The Elder Service Innovation (ESI) grant is an opportunity to fund innovative projects that will create or enhance services for elders to help them age in place in rural Oregon. ORH is offering three awards of up to $7,500 to three different organizations working to support rural seniors in Oregon.
2022-2023 Elder Service Innovation Grant Awardees
Wallowa Memorial Hospital is using ESI funds to create the first state of an outdoor fitness trail with equipment for older adults. Thirty percent of Wallowa residents are older adults, and fatal falls are the third most prevalent cause of death in the county. This program will focus on increasing stability and strength through low intensity, easily accessible and ongoing activities that are specifically designed for older adults and completely free of charge.
Medical Professional Educators (MedProEd) will use ESI funds to create educational materials and provide specialized training for Oregon EMS providers to promote excellence in geriatric patient management by providers involved in the delivery of prehospital care.
Douglas Public Health Network (DPHN) will leverage the ESI grant to increase emergency preparedness and resiliency of older adults living in Douglas County by creating senior specialized emergency preparedness education and materials, distributing emergency kits to seniors and coordinating preparedness educational events.
Bridge Meadows—Program supplies to replicate their innovative, intergenerational program at their new location in Redmond, Oregon.
Bridge Meadows has a whole person care approach that prioritizes relationships to improve resilience, health and well-being for the older adults living in their communities. Their model emphasizes the power of intergenerational relationships and integrated health services. At Bridge Meadows, elders have access to health services, peer groups, and enrichment activities, both peer- and professional-led. Also, adoptive parents, many of whom are grandparents raising grandchildren, are supported in parenting vulnerable children as they gain skills to navigate complex public resources.
Bridge Meadows Redmond will provide vital services and intergenerational programming for their elders to promote stability, independence, resilience, flourishing, and an opportunity to age in place while combating social isolation. Their ESI grant will support program supplies.
Evergreen Family Medicine—Additional telehealth equipment to meet their elder patients where they’re at.
Many Evergreen Family Medicine patients live in assisted living facilities, care homes, and skilled facilities. The COVID-19 pandemic made routine medical care a challenge for these individuals and resulted in many elderly patients not receiving the care needed to manage chronic disease well. To address the care needs of this generally frail and vulnerable population, Evergreen implemented a telehealth program using high-tech, portable equipment. They offer health care via telehealth to their elderly patients within the care facilities and even patients’ homes when indicated. Visits are facilitated by a chronic care management team member.
The telehealth equipment provides two-way audio and video allowing the provider to communicate with the chronic care team onsite, the facility staff, and the patient. The patient’s family and Evergreen’s behavioral health team can also join in a three-way video conversation. The equipment allows the provider to listen to heart tones/lung sounds, examine ears, nose, and throat, perform a head-to-toe visual assessment, and examine skin with a skin light camera. Their ESI grant will fund an additional 12 lead ECG attachment that will enable the provider to view the patient’s ECG in real time.
Lower Umpqua Hospital District—Family Resource Center Fall Assessment Program
Lower Umpqua Hospital District (LUHD) Emergency Medical Services (EMS) averages nearly a call per day for a fall-related incident each year, with many individuals transported to the emergency department with injuries ranging from moderate to severe. While performing fall assessments, the Rehabilitation and EMS Departments noticed a trend: many of the falls could have been prevented with durable medical equipment (DME). In some cases, the patient had a referral for DME, but could not afford it. LUHD will use their ESI grant funds to track this data, increase the number of fall assessments, and create a program to help bridge the gap for those who cannot afford the needed equipment.
Klamath & Lake Counties Council on Aging
Klamath & Lake Counties Council on Aging’s (KLCCOA) Village initiative enables consumers to age in a place of their choosing, closely connected to their communities and with the supports and tools they need to age successfully. Villages allows consumers and agencies to arrange in-home assistance or participation in a variety of social activities. The initiative provides members a support network and discounted service rates from preferred vendors. This funded project will help KLCCOA recruit volunteers and increase the Village initiative’s ability to help seniors receive the services, equipment, and/or modifications they need to remain in their own homes.
Rebuilding Together Rogue Valley
Rebuilding Together Rogue Valley (RBTRV) is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that uses a beta-tested fall risk assessment process and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fall risk Checklist to address falling behavior in the home. Assessments and recommended installations (grab bars, grab rails, porch repairs, etc.) are done in teams of two people: a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) or trained volunteer, plus a state-licensed and bonded handyman.
Increased demand calls for a more efficient protocol. To cut the assessment installation time in half RBTRV will use a recently donated van to deliver both a trained volunteer and a certified handyman to clients’ homes. RBTRV will use ORH funds to test and track this new process for fall-risk assessments using a single-visit approach.
Following the 2018 Annual Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon, the Oregon Office of Rural Health granted a total of $22,497 to the following organizations to carry out innovative projects in their communities:
- Douglas Public Health Network will educate senior citizens on the importance of oral health care and how to take care of their teeth or dentures and mouth; the need for oral cancer screening; and the connection of poor oral health to diabetes, heart disease and pneumonia.
- Morrow County Health District - Pioneer Memorial Home Health and Hospice will provide individualized medication safety sessions between an elder and a Registered Nurse (RN). Sessions serve as opportunities to provide medication review, education, and supplies needed to achieve medication safety.
- Pacific Communities Health District Foundation will provide high protein food boxes to in-patients identified as malnourished and food insecure upon discharge and weekly for 5 additional weeks post discharge.
Stepha Dragoon | 971-263-4751