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Release Date: 02/25/2019

Care New England and Kent Hospital have announced the creation of a program dedicated to providing specialized care to the state’s older adult population by a team of physicians and nurses who bring a unique background in geriatric medicine and geriatrics nursing.

Patients admitted to the 10-bed Acute Care for Elders Unit (ACE) will be seen by the geriatric medicine team for a geriatric assessment including cognitive and function screening to identify needs and goals upon admission. There will be daily (Monday through Friday) care rounds led by a geriatrician and/or geriatric nurse practitioner. There will be ongoing communication of team recommendations with the patient, doctor, nurse, family, and other caregivers.

“Care New England and Kent Hospital strive every day to ensure that older adults receive access to the best care with assurance of the greatest level of patient safety and quality. The goal is to optimize hospital treatment and recovery, as well as to work with patients to define what their care goals are so that all care is patient-centered, with a focus on quality of life and maintaining independence. With this in mind, Kent Hospital has developed a team of specialized experts in geriatrics to deliver direct care and to infuse education about older adult needs and best practices for care throughout our hospital,” said Ana Tuya Fulton, MD, FACP, AGSF, executive chief of geriatrics and palliative care at Care New England and medical director of Integra Community Care Network, LLC.

Through its Comprehensive Care Program for Older Adults, Care New England provides outpatient clinical resources for older adults across most of its hospitals and organizations, including at Kent Hospital, Butler Hospital, Women & Infants, and the VNA of CNE. The ACE Unit at Kent is best equipped to meet each patient’s unique needs when they must be admitted for inpatient care. The team is structured to ensure that patients have access to a broad interdisciplinary team including hospitalists, social workers, pharmacists, occupational and physical therapists, nurses, and geriatric medicine specialists (physicians or clinicians who specialize in the care of older adults).

Another goal is to help patients return to good health, preventing functional decline while in the hospital, by working with patients and caregivers to develop the best long-term approach to wellness. The team works with patients and families to create a hospital care plan that is focused on each patient’s individual needs to meet the goals of care.

As a NICHE Designated Hospital (Nurses Improving Care for Health system Elders), Kent Hospital is further distinguished in its commitment to older adult care excellence and to providing patient-centered care for these patients. Kent’s 16 geriatric resource nurses have completed extensive training designed around the care needs of patients age 65 and older, offering care in an environment that is geriatric friendly by making sure that patients are moving appropriately, eating well, and getting the necessary sleep for healing and recovery.

Meet the team:
Ana Tuya Fulton, MD, FACP, AGSF, is executive chief of geriatrics and palliative care at Care New England and medical director of Integra Community Care Network, LLC. Dr. Fulton is a graduate of the George Washington University School of Medicine and completed a residency in internal medicine, chief residency, and geriatric medicine fellowship at Brown University. An associate professor of medicine and associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Dr. Fulton received a Geriatric Academic Career Award from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Dr. Fulton’s major focus of clinical and academic work is on improving end-of-life and transitional care for persons with cognitive impairments. Dr. Fulton is the Care New England site director and co-project director for the Rhode Island Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Project (RI-GWEP).

Michael G. Ross, DO, is a geriatrician and director of inpatient services at Kent Hospital. A graduate of the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Ross completed the New Hampshire Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency Program and the Maine Dartmouth Geriatric Medicine Fellowship. Specializing in geriatric and family medicine, Dr. Ross has specific clinical interest in medication management, falls prevention, and the treatment of delirium.

Julio Defillo Draiby, MD, is trained to provide comprehensive medical care for elderly and aging patients. As patients age, they may experience an increased susceptibility to illness and injury. In some cases, illnesses or injuries in seniors may overlap to create complicated diagnostic and treatment processes. Dr. Defillo Draiby is trained to diagnose, treat, and manage these and any related medical situations in seniors. He currently serves as an advisor to Healthcentric Advisors, helping to optimize the management of geriatric patients through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Mary Beth Welesko, MS, APRN-CNP, FNP-BC, GNP-BC, ACHPN, WCC, is a family nurse practitioner and gerontological nurse practitioner who provides medical care to geriatric patients across the continuum of health care settings. A graduate of Providence College, Rhode Island College School of Nursing, and the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Rhode Island, Mary Beth is also a teaching associate at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She has also earned advanced certification in hospice and palliative care nursing and wound care, and is a member of the Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses Association and the Nurse Practitioner Association of Rhode Island.

Leyda Urugutia-Cante, BSW, is a social worker with Integra Community Care Network and Kent Hospital. A graduate of Rhode Island College with a degree in social work, Leyda is also a certified nursing assistant and a medical assistant. Leyda has worked as an advocate for patients and their families and is fluent in both English and Spanish.

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About Kent Hospital

Kent Hospital, a Care New England Hospital, is a 359-bed, acute care hospital. It is Rhode Island’s second largest hospital, serving approximately 300,000 residents of central Rhode Island.

A teaching affiliate of The University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kent offers programs in Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and an Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Fellowship. Kent’s redesigned Emergency Department (ED) sees approximately 70,000 patients a year and ranks Kent’s ED volume among the top 10-percent nationally. It was the first hospital in the state to eliminate the practice of ambulance diversion.

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Jim Beardsworth
P: (401) 737-7010, ext. 31395