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LECOM Institute for Successful Aging First to Earn NICHE Certification

LECOM and Millcreek Community Hospital to Develop Center of Excellence for the Care of Older Adults

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) Institute for Successful Aging and Millcreek Community Hospital (MCH) have become the first Erie health care organizations recognized for their commitment to improving health care for older adults.

The national NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) certification signals the dedication of LECOM and MCH in providing patient-centered care for older adults. Only 450 health care systems across North America, and only one in northwestern Pennsylvania, participate in this interdisciplinary program designed to help health care professionals improve the care they provide geriatric patients.

The Institute for Success for Aging is training a team of nurses, physicians, pharmacists and other health care staff members to insure that any older adult coming for any services receives the optimal diagnosis and treatment.  With additional staff education, this will improve the ability to recognize and support patient-driven health care decisions.

The NICHE principles and tools stimulate a change in the culture of health care systems to achieve patient and family centered care.

“The NICHE program is evidence-based geriatric care at the bedside delivered by proven strategies and methods that address issues specific to older patients,” said James Lin, D.O., director of the LECOM Institute for Successful Aging and a fellowship-trained geriatric physician. “The NICHE program creates a healthy and productive practice environment that values keeping older adults independent in their decisions through staff support.”

Pictured L-R: James Lin, DO, Mary Eckert, president and CEO of Millcreek Community Hospital and Danielle Hansen, DO.

NICHE designation demonstrates the MCH organizational commitment and continued progress in improving quality, enhancing the patient and family experience, and supporting the health system’s efforts to serve our community.  “We are committed to a culture in our health care system where the patients and their families are our primary focus,” said Mary L. Eckert, president and CEO of Millcreek Community Hospital. “We’re excited to be able to offer our staff this unique education that will only make them more confident and prepared to serve those under our care.”

At a news conference today, representatives of LECOM and MCH received the national certification and explained how NICHE is serving the patients at MCH and the Millcreek Geriatric Education and Care Center.

About the LECOM Institute for Successful Aging – Our Mission is to provide superior clinical services, education and research in the field of geriatric medicine. Our Vision will be to promote the osteopathic tradition with competent and compassionate whole-person healthcare, education and research to enhance the quality of life through improved health for aging America. The LECOM Institute for Successful Agingoffers primary care and consultative clinical services in geriatric medicine across the entire continuum of care. Our specialists work with primary care physicians, patients and families to encourage independence and shared decision-making in outlining the appropriate plan of care.

About NICHE – NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) is the leading interdisciplinary team program designed to help health systems improve the care of older adults.  The vision of NICHE is for all patients 65-and-over to be given sensitive and exemplary care.  The mission of NICHE is to provide principles and tools to stimulate a change in the culture of healthcare facilities to achieve patient-centered care for older adults.  NICHE, is comprised of almost 450 hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout North America, engages hospitals and their affiliates in achieving and sustaining the NICHE designation.  NICHE designation demonstrates a hospital’s organizational commitment and supporting hospital’s efforts to serve their communities.