When nurse practitioner Perry Babcock, FNP walks into the LifeCircles PACE Day Center in Holland, “the participants light up,” says day center supervisor Betsy Schutzenhofer. “They enjoy talking to him and not just about medical issues. He has a caring heart and people sense that.”
As a primary care provider at LifeCircles PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly), Perry sees participants for scheduled preventive health screenings and exams as well as for acute illnesses. He also assists, as a member of the interdisciplinary team, with care planning and coordination with outside providers and hospitals as needed. “Perry brings tremendous knowledge and strength to our team,” says Betsy.
“All PACE programs consist of professionals in different disciplines, from medical assistants and CNAs, to primary care providers and social workers,” explains Perry. “We all work together every day and strive to provide the highest level of care. Without teamwork, PACE just wouldn’t be possible.”
COVID-19 is currently keeping PACE participants at home, but expansion of telehealth services is opening a new window of access for participants and PACE care teams. “Creativity is key,” says Perry. “Telehealth increases our options for face-to-face connections and allows for additional opportunities to provide the medical care our participants need.”
UMRC & Porter Hills has received a $50,000 grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to implement telehealth for older adults at Huron Valley PACE in Ypsilanti, Thome PACE in Jackson, and LifeCircles PACE with locations in Muskegon and Holland. A grant of $10,000 from the Community Foundation of Holland/Zeeland also supports telehealth at LifeCircles’ Holland location.