Agencies partner to provide recuperative care to homeless in Nevada County
August 14, 2018
As first reported in the Tuesday edition of The Union, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, County of Nevada and Hospitality House have announced a partnership to expand shelter beds to house homeless county residents seeking recuperative care.
Beginning Sept. 1, a new agreement between Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and the County of Nevada creates a path for homeless county residents to recuperate following medical discharge from the hospital, according to a release.
Under this agreement, up to $263,334 is being awarded to the Nevada County Health and Human Services Agency from the hospital, a California nonprofit public benefit corporation. Funds received will be used over the next three years to support the Health and Human Services Agency Medical Respite Services Program supporting the needs of eligible homeless patients upon discharge from the hospital. The county is partnering with Hospitality House to provide this recuperative care program.
Individuals experiencing homelessness typically demonstrate higher rates of behavioral health disorders, chronic illness and acute injuries, the release stated. As a result, such individuals commonly experience frequent hospitalizations and emergency department visits.
Lacking basic shelter to recover from their illnesses, homeless patients frequently find themselves quickly returning to the hospital due to inadequate recovery and rest, unstable or unsanitary living situations and inability to access primary follow-up care.
To alleviate pressure on hospital systems related to these patients, medical respite programs have been growing more popular across the nation, providing savings for local hospitals and improved outcomes and quality of life for patients experiencing homelessness.
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"The County of Nevada appreciates everything that Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital does for our community, particularly with the care of patients who may not have a place to go home to," says Mike Dent, Child Support Services director in Nevada County Health and Human Services Agency.
"With this new partnership, and in coordination with the compassionate staff at Hospitality House, patients being discharged from the hospital will now have a safe and warm place to go to recuperate, make follow-up care appointments and focus on removing barriers to their life while working with a housing case managers to find a permanent solution to their housing needs."
The organizations have agreed to partner to provide medical respite services through a post-hospitalization outpatient program to eligible homeless individuals released from care by Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. The recuperative program will provide for the equivalent of 120 days' worth of services referred by the hospital per month.
In the event the hospital does not use the 4-bed minimum, the medical respite team at Hospitality House will coordinate with the hospital to review the possibility of releasing open beds to meet the needs of other patients identified by their staff as medically fragile.
At the conclusion of medical respite, patients will be promptly transitioned into available community programs or placed with appropriate family members or other support persons depending upon each patient's individual situation and need, and as available and determined by program staff, the release stated.
Source: County of Nevada
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