In the Spotlight
This week’s interview is with Denise McQuaide, the Vice President of Post-Acute Care at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge and President of CareGroup Parmenter Home Care & Hospice. As a masters prepared geriatric nurse practitioner, she is responsible for strategic planning for transitions of care and developing models to support wellness initiatives outside the hospital. For over 100 years, CareGroup Parmenter has been providing in home healthcare to Waltham and the surrounding communities. A subsidiary of Mount Auburn Hospital, they provide Home Care, Palliative Care and Hospice care, keeping patients healthy at home.
Why did your organization want to join in this initiative with Healthy Waltham to promote an age-friendly community?
In 2004, Mount Auburn Hospital provided financial support and technical assistance to the new coalition called Healthy Waltham. Since then we have collaborated on many projects to promote healthy living.
Mount Auburn Hospital and CareGroup Parmenter Home Care & Hospice, Inc. have been supporting the Waltham Community for decades. CareGroup Home Care was formed in 2000 as a merger of Mount Auburn Home Care and Waltham VNA. CareGroup Home Care merged with Parmenter VNA & Hospice in 2015 to form CareGroup Parmenter Home Care & Hospice, Inc. (CGP).
Waltham is a special community for us, and close to 150 of the hospital’s employees reside here. As a hospital, a homecare and a hospice we are committed to keeping people healthy by supporting their personalized care in the community and throughout the health continuum. Our outstanding services are provided to Waltham residents at convenient clinic locations and in the patients’ own homes.
People are living longer, and while nationally the life expectancy is 78 years, we see many people in Waltham living healthy lives well beyond. At the hospital, 80+ is our largest growing demographic. Our Geriatric Medicine service utilizes an individualized, family-centered approach to create a plan that fits each individual patient’s and family’s needs.
We are excited to partner with Waltham as it takes these essential first steps-engaging key stakeholders and increasing communication about healthy aging- to creating an age-friendly city through Waltham Connections.
What are your organization’s current goals, projects, or events, particularly in regards to healthy aging efforts in Waltham?
We are very excited to continue to participate in the Waltham Connections project and strengthen Waltham’s in-home services network with better collaboration and integration. In addition to participating on the Steering Committee, we continue to work closely with Healthy Waltham and the Council on Aging (COA). Currently we have an active Stroke Awareness Campaign with the COA, participate in Health Fairs and our staff offer free monthly blood pressure clinics. Healthy Waltham’s Chef Reva is assisting Mount Auburn Hospital staff in a new Healthy Eating program that started in March of 2017.
We are meeting in April with Neighbors Who Care (NWC). This will give the Mount Auburn Hospital staff a better understanding of the NWC services and vice versa.
What healthy aging successes has your organization achieved thus far?
In 2016, Mount Auburn Hospital and CGP served more than 400 individuals in their Waltham homes. For many years, we have provided maternal and child health visits, VNA services, telehealth, hospice care and bereavement programs for Waltham residents of all ages. We are proud of our record of improving quality of life. We compassionately provide excellent patient-centered care for people when they are sick, disabled or struggling with mental or behavioral health problems. However, the future is where we are focused. The future is about strengthening ties with the community groups involved in Waltham Connections, especially Springwell, which is uniquely positioned to address other areas that affect the health of senior citizens such as housing, transportation, and long-term services and social supports. Working together, our goal is to keep the residents of Waltham healthy at home and not in the hospital.
We remain committed and grateful for the opportunity to work with the Waltham Connections project, as well as Healthy Waltham, and to support residents of Waltham in their endeavor to be well.