Health Center Talks PACE Program at JPNA Meeting

By John Lynds

East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) Director of Marketing Michelle Hagerty knows all too well about the struggles of caring for an aging parent.

At a community meeting this week, Hagerty told the story of her mother’s struggles following heart surgery. Hagerty’s mom suffered a stroke, pneumonia and other complications following surgery. However, what aided Hagerty’s mother’s recovery was the fact she knew at the end of her eight weeks of rehab, she could return home and live an independent life.

Hagerty was on hand at the meeting to encourage residents to learn more about the Health Center’s Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly or PACE program.

EBNHC’s PACE program is one of 121 PACE programs across the nation and was the first in Massachusetts when it was founded in 1990. The program has locations in Winthrop and East Boston, and serves residents age 55 and over who meet the program’s clinical and financial eligibility criteria.

At the meeting Hagerty said there is tremendous demand for the PACE program, which is to ensure that older adults have ready access to the medical care and services they need to continue to live safely in the community they feel most comfortable in.

PACE is designed to assist older adults who have complex medical conditions and require some help to live safely in the place they call home, by providing both health and social services. These services include primary and specialty medical-care, home nursing and personal care, rehabilitation therapy, social interaction and programming, medications without co-pays, and medical transportation.

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