Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Charlotte County Seniors Now Have Access to Affordable, Comprehensive Healthcare

Like many people throughout the country, Charlotte County’s frail elderly residents worry about the future of quality healthcare, and being able to afford it. They may also be troubled by the thought of having to move to a facility to receive the care they need.

Hope Healthcare Services is introducing a program to specifically address their concerns and meet their needs.

Hope PACE (Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly)
enables Charlotte County seniors to continue to live independently at home and have all their required preventive, primary, acute and long-term care services brought to their door.

Hope President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith noted, “On too many occasions, we have been told, ‘I can’t make a choice between medicine and groceries. I just want to be able to take care of myself at home.’ Hope PACE is the only program of its kind in Charlotte County that will alleviate those concerns.”

Beckwith added, “People usually want to live at home for as long as possible, although they may need special healthcare services in order to maintain their independence. Hope PACE meets their needs and at the same time makes life much easier for their family caregivers.”

Hope PACE serves individuals age 55 and older who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. The enrollee must be able to live at home safely with additional services as needed. Upon enrollment, participants may receive:

  • Primary medical and nursing care
  • Occupational, physical and speech therapy
  • Medications and medical equipment
  • Laboratory and diagnostic services
  • All necessary prescription drugs
  • Skilled home care and personal care aides
  • Hospitalization, skilled nursing facility care and end of life care
  • Care from medical specialists in cardiology, nephrology, ophthalmology, dermatology, orthopedics, surgery and podiatry
  • Transportation to and from the Hope PACE Center, medical appointments and outings

The broad range of services also includes access to the Hope PACE Center, a state-of-the-art adult day health facility. Here, clients can socialize and participate in stimulating activities including light exercise, games, and arts. Healthcare services are also available on site.

This comprehensive, coordinated approach eliminates the need to access individual services from multiple care providers.

“A critically important benefit of Hope PACE is the support it gives to family members,” Beckwith said. “Caring for an aging loved one is one of life’s most difficult challenges. Family members have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their loved one is receiving all the care they need in a safe, comfortable and familiar environment.”

Hope PACE enrollment begins September 1. The program is based at the Hope PACE Center, located at 3280 Tamiami Trail, Suite 46, in Port Charlotte.

Beckwith is urging Charlotte County residents to call now for more information: 866-659-PACE (7223).

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Samira K. Beckwith Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award for Social Work

“She has made exemplary and visionary contributions in the field of health care and social work, driven by a life-long passion to help others to live a better life, even in its final chapter. Future generations will be served by her innovations.”

With that introduction, Hope HealthCare Services President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith was presented with the Knee/ Wittman Award for Lifetime Achievement in Health Practice. The award was presented by the National Association of Social Workers Foundation in Washington, DC.

The award was created to recognize those who reach the highest levels in representing the profession’s values and ethics. It is named in honor of Ruth Knee and Milton Wittman, renowned pioneers in social work who guided the development of social work policy and standards.

Beckwith’s career in social work as a “social architect” began unofficially when she was a student at The Ohio State University, where she earned her BA in Sociology and Master’s in Social Work. At that time, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. Spending countless hours and days in the hospital, clinics and doctors’ offices with fellow patients, she realized their medical practice at the time was not advanced in regard to pain control, symptom management – and empathy. That was when she made a promise to herself to use her experience to help others live a better life, even during serious illness or in the final chapter. That promise became the foundation of her career. Since then, Beckwith has become a leader in improving and advancing health care on the local, state and national levels. She has served as President and CEO of Hope HealthCare Services since 1991.

“This is absolutely a highlight in my professional life,” Beckwith said. “My career has always been driven by my desire to make a difference and becoming a Professional Social Worker has given me that opportunity. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to make life better for others in our community.”

In conjunction with the event, Beckwith was invited to address the Social Work Policy Institute, a think tank that analyzes health care issues. Based on her own career experience, she gave insight into the essential role of the social worker in hospice care. In working to meet patient and family needs associated with end-of-life care, Beckwith said the social worker’s responsibilities are vast, as they include family education, bereavement care, home safety, assistance with financial planning, and other issues that will ensure the best care for the patient.