CINCINNATI – Nov. 21, 2022 – The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) and UC Health’s Timothy Freeman, MD, Center for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities are working together to advance care for adults with Down syndrome and other intellectual and developmental disabilities in Greater Cincinnati and nationwide. Through a gift of $100,000, NDSS is supporting a program manager for the center that will allow clinical teams to grow a model of holistic, patient-centered care that the organization hopes can be replicated in other areas of the country.
Formerly the UC Health Transition Care Clinic, the Timothy Freeman, MD, Center for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities was created by the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and UC Health as an interdisciplinary primary care clinic specifically for the care of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The center is named in honor of Timothy Freeman, MD, longtime UC Health physician and assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, whose life’s work was dedicated to patients and care available at the former clinic. Dr. Freeman passed away earlier this year.
“We know that only about 3% of adults with Down syndrome currently have access to specialty care,” NDSS President and CEO Kandi Pickard said. “The work done by the Freeman Center is helping to fill a desperate need for adults with Down syndrome and other disabilities. With this partnership, we are supporting patients and families today, and driving toward a model of care that can expand this much-needed work to additional communities in the future.”
At the center, patients can receive primary care services, as well as behavioral health care including psychiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, healthcare transition planning and supportive therapies. Situated within UC Health, Greater Cincinnati’s only adult academic health system, the center connects patients to specialty services throughout the broader health system and prioritizes training future physicians to care for adults with IDD in their communities.
As more individuals with IDD age out of the pediatric care setting, there is a growing need for a medical home and expert clinical teams equipped to meet their unique and often complex needs.
“Dr. Timothy Freeman was a lifelong advocate for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and The Timothy Freeman, MD, Center for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities was created earlier this year to fulfill his vision for an interdisciplinary center that supports community needs,” Rick Hinds, UC Health interim president and CEO and executive vice president and CFO said. “The Center serves as a reflection of Dr. Freeman’s life’s work and dedication to his patients. We are so grateful to the National Down Syndrome Society for this generous donation that will help ensure that the center’s mission and Dr. Freeman’s vision endures within our community.”
Lauren Wang, MD, the center’s medical director and a UC assistant professor of family and community medicine, says there is a great demand for the kind of care the clinic provides.
“There are many adults with IDD who would benefit from an interdisciplinary model within an academic health center. We’re thrilled by this opportunity to grow our model in support of our patients and share this work nationally,” Dr. Wang said. “In partnership with NDSS, we can expand our model and assist other academic health systems to develop specialized centers for adults with IDD in their communities.”
Learn more about the Timothy Freeman, MD, Center for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at freemancenter.org or uchealth.com.
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UC Health is an integrated academic health system serving the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region. In partnership with the University of Cincinnati, UC Health combines clinical expertise and compassion with research and teaching – a combination that provides patients with options for even the most complex situations. Members of UC Health include: UC Medical Center, West Chester Hospital, Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care, Bridgeway Pointe Assisted Living, University of Cincinnati Physicians and UC Health Ambulatory Services (with more than 900 board-certified clinicians and surgeons), Lindner Center of HOPE and several specialized institutes and centers, including: UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute and University of Cincinnati Cancer Center. Many UC Health locations have received national recognition for outstanding quality and patient satisfaction. Learn more at UCHealth.com.
The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) is the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome. NDSS envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations, and become valued members of welcoming communities. Founded in 1979, NDSS supports and advocates for the Down syndrome community by focusing on three key areas of programming: Resources & Support, Policy & Advocacy, and Community Engagement. Within these focus areas NDSS engages in various activities, events, and programs on topics that are critical to our community such as federal and state advocacy and public policy, health and wellness, education, and employment. NDSS creates resources to support individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and caregivers across the lifespan and hosts awareness and engagement events throughout the country including the National Buddy Walk® Program, the Times Square Video presentation and New York City Buddy Walk®, Racing for 3.21 on World Down Syndrome Day, Run for 3.21, DC Golf Outing, the annual NDSS Gala & Auction, and various other events. Visit www.ndss.org for more information about NDSS.