Health Care

What Matters Most: AdventHealth Hendersonville first in North Carolina to become an Age-Friendly Health System – Committed to Care Excellence

Senior Woman Embracing Older Woman
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Older adults are living and working longer, redefining later life and enriching our communities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, older Americans will make up more than 20 percent of the U.S. population starting in 2030.

As a result, health systems and organizations across the country are working together to meet the challenge of new complexities in caring for older adults, as well as to make health care more accessible, safe and high-quality for this growing population.

One result of these efforts is Age-Friendly Health Systems, an initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in partnership with the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA).

Age Friendly Four M Infographic

An Age-Friendly Health System is guided by an essential set of evidence-based practices called the 4Ms: What Matters, Medication, Mentation, and Mobility. These practices provide the framework for clinicians and care teams to address the whole health of each patient.

AdventHealth Hendersonville is among the first health systems in the country – and the first in North Carolina to receive the Age-Friendly Health System – Committed to Care Excellence designation.

Board-certified geriatrician Anna Hicks, MD, is the Physician Champion for Age-Friendly Initiatives at AdventHealth Hendersonville. “The care teams across AdventHealth have created a seamless blend of addressing the social determinants of health and wellness for older adults with their promise of whole-person care and the end result is patients and their families knowing that they are valued and they have a voice in their care that will be heard.”

To participate in the Age-Friendly Health System initiative, AdventHealth Hendersonville is partnering with several local community organizations including the Council on Aging, Western Carolina Community Action (WCCA), and the WNC Bridge Foundation to provide a safety net of care for older adults in our community.

“A community-wide approach to Age-Friendly care is a massive effort that includes the expertise of clinicians across our specialties and the support and collaboration of partners in the community,” explains Dr. Hicks.

The team of providers at AdventHealth Medical Group Multispecialty at Laurel Park spearheaded Age-Friendly care in 2019. The location offers specialized services for older adults and their caregivers, including physical therapy, nutrition, dementia support groups and pet therapy to ensure patients don’t have to travel far to receive comprehensive and wholistic care. In August 2020, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement awarded the Committed to Care Excellence designation to all AdventHealth Medical Group locations in Western North Carolina.

“The Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative is an important part of our overarching mission extend the healing ministry of Christ,” says Roland Joy, Chief Nursing Officer AdventHealth Hendersonville. “It means providing every older adult with the best care possible.”

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