Upstate News

July 13, 2006
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

New medical team highlights geriatric medicine at University Hospital

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – University Hospital has enhanced its multidisciplinary approach in geriatric medicine through its newly created ACE (Acute Care for the Elderly) team, a service of the Geriatrics Program in the Department of Medicine.

The ACE team provides mandatory consults on University Hospital patients aged 75 years or older who have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, including all dementias, and/or who are admitted from a nursing home.

“The goal is to intervene and improve patient care as soon as the patient is admitted,” said Sharon Brangman, M.D., division chief of geriatric medicine at University Hospital and director of the ACE team. “We also hope to reduce the patient’s length of hospital stay and the decline of physical function that sometimes happens when older patients are admitted to the hospital.”

The ACE team comprises a geriatrician, geriatric nurse practitioner and physician assistant, a social worker and pharmacy staff member who will perform initial consults on the patient and contact the patient’s primary medical team with suggestions on patient care. The ACE team is based on a model that has been used in other hospitals across the country for a number of years, usually with a designated unit for geriatric patients.

“We hope to have a special ACE unit in the future with the completion of University Hospital’s vertical expansion,” Brangman said. “In the meantime, the ACE Team will be a mobile team that will evaluate patients on all medical and surgical floors, except intensive care units.”

In addition to Brangman, members of the ACE team include geriatrician Khatuna Stepkovitch, MD; physician assistant Eileen Rosecrants, P.A.-C; nurse practitioner Christine Heagle-Bahn, R.N., N.P.; social worker Andrea Zurbruegg, L.M.S.W.; Adrienne Smith, PharmD; Luke Probst, PharmD; and William Darko, PharmD.

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