August 4, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ryan ChamberlainMedia/Community Relations SpecialistCell: 609.929.2293 │firstname.lastname@example.org
RWJ HAMILTON RECEIVES $300K GRANT TO REDUCEHOSPITAL READMISSION RATES
Partnership with Jewish Family & Children’s Services Creates Mercer Care Transition Program
Hamilton, NJ (August 4, 2011)
– Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, a leader incommunity healthcare, has partnered with Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Greater Mercer County (JFCS) to launch a program aimed at reducing the number of patients who return to the hospitaldue to difficulty managing chronic conditions.The Mercer Care Transition Program (MCT) will focus on 350 patients who are at least 60 years old andsuffer from congestive heart failure and/or diabetes and at least one other chronic condition, according toJoyce Schwarz, vice president of Quality at RWJ Hamilton and the project director.The program, which will include patients who have been hospitalized two or more times, is part of astatewide initiative funded through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (no relation to thehospital) through its New Jersey Health Initiatives Program. The two-year, $300,000 grant to RWJHamilton for its MCT program is one of nine projects funded under the NJHI 2011: Transitions in Care program, all of which present innovative strategies and collaborations to address the needs of individualstransitioning to various levels of care after hospitalization.“Controlling readmission rates is a critical issue for all hospitals as we work to improve the health andwellbeing of our community,” said Skip Cimino, president and CEO of RWJ Hamilton. “As we moveforward with healthcare reform health plans are less likely to reimburse hospitals for these return visits.”At the center of the RWJ Hamilton/JFCS program will be a Transition Coach to work with patients whofit the medical and social criteria. The coach, supervised by Judy Millner, JFCS Secure@Home ProgramDirector, will work with patients for four weeks after discharge ensuring they receive the proper education and support. The ability to keep appointments with physicians, follow doctor instructions for follow up care, and comply with medications helps to prevent return visits to the hospital.“The goal is to improve the quality of life for our patients and to help them become more engaged in themanagement of their own healthcare,” said Schwarz. “We believe our patients can learn those skills fromthe coach so that they can navigate the complex healthcare system we have in this country. Ultimately,less time spent in the hospital is better for the patient and their caregivers.”The Transition Coach and the patient will work together to develop a plan of care which will assist the patient in self-managing their care after discharge. MCT will include one hospital visit, one home visitand three follow-up phone calls.