Municipality of Volta Redonda

The Brazil Flagship Site partnered with the municipal health ministry service to implement the project in the public health system. Digital cognitive assessments were conducted by primary care physicians and nurses at a local basic family health clinic, for a population of patients over 60 years of age with cognitive complaints. Blood-based biomarker tests were conducted at the local laboratory, with results delivered by a specialist. The selected local health clinics were in a geography with a high proportion of older people and partnered with local community health workers.     

Brazil has a decentralized, universal public health system funded by tax revenues and government, with care delivery and administration managed by municipalities or states.

See Key Lessons

Site Leads

Otelo Corrêa dos Santos Filho

Otelo Corrêa dos Santos Filho

Principal Investigator

Key Partners

  • Volta Redonda Ministry of Public Health 
  • University of Southern California

What are the key lessons learned from the site?


Selecting a site to gain traction.

The Volta Redonda region was suitable for this project for multiple reasons. Importantly, the site received strong support from the health secretary of Volta Redonda, who championed the project and helped navigate through administrative challenges. The selection of a local team committed to the project was also fundamental to its success. Demographically, this region has a high proportion of older adults, and the municipality has a primary care system and polytechnic clinics that specialize in providing care to older adults. Given the large size of Brazil, the project team decided to start locally in one district that had an enabling environment for the early detection program.

Goal 1: Evaluate your healthcare system context.


Providing training for the primary care team to recognize symptoms of cognitive impairment.

The Brazil site identified that the most important people to detect early signs of cognitive impairment are the primary care team: physician, nurse, psychologist, social workers, nutritionists. However, it can be very common for doctors to see the memory complaints of the elderly and dismiss it as a normal part of aging. Providing training to the primary care team to recognize these warning signs was crucial to the early detection process.

Goal 10 :Develop education and training materials.


Engaging with the patient population.

Having joint discussions with the patient population in addition to the project team and the local health system was a fundamental strategy for the Brazil site. This strategy was instrumental for information dissemination and sustainability of the program.

Goal 8: Assemble your project team.