Improving Your Health Conditions

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Oct 31, 2017

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Nobody wants to acquire an ongoing or chronic health condition that interfere with their normal activities and requires multiple medications and doctor visits. As we age, however, this happens to many of us. So what can we do to preserve our health and independence as long as possible? And how can we help our family members and loved ones to do the same? One part of the answer, of course, is to live a healthy lifestyle; the other is to find comprehensive coordinated healthcare and a support system that meets your increasing needs, care that is surprisingly rare today.
Fortunately, Saint Alphonsus is committed to helping people who have serious chronic health conditions to enjoy the best possible quality of life. To accomplish this goal, Saint Alphonsus has recently hired 12 highly-trained professionals and launched its "Enhancing Care Initiative," which includes nine innovative services in Ada County so far:
1. A geriatrics clinic for older people with several chronic conditions
2. A palliative care clinic for adults with serious, potentially life-threatening conditions, such as cancer, heart failure or dementia
3. A house calls program for patients with chronic conditions who have difficulty traveling to clinical locations to obtain care for their conditions
4. A hospital-based palliative care service for hospitalized adults with serious, potentially life-threatening conditions, such as cancer, heart failure or dementia
5. A "Proactive Invitation" program to identify people who are at risk for experiencing negative health events in the coming year and to offer them extra care
6. A "Self-Management Education" program to help people modify their life style and use healthcare professionals to manage their chronic health conditions
7. Partnership with "Honoring Choices Idaho" a program in which trained "facilitators" help patients (and their families) to discuss and clarify their goals, values and preferences for receiving (or not receiving) "heroic" care if they became unable to communicate their wishes
8. The "Age-Friendly Healthcare System" program a pilot project within a national initiative designed to ensure that older patients' special needs are met across all sites of care
9. A Professional Education Conference program a series of monthly conferences to bring the latest guidelines for managing chronic conditions to all Saint Alphonsus health care providers
Patients, families and providers who have experienced these new programs have given glowing reports of their experiences
The Geriatrics and Palliative Care Clinics are located at 5966 West Curtisian Avenue. Providers can refer you to the Saint Alphonsus Geriatrics Clinic, Palliative Care Clinic or House Calls program through their electronic medical records, by FAX at 208-302-5455, or by phone at 208-302-5470. You can also request an appointment for yourself or for a loved one by calling 208-302-5470.

This article was written by Chad Boult, MD, Medical Director Geriatrics and Palliative Care Clinics and House Calls Program Saint Alphonsus Medical Group

See article on page 10-11

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