Student Volunteers Pitch In at TCC
Experts say volunteerism among college students around the country is declining, but you would never know it from the legion of young people devoting their time and energy to assist at ArchCare at TerenceCardinal Cooke Health Care Center this spring.
Since last fall, 30 students from Columbia University have been answering call bells, greeting visitors, socializing with residents and accompanying them to therapeutic recreation activities through the At Your Service program. More recently, 11 students from the University of Maryland chose to spend their spring break working with residents on the HIV/AIDS Unit as part of their social justice curriculum.
The spring break volunteers from the University of Maryland spent time getting to know the residents and helping with games, crafts and other activities during their five-day visit. For the students, it was a chance to gain a better understanding of the social justice issues that affect people with HIV and AIDS, and touch the lives of many of the unit's more than 150 residents.
The At Your Service volunteers from Columbia spend two hours each week assisting on a unit and two hours as a companion to a long term care resident with whom they share a particular interest or hobby.They read aloud, play board games or watch favorite movies with the residents, or just pass the time in conversation to learn about their lives and create a personal bond with someone from a differentgeneration.
The Columbia students are asked periodically to reflect on their experiences at TCC with administrators and staff. "After my first weeks at TCC, I realized that the value of volunteering is in the relationships built and the compassion shared," one student wrote. Another noted how the experience gave her greater compassion for the elderly, who are "a cherished part of society and need to be reminded of this."
"One student came to realize that care extends beyond things like medical treatment or rehabilitation to all the seemingly menial things someone can do to give someone comfort and a sense of peace," saidTom McDonald, Director of Therapeutic Recreation and Volunteer Services at TCC. "Our volunteers provide that comfort and peace day in and day out."
Meals on Wheels of Staten Island has honored ArchCare Board Member
Meals on Wheels of Staten Island has honored ArchCare Board Member Eric P. Feldmann with its Angela Padavano Community Service Award for his work to develop affordable housing for the elderly and people with special needs. Feldmann, who serves as Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Sister of Charity Housing Development Corp., accepted the award at the organization's annual luncheon on April 11.
A Rockville Centre resident, Feldmann has been associated with the Sisters of Charity for more than 40 years and began developing affordable housing on Staten Island in 1983. Under his leadership, the Sisters of Charity have created more than 580 units of senior housing and have another 129 units currently under development. In addition to being a member of the ArchCare board, Feldmann is a member of the Board of Directors of Northfield Local Development Corporation; past Chairman of the Board of ArchCare at Carmel Richmond Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center; a member of the Board of and past Chairman of Meals on Wheels of Staten Island; and a member of the Board of the Mission of Mount Loretto.
DoH Selects ArchCare for FIDA Demonstration
In a highly competitive process, ArchCare has been selected by the New York State Department of Health to participate in a demonstration of a new health plan for people who receive both Medicare and Medicaid. The new plan, known as a Fully Integrated Duals Advantage plan, or FIDA, offers the so-called "dually eligible" a complete range of Medicare and Medicaid services and coordinates all the care they receive, while also delivering a long list of services and supports to enable them to continue living safely in the community. Participants must be 21 or older, require more than 120 days of community-based long term care services, and reside in the demonstration area of the Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk and Westchester Counties. Those who receive services through the Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities or reside in an Office of Mental Health facility are not eligible. ArchCare will be part of the demonstration program from April 2014 through December 2017.
"ArchCare is very pleased to be able to assist the Department with this important demonstration project," said ArchCare President and CEO Scott LaRue. "We look forward to bringing our extensive experience serving the dually eligible through our ArchCare Advantage, ArchCare Senior Life PACE and ArchCare Community Life managed long term care plans to bear on the development and evaluation of the innovative FIDA program."
ArchCare Advantage Expands Upstate
Residents of the 450-bed Loretto Health and Rehabilitation Center in Syracuse, NY can now reap the benefits of more personalized care and 24/7 coordination of the medical and other care they receive by enrolling in ArchCare Advantage HMO Special Needs Plan. Enrollments are under way following a kick-off celebration at the nursing home on April 1.
Specially designed for nursing home residents, ArchCare Advantage is a Medicare Advantage plan that combines solid, ongoing preventive care with individualized care for those with chronic health needs. Members receive personalized attention from a nurse practitioner/care manager who monitors their health and coordinates all aspects of their care with their nursing home. The goal is to prevent avoidable hospital visits and the stress associated with them by intercepting and addressing potential health issues before they become more acute problems. ArchCare Advantage also provides coverage for prescription medications as well as a range of other important benefits not covered by traditional Medicare.
Like ArchCare, Loretto is a provider-based healthcare system anchored in faith in the Catholic Church, said ArchCare President and CEO Scott LaRue. Our organizations share remarkably similar values and a commitment to delivering excellent care with dignity, integrity and respect to those we serve. We are pleased to be able to bring the advanced care coordination and other attractive features of ArchCare Advantage to Lorettos residents.
Loretto is Central New Yorks largest elder care provider, with 22 specialized health and long-term care programs serving more than 6,000 seniors and their families throughout Onondaga County.
Order of Malta Brings the Big Top to TCC
The auditorium at Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center was transformed into a big top on April 6 as volunteers from the Order of Malta put on their annual circus for the young residents of TCC Specialty Hospital.
It didn't matter that the tigers and elephants were of the balloon variety, or that a game of musical chairs and fun with a colorful parachute took the place of the usual tightrope and trapeze acts. The morning of music, dancing, and clowning was likely as close as the fragile youngsters will ever come to an actual circus. And it was clear from their smiles, laughs and more subtle signs of enjoyment that the differences didn't matter a bit.
Watson the Clown from the Big Apple Circus entertained the residents and their visiting siblings, while a live band performed '50s hits. TCC staff members joined the volunteers in getting everyone in the circus spirit.
"This is such a wonderful event because it's a different environment for the kids, and they get to experience all the colors and the games and the music - it's just such a powerful thing," said volunteer Maggie Ludwiczak, who has helped organize the circus and served as its unofficial ringmaster for a decade. "There's nothing better than having a child just break out and show some of their spirit inside, which we know is there."
Watch a video of Rory and Camille Kelleher with Maggie Ludwiczak.
Mary Manning Walsh Experts Address Long Term Care Ombudsmen
Mary Manning Walsh Home Director of Social Work Theresa Taplin and Assistant Administrator Helen Yee were invited to share their expertise at a recent in-service training program for New York State-certified long term care Ombudsmen. Taplin's presentation focused on the role of the social worker in long term care and sub-acute discharge planning, while Yee discussed rehabilitation as it relates to plans of care and discharge planning. Ombudsmen Renee Dunn and Alvia Golden led an open discussion of the topics following the presentations. Operated by the New York State Office for the Aging, the Ombudsman program is made up of specially trained and certified volunteers who advocate for residents of the facilities to which they are assigned.
Archcare at Ferncliff Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center Celebrates opening of new rehabilitation gym
ArchCare at Ferncliff Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center celebrated the opening of its new, state-of-the-art rehabilitation gym, which will deliver a full range of physical, occupational and speech therapies as well as several new modes of therapy to help Hudson Valley residents get back on their feet following a serious illness, injury or surgery. Executives of ArchCare, the New York Archdiocese healthcare system, were joined at the ribbon-cutting by Colleen Cruikshank, Executive Director of the Rhinebeck Area Chamber of Commerce, residents of the 328-bed nursing home, and other guests.
The fully equipped 4,811-square-foot therapy area is part of The Center for Healing at Ferncliff, which provides short-term, sub-acute medical and skilled nursing care for patients after they leave the hospital. Patients turn to the Center for Healing's professional staff, which includes 27 licensed therapists, for a multitude of needs, such as orthopedic rehabilitation following joint reconstruction or other surgery, cardiac recovery, post-stroke neurological rehabilitation, post-surgical oncology care, and wound management. Since 2010, the 82-bed inpatient Center for Healing helped 717 patients return home safely and comfortably and resume their daily routines and the activities they enjoy.
The new gym adds 2,508 square feet of new therapy space and is outfitted with the latest training equipment as well as a fully equipped kitchen and bathroom to allow residents to regain the skills required to tend to their own personal needs once they return home. New modes of therapy being introduced include electrical stimulation therapy for pain management and neuromuscular re-education, and short-wave diathermy to relieve pain and promote wound healing. The new equipment was paid for in large part through contributions to the Catholic Health Care Foundation, ArchCare's fundraising arm.
"Ferncliff is the place where healing begins for hundreds of people every year," said ArchCare at Ferncliff Executive Director Carl Kelly. "Our brand new rehabilitation center will further enhance the rehabilitation experience for our patients and cement our position as a leader in the delivery of top quality, post-hospital care throughout the Hudson Valley."
"Ferncliff is a very important part of our community," commented Rhinebeck Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Colleen Cruikshank. "We are happy to celebrate with them."
ArchCare Community Life Expands to Brooklyn, Queens and Putnam County
Residents of Brooklyn, Queens and Putnam County who receive long-term care at home through Medicaid can now enjoy personalized care coordination and the freedom to choose their own healthcare providers by enrolling in ArchCare Community Life Medicaid Managed Long Term Care Plan (MLTCP).
ArchCare Community Life meets the needs of Medicaid recipients age 21 and over who need more than 120 days of home care services and are therefore required by New York State to enroll in an approved MLTCP. In addition to covering long-term home health services for people with chronic illnesses or disabilities, the plan manages all aspects of members' care, even doctor, hospital and other services covered by Medicare.
With its most recent expansion, ArchCare Community Life is now available to residents of all five boroughs of New York City, Westchester and Putnam County. The plan is expected to receive regulatory approval to be rolled out across the remaining counties of the Archdiocese over time.
For additional information and eligibility details for ArchCare Community Life MLTCP, please call 1-855-380-2589 or go to www.archcarecommunitylife.org.
ArchCare in the News
The expansion of ArchCare's ministry to include a full range of home health services and a new Medicaid Managed Long Term Care Plan was featured in the February 21 issue of Catholic New York. Read more here.
New Tools and Technologies Opening Worlds at Specialty Hospital
When it comes to improving the quality of life of the young patients of The Specialty Hospital at Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center, the creativity and dedication of their ArchCare caregivers and some donations of new technology are making all the difference in the world.
Specialty Hospital provides long-term residential care for children and young adults with profound developmental and neurological disabilities. Though unable to communicate in the normal sense of the word, the flutter of an eyelid or a subtle change in expression can speak volumes to the nurses and therapists who are part of their daily lives. To help others better understand how they express themselves, Specialty Hospital staff recently began developing a new assessment tool that records the ways in which these non-verbal residents respond to different forms of sensory stimulation and reveal emotions such as happiness and sadness. The goal is to improve the quality of these special residents' lives by giving them clearer "voices" in their care and equipping those around them to more easily recognize and respond to their needs.
The acquisition of a Dynavox EyeMax system with funds raised by the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller, is also allowing residents with severe speech and motor impairments to control their environments in small but important ways. The device uses an infra-red beam to track users' eye movements as they focus on a special computer screen. One resident, Mehwish, uses the EyeMax to switch between a video of her mother reading the Koran, a loving message from her sister, or clips from her favorite movies literally with the blink of an eye. Others use it to communicate with their caregivers by gazing at different icons on the screen.
A new portable ventilator also purchased with Order of St. John contributions is expanding the worlds of young residents who need assistance to breathe. Standard ventilation machines are bulky and must be tethered to a constant source of electricity. The battery-powered device, about the size of a laptop computer, is allowing these ventilator-dependent residents to venture beyond TCC's walls and experience the warmth of the sun, the rustle of leaves and the sounds of the city, in some cases for the first time in years.
"Providing the best care possible is what Specialty Hospital is all about," said Toiyeuco Baker-Fann, Therapeutic Recreation Therapist. "We don't just mean quality healthcare, but care that improves the quality of our residents' lives - making choices, visiting new places, and experiencing the joys of nature. And that is exactly what these new tools deliver."
ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK CONTINUES HEALTHCARE EXPANSION
New York Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan today presided over the ceremonial groundbreaking for a new healthcare center on Staten Island that will offer seniors the same level of care they would receive in a nursing home while they continue to live in their own homes.
The new center is part of the ongoing transformation of ArchCare, the diocesan healthcare system, on Staten Island and throughout the 10-county Archdiocese to respond to changing consumer preferences, expand its geographic reach, and better align its services with changes in health policy that encourage the development of home and community-based alternatives to institutional care.
The ArchCare Senior Life Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) at ArchCare at Carmel Richmond Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center will combine a fully equipped medical clinic with an adult day care center, physical and occupational therapy facilities, home care and a long list of other services focused on keeping seniors healthy and safe in their own familiar surroundings. A model for how seniors across the nation increasingly will be cared for, the Staten Island PACE center will serve up to 125 local residents age 55 and older, many with multiple health problems, who otherwise would require full-time care in a nursing home.
"While nursing homes will always be part of our health ministry, our seniors are telling us they want to remain at home, close to the people and neighborhoods they love," Cardinal Dolan said. "With ArchCare Senior Life PACE, seniors and others with chronic health needs no longer have to give up their homes and independence just to get the medical care and other attention they need to live safely and comfortably."
ArchCare has significantly expanded its services for Staten Island residents in recent months. In addition to long-term skilled nursing and short-term rehabilitative care at the 300-bed Carmel Richmond facility, residents can enroll in an Archdiocese-sponsored Medicare Advantage program and a new Medicaid Managed Long Term Care Plan for people who require long-term care at home. ArchCare's home care nurses, aides and therapists also deliver home health services for children and adults on Staten Island and in the rest of New York City and Westchester as a result of the health system's October acquisition of Visiting Nurse Regional Health Care System, which is now known as ArchCare VNAB Home Care.
"As the healthcare needs of our local communities continue to evolve, our ministry is evolving to meet them in new and creative ways," said Scott LaRue, ArchCare's president and chief executive officer. "With the addition of our new PACE program at Carmel Richmond, residents of Staten Island will have access to a seamless system of health and long-term care services delivered where they are most comfortable and best able to receive them - at home, in the community, or in a traditional nursing home setting."
ArchCare, the Continuing Care Community of the Archdiocese of New York, is one of the largest Catholic healthcare systems in the nation. ArchCare provides quality care to thousands of people of all faiths and circumstances through its residential and home and community-based programs, including long-term skilled nursing care, rehabilitation, home health services, a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, palliative and hospice care, an acute care specialty hospital, and a range of managed long term care programs.
Read what the Staten Island Advance had to say about Cardinal Dolan's visit and the new PACE center coming to Carmel Richmond here.
Click here for Catholic New York's coverage.
ArchCare Winter 2013 Newsletter
Read the ArchCare's Winter 2013 newsletter, Please click here.