Dr. Ritchie wants to reduce the suffering associated with dementia and serious illness—the suffering experienced by persons with dementia and the suffering experienced by their loved ones. She saw both kinds first hand when her father developed dementia. As he became more ill, the health care system became increasingly incapable of supporting him and maintaining his well-being and dignity. Dr. Ritchie’s objective is to identify gaps in care for those with advanced dementia, develop and test approaches to address those gaps, and disseminate ones that work locally, nationally and globally.
Bio: Dr. Ritchie is a geriatrician and palliative care physician who has cared for functionally limited, seriously ill patients with dementia and conducted research focused on persons with advanced illness and multimorbidity for over 20 years. She directs Tideswell at UCSF, directs GBHI’s Leadership program, serves as co-PI of the National Institute for Nursing Research-funded Palliative Care Research Cooperative (PCRC), and co-leads the UCSF Innovation Center of Aging & Palliative Care Research that aspires to foster the delivery of state-of-the-art health care to disenfranchised populations, including older adults and the seriously ill. She is working with GBHI and the UCSF Memory and Aging Center to build a robust dementia specialty palliative care program.