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Health care under one roof

Cedar Crest ties together the whole spectrum of health care on campus

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November 26th, 2013
Cedar Crest ties together the whole spectrum of health care on campus
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In the upcoming New Year, the Affordable Care Act swings into effect and will attempt to revolutionize health insurance in the U.S. Closer to home, at Cedar Crest, in Pompton Plains, N.J., residents have been experiencing a revolution in health care for several years. The Erickson Living community features an on-site medical center, where residents can visit the full-time primary care physician; the Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, which also welcomes patients who do not live at Cedar Crest; and a subspecialty suite, where residents can see their dentist, cardiologist, pulmonologist, or doctors in ten other specialties just a short walk from their front door.

New specialists this month

Last year, Dr. Patrick Culligan joined in the new area of urogynecology, which deals with pelvic health specifically for women. Dr. Mark Rosenthal, associate director of the cardiology training program at Atlantic Health and assistant clinical professor of medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and his partner Dr. Lawrence Blitz, joined last year as cardiologists. This month, they add rheumatologist Dr. Elizabeth Hawruk and orthopedist Dr. Oscar Reicher. We are really excited about adding to our array of subspecialists, says Monika Eller, occupational therapist and business development manager. Our subspecialists are private practice physicians who lease space to allow our residents access to these specialties. Each subspecialist starts by providing office hours on campus once a month and gradually increases his or her time on campus to meet residents needs. Many subspecialists are located a long drive from Cedar Crest. For example, Culligan splits his time between Overlook Hospital, in Summit, and Morristown Medical Center. For those people who have a difficult time getting out, this gives them the opportunity to get the care they need, Eller says.

13 areas of expertise

Cedar Crest s subspecialist suite offers specialists in 13 areas. They include the following: psychiatry, audiology, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, pulmonology, ophthalmology, optometry, nephrology, urology, and urogynecology, in addition to the new areas of orthopedics and rheumatology. We re trying to focus on those areas that affect our population s lifestyle and independence, Eller says. From primary care at the medical center to specialist care in the subspecialty suite to rehabilitation and self care at the Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, residents can get all the care they need without having to leave campus. From a service perspective, it s far superior, says Rosenthal, who, before joining the on-site subspecialty suite, saw patients from Cedar Crest at his Wayne office. The access to care has improved significantly. We feel we can provide better care because of the continuity. Additionally, Rosenthal says, 100% of patients show up for their appointments. We have no no-shows. Those statistics prove, he says, that patients are, without question, more likely to get the care they need, more quickly. And once they establish a good routine in the outpatient setting, we are able to keep them out of the hospital.

From prevention to rehab

For Rosenthal s patients, a good routine includes a strict medication regimen, daily exercise, and a healthy diet. Patients can use the Rehabilitation and Wellness Center for their exercise routine, preventive care, and physical and occupational therapy. The subspecialist suite ties really well into the rehab area, Eller says. Our therapists did training with Dr. Culligan to learn techniques for pelvic floor strengthening. And one of our therapists is trained in pilates because that has been shown to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. The Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, which opened last fall, serves people who live at Cedar Crest and those who don t anyone over the age of 62. Specifically designed for older adults, the center combines state-of-the-art rehabilitation equipment and care with wellness services, like massage therapy and group fitness classes. Studies show that people who include a wellness component to their rehabilitation program have better results, Eller says. The center offers one-on-one physical, occupational, speech, and massage therapy. The wellness component includes senior pilates, senior yoga, aquatic Zumba, cardio boot camp, and kettle bell and cycling classes, among other group fitness classes. Exercise equipment, like the NASA-designed Alter G anti-gravity treadmill, allows people who have joint problems or can t otherwise use regular equipment to move forward with their rehabilitation more quickly and effectively, and with less pain. Executive Director Cathy Guttman says, Our comprehensive medical offerings bring the opportunity for Cedar Crest to offer the most advanced care and equipment for seniors to continue to have an active and independent lifestyle with the convenience of not having to leave home.

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