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New PACE program at JVCHC offers comprehensive, coordinated care for seniors

Jordan Valley Community Health Center in central Springfield, Missouri photographed on Aug. 9, 2022.
Gregory Holman/KSMU
Jordan Valley Community Health Center in central Springfield, Missouri photographed on Aug. 9, 2022.

The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly will begin in July at Jordan Valley Community Health Center.

A new program at Jordan Valley Community Health Center in Springfield will allow those 55 and older to age in their own homes.

The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly is the first PACE program in southwest Missouri.

"We'll do home assessments to make improvements that will allow them to live in their homes safely so we don't have potentials for trips and falls or if somebody has a need to have a built, we'll take care of all of that through our home assessment and allow them to have the safest possible home," said Ryan Kruger, vice-president of operations for PACE and pharmacy at the health center.

The PACE model uses an interdisciplinary team of professionals that provide coordinated care. PACE care includes medical and personal care, rehabilitation, social interaction, medications, transportation and more.

"It's just a huge opportunity to improve health while people are staying at home," he said, "reducing a burden on the hospitals and really giving access to healthy living through daily care."

Kruger said those who sign up for PACE dis-enroll from all of their Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

Anyone within a 60 mile radius of the clinic at 1720 W. Grand is eligible.

To enroll, individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • 55 years old or older
  • Live in the service area of a PACE organization
  • Certified by the state as meeting the need for the nursing home level of care
  • Able to live safely in the community with the help of PACE services at the time of enrollment

Participants can enroll each first of the month. The program is currently launching the assessment and enrollment process and should begin caring for participants in July, officials with JVCHC said.

According to the National PACE Association, the average PACE participant is 76-years-old with multiple, complex medical conditions, cognitive and/or functional impairments and significant health and long-term care needs. Approximately 90% are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, JVCHC said in a news release.

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Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.