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St. Luke’s Senior Health Care Gets High Marks in New Report (Sponsored)

St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) has been recognized as “high performing in Geriatrics” by U.S. News World Report. The national recognition is significant, the hospital said, especially given that Senior Health is a relatively new service line at St. Luke’s.

“This honor shows our commitment in providing excellent care to our seniors, and this is appreciated in our community,” said Carrie Fleckenstein, Senior Network Director, Senior Care Services, of the Senior Health program that launched in October 2013.

“Under the leadership of Dr. Alaa Mira, our Chief of Geriatrics, St. Luke’s has assembled a highly trained, experienced and compassionate team of geriatricians who understand and address the needs of seniors and their caregivers. There has also been great support by St. Luke’s senior leadership for senior care services across the network,” Fleckenstein said.

U.S. News World Report bases a hospital’s overall geriatrics score on various data categories, including volume of high-risk patients, nurse staffing and patient survival. SLUHN received an “excellent” rating for patient services and a “very high” rating for its volume of patients at least 75 years old treated for complex conditions.

One element that makes SLUHN’s senior care so effective is that it takes a team approach to address the unique needs and challenges associated with the senior population. SLUHN brings together a specialty team of geriatricians, nurse practitioners and social workers to provide consultations, comprehensive evaluations and recommendations for senior care.

“We work with patients, family members and family physicians to evaluate the patient’s physical, emotional, social and functional needs, and assist in planning for their future,” Fleckenstein explained. “Our goal is to provide a positive aging experience for all adults in our community through specialized services and care designed for seniors. Recognizing that aging adults have unique needs and challenges, we help seniors and their caregivers get the most out of their life through a wealth of programs and tools designed by geriatric specialists.”

These programs and tools include:

  • The St. Luke’s Caregiver Support Group, which provides emotional, educational and social support for caregivers through regularly scheduled meetings.
  • Acute Care of the Elderly (ACE), a specialized program that addresses the needs of hospitalized older adults using a multidisciplinary team approach to prevent functional and cognitive decline, and improve outcomes and satisfaction. The ACE program identifies older adults at risk and creates an individualized care plan to reduce hospital complications, length of stay, delirium rate and unnecessary medication use.
  • The St. Luke’s Senior Surgical Program, which has a Senior Care Surgery Coordinator who works closely with the surgeon’s office, the operating room staff, the patient’s primary care physician and other health care professionals to guide older adults through the surgical process – before, during and after surgery. The Senior Care Surgery Coordinator performs a comprehensive assessment and identifies the patient’s individual needs. Assessment areas include: cognitive, functional performance, gait and mobility, nutrition, medication/pain management and caregiver burden. The coordinator also conducts depression and frailty screenings.
  • The Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) program, which is nurse-driven and designed to improve the care of older adults.

For more information about SLUHN’s Senior Health, and a full list of services and resources available, please visit

Note: This story was contributed by St. Luke’s University Health Network. Its publication is part of a news partnership between Saucon Source and SLUHN.

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