New Center at UCCS Will Give Seniors One-Stop Shopping for Medical Care

Article excerpt

Picture what often happens when an elderly patient isn't doing well. She goes to her primary care physician, who suggests that besides medical care, she needs physical therapy, nutrition education, counseling, maybe even a neuro-psychological assessment.

The scramble to get all this together can be stressful for both the patient and caregiver as they set up appointments and go from clinic to clinic, without little or no help coordinating the services.As a result, some studies show, only 10 percent of patients follow through with referrals for additional care.

But early next year, if the patient starts her examination at the Lane Center for Academic Health Science, the experience will be different, says Michael Kenny, executive director at the Aging Center at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

It will be like a one-stop shopping experience.

The Lane Center, located on campus at the intersection of North Nevada Avenue and Austin Bluffs Parkway, is scheduled to open Feb. 19.

Kenny and his staff will move to Lane to join several health entities setting up shop there: the Lane Family Senior Health Clinic, operated by Peak Vista Community Health Centers; the UCCS Gerontology Center, which focuses on academic research in the field of aging; and the UCCS HealthCircle Veteran Health and Trauma Clinic, which will provide help to veterans.

Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences will operate two clinics at Lane: the HealthCircle Center for Active Living , which has an "exercise as medicine" approach to care, and the HealthCircle Peak Nutrition Clinic., with a focus on "food is fuel."

Having such services so close to each other will make it much easier to serve older patients. "We will be providing care together," Kenny says.

No matter where patients start in the system, they can easily be referred to the other clinics, which are just steps away and can be involved in care plans, he says.

The beauty of the programs is that both medical and mental health care can be addressed, Kenny says - something that often is lacking in care for the elderly. …