Adventist Health sites lauded for senior-friendly care

American College of Emergency Physicians recognizes Selma’s, Hanford’s emergency departments for their services in protecting senior patients

Main Entrance to Adventist Health Selma located at 1141 Rose Ave. (Kenny Goodman)
Main Entrance to Adventist Health Selma located at 1141 Rose Ave. (Kenny Goodman)
Mid Valley Times Staff
Published July 20, 2023  • 
1:00 pm

SELMA – A national organization of emergency room physicians has recognized two local emergency departments with Adventist Health for their senior-friendly care of older patients.

The American College of Emergency Physicians in Dallas, Texas awarded the Adventist Health emergency departments in Selma and Hanford with national Level 3 Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA). The recognition means that the departments met the criteria guidelines for optimal geriatric emergency care.

“We are deeply honored to receive this accreditation from a leading national physician organization,” Gurvinder Kaur, MD, chief medical officer for Adventist Health in the Central Valley said. 

The departments learned of their accreditation for Level 3 rural units in a July 13 letter from GEDA officials.

“[This] accreditation signals to the public that your institution is focused on the highest standards of care for your communities’ older adults,” Sandra Schneider, the college’s senior vice president of clinical affairs, and Kevin Biese, GEDA accreditation team chair, wrote in the letter to Andrea Kofl, president of Adventist Health services in the Central Valley. 

The American College of Emergency Physicians, the national medical society representing emergency medicine, is the leading advocate for emergency physicians, their patients and the public.

The Selma (1141 Rose Ave.) and Hanford locations were two of 12 Adventist Health emergency departments in California to receive Level 3 accreditation. Kaur said they are receiving the accreditation because of additional services the departments are providing to seniors in order to protect them during and after their hospital visit. That includes following specific criteria.

“Because a simple fall can have a devastating impact on an elderly patient’s health and life, our team goes the extra mile to evaluate all senior patients for that risk,”  she said. “The evaluation results give the patient’s doctors the information they need to order services such as physical therapy when needed to prevent a fall in the future.”

Other measures include making walkers, food and other equipment and supplies available 24 hours a day for patients in need. It also includes designating physician and nursing champions to advocate for senior patients and educate their peers.

“Dr. Dane Zappa and registered nurses Elaine McMahon, Courtney Mello and Jennifer Sheldon are passionate about ensuring our patients receive the very best care,” Kaur said. “This extra level of service can make a significant difference in our patients’ emergency experience and lives.”

The Adventist Health medical centers in Hanford and Selma are part of Adventist Health, a faith-based nonprofit health system that also operates medical centers in Reedley and Tulare and medical offices in Kings, Fresno, Tulare, Madera and Kern counties. Emergency teams at Adventist Health’s Reedley and Tulare medical centers also are working toward geriatrics accreditation.

Another Adventist Health emergency department in the Central Valley honored with Level 3 accreditation is Adventist Health Bakersfield, listed as an urban non-teaching department. In California, six renowned emergency departments received top Level 1 accreditation for their additional work with senior patients.

Mid Valley Times Staff