Mike Maples, MD
The Board and Leadership of CHCW, as part of the annual strategic planning process, established a goal to assess the needs of our elderly, institutionalized population. This is an issue that we had been keeping our eye on. CHCW is one of the few clinics for whom it is routine to care for our patients when they go to a nursing home or skilled nursing facility. About 10% of patients in Yakima area nursing homes are cared for by CHCW providers (doctors and residents). Of the approximately 700 patients in those facilities, 80% are cared for Dr. Paul Emmans, Jr (not to be confused with CWFM-R faculty member Dr. Paul Emmans, III). Over the past year, Dr. Emmans, Jr. has worked with CHCW to develop a new program to improve care to this frail population. That program, Senior & Residential Care (SRCare) plans to begin service delivery on August 1.
In addition to Dr. Emmans, Jr., Dr. Maureen Watson is working with CHCW to develop the program. She is an internal medicine and geriatrics physician who recently moved to Yakima from Ohio. Dr. Vicki Black has also contracted to come back to work for CHCW on a quarter time basis to work with the SRCare program. Additional providers are being recruited to fulfill the need. The SRCare program manager is Becky Starnes, MSW. Becky started work on May 1.
The team has a lot of work to do prior to August 1. Priority projects include: development of medical director products and contracts for participating nursing facilities; adapting our EHR to the needs of SRCare; and developing the office and IT supports for the program.
At the outset, SRCare aims to provide medical services to ten nursing facilities in the Mid- and Upper-Valley area. Oral health services will be provided to those homes as well as two in Kittitas County. Future plans include the extension of services to assisted living facilities and adult group homes, and to homebound elderly and frail patients.
We are very excited about the potential of this program to improve care and future security to these particularly vulnerable people. To learn more about SRCare, see the program summary on CHCW’s intranet site.