On Lok Founder visits UNC and Piedmonth Health Services

On Lok Founder visits UNC and Piedmonth Health Services click to enlarge Ms. Hansen speaks to the Division of Geriatrics

Jennie Chin Hansen, renowned founder of the On Lok program visited UNC's Division of Geriatric Medicine and our partnering Federally Qualified Health Center, Piedmont Health Services to help celebrate National PACE month which runs through September.  PACE stands for Program for All Inclusive Care of the Elderly.  It is an innovative funding and care management system to support older adults in their homes who would otherwise be placed in nursing homes.  On Lok which means "peaceful, happy abode" in Cantonese was founded in 1971 and opened the first senior day health center in 1973.  PACE and On Lok programs can provide services that Medicare normally does not cover in order to head off more costly services.  For example, Piedmont Health Services which operates two PACE sites paid for the construction of a ramp at a client's home to enhance his access to medical and social services.  "The idea is to break, or at least bend the Medicare rules to do what is right for the client." Says Cristine Clarke, MPS, EdD who formally lead the Member Services Department at a PACE-like program in New York.  PACE now operates in 31 states with over 118 programs, 12 here in NC.  Ms. Hansen, who is also the immediate past President of the American Geriatrics Society, presented Grand Rounds at the Division of Geriatric Medicine on population health and geriatrics and visited the Pittsboro PACE site.