WCAX3: Dartmouth-Hitchcock to open geriatric emergency department


October 23, 2019

By Adam Sullivan

LEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is trying to do something no other hospital in New England has done before. It’s focusing on our aging population in a new way. Our Adam Sullivan explains what it could mean for your loved one’s care.

Hospital officials say every year, millions of elderly patients visit emergency departments across the country, often when they don’t need to. At Dartmouth-Hitchcock, they are trying to change things by creating a specialized geriatric ED.

“We will be able to provide a different level of geriatric care during that acute time of need,” said Shelley Lyford, the president and CEO of West Health.

West Health is a group of organizations dedicated to improving health care for older adults who want to age in place. New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine have the oldest median populations in the country. Because of that, West Health is partnering with Dartmouth-Hitchcock to open a Level 1 geriatric emergency department in Lebanon. It will be the first in New England. The enhanced ED will focus solely on elderly care.

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