National PACE Month Celebrates “Delivering Independence” for Older Adults

HV PACE Open House: On September 14, Huron Valley (HV) PACE in Ypsilanti held an Open House to celebrate the first ever National PACE month and, in particular, the important role transportation plays in the program. The theme, “Delivering Independence,” celebrates the role of PACE drivers in promoting independence for older adults.

Shawn Bloom, president and CEO of the National PACE Association says, “Every senior enrolled in PACE meets the requirements for nursing home care, yet 95% of PACE enrollees live in the community. PACE is an innovative model that continues to adapt and change as public policy, technology, and even the seniors who we serve change. PACE is successful because it is based on building relationships between enrollees and the members of the PACE interdisciplinary team.”

That includes those who provide transportation for PACE participants. Huron Valley Ambulance provides this service for HV PACE. “Transportation is a vital part of every PACE program, delivering door-to-door service for participants between home and the PACE Day Health Center and ensuring they get the care and services they need to live independently in their own homes and communities,” says Gretchen Sanewsky, Director of Community Outreach and Enrollment.

Transportation Coordinator Vikki Kleiner shares how important the drivers are to each participant’s overall care at PACE. “The driver is the first and last person our participants may see that day. For our participants who may not have any other means of transportation, the PACE bus is their outlet to experiencing life outside their home. Our drivers really get to know the older adults we serve and are an integral part of the PACE interdisciplinary team.”

HV PACE, established by United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC), serves older adults in Washtenaw County, as well as parts of Wayne, Oakland, Livingston, and Monroe counties. Since opening in 2014, HV PACE has grown from seven initial participants to over 160 today.

For more information, visit