By Seth Daniel
The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) embarked upon a project that will produce its largest and newest PACE program center in the network – a center that is designed to accommodate older adults in the daytime hours so they can continue to live at home in their neighborhoods.
Last Thursday, Nov. 9, City, state and EBHNC officials gathered on Garofalo Street at the location of the former Mottolo Post to break ground on the exciting project – scheduled to open at the end of the summer in 2018.
“Once completed, the site will accommodate more than 200 elderly residents from Revere an some surrounding cities and towns like Winthrop, East Boston and Everett,” said EBNHC CEO Manny Lopes. “This program is designed to keep older adults healthy and independent and at home living in the community as long as possible.”
Lopes said there will be physicians, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, activity directors, dieticians, pharmacists, home care coordinators and transportation.
“This is definitely the best kept secret in health care,” he said. “We are excited to bring this version of PACE to Revere.”
The program, he said, serves those on Medicare and Medicaid, so there are little to no out of pocket costs for those attending the PACE.
Greg Wilmot, assistant vice president of PACE, said the Revere center will be the largest center in the existing four-site network.
He said the hours would be from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and transportation to and from the home is provided – if a patient needs it. That eliminates the need to drive to and from the PACE and allows seniors to be able to attend much longer.
Transportation is also provided to and from appointments during the day at PACE. In addition to the health services for clients, and the socialization and activities for clients, Wilmot said the center could potentially be a key meeting location for the community.
“This center will give us an opportunity to be a resource to the community after hours, making it a place where it is also a community space too,” he said.
Speaker Bob DeLeo, who has been working on such models at the state level for years, said this is a great example of bringing health care to the people – rather than people having to go to health care.
“You meet people where they are, bringing health care directly into the community while being conscious that different neighborhoods have different needs,” he said. “Your focus on cost of care and building relationships with patients is remarkable.”
Bob O’Brien, of the City of Revere’s Planning Department, said they are excited about the development.
“We are thrilled to have it come to Revere,” he said. “It is precisely the kind of development the mayor supports and our residents welcome.”
The PACE program is designed to be a resource during the day for older adults living in their homes. The goal of the program is to help older adults reach their health goals, while also continuing to live in the community that they know and thrive in.