Glendale Memorial Health Foundation Secures $795,000 Grant from UniHealth Foundation for New Integrated Supportive Care Program

 Glendale Memorial Health Foundation (“GMHF”) has secured a $795,000 multi-year grant from Los Angeles-based UniHealth Foundation to support a new Integrated Supportive Care (ISC) program at Glendale Memorial Hospital. This ISC program is designed to dramatically improve care outcomes for the hospital’s chronically ill patients and lower cost of futile care at the hospital. This is the largest grant GMHF has ever received for the hospital.

Funding from the UniHealth Foundation, an independent private health care foundation established in 1998, will allow Glendale Memorial to create a new evidence-based program that will transform the way the hospital takes care of chronically and seriously ill patients. The ISC program will target the needs of the hospital’s high risk, most vulnerable patients by proactively reaching out to them and providing supportive care to these high risk patients across a continuum of care settings — from the hospital to the home or at any skilled or long term care facility.

There is strong evidence from previous UniHealth supportive care programs that providing integrated supportive care to these patients can drastically reduce and eliminate medically inappropriate ER visits and hospital stays. Through its ISC program, Glendale Memorial will utilize a multi-disciplinary team of resources — including culturally sensitive community health workers, social workers, nurses, consulting MDs and pharmacists — to educate, support and monitor the wellness of all eligible and enrolled ISC patients. This ISC team will provide 24/7 collaboration and partnership; for example, only pharmacies that have the capacity to deliver on a 24/7 basis to the hospital or to the home or other care setting will qualify for this program, ensuring that required medications will be received by the patient at bedside prior to discharge or in a timely manner in the home or other care setting. Supporting medication compliance will reduce one of the most common reasons for rapid readmission to the hospital.

Katrina Ling, program manager, states, “These patients are seriously and chronically ill so it isn’t a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ they will develop the next health crisis if their symptoms are not well managed. By collaborating with a network of care providers, we are able to follow the patient across care settings to avoid gaps in managing their care.”

Dr. Nicholas Jauregui, consulting physician for the program, adds, “This UniHealth grant allows Glendale Memorial to be a leader in innovative care, moving from a system of pay for service to a system of pay for value in the healthcare industry. The ultimate beneficiaries are our patients and families who receive a higher value of care."

Through this ISC program, Glendale Memorial anticipates a drastic reduction in the hospital’s length of stay for these targeted patients, improved patient care and satisfaction, and a significant reduction of medically inappropriate use of hospital emergent and urgent care services. Thanks to this generous investment from UniHealth, Glendale Memorial’s ISC program has the potential to not only transform how the hospital takes care of its chronically and seriously ill patients, but also to serve as a model throughout other Dignity Health facilities.