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Home > Medical Services > Neurology > Memory Clinic > Local nurse practitioner provides memory care in Monticello & Cedar Rapids
As a native of Monticello, Lindsay Ehlers, Memory Clinic nurse practitioner, understood why patients who live far from the city may not want to drive to Mercy Medical Center to receive memory care. So, in an effort to serve more patients in rural areas, Ehlers suggested opening an outreach clinic at MercyCare Monticello.
Now, she assesses and treats those in her community who have memory concerns from noon to 4 p.m. on the second Wednesday monthly at MercyCare Monticello.
Serving the community that she grew up in means a lot to Ehlers. She was born and raised in Monticello and still lives there with her two children and the family dog.
“I enjoy helping others and making a difference in my patients’ lives,” she said. “I love seeing the positive outcomes which aren’t always measured by the test scores; it’s seeing the patients and their families beginning to understand and communicate better with each other again.”
Ehlers’ journey to becoming a nurse practitioner was inspired by the care her mother received when she had cancer. Through every step, Ehlers was grateful that she could count on the healthcare staff — especially hospice — to assist and guide the family through her mother’s battle against cancer.
After her mother passed away, Ehlers stayed home to raise her children, but she later rejoined the workforce in a different position than she left it.
She knew she wanted to change careers from her previous job as an engineering project specialist; instead, she wanted to find a job that would allow her to help others and make a difference, which is why she chose to become a nurse.
Ehlers received her associate degree in nursing from Kaplan University (now Purdue University) and got a job as a nurse on the orthopedic unit at Mercy, where she worked for several years.
She later decided to further her education and received her Master of Science in Nursing from Simmons University. Ehlers then transitioned into her current roles as a nurse practitioner in Mercy’s Memory Clinic.
“My decision to work in this field was based on the holistic approach that we provide in this setting,” she said. “I knew I wanted a position that allowed me to spend enough time with my patients and their care partners to really get to know them and what is important to them. The Memory Clinic focuses on not just the diagnosis and treatment, but also the quality of life for the patient and helping the care partners as well.”
Patients at Mercy’s Memory Clinic are treated for any concerns related to cognitive impairment. Prior to the first appointment, each patient receives a comprehensive medication review by a pharmacist. Then, the team obtains information from the patient and their care partner to understand the changes they’ve noticed.
Once the information is collected, a few cognitive tests are performed; these not only help diagnose the patient, but also provide insight into how to best treat them to improve the patient’s outcome.
“Receiving a diagnosis of dementia may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t mean one’s life is over,” Ehlers said. “There is still a lot of joy that can and should be experienced, and the best success stories from the Memory Clinic are when we see patients return who are truly enjoying life. We try to always focus on the positives while also keeping safety in mind.”
The same services are provided at MercyCare Monticello as are available at Mercy’s Memory Clinic in Cedar Rapids. If you have memory concerns, make an appointment by calling (319) 398-6435 or self-schedule online.