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Baystate Medical Center first U.S. health institution to receive age-friendly designation

August 14, 2019

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement recognized Baystate Medical Center and Baystate Health’s three Community Health Centers as the first age-friendly health care institutions in the nation.

The national age-friendly health system movement focuses on improving care by attending to what matters most to patients, medications, mental activity, and mobility.

Simultaneously, Springfield was designated as both an age-friendly and dementia-friendly city, making Springfield the first city to receive this recognition in unison with being home to age-friendly health care institutions.

This honor comes in response to the efforts of the Acute Care for Elders program team and the interprofessional “Geri-Pal” team, serving high-need patients in the three Community Health Centers. Both programs also have been supported by Baystate Health’s Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program award from the Health Resources and Services Administration. The Geri-Pal team recently presented at the 2019 Legacy Society Luncheon where society donors received a glimpse into the integrated approach they take to taking care of an aging population. 

The Acute Care for Elders Program and the Geri-Pal interprofessional team provide specialized treatment to aging patients and support for their care partners, much like the more commonly known pediatric-focused care for young patients. The specially trained team members recognize the unique problems of older adults, focus on what is most important to patients and emphasize keeping those in their care as independent and active as possible. They assist with care plans, choosing treatment options, recognizing drug side effects and making difficult decisions. This approach allows Baystate Health to treat this patient population thoughtfully and respectfully while engaging individuals and their families so that they are comfortable with and confident about their care.

Learn how you can support care through a gift toward geriatric care or the Acute Care for Elders.