Inspiring Tomorrow's Doctors at Silverado

Midwest Study

It’s not until medical students get hands-on experience that they truly make a connection between their textbooks and the complexities of caring for a human life. At least that’s the message seasoned physicians share, and it’s one of the motivations behind a Silverado partnership with the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

The program began two years ago when a top student was selected to conduct a multiyear research study at a Silverado community. Since then, the program has expanded to two Silverado communities in the Chicago area and has welcomed additional students.

Recently, the students had an opportunity to present details of the study at the Silverado Medical Director Conference, where more than 40 brain health experts gather each year from across the country. When asked about the program, Medical Student Valerie Chavez responded optimistically, “Silverado has given me a unique opportunity to do research with the residents!” She went on to describe the research and why it matters, at which time her fellow student Phil Schoenrock added, “We are the first medical students in the midwest region that were able to conduct such a study at an assisted living community.”

The learning partnership was developed by Silverado Medical Director Dr. Ricardo Senno, who participates as an active mentor to the students. Dr. Senno is an accomplished physician who earned his medical degree at the Chicago School of Medicine and today boasts an extensive background that includes physical medicine, rehabilitation, traumatic brain injuries, stroke, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

After ideating the program with Silverado, Dr. Senno encouraged students to develop a study based on falls, a problem that will become increasingly important to understand as more individuals are diagnosed with memory-impairing conditions. The students decided to study the correlation of falls versus the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE), a tool neurologists, geriatricians and other health professionals use to determine the severity of one’s dementia.

As students optimize the study and attract new participants, the results will continue to reveal actionable findings to create more personalized care for residents at Silverado and elsewhere. Silverado’s commitment to creating learning opportunities comes from a desire to inspire the next generation while providing a level of care that truly enriches the lives of its residents!

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