Congratulations to Dr. Maura Brennan and her team on obtaining a renewal of Baystate Health’s Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Grant through 2024. Dr. Brennan is the lead on this grant, which has supported the growth of the ACE (Acute Care for Elders) and Geri-Pal programs along with a host of other community outreach and educational initiatives. These programs have already improved outcomes for patients and reduced costs for the health system. Due in large part to this grant, The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) recognized Baystate Health’s three Community Health Centers (High Street, Mason Square and Brightwood) and Baystate Medical Center as the first age-friendly healthcare sites in the nation. Simultaneously with the grant renewal, the city of Springfield was awarded age-friendly status by AARP and dementia-friendly recognition by the Massachusetts Council on Aging. This was the first time in the nation that the following trifecta has been reached in a single community: an age-friendly city, a dementia-friendly city, and age-friendly health system.
“Being an age friendly city means we are working towards improving amenities that make it better for older adults and the community. For the health system, it’s an emphasis on tracking the following: what matters most (ex. spending time with family), medications, mobility (keeping independent and active), and mentation,” says Dr. Brennan. Baystate is now one of only 48 federally funded geriatrics centers in the nation. In addition to current services, the next five years will see more “age-friendly” projects, improved access to skilled geriatrics care, and support for the primary care workforce as Baystate continues its journey to value-based care and a population health approach.