Quality, cost-effective health care right next door

Summit Medical Group to bring practice to Lantern Hill

Created date

November 30th, 2015
John Heath, M.D., A.G.S.F., director of geriatric services for Summit Medical Group

Lantern Hill, the Erickson Living community opening in New Providence, N.J., recently announced that the area’s premier health care provider, Summit Medical Group, will lead its on-site medical center. 

“We are enthusiastic about this opportunity to bring the mission of Summit Medical Group—to deliver high-quality, cost-effective health care through a comprehensive, integrated, multispecialty group of practitioners—closer to residents, no matter what their living environment,” says John Heath, M.D., A.G.S.F., director of geriatric services. 

Summit Medical Group (SMG) will lease the medical center space in Hill’s Union Square building, which will house all amenities as well as 83 apartment homes. SMG will also act as medical director for continuing care at Lantern Hill, which will include oversight of the medical care patients receive during their short- or long-term stay in continuing care.

The medical center will eventually be open five days a week. “Our on-site availability will ramp up and expand over time with the phased opening of the various buildings at Lantern Hill,” Heath says.

Complements ongoing care

Staff physicians and advanced practice nurses (A.P.N.s) will keep scheduled hours to see both Lantern Hill residents as well as residents from the surrounding community.

At its core, the Lantern Hill medical center will encourage both Medicare annual wellness visits, conducted by an A.P.N., and physician assessments of functional and/or cognitive concerns.

“These visits nicely complement the ongoing primary medical care we will encourage Lantern Hill residents to continue to receive from their existing primary care providers (PCPs) in the community, including our PCP colleagues within the Summit Medical Group,” says Heath.

On-site providers will be board-certified specialists in fields such as geriatrics, palliative care, internal medicine, and family medicine. Other specialists, such as ophthalmology, entomology, and urology, will continue to take appointments in their established community offices where their specialized equipment and staff are based, Heath says.

Summit Medical Group’s Berkeley Heights campus is located just a half mile from Lantern Hill. “We will provide transportation to our residents for visits to specialists and for lab tests,” says Lantern Hill Executive Director Patricia Swan. “Summit Medical Group is the premier medical practice up here, so it’s very convenient for many of our residents who already use Summit Medical Group as their provider.”

The medical center at Lantern Hill will also be able to offer ongoing care of chronic health conditions, selected preventive care services, and medical illness visits for residents who do not have an existing community-based primary care provider, Heath says.

The Summit Medical Group Urgent Care Center, located at the 1 Diamond Road campus, is open seven days a week and is well integrated with SMG’s provider system for evaluation of urgent health concerns.

“SMG also has its own inpatient services staffed by dedicated hospitalists and physician specialists who see our patients admitted to any of the regional acute-care hospitals,” Heath says.

Proactive approach

“We are thrilled to partner with Summit Medical Group,” Swan says. “Their comprehensive system and proximity to Lantern Hill will serve both our residents and local community residents well.” 

Heath says the Lantern Hill partnership allows for better medical service integration with other health and personal care providers. “The goal is a more proactive approach that can identify early changes in health status to best preserve health and wellness across the range of functional abilities and aging conditions,” he says.

The use of electronic medical records will aid this endeavor as well. All medical documentation for SMG is electronic, “which allows for electronic prescribing and optimal cross-provider communication among and between SMG providers and across care settings,” Heath says.

He adds that SMG patients can securely and electronically access their test results and elements of their medical records, and can communicate with their providers’ offices through the SMG Web portal.

“My inspiration to practice geriatric medicine came from my interest in blending the art of graceful aging with the science of geriatric medicine. My goal is to maximize each patient’s physical, functional, and cognitive potential throughout their life span. I feel privileged to care for seniors with multiple medical conditions to help clarify their health priorities,” Heath says.

Heath is a fellow of both the American Geriatrics Society (A.G.S.F.) and the American Academy of Family Physicians and a diplomate of the American Board of Family Medicine. He has been repeatedly featured in the New Jersey Monthly “Top Doctors” listings.