Date: 11|17|2022

James Ellison, MD, MPH

Director, Swank Center for Memory Care and Geriatric Consultation, ChristianaCare

Dr. James EllisonAbout Dr. Ellison

A recognized clinician, researcher, and educator in geriatric and adult psychiatry, Dr. Ellison offers special expertise in geriatric mood and anxiety disorders and neurocognitive disorders.

Dr. Ellison graduated from the University of California School of Medicine and earned a master’s in public health from Harvard. With more than 40 years of experience focused on psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry, he provides guidance and support to clinicians within the ChristianaCare network.

As a faculty member for HCCI’s upcoming Advanced Applications of HBPC™ workshop, Dr. Ellison will discuss the Management of Mental Health Conditions in Homebound Patients. His presentation covers how to identify, assess, and treat mood and behavioral disorders in homebound patients, as well as the importance of the interdisciplinary team and providing support to families and caregivers.

How did you become involved with house calls?

I’ve witnessed the value of home visits and home care throughout my career. Seeing a patient in their home environment and among their care partners always deepens my understanding of their strengths and vulnerabilities. Several years ago, a geriatrician colleague who runs our Health Care at Home program introduced me to the HCCI team, and since then, I’ve collaborated with them on educational programs geared specifically toward home care clinicians. As a geriatric psychiatrist, my educational focus is on emotional and behavioral disorders, both as primary conditions and as complications of medical diseases.

How will learners benefit from the HCCI workshop?

Home-based clinicians must master a very broad range of skills. They must understand all of the health and psychosocial factors that come together to provide a holistic approach to treating and caring for homebound patients—and I think the Advanced Applications workshop does a good job teaching learners new skills as well as offering “refreshers” in specific areas. Because homebound older adults are vulnerable to a variety of behavioral and emotional symptoms, my presentation is focused on helping clinicians appreciate the distinction between “normal” human reactions to the stress of illness as compared to psychiatric disorders that may require special, more targeted treatments.

What’s your most memorable HCCI workshop moment?

I’ve put a lot of thought into the material I’ll be presenting on emotional and behavioral disorders in home care, so I hope this upcoming experience will become my most memorable HCCI workshop moment!