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Hoag Welcomes Prominent Neurobehavioral Psychiatrist to Lead Memory & Cognitive Disorders Program and New Center for Integrative Brain Health

·3 min read

Aaron Ritter, M.D., joins Hoag from the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Sept. 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian welcomes a luminary Alzheimer's and degenerative brain health expert, Aaron Ritter, M.D., as director of the Memory & Cognitive Disorders Program and new Center for Integrative Brain Health at Hoag's Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute. Dr. Ritter comes to Hoag from the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, where he led programs and research studies involving cognitive disorders and dementias.

(PRNewsfoto/Hoag Memorial Hospital...)
(PRNewsfoto/Hoag Memorial Hospital...)

His clinical research interests include improving early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Lewy body dementia and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. He is also a beloved clinician whose patients describe him as empathetic and approachable.

"Dr. Ritter is a perfect fit for Hoag. He leads with equal parts compassion and intellectual curiosity," said Michael Brant-Zawadzki, M.D., F.A.C.R., the Ron & Sandi Simon Executive Medical Director Endowed Chair of the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute and Senior Physician Executive at Hoag. "He spearheads a comprehensive team focused on enabling patients and caregivers to identify signs of cognitive decline as early as possible, allowing treatment and optimizing maintenance of their long-term quality of life. We are excited to have his leadership for integrating cognitive and mental health with the challenges of physical health that increase with aging."

Dr. Ritter joined the Cleveland Clinic in July 2014, initially as a clinical fellow in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry. Until his move to Hoag this month, he served as principal investigator for the Center for Neurodegeneration and Translational Neurosciences, co-director of the Huntington Disease Comprehensive Care Clinic and the Department Lead of Cognitive Disorders. He also led the Nevada Exploratory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.

At Hoag, his responsibilities include continued development of the Center for Integrative Brain Health, which will empower primary care physicians and non-neuro specialists with the necessary personnel expertise, processes, and tools to integrate care for cognitive and mental health challenges so commonly associated with chronic and acute medical conditions.

"With our rapidly aging population, especially in Orange County, integrating brain health into the primary and specialized care of aging adults, many of whom have chronic health conditions, is a huge challenge for the U.S. health care system," said Dr. Brant-Zawadzki. "That's why Hoag created the Orange County Vital Brain Program 12 years ago. This community-based program provides patient and physician education in memory and cognitive disorders, tools for screening and early assessment, and evidence-based patient-care pathways."

Under Dr. Ritter's leadership, he added, the Center for Integrative Brain Health will further expand on these resources and services to help even more of the population maintain brain health as they age, and support the Hoag frontline, primary care practitioners who treat them.

"Hoag has a reputation for being a patient-focused, innovative hospital that is dedicated to advancing patient care," Dr. Ritter said. "I am excited to work among brilliant colleagues in an environment focused on improving patient lives through better, lifelong brain health."


Hoag is a nonprofit, regional health care delivery system in Orange County, California. Delivering world-class, comprehensive, personalized care, Hoag consists of 1,800 top physicians, 15 urgent care facilities, 10 health & wellness centers, and two award-winning hospitals. Hoag offers a comprehensive blend of health care services that includes six institutes providing specialized services in the following areas: cancerdigestive  healthheart and vascularneurosciences, women's health, and orthopedics through Hoag's affiliate, Hoag Orthopedic Institute, which consists of an orthopedic hospital and four ambulatory surgical centers. Hoag is the highest ranked hospital in Orange County by U.S. News & World Report and the only OC hospital ranked in the Top 10 in California, as well as a designated Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). For more information, visit hoag.org.



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SOURCE Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian