cardiology and heart surgery, gastroenterology and GI surgery, geriatrics, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, and urology. Hackensack University Medical Center’s comprehensive clinical research portfolio includes studies focused on precision medicine, translational medicine, immunotherapy, cell therapy, and vaccine development. The hospital has embarked on the largest healthcare expansion project ever approved by the state: Construction of the Helena Theurer Pavilion, a 530,000-sq.-ft., nine-story building, which began in 2019. A $714.2 million endeavor, the pavilion is one the largest healthcare capital projects in New Jersey and will house 24 state-of-the-art operating rooms with intraoperative MRI capability, 50 ICU beds, and 150 private patient rooms, including a dedicated 50-bed Orthopedic Institute.



Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.


Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.


Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 36,000 team members, and 7,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.


The network’s notable distinctions include having four of its hospitals are among the top hospitals in New Jersey for 2020-21, according to U.S. News & World Report. Additionally, the health system has more top-ranked hospitals than any system in New Jersey. Children’s Health is again ranked a top provider of pediatric health care in the United States and earned top 50 rankings in the annual U.S. News’ 2020-21 Best Children’s Hospitals report.   Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2019” list.


The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. The Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI), housed in a fully renovated state-of-the-art facility, seeks to translate current innovations in science to improve clinical outcomes for patients with cancer, infectious diseases and other life-threatening and disabling conditions.

Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.


Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.


To learn more, visit or contact Mary McGeever, PR Manager, [email protected] or 551-795-1675.


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