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Heidi Press, Public Relations Specialist
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland
44405 Woodward Avenue
Pontiac, MI 48341
248-858-6662
PRESSH@trinity-health.org

Title
New Senior Emergency Department
Start Date
08/17/2010
Article
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland To Open Specialized Emergency Care Program For Seniors

Pontiac Hospital Among Saint Joseph Mercy Health System Hospitals to Launch Senior Emergency Departments



Pontiac, Mich.—St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (SJMO), a member of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS), will open its Senior Emergency Department (ED) in September to meet the unique care needs for a growing population of seniors.

During a patient’s stay at St. Joe’s Senior ED, a multidisciplinary team will assess physical function, cognitive status and level of risk.

All emergency staff at SJMO has been educated about the special needs of seniors, designed to do away with stereotypes and increase understanding of their medical and preferential needs. Medical staff will have additional geriatric emergency medicine training, and nursing staff will complete Geriatric Emergency Nursing Education through the Emergency Nurses Association. These courses allow physicians and nurses to sensitively and appropriately identify and treat patients with pre-existing conditions, multiple medications, dementia, living condition concerns, nutrition and depression.

Additionally, SJMO pharmacists will perform multiple medication reviews to identify and address adverse drug reactions and other concerns. A geriatric case manager will provide outpatient assistance to help patients maintain their independence and remain at home or develop an alternative care plan.

“The patient-centered care model adapts the typical emergency department system to meet the special medical needs, preferences and physical comforts of seniors,” explains Dr. George Williams, co-chair of the SJMHS Senior ED initiative and chief of staff, St. Joseph Mercy Saline.

Amenities at SJMO will include softer lighting, decreased noise, non-slip flooring, hearing-assistive devices, clocks and telephones with larger numbers to create a calm, comfortable environment and ease anxiety. There will be increased comfort with thicker, pressure-reducing mattresses and reclining chairs for a family member or friend, who will be encouraged to remain with the patient throughout the care process.

Jack Weiner, SJMO President and CEO, said: “This is a continuation of our commitment to meeting the unique needs of our patients. Seniors have a unique set of situations that affect the delivery of their care. The Senior ED is a program that’s structured to meet the particular needs of the senor population and to ensure that they have an outstanding and comprehensive experience.”

By Jan. 1, 2011, emergency departments at all eight SJMHS hospitals will each have a Senior ED staffed by caregivers who are specially skilled in geriatric emergency care. In addition to SJMO, other SJMHS hospitals include: Chelsea Community Hospital, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, St. Joseph Mercy Brighton, St. Joseph Mercy Livingston, St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron, St. Joseph Mercy Saline and St. Mary Mercy Livonia, which opened the doors to the health system’s first Senior ED on July 14.

“This is Michigan’s first implementation of a dedicated program addressing the emergency care needs and physical comforts of adults ages 65 and up,” explained Garry C. Faja, president and CEO, SJMHS. “Since its opening, St. Mary Mercy Livonia has had extremely favorable responses from patients and caregivers, families, physicians and staff.”

“Regardless of the physical amenities, every senior who comes to Saint Joseph Mercy Health System’s emergency departments will receive the same Senior ED experience from skilled geriatric emergency care staff,” concluded Faja.

About St. Joseph Mercy Oakland
St Joseph Mercy Oakland is a 443-bed comprehensive, community, teaching hospital and a long-time leader in health care in Oakland County. Founded in 1927 by the Sisters of Mercy, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland has won numerous local and national awards for patient safety, quality and performance, and consistently ranks in the top 10 percent of hospitals nationwide. A member of the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, St Joseph Mercy Oakland is a technologically leading hospital that combines advanced medicine and personal care to assist patients on their path to wellness. With dedicated physicians, nurses and hospital staff committed to providing quality care throughout the patient stay, St Joseph Mercy Oakland has truly personalized the patient care experience.

For more information about health services offered at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland or Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, please visit www.sjmercyhealth.org.

About Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) is a newly expanded health care organization serving southeast Michigan. Health coverage spans six counties, including Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne. It includes 537-bed St. Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor, 443-bed St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, 304-bed St. Mary Mercy in Livonia, 136-bed St. Joseph Mercy Livingston in Howell, 119-bed St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron, 113-bed Chelsea Community Hospital and 74-bed St. Joseph Mercy Saline. Combined, the seven hospitals are licensed for 1,726 beds, have five outpatient health centers, five urgent care facilities, more than 25 specialty centers; employ more than 14,000 individuals and have a medical staff of nearly 2,700 physicians.


A member of Trinity Health, the nation’s fourth largest Catholic health care organization, SJMHS is committed to providing a remarkable patient experience by using leading edge technology in a comforting and healing environment. As a mission based organization, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System provides approximately $100 million in community benefit to the communities it serves each year.

For more information on health services offered at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, please visit www.sjmercyhealth.org.


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