Here is how a healthcare model from San Francisco will lend itself to the care of local seniors and to the renewal of our city.
The Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, also known as PACE, comes from humble beginnings. In the 1970s, a group of California physicians and healthcare administrators saw a great need for better care of the elderly, and came together to fill a glaring void in geriatric healthcare. What evolved from this council is a daytime healthcare facility for those elderly who require support with medication and convalescence that they would not otherwise receive through their normal healthcare provider.
The PACE approach to care involves providing patient transportation to a designated healthcare facility from 7am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. Once there, patients will be seen by specialists trained to help each individual with the specific care that he or she requires for wellbeing. This “high specialty care model” is preventative and proactive in nature, drastically reducing emergency room visits. For example, a typical 80-year-old female patient who would, on average, make one to two dozen emergency room visits annually will likely only have only one ER visit in a year under this model. In the world of healthcare, that is a million-dollar difference. The directors of Genesys Regional Medical Center, who take healthcare innovation and efficiency very seriously, examined the PACE model and decided to bring this innovation to Flint.
For Flint, the arrival of PACE to our locale means better care for seniors, renewed occupancy of another local building, and 70 new jobs for local residents. The sort of care provided by PACE is novel to Genesee County; in fact, it will be only the seventh of its kind in Michigan when it opens. Initial patient base is expected to be 250 patients per day. The program is on track to open in the first quarter of 2015 at the erstwhile International Institute, and staff will come from a pool of vetted applicants, with priority given to those who reside in the local job market.
The Genesys PACE facility is the second major contribution that the medical center has made to the area, and taking into consideration the Genesys Downtown Flint Health Center that opened in August of last year, Genesys will have contributed 140 new local jobs in less than two years’ time. Vice President of Business Development at Genesys, Nick Evans, cites these developments as a promise from Genesys to continue to “demonstrate [their]dedication to the people of Flint.”
With the growing population of Genesee County residents who are 65 years and older, many of whom are without necessary care during their golden years, PACE promises to effect a positive change in the aging community. Enacting PACE will bring tremendous improvement to the lives of aging residents, but it is also a bright assurance to younger generations. Genesys’ investment in the community, while it contributes to Flint’s ongoing renewal and financial vibrancy and thus attracts new opportunities and entrepreneurs, will also connect young adults and Flint youth with their elders in daily interaction. The congregation of all ages Downtown has the potential to bring collective wisdom and cooperative responsibility to city residents, giving us hope for an intergenerational city the likes of which we have not seen since times long past.
Expect to see construction at the corner of Stevens and First Streets before the close of the year. My City Magazine is excited to revisit this groundbreaking development in the coming year.
PHOTO COURTESY OF GENESYS