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LECOM, Wesbury Retirement Community Announce Partnership

MEADVILLE — A new partnership between the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (LECOM’s) Institute for Successful Aging and Wesbury United Methodist Retirement Community will allow the Institute to expand its mission of providing geriatric and primary care services by serving older adults in Crawford County.

The LECOM Institute for Successful Aging is providing outpatient services from the new Medical Arts building located on the Wesbury campus. Officials from Wesbury and from LECOM formally announced the partnership at a joint press conference.

On hand to announce the partnership were (l-r) Brian Nageotte, Wesbury’s CFO/COO; James Lin, DO; Doug Fronzaglia, DO; Danielle Hansen, DO; and Don Clawson, Wesbury’s President and CEO.

“LECOM is excited to partner with Wesbury and grateful for the opportunity for our geriatric clinicians to serve older adults in Crawford County,” said James Lin, D.O., Vice President of Senior Services and Adult Living and Director of the LECOM Institute for Successful Aging. “What makes this collaboration so exciting is that Wesbury shares our mission and vision of meeting the changing health care needs of seniors.”

For almost a century, Wesbury has grown and expanded to meet the changing needs of the senior population in Crawford County and beyond. For the past 10 years, Wesbury’s Grace Health Center has been renovated in anticipation of serving the region’s growing older adult population. Included in the renovation is the addition of a Medical Arts building with the vision of creating a Geriatric Wellness Center to serve the greater community.

“Wesbury is pleased and excited to enlist the expertise of LECOM and its osteopathic physicians so as to develop a specialized program on our campus that will serve seniors throughout the region,” said Donald Clawson, President and CEO of Wesbury. “The recent renovations at Grace Health Center have included many additional amenities for residents living at Wesbury, but our new Medical Arts building will help to fulfill our vision of the expansion of medical treatment services for all area older adults.”

The partnership between LECOM and Wesbury is ideal considering Crawford County’s demographics. According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 17 percent of the county’s residents are age 65 and older, which is higher than the average for Pennsylvania. In addition, the number of older adults in Crawford County increased nearly 5 percent between the 2000 and 2010 censuses. “A growing elderly population is a clear indication of the need for geriatric services,” Dr. Lin said. “Part of LECOM’s mission is to provide care in the areas where it is needed the most.”

In addition to Dr. Lin, Danielle Hansen, D.O., Associate Director of the Institute and Vice President of Acute Care Services and Quality/Performance Improvement at Millcreek Community Hospital, and Douglas Fronzaglia, D.O., Internal Medicine, LECOM Institute for Successful Aging, will provide outpatient services at Wesbury’s Geriatric Assessment Center. The clinic will be open to the general public and new patients will be accepted.

As part of LECOM’s Osteopathic, Academic Health Center, the Institute also will use Wesbury’s outpatient facilities as a means of training LECOM medical and pharmacy students. “This is a unique opportunity for our students to gain valuable experience in helping to address the health care needs of the Meadville community,” said Regan Shabloski, D.O., Associate Dean of Clinical Education at LECOM. “As they gain experience in clinical care, they will become familiar with the patients and the community and see Meadville as a city where they might wish to practice.”

More about LECOM Institute for Successful Aging:

The Institute offers primary care and consultative clinical services in geriatric medicine, including memory assessment, geriatric assessment, balance disorders and falls prevention, mental health, and osteoporosis and geriatric fracture prevention. Its specialists work with primary care physicians, patients and families so as to encourage independence and shared decision-making in outlining an appropriate plan of care.

LECOM also introduced the next generation of care for older adults with a June, 2013 groundbreaking of the LECOM Senior Living Center. The $42 million, 144-bed skilled nursing facility, scheduled for completion in the summer of 2015, will be located adjacent to Millcreek Community Hospital, 5515 Peach St. in Erie.

More about Wesbury United Methodist Retirement Community

Located at 31 N. Park Avenue in Meadville, Wesbury is a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization committed to providing compassionate care and services to area seniors.   For close to century, Wesbury has offered the full continuum of aging services on its 110-acre campus that includes independent living accommodations at Thoburn Village, enhanced living and personal care opportunities at Cribbs Residential Center and Wesbury Hillside Home, skilled nursing care at Grace Health Center that includes long-term care, short-term rehabilitation, and a state-of-the-art memory support center as well as “Help at Home with Wesbury,” which provides in-home programs and services to families throughout the region.