NICHE Program Receives Funding

LONGMEADOW — Jewish Geriatric Services (JGS) has received a grant from the Community Foundation of Western Mass. to fund a nationally recognized nursing education initiative that will enhance and improve the quality of elder care throughout its organization.


The $4,000 grant will allow JGS to send three nursing administrators to the Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders (NICHE) program, a national initiative of the John A. Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at the Division of Nursing of New York University.

The two-day program will assist institutions in positioning themselves to provide the “best practices in nursing care” and meet the changing needs of elders with acute illness. The administrators will then train JGS staff in the NICHE paradigm, which will be implemented throughout the JGS system that includes the Julian J. Leavitt Family Jewish Nursing Home, Spectrum Home Health Care, Ruth’s House, Wernick Adult Day Health Care Center, JGS Family Medical Care, and Genesis House.

The NICHE program has been developed in conjunction with a team of national leaders in geriatric nursing and has been tested in more than 115 hospitals across the country.

“We are pleased that JGS is on the cutting edge of using the NICHE paradigm to refine the skill sets of our nursing staff in long-term care, adult day health care, and home health care environments where so much care for the elderly takes place,” said Dr. Alan Rosenfeld, president and CEO of JGS.

Linda O’Donoghue, COO of JGS, added that implementation of NICHE throughout the system “will lead to enhanced nursing knowledge and skills regarding treatment of common geriatric issues.”

As a result, she said, the system should see greater resident and client care and satisfaction, decreased lengths of stay in the nursing home’s short-term care program, reductions in readmission rates, increases in length of time between readmissions, and reductions in costs associated with care.

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