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Lauren Fordham awarded the Davida Fortinsky prize for Outstanding Dementia Studies Student.

Published: Tue 15 Jul 2014
Lauren Fordham awarded the Davida Fortinsky prize for Outstanding Dementia Studies Student.

Each year Bradford Dementia Group make this Award to one postgraduate student and one undergraduate student. The award is made on the basis of student commitment, achievement and attitude towards dementia studies.

Lauren demonstrated a high level of commitment to her studies, managing this alongside family commitments, and producing work of a consistently high standard

Commenting on the award, Lauren said:

"My clinical background is working as a physiotherapist in mental health and I have always been inspired by my work with people with dementia as a place where healthcare transcends the conventions of a biomedical model and functions upon a person-centred foundation.

Working with someone to achieve meaningful goals and to communicate in ways that are meaningful to them, has been the only effective approach in my experience to help improve the quality of life for the person with dementia. Bradford University is a great advocate of person-centred care and this is why I chose to undertake the MSc to further develop my skills in this area and develop skills that I could employ to the wider organisation to improve the experience of the person with dementia.

The MSc course has far exceeded my expectations and I have been very impressed with the knowledge of the tutors and the flexibility of the course content to be clinically pertinent to the place of work of each of the students. Indeed I have already embraced and implemented practice change within my organisation to this purpose.

On a personal note, I was blessed with the birth of a baby boy during my second year of the three year MSc course in dementia studies, so I experienced a pregnancy, a full time job and a part time MSc degree. I worked with my tutors with this and following a six month period of suspended studies, I was supported to achieve my final year in terms of great understanding about childcare issues and general consideration for my situation. I achieved a high grade in a thesis topic I feel very passionate about "methods used by community mental health clinicians to assess for pain in people with dementia who are living at home" and I look forward to disseminating the results of this work."

The Davida Fortinsky Award for Outstanding Dementia Studies Student at the University of Bradford celebrates the life of Davida Fortinsky, who spent five months in 2007 with the Bradford Dementia Group learning about how dementia care is organised in primary care and mental health trusts in England.  After a full and active life, Davida passed away in February 2007 from complications associated with advanced dementia.

The Award carries on the tradition of encouraging the pursuit of knowledge, in this case to help improve the quality of lives of people with dementia and their families, wherever in the world they may live. 

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