Lamar County Health Department serving as telehealth location for cognitive screenings
Those eligible will first need a referral from their primary care provider
Currently, 385,000 Georgians have reported they experience memory issues, yet 80 percent haven’t been evaluated or treated yet. Even if their primary care physician refers them to a neurologist for a cognitive screening, it can be months before their appointment because so many individuals are needing to be seen.
Funded by the state of Georgia, Georgia Memory Net (GMN) is a program developed to provide faster, accurate diagnoses for Georgians showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. To do this, Georgia Memory Net has partnered with the Department of Aging Services and the Georgia Department of Public Health to begin providing telehealth locations at select county health departments. That way, more Georgians can see a neurologist sooner and hopefully closer to home.
District 4 Public Health is proud that the Lamar County Health Department is the third health department in the state chosen to provide this service. It is located at 100 Academy Drive, Barnesville, Georgia 30204.
Here are the steps to take if you or a loved one seems to be experience memory loss or difficulty in thinking:
- Visit your primary care provider first. You’ll first need to make an appointment with your Primary Care Provider to talk about your concerns. if you’re a Medicare-eligible Georgian who’s 65 or older, you can have this discussion with your doctor at a free Annual Wellness Visit that’s paid for by Medicare.
- If you can, download a referral form and take it to your appointment. Before you go to your doctor’s appointment, visit Georgia Memory Net’s website at GaMemoryNet.org to download and print a referral form to take with you. (You also can download the form here.) If your doctor thinks a referral to Georgia Memory Net would be beneficial for you, your doctor’s office can fill out the form on your behalf and submit it directly to Georgia Memory Net. If you are unable to print the form, ask your doctor’s office to visit GaMemoryNet.org on the Internet to print you a form to give to your doctor.
- If your doctor provides a referral, go with a loved one to your scheduled appointment time at the Lamar County Health Department. After receiving a referral from your primary care physician, the current wait time for an appointment at the Lamar County Health Department is around 1 month or less. The caring staff at the health department will be there to guide you and a loved one through the process, which will include your speaking over the Internet to a cognitive neurologist or clinician trained through Emory University’s Goizueta Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and supported by the National Institutes of Health. If the neurologist would like for you to have any bloodwork done, the health department can provide you with those lab services before you leave.
- Learn the findings of your cognitive screening. You’ll have one more appointment at the Lamar County Health Department so the neurologist or clinician can share with you the findings from your memory assessment.
- Return to your primary care provider for your care. You’ll then return to your regular doctor, who also will receive support from Georgia Memory Net for your follow-up care.
Georgia Memory Net also has Memory Assessment Clinics in Albany, Atlanta, Augusta and Macon.
The Lamar County Health Department is one of three county health departments in Georgia currently serving as a Georgia Memory Net for managed telehealth appointment locations for conducting memory assessments. Other telehealth appointment locations are the Dooly County Health Department in Vienna and the Emanuel County Health Department in Swainsboro. More telehealth locations are being finalized.
For more information on locations, visit Georgia Memory Net here.