After working with the families that make up the world's largest population with early Alzheimer’s disease, Lina Velilla saw the critical need to reduce the psychosocial impact of dementia on people affected by it. Velilla brings years of training in psychology and epidemiology to the GBHI network and the perspective of looking at health trends across populations. She is designing an epidemiological surveillance system for dementia that will be able to detect risk and protection factors associated with mild cognitive impairment and dementia. The findings from this system will be able to inform education and policy decisions.
Additionally, she is developing training programs for primary care providers in areas with limited access to specialized health care as well as an education program for caregivers about gerontology and home care, with access to artistic training programs and other projects to improve their quality of life. When she returns to Colombia, she plans to implement her programs across Colombia, the Americas, and beyond.
Bio: Lina Velilla studied psychology and epidemiology at the University of Antioquia in Medellín, Colombia where she received the “Young Researcher Scholarship 2010,” granted by Colciencias to outstanding young professionals leading a research project. She is an associate researcher in the Neuroscience Group of Antioquia at the University of Antioquia.