| MGH nurses make "house
calls" in Boston's West End and Beacon Hill neighborhoods
Hospital announces new services for
BOSTON - July 17, 2002 -From free nursing and social service
clinics in apartment buildings to discount meals at the hospital to
health and wellness education, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)
is expanding its community health programs for senior citizens in
Boston's West End and Beacon Hill neighborhoods.
This afternoon, MGH president James J. Mongan, MD, John Rich, MD,
medical director of the Boston Public Health Commission, hospital
and community leaders officially launched the MGH Senior HealthWise
program during a reception at The Blackstone, an elderly housing
development on Blossom Street in Boston's West End. MGH Senior HealthWise
is designed to improve the health and well being of older adults
in Boston's West End and Beacon Hill neighborhoods.
MGH Senior HealthWise offers:
- Free weekly nursing and social service clinics for 400 elderly
residents of Amy Lowell, The Blackstone and Beacon House apartment
- Health education and wellness programs for all older adults
in the community at Massachusetts General Hospital. These programs
include sessions on easy exercises, preventing falls, alcohol
abuse, managing diabetes and high blood pressure through good
- Discounted meals at the MGH Eat Street Café - the only
hospital cafeteria to be listed in Zagat's restaurant guide.
Seniors registered with the program will also receive a discount
at the MGH gift and flower shop.
In announcing the new initiative, MGH president Mongan re-affirmed
the hospital's commitment to older adults in the community saying,
"Hundreds of senior citizens live within walking distance of
the hospital. But that short distance can seem like a huge chasm
for older adults who are physically frail, worried about their health,
and unsure of whether they need medical attention. Our goal is to
keep our elderly neighbors independent, in their own homes - and
healthy for as long as possible. We believe this program will help."
John Rich, MD, Medical Director of the Boston Public Health Commission
commended Mass. General for developing the Senior HealthWise program.
"At a time when many social service programs are cutting back
services because of state budget cuts, the MGH has stepped forward
to fill a significant health care gap for older adults in Boston,"
MGH Senior HealthWise Director Barbara Moscowitz, LICSW explained
that the free weekly nursing clinics, which actually began three
weeks ago, have already helped to prevent a serious health crisis
for several frail residents of the three apartment buildings. "During
the past three weeks, we have seen a woman on the verge of dehydration,
another woman with extremely high, untreated blood pressure, and
several people who needed help managing their medication,"
said Moscowitz. She pointed out that neighborhood residents do not
need to be patients of Mass. General in order to enjoy the benefits
of the Senior HealthWise program.
"Many building residents stop in for the nursing session to
get their blood pressure checked, but very often that is just a
way to open the door to other health problems," explained nurse
practitioner Frank Bellistri, GNP. "A woman came to us last
week for a blood pressure check, but she also told us that she had
stopped taking her osteoparosis medication because she could not
afford it. A fall could have been a life-altering crisis for her.
We helped her get a less costly drug and sign up for assistance
through the state's Senior Pharmacy program. I was glad we were
there," Bellistri concluded.
The MGH Senior HealthWise program is a community
benefit program of Massachusetts General Hospital in collaboration
with the hospital's Senior
Health Practice. It is part of its community commitment to mitigate
impact of new construction in the neighborhood and is funded entirely
by the hospital.
For more information about MGH Senior HealthWise, call 617-724-6756.
The Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the oldest
and largest teaching hospital affiliated with Harvard Medical School.
The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in
the United States. Each year, more than 42,000 patients are admitted
to the 870-bed facility, and its outpatient program and Emergency
Department record more than 1.4 million visits annually. The largest
nongovernment employer in the city of Boston, the MGH employs more
than 16,000 people and has a medical staff of more than 3,000 physicians
In 1994, the MGH and Brigham and Women's Hospital affiliated to
form Partners HealthCare System, an integrated health care delivery
network that provides the full range of health care services to
patients throughout eastern Massachusetts.
Media Contacts: MGH Public Affairs: 617-726-2206
Physician Referral Service: 1-800-388-4644
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