Photo by San Diego Metro Magazine
The University of California, San Diego and San Diego-based West Health are taking a comprehensive approach to offering a senior-specific emergency department in San Diego. Earlier in 2016, Gary and Mary West provided $11.8 million to the university to build a state-of-the-art geriatric emergency care unit within the Jacob Medical Center. The Gary and Mary West Foundation donation of $6.3 million will go towards creating the Gary and Mary West Senior Emergency Care Unit to enhance care for older adults. The additional $5.5 million of planned research funding from the West Health Institute will be used to conduct a multi-year medical research initiative.
“Gary and Mary West share our goal of implementing new ways to enhance the quality of care and improve the overall experience of our senior patients,” said Patty Maysent, CEO, in the UC San Diego Health press release. “This future senior Emergency Department and research initiative will be the first-of-its-kind in San Diego and represent the kind of innovative, compassionate care offered throughout UC San Diego Health.”
Some of the enhanced emergency services offered focus on geriatric medicine, acute care screening, urgent care, case management – services designed to meet the unique needs of the aging population. According to Senior House News, special accommodations that will make this facility the first-of-its-kind include ambient light to prevent patients from becoming disoriented, acoustics and sound absorption to help patients who are hard of hearing, and ample space for caregivers to accompany the senior patient. UCSD and West Health are also planning to improve training of medical staff in areas such as cognitive decline screening and care transitions.
UCSD and West Health are shaping the way for quality senior healthcare in San Diego and around the country. We look forward to watching this program develop and create a positive experience for our elder community. For more information about the new senior-specific ER and research initiative at UCSD, explore the links below: