Newport News, Va – On October 10, 2006 Governor Timothy M. Kaine announced $1.5 million in start-up funding for six Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE, programs. Riverside Health System of Newport News will receive two of the six grants, one to serve the Virginia Peninsula area of Hampton Roads, and one to serve the Greater Richmond area.

One of the biggest benefits of the program is it enables elderly to continue living in their homes rather than moving to an institution.  PACE coordinates and delivers all medical and social services for its participants.  Participants must be at least 55 years old, live in the PACE service area, and be certified as eligible for nursing home care by the Commonwealth of Virginia.  PACE is funded by Medicaid and Medicare.

"PACE is exciting because it’s a model of providing care that makes sense," says Craig Connors, Executive Director of Riverside’s new PACE programs.  "It is one of the new programs that delivers care where the older adult wants to be.  This is the leading edge of a whole new culture change in the way we take care of our parents and grandparents.  A PACE interdisciplinary team assesses the needs of each participant and develops a specific, tailor-made, care plan.  PACE then covers all care - everything from rehabilitation therapy to social services to prescription medications."

Many PACE services are delivered and coordinated at a day care-like facility.  Riverside plans to open its first PACE center on Mercury Boulevard in Hampton late next summer.  "The governor’s announcement is great news for seniors throughout the commonwealth because it will make aging in the community a much more viable option for many," says Connors.

Published: October 11, 2006