Mar 312013

In what proved to be a remarkably busy week for Medicaring/Altarum staff, we have been involved in or led a range of activities aimed at improving care for frail elders. Among these activities are:

Dr. Joanne Lynn’s keynote speech to AMDA (American Medical Directors Association), the professional association of medical directors, attending physicians, and others practicing in the long term care continuum. Dr. Lynn addressed attendees at the AMDA annual meeting, and introduced them to the framework of the Medicaring: care plans, balancing of medical care and social services, recognizing and responding to a period of frailty, coordinating community-based programs, and establishing local authority for resource management. Visit the Health Policy Forum to read more about her ideas and recommendations.

Later in the week, she spoke to attendees at a session sponsored by the National Health Policy Forum, introducing them to the framework of care for frail elders. Background information can be found here.

Senior Writer Janice Lynch Schuster had an exciting and meaningful week full of publications, which began on Sunday with a light-hearted essay in The Washington Post, describing the challenges she faces in the kitchen. If you need a chuckle, here’s the link:

On a more serious note, she anchored The Sunday Dialogue feature of the New York Times, which published her letter to the editor which discussed legal aid in dying in the context of what life looks like for frail elders, and how we can improve care and quality. The article ran in print on Wednesday and triggered a tremendous response; our editor reported receiving more than 200 letters that day. A handful of letters and Janice’s reply to them can be found here:

Finally, a flash of inspiration (and an image of her aged grandmother, who lives far away, in Alaska), prompted Janice to launch a petition on the We the People site of the White House. That petition aims to get 100K signatures by April 5–as of Easter Sunday morning, it has a little over 1400. Response mounted thanks to an excellent by Paula Span of the New Old age, which you can read here:

To see what Janice herself says of the idea, you can choose from a number of blogs, including the excellent Minimally Disruptive Medicine blog. Disruptive Women, another favorite, posted a story, as did The Health Care Blog (THCB).

A quick google search will take you to the links. We’d love to hear your comments and ideas. Both are important to us as we shape our agenda, and pursue our goals.

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