Warren Hosptial Names New Behavioral Health Medical Director
November 15, 2011
Abby Varkey Kurien, MD, a physchiatrist with special training in Neurology, has been appointed Medical Director for Behavioral Health at Warren Hosptial. In his new role, Dr. Kurien will continue to focus on gero-physchiatric treatments for the elderly. This method uses behavior modification techniques to treat agitation and other dementia-related symptoms in the elderly. The goal is to reduce prescription drug use and the related side-effects of multiple medications.
"Many programs rely on psychotropic drugs to control disruptive symptoms amoung seniors suffering from dementia, and often, those symptoms are exacerbated by multiple prescription medications and their related side effects," said Dr. Kurien, "Our strategy is to help these patients calm themselves using behavior modification techniques. Our goal is to use fewer medications in lower doses."
Behavioral Health Unit at Warren Hospital also treats adult patients with acute psychiatric problems.
In announcing the appointment, Chief Medical Officer Edward A. Gilkey, MD, MS, MBA, CPE, "The Gero-Psychiatric program led by Dr. Kurien is a unique aspect of Warren Hospital's full spectrum of geriatric services. We believe that our approach to this problem is unique in our area and extremely beneficial to patients and their caregivers, and we hope to expand our techniques and training to skilled nursing facilities and others who care for geriatric dementia patients."
Dr. Kurien earned his medical degree from Christian Medical College in Vellore, India and went on to complete his internship in internal medicine at Hahnemann University Hospital and completed a residency in Psychiatry at UMDNJ in Newark, New Jersey.