The future of medical care for senior citizens in Central New York took a big step in the right direction today as staff and patients gathered to officially open the area’s first geriatric emergency department at Upstate’s Community Campus. Emergency Medicine Director Jamie Ciaccio will help lead the new eight bed unit called Gem Care that will offer geriatric-specific equipment and emergency care to those 65 and older. With state of the art technology, Ciaccio says Gem Care’s staff members will work as a team to encourage quick and efficient discharges.
“The physical plant is geared towards making them feel more comfortable, but the real key to this program is the coordination of care with social workers, case managers, home services, the home health aids, visiting nurses, and the primary care physicians so we can safely discharge patients rather than put them in the hospital.”
Ciaccio says that a collaborative approach to care will help Gem Care with its goal to admit only those patients who will benefit from hospital care rather than taking on those who can be treated in the privacy of their own homes. The new geriatric emergency department at Upstate’s Community Campus on Onondaga Hill starts taking patients July 2nd.