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Area Agency on Aging 8 Receives an Aging Achievement Award

Monday, August 8, 2016

Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging 8 Receives an Aging Achievement Award from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a)

The Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging 8 (AAA8) announces that the Southern Ohio Community-based Care Transitions Program (CCTP) has been honored with an Aging Achievement Award by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a). The Southern Ohio CCTP was among 46 local aging programs to receive honors at the n4a Annual Conference.

The 2016 n4a Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards recognizes Area Agencies on Aging and Title VI Native American aging programs that develop and implement cutting-edge approaches to support older adults, people with disabilities and their family caregivers. A part of the criteria for the selection of the honorees was the ease with which other agencies could replicate the program in their communities. 

“With the health care landscape continuing to change rapidly, our members are discovering new ways to position themselves in the long-term and health care marketplaces, as well as to strengthen long-standing services, to meet the needs of America’s rapidly growing older adult population,” said n4a’s Chief Executive Officer Sandy Markwood. “Our members work tirelessly, and with little fanfare in their communities, and this program enables us to shine a well-deserved spotlight on their critical work to support older adults’ health, safety, independence and dignity,” Markwood added.

The Medicare-funded CCTP is sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The program is designed to make the transition from the hospital to another setting as seamless as possible. According to CMS, nearly one in five Medicare patients discharged from a hospital—approximately 2.6 million seniors—are readmitted within 30 days, at a cost of over $26 billion annually.

“With our staff of community and hospital-based coaches, the Southern Ohio CCTP is working to reduce unnecessary readmissions through its process improvements and regional partnerships created across the region’s health systems,” said Carolyn Ditchendorf, LSW, program Manager for AAA8 who served as the lead agency. “The goal is to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions, but also to empower people to be engaged in their care. The AAAs are also focused on connecting individuals to home and community-based resources,” noted Ditchendorf.

The Southern Ohio Community-based Care Transitions Project is a collaborative project between three Ohio-based Area Agencies on Aging: Buckeye Hills AAA8 in Marietta; Central Ohio AAA6 in Columbus; AAA7 in Rio Grande. The project also includes five hospital partners: Adena Regional Medical Center, Fairfield medical Center, Holzer Medical Center, Marietta Memorial Hospital and Southern Ohio Medical Center. The project spans 26 Ohio counties and multiple counties in West Virginia.

The 2016 n4a Aging Achievement Awards honored traditional and new strategies in a range of categories. All winners are showcased in an n4a publication.

From left at the n4a Aging Innovations & Achievement awards event are: Heather Sellar, Vice President of Managed Care and Independent Living, CST; Joe Ruby, n4a President; Carolyn Ditchendorf,LSW, Program Manager for the Buckeye Hills AAA8 who served as the lead agency for the Southern Ohio Community-based Care Transitions Program; Connie Montgomery, RN, Program Supervisor for AAA7; and Mindy Cayton, AAA8 Program Development Coordinator.



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A Program of Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District