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Providing Healthcare Services to the Elderly

Victoria Braund, MD, FACP, Director of the Division of Geriatrics

“When I was growing up, I remember thinking that my grandparents – and their friends were really cool,” says Victoria Braund, MD, FACP, Director of the Division of Geriatrics at NorthShore University HealthSystem, “so when I completed my residency and had to choose a specialty, I naturally gravitated to geriatrics. As a physician, I was interested in the special issues facing the elderly patient, such as memory loss, long-term care and end-of-life considerations.” Dr. Braund completed a geriatrics fellowship at the The University of Chicago and has been enjoying her geriatrics practice for the last 15 years. She started the Center for Healthy Aging at Glenbrook Hospital in 2000.

“When I started the Center, I wanted its name to portray a positive image of aging that focused on wellness,” says Dr. Braund. At the Center, Dr. Braund, Michael Leiding, MD, two nurse practitioners and a medical assistant provide primary and consultative care for the older adult and in particular, for the frail elderly who may be having trouble managing their daily lives because of cognitive or physical issues. Patients may undergo a battery of tests for memory loss and depression and the Center’s staff also evaluates their medications and prescribes more appropriate medications if necessary. “Most of our referrals are by word of mouth, and even though we see many patients at the Center, we also follow them in the hospital and nursing home and make frequent home visits. In fact, we know many of the patients quite well, so in cases where we know it may be hard for someone to get in for an appointment, it’s easier for all of us to make a house call.”

Dr. Braund also is actively involved in teaching residents in Family Practice and Internal Medicine who rotate through NorthShore University HealthSystem. “The residents are always surprised at how active and independent many of our patients are – and at how much we laugh and hug,” said Dr. Braund.

In reflecting on her medical practice, Dr. Braund explains, “For the most part, geriatricians are spiritual people who are not afraid to talk about tough issues. In fact, I find it tremendously gratifying to help patients and families complete the circle of life. When I’m in a situation with a family who may have to make a difficult decision about a loved one’s care, I go through their options and say to them, ‘If she were my grandmother, this is what I’d do.’”