New Petersburg PACE Center Offers Comprehensive Services For Seniors

Petersburg, VA – Riverside Health System, the Commonwealth's premier provider of  Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE),  will introduce its newest PACE center in Petersburg, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, April 12 and plans to open May 1, 2012.

PACE is a nationally recognized community-based alternative to avoidable, more expensive specialty and institutional care.  PACE participants – who are 55 years and older and typically living with chronic illnesses – receive medical and other related services that allow them to stay in the comfort of their homes.   Anyone over 55 and living at home with disabilities, regardless of income should explore their eligibility for PACE if they want to remain at home.
Riverside Health System is Virginia's largest PACE operator. This center marks another milestone for Riverside's exceptional network of services to older adults as well as a welcomed economic boom to the Petersburg area.  The program includes a 28,000-square-foot center, opening in a remodeled historic building on Brown Street in Petersburg, and will accommodate approximately 150 participants. When the program is fully operational, it will employ more than 100 professionals, including doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers and home care aides.

"We see the difference PACE makes in the lives of the elderly and in the economic growth of Virginia's communities," said Stacy Brinkley, Executive Director, PACE Riverside.  "Both contributions are among the reasons we're proud to expand our PACE services.  We know it will provide quality, comprehensive services to the senior population in the Petersburg area."

Results from a recent AARP survey showed that almost three quarters of the respondents preferred to remain in their current residence for as long as possible and more than 60 percent wanted to remain in the local community as long as possible. 

Receiving vital medical and related services through PACE empowers seniors to remain in their homes and in their communities. Riverside PACE is an approved Medicare and Medicaid provider. Members of the program's inter-disciplinary team collaborate to provide participants medical care that includes comprehensive physician care, physical, occupational and speech therapy, home care, pharmacy needs as well as social activities that contribute to successful aging. PACE provides transportation to the center. There's also a 24-hour on-call nurse.

 "We develop a close relationship with our participants and their families," said Dr. Paul Evans III, Medical Director, PACE Riverside. "We break the mold, taking new pathways to provide participant- and family-centered care and doing everything we can to maximize the participant's quality of life."

The Petersburg location marks Riverside's fourth PACE center in Virginia. Riverside operates two PACE programs in Richmond, along with a program in Hampton. A fifth Riverside PACE center will open in Newport News later this year. Currently underway, in partnership with the University of Virginia and the Jefferson Area Board for Aging, is a sixth PACE location in Charlottesville, to open in 2013. These programs would make Riverside – already the Commonwealth's largest PACE operator - among the top five largest PACE operators in the nation.

Riverside officials acknowledged support the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Department of Medical Assistance Services provide for the PACE model of care.

"Riverside is very committed to the senior population," Dr. Evans said. "It's the kind of commitment people want from a healthcare organization."

 Riverside Health System has created one of the largest and most respected networks of care for older adults in Virginia, serving over 7000 people with aging related issues per day.  The Riverside care continuum includes aging related care provided in acute, post acute, in home, residential, physician, and research based venues.


Published: April 9, 2012