Departments & Divisions
Neela K Patel, M.D., M.P.H., C.M.D.
Chief, Division of Geriatrics and Supportive Care
Department of Family and Community Medicine
Neela K. Patel, MD, MPH, CMD is Associate Professor with Tenure , and Chief of the Division of Geriatrics & Supportive Care in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UT Health San Antonio. Dr. Patel has developed a reputation in south Texas and beyond as one of the best doctors and sought after geriatrician, for the care she and her team provide to the older adult population that is mainly 40% Hispanic and more likely to develop Dementia compared to persons of European Ancestry. Dr. Patel with her team has developed a model of integrated care for older adults across all clinical settings - clinic, acute care of elders inpatient care, skilled nursing care and long term custodial care, care in rehabilitation centers, palliative and hospice care, called the CARINO Approach that is linked to community resources such as home health agencies, the Alzheimer’s association, senior centers, hospital, consultants and other community resources. Dr. Patel was recently jointly appointment as Associate Professor of our newly formed Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimers” and Neurological Disorders. Her role is to develop and implement closely integrated, seamless care patterns across clinicians– ranging from screening in primary care offices, personalized preventive advice, diagnosis and differential diagnosis, developing integrated care plans, and to work in collaboration with the Biggs team for supporting community care providers and family caregivers, as behavioral, medical and neurological issues arise, to manage severe dementia, discussion of advance directives and palliative care/hospice care support. She was instrumental with the Biggs team to start the comprehensive care of persons with dementia, multidisciplinary clinic to include Neurology, Psychiatry, Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Geriatrics & Palliative Care. Dr. Patel is the recipient of the 2017 Presidential Clinical Excellence Award. She is an expert in patient-centered care, end of life care, chronic diseases in older adults including parkinson‘s disease and dementia and maintenance of function and quality of life of older adults. She serves on the Community Advisory Board for the Caring for the Caregiver Program with the UT Health School of Nursing. Dr. Patel also is CO-PI with Dr. Carole White on a PCORI - Grant to enhance palliative care and end of life care for persons with dementia. She is an integral part of the stakeholder advisory council for that grant. Dr. Patel is a life- long learner and teacher and believes learning is more than formal education and classroom teaching, it is a reflective process in which one acquires and applies knowledge, skills, and a sense of devotion and gratitude for the privilege of caring for others. She teaches and is a role model for medical students, Family Medicine residents; fellows in geriatric and palliative medicine. Dr. Patel is active in organizations at many levels. Locally within UT she is an EPIC clinician champion and an active member of the UT Health IT/IM Steering committee. She is currently working with the IT team to get Advance Care Planning and Advance Directives documented and easy to find with templates in the electronic health record. Dr. Patel serves as mentor for the Center for the Medical Ethics and Humanities and is active in the Global health committee mentoring medical students and providing global health experiences. Dr. Patel assisted with establishing a memorandum of understanding with a couple of medical universities in India. She is an active member of the Texas Geriatrics Society Board. Was past president of the Texas Indo American Physician Society South West Chapter. Nationally she is active member of the Health Systems Innovation –Economics and Technology Committee.Dr. Patel was nominated and is one of the 6 members of the EPIC Geriatrics Steering Committee Board and advises EPIC on initiatives for geriatrics nationally. She is an active member of the program committee for the society for post acute and long term care. Internationally: She is reviewer of abstracts for the International Association of Geriatrics & Gerontology. She has been appointed as Visiting Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Sri Ramachandra University in Chennai, India because of her reputation in India as a trainer for the train the trainer’s program for managing behaviors in patients with dementia and also caring for the caregivers. In 2018 Dr. Patel was appointed as Adjunct Professor Manipal Academy of Higher Education in the Department of Neurology.
- 2010 - Postdoctoral Fellowship - Research in Geriatric Medicine - University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
- 2009 - Clinical Fellowship - Geriatric Medicine - The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
- 2008 - Residency - Family Medicine - The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
- 2001 - MPH - Community Health Education - University of Northern Colorado
- 1997 - Residency - Community Medicine - St. John`s National Academy of Health Sciences
- 1992 - MD - Pre-doctoral program Medicine and Surgery - Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences
- 1987 - BS - Chemistry, Botany, Zoology - Bangalore University
- 12/2018 - Adjunct Professor - Manipal Academy for Higher EducationManipal
- 3/2018 - Medical Director - Heart of Texas HospiceSan Antonio
- 3/2018 - Medical Director - MM Care HospiceSan Antonio
- 1/2018 - Associate Professor - Tenured and Joint Appointment as Geriatrician & Palliative Care Expert - Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimers` and Neurodegenerative DiseasesSan Antonio
- 12/2017 - Chief Medical Officer - Morningside MinistriesSan Antonio
- 12/2017 - Medical Director - MM Care Home HealthSan Antonio
- 9/2015 - Associate Professor with Tenure and Chief, Division of Community Geriatrics & Palliative Care - UTHSCSA, Family & Community Medicine, San Antonio
- 9/2015 - Chief, Division of Geriatrics & Palliative Care and Chief, Division of Geriatrics & Palliative Care - University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, Family & Community Medicine, San Antonio
- 10/2013 - Geriatrics Medical Director - Post Acute Medicine & Rehabilitation ( Warm Springs Rehabilitation)San Antonio
- 1/2012 - EPIC Clinician Champion and EPIC Clinician Champion - UT Health San Antonio, Family & Community Medicine, San Antonio
- 1/2012 - Medical Director and Medical Director - UT Health Geriatrics & Palliative Care, Family & Community Medicine, San Antonio
- 6/2010 - Medical Director and Acute Care for Elders - Acute Care for Elders & Palliative Care, Christus Santa Rosa Hospital, Family & Community Medicine, San Antonio
Instruction & Training
- 7/2014 - Present, Individual Instruction, School of Medicine
- 7/2011 - Present, Rotation Student Supervision, UT Health Geriatrics Palliative Care
- 3/2011 - Present, Pre-Doctoral Student Supervision, Christus Santa Rosa Medical Center
- 3/2011 - Present, Geriatrics in the Subspecialties, The University of Texas Health Science Center
- 3/2011 - Present, Undergraduate Student Supervision, Trinity University
- 10/2010 - Present, Elective in International Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center
- 6/2010 - Present, Post-Doctoral Student Supervision, UTHSCSA - Ambulatory, Nursing Home and Inpatient Settings
- 6/2010 - Present, Post Graduate Rotation Supervision, Acute Care of Elderly Unit - Christus Santa Rosa City Center
- 6/2010 - Present, Post Graduate Rotation Supervision, UT Health Physicians Senior Health Clinic
- 3/2010 - Present, Resident and Fellows weekly didactic sessions, UTHSCSA, Family Medicine Residents
- 3/2010 - Present, Post Graduate Rotation Supervision, Buena Vida Nursing Home, Air Force Villages, Morning Side Manor Ministries
- 3/2010 - Present, Community Geriatrics Selective, The University of Texas Health Science Center
Research & Grants
Funding Agency ReACH Title ReACHDetermining the Effects of Physical Activity on Physical and Cognitive Functions of Individuals Enrolled in Senior Center Programs Status Active Period 5/2017 - Present Role Co-Investigator Grant Detail Determining the Effects of Physical Activity on Physical and Cognitive Functions of Individuals Enrolled in Senior Center Programs
ReACH Scholar, the Center for Research to Advance Community Health (ReACH)
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Funding Agency Texas Alzheimer`s Research and Care Consortium Title Texas Alzheimer`s Research and Care Consortium Status Active Period 8/2018 - 8/2020 Role Contributor Grant Detail In summary, with this proposal we seek to utilize the cohort assembled by the TARCC in conjunction with participating clinics at UTHSCSA to help clarify the relationship between diastolic dysfunction and cognition. Repeated brain MRI will study structural change over time, and will include the novel analysis of the Alzheimer?s cortical signature7. Comprehensive neuropsychological testing will elucidate the pattern of cognitive impairment associated with diastolic dysfunction, which can help determine the extent of change in brain function. Results from this project will be of assistance in the development of new avenues of research for the prevention, treatment and management of dementia. The incidence rate of development of dementia would be significantly lowered by the correction of a widespread risk factor. At present, diastolic dysfunction is medically managed only when cardiac symptoms such as exercise intolerance or volume overload are present, as no therapy has been shown to improve the outcomes of all-cause or cardiovascular mortality and hospitalizations for heart failure11. If diastolic dysfunction is found to be associated with the development of cognitive impairment, increased emphasis on the treatment of diastolic dysfunction should be considered, such as with the use of rate-slowing agents, restoration of normal sinus rhythm, relieving volume overload, decreasing venous pressure, and controlling hypertension12. Funding Agency pcori: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Insititute Title pcori: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Status Active Period 8/2018 - 7/2020 Role Contributor Grant Detail Addressing dementia and the consequences of this condition for the patient, the family, and society is one of our greatest health and social challenges.
Palliative care provides an important avenue to improve the quality of life of both people with dementia and their families. Funding Agency Myra Stafford Pryor Foundation Title Myra Stafford Pryor FoundationSenior Health Clinic Furniture and Equipment Status Active Period 1/2017 - 12/2017 Role Principal Investigator Grant Detail This was a grant submitted to the Myrs Stafford Pryor Foundation with assistance from the Development Office - UT Health. The growth of the geriatrics and palliative care program needed a bigger space and an ambulatory practice that was senior friendly. This grant was written to support the practice improvement. We requested $21,620 to provide for two (2) senior-friendly procedure rooms and a wheelchair scale. The senior-friendly procedure rooms include a low-height power procedure table, stable push-resistant, easy-clean seating, and roll-away computer desk. The wheelchair scale allows patients with low-mobility to remain safely in their wheelchairs or scooters while being weighed. Funding Agency San Antonio Area Foundation Title San Antonio Area Foundation Status Complete Period 10/2016 - 12/2016 Role Principal Investigator Grant Detail The most important indicator of success for this project is the level of accommodation, comfort and safety of our patients. A patient advisory board was established in March of 2015. We will improve the healthcare experience for our patients by improving operational efficiency and safety features within the Clinic. In addition, we will provide a continuum of independence and socialization through design by ensuring that amenities are senior-friendly and common areas have enough seating to allow residents to share the space and socialize. Project results will be measured through feedback questionnaires and verbal feedback. Clinic quantitative measurements will include appointment availability turn-around, follow-up rates of hospital discharges, reduction of ER referrals, same day clinic appointments, rate of patients meeting prescribed treatment compliance metrics, reduced hospital length of stay, reduced readmission rates to the hospital. We will also track patient follow-up statistics and grateful patient responses.
The funds from this project were used to equip 8 exam rooms with senior friendly exam tables.
Patel N, Tripathy C, Jaen CR. B47 - Optimizing virtual care to improve access and quality of care; 2018 May. (Journal of American Geriatrics Society). Pyksir N, Davila A, Moscrip C, Garza, J, Cadengo-Esparza D, Patel N. D77 mbulatory Sensitive Condition (ASC) Acute Composite - A Quality Improvement Project; 2018 May. (Journal of American Geriatrics Society). Chidinma Aniemeke MD* Guadalupe Macias LNFA MBA** Lauren Murphy MS II* Neela K Patel MD MPH CMD* M Rosina Finley MD BSN CMD*
. Collaboration Between a Post-Acute & Long Term Care Facility & Its Family Council in Better Serving Its Patients, Families & Staff; 2018 Mar. (Journal of American Medical Directors' Association). M. Ramirez, N. K. Patel, A. Davila, C. Aniemeke, R. Mathew,
T. Hawkins, Y. Ye, M. R. Finley. D66 A sustained quality improvement process to reduce emergency room referrals in response to nursing home calls; 2017 May. (Journal of American Geriatrics Society; vol. 65, no. Sup). Patel N. B50 A sustained quality improvement initiative to increase attendance to transition of care clinics following hospital discharge thereby ensuring safe transitions and reduced readmissions NJ: Wiley Subscription; 2017 May. (Journal of American Geriatrics Society; vol. 65, no. Supp). Davila A, Patel NK, Blohm M, Wiltshire M, Finley MR. C53 Fall Prevention - "No one size fits all" in a long term care facility NJ: Wiley Subscription; 2017 May. (Journal of American Geriatrics Society; vol. 65, no. Suppp). TrinhH, Hagiwara Y, Chavez, C Nayyar N, Mathew R, Patel N. D129 Pilot Implementation of Patient and Family Centered Interdisciplinary Bedside Rounding on an Academic Acute Care For Elderly Service NJ: Wiley Subscription; 2017 May. (Journal of American Geriatrics Society; vol. 65, no. Suppp). Yuya Hagiwara, MD
Neela Patel, MD, MPH, CMD
M. Rosina Finley, MD, BSN, CMD. FR15 Conflict Management Skills in PA/LTC: How to Teach Your Team to Effectively Deal with Conflict; 2017 Mar. (Journal of American Medical Directors Association). Chidinma Aniemeke, MD
Neela Patel, MD, MPH, CMD
M. Rosina Finley, MD, BSN, CMD
Jeffrey Nichols, MD, CMD P
. FR25 Effective Use of Interdisciplinary Team Communications; 2017 Mar. (Journal of American Medical Directors Association). Tripathy c, Patel N, Jaen CR. L49 Integrating Technology and Team for Patient-Centered Care; 2016 Dec. (Conference on Practice Improvement 2016). Patel NK, Tripathy C, Jaen CR. L16 Optimizing Virtual Care Payment in a Fee for Service Environment; 2016 Dec. (Conference on Practice Improvement 2016). Aniemeke C, Patel NK, Mathew R, Ye Y, Finley MR. Reducing Inappropriate Emergency Room Referrals In Response To Nursing Home Calls A Quality Improvement Update; 2016 Mar. (Journal of American Medical Directors Association). Patel NK, Sarbacker GB. WC1 Impact and Perception of Pharmacist-Physician Interprofessional Team Visits in a Geriatric Primary Care Clinic; 2014 May. (2014 Annual STFM Conference Abstracts). Patel NK. SP50 Geriatrics for the Specialties: Preparation for Future Practice; 2014 May. (2014 Annual STFM Conference Abstracts). Patel NK, Sarbacker GB. B62 Using Huddles to Individualize and Tailor Learner Goals in a Geriatric Primary Care Clinic; 2014 May. (2014 Annual STFM Conference Abstracts). Patel NK,. Reducing Emergency Room Referrals in Response to After Hours Calls From Nursing Homes; 2011 May. (Journal of American Geriatrics Society). Oakes SL. Interdisciplinary ? Curriculum for the Hospitalized Aging Medical Patient (i-CHAMP):; 2011 May. (JAGS). Patel NK. Effects of yoga on older adults - A systematic review and meta analysis; 2011 May. (Journal of American Geriatrics Society).
Telles, S, Singh N, Patel NK,. Yoga Therapy For Geriatrics Geriatrics Clinical Insights. In: Sat Bir KHALSA, Lorenzo COHEN, Timothy McCALL, Shirley TELLES
. The Principles and Practice of Yoga in Health Care. UK: Handspring Publishing; 2016. Patel, NK, Jaen CR, Stange K, Nutting P, Crabtree. "Patient Centered Medical Home" to Geriatrics Models of Care: Bringing `Best Practice? to an Aging America,. In: Patel, NK, Jaen CR, Stange K, Nutting P, Crabtree. Patient Centered Medical Home. New York, NY: Springer Science and Business Media; 2014. p. 155-162.
Patel NK. Yoga for Healthy Aging 2012 Sep. Available from: http://yogaforhealthyaging.blogspot.com/2012/09/yoga-may-be-best-activit... Many health problems facing seniors can be directly influenced by yoga, the review notes. ?Yoga not only improves health-related quality of life, but also enhances walking and balance, muscle strength, cardiovascular health, blood pressure, sleep and functioning of other systems,? reports Dr. Patel and colleagues. ?Yoga may also have psychosocial benefits through prevention and control of common health and emotional problems linked with aging.?
All four aspects of fitness?strength, endurance, flexibility and balance?can be improved through an appropriate yoga practice, Dr. Patel said in an interview, adding that the ability to individualize the practice and its social nature may also benefit seniors. But the most important aspect, she says, may be yoga?s impact on enhancing older adults` ability to perform activities of daily living.
?Having the leg strength to get up and down from the toilet, and the arm strength to open a door, can make a tremendous difference in an older adult?s life,? she says. ?And yoga goes beyond physical health, to help relieve anxiety and calm the mind, which is also critical.?
Dr. Patel has observed the impact of yoga practice on older adults first hand, as her husband Sreedhara Akkihebbalu teaches a class to elderly residents of a nursing home?ages 85 to 102. Perceived benefits among those students include improved gait and balance, deceased pain, decreased need for medications, improved sleep, less anxiety and depression and increased mobility. ?For the oldest old, the breathing practice can be particularly beneficial,? she notes. ?Yoga shows great potential for improving quality of life in even the frailest of older adults.?
Patel NK. Perceptions of community based yoga intervention among older adults Activities, Adaptation & Aging 2011 Jun;.
Patel NK, Akkihebbalu SR. Yoga for Older Adults - Hypothesis and tools for yoga teachers Journal of Yoga and Physiotherapy 2018 Mar;4(2):001-004.
- American Board of Family Medicine/Geriatrics
- American Board of Family Medicine