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Where patients come first

Outstanding medical care the hallmark of Ann’s Choice

Created date

June 19th, 2012

For National Doctor s Day this March, the Ann s Choice philanthropy department invited those who live at the Erickson Living community in Bucks County, Pa., to honor a special physician by making a gift to its campus charities. With characteristic generosity, residents donated nearly $4,000.

High praise

Many wrote their doctor a note. They cited the willingness to spend time, answer questions, and go above and beyond expectations, all hallmarks of how Erickson Living physicians practice medicine. Listening received special mention. Betty Lou Good even underlined the word in her note about geriatrician Dr. Susan Moyer, one of five primary care staff physicians with offices on campus in the Ann s Choice medical center. The Goods changed to a campus doctor when they moved from Rehoboth Beach, Del. It was a smart decision, says Betty Lou. In the past, I had doctors who weren t as attentive or wouldn t consider spending as much time as Dr. Moyer. Residents are not required to use a campus doctor, but doing so offers advantages. For example, new-patient appointments are an hour; follow-up visits are 30 minutes. The doctors work to maintain each resident s independence by seeing them regularly and focusing on preventive measures instead of seeing them only when they re sick, says Practice Manager Marlene Fiume. Support staff, too, is attuned to situations and symptoms that can affect older adults. And if someone needs additional help, we have the fitness center, swimming pool, home support, rehabilitation, and social workers, says Fiume. We work as a team to provide a continuum of care.

Patient-centered care

The team approach provides all residents with geriatric care that s comprehensive, evidence-based, interdisciplinary, accessible, and affordable, says geriatrician and Medical Center Director Dr. John Marcelis. He s also senior regional medical director for Erickson Living. He s been Shirley and Wendell Hjertman s doctor since 2003 and has made house calls to their apartment home when they felt too ill to come to his office. If we were still in our house, I doubt we d have any doctor coming to see us, says Shirley. Who gets that kind of service? But that s what we have from Dr. Marcelis. Marcelis says house calls sometimes let him avoid the option of sending patients to the emergency room. And examining residents in their familiar and comfortable environment often provides a better understanding of their functional abilities. The community s internist and assistant medical director, Dr. Peter Schwartz, says the opportunity to practice his calling in such a patient-centered environment inspired him to leave his previous 25-year medical practice for a position at Ann s Choice. I can provide better, more efficient, and more personalized care and with better outcomes and satisfaction for both me and the residents, he says. Practicing medicine here lets me be the physician I ve always wanted to be.