SMH-Venice earns national ‘Age-Friendly’ health system recognition

Facility among approximately 1,900 hospitals, medical practices, clinics and nursing homes to win designation

This is an aerial view of the SMH-Venice facility. Image courtesy Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Venice Campus has joined the ranks of “Age-Friendly” health systems, Sarasota Memorial has announced.

“The Venice hospital received the national recognition this month, joining approximately 1,900 hospitals, medical practices, clinics, and nursing homes committing significant training and resources to enhance care for older adults,” a news release explains. “The SMH-Sarasota Campus achieved this designation in 2019, and its Rehabilitation Pavilion has also been recognized as an age-friendly site,” the release notes.

“With the only two hospitals and inpatient rehabilitation facility on the Suncoast designated as ‘Age-Friendly,’ SMH continues to set the benchmark for care for older adults,” the release adds. “Among other initiatives, SMH is implementing evidence-based interventions known as the ‘4Ms,’ which have proven essential in providing better care to older patients: What Matters, Medication, Mentation and Mobility,” the release points out.

“Older adults are living and working longer, and we want them to lead happy, active lives in our community,” said Julie Polaszek, chief nursing officer for SMH-Venice, in the release. “That’s why initiatives to optimize their health and enhance their care are so important. We are proud to join the health systems across the nation committed to using best practices to meet our older patients’ individual needs,” she added in the release.

“ ‘Age-Friendly Health Systems’ is an initiative of the John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the United States,” the release notes. “Hospitals and health systems achieving the designation follow rigorous standards and evidence-based interventions specifically designed to deliver safe, reliable, high-quality care based on what matters most to older adults as individuals.”

“I want to express my gratitude to the team at Sarasota Memorial for your dedication to age-friendly care,” Leslie Pelton, vice president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), wrote in the notification letter to SMH-Venice. “Because of your efforts, more older adults are receiving safe, high-quality care that is based on what matters most to them as individuals — their specific goals and preferences. And, we can learn from the work you are doing to help inform others across the globe. Thank you for making this happen,” Pelton added in the release.