Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg Wins Wound Care Excellence Award

The beautiful Campus of the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg boasts two facilities. The Jewish Home, founded in 1974 and enlarged since, provides Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation;  The Residence, almost 15 years old, is an Independent/Personal Care apartment building offering Catered Living to seniors who prefer to live in a  congregate setting.  Both facilities welcome people of all faiths, all races, all abilities and all interests.

The Jewish Home is one of the very few skilled nursing facilities that has on staff both a physician certified in Wound Care and a full-time Wound Care nurse. These professionals provide early detection and effective treatment of pressure ulcers, and they also instruct staff on preventing and managing decubiti.

Now, the Jewish Home is proud to announce that we have been awarded a VOHRA award as a Wound Care Center of Excellence.

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Jewish Home Wound Care-certified nurse Carolyn Geedy, RN and Wound Care-certified physician Dr Aaron Blom accept the VOHRA Award from Dr Tzvi Volozov.

VOHRA is a group of wound care physicians specializing in the management of pressure ulcers.  VOHRA serves more than 2500 long term care facilities in 27 states.  Wound management has emerged as a new specialty along with rising expectations for quality and outcomes. In fact, wound management and outcomes have become a leading indicator of the quality of care in a skilled nursing facility.

The Jewish Home was the very first skilled nursing facility in Pennsylvania to receive the VOHRA Award as a Wound Care Center of Excellence!  The Home was honored for the quality of its Wound Care program – quality as measured and published by Medicare on the Medicare/CMS.gov website.  Medicare compares the percentage of pressure ulcers in long-term and short-stay residents in skilled nursing facilities to State and national percentages, and in both categories, the Jewish Home comes out significantly ahead!

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Jewish Home CEO Allen Geckle, Wound Care-certified nurse Carolyn Geedy, RN, Wound Care-certified Physician Aaron Blom, Administrator Crystal Stair, NHA, RN and ADON Laurynne Kauffman, RN show off the VOHRA Award.

Wound Care physician Dr. Aaron Blom is a general surgeon who is Board-certified as a Wound Care specialist physician. Dr. Blom, who has spent virtually his entire career — from undergraduate through medical school and post-graduate study in Philadelphia — performs medical and minor surgical management of pressure ulcers. Pressure ulcers can develop quickly, and often present a challenge to heal. Because of our careful assessment protocols, very few pressure ulcers develop on residents living at the Home. We do see some incipient or developed pressure ulcers in residents coming from other facilities.

Dr. Blom and Carolyn Geedy, RN, our Certified Wound Care nurse, assess all suspected or potential pressure ulcers and decide how to manage them. They may instruct staff to reposition on a rigid schedule any residents whose skin shows even the slightest suspicious reddening. Sometimes they will ask nursing staff to use special mattresses and other supports to keep suspect areas free from pressure. They may use special skin barrier creams to help delicate skin from getting wet and breaking down. And if infection is present, Dr. Blom can perform minor surgery right at the resident’s bedside to remove the necrotic tissue that is a component of a pressure ulcer; he may prescribe antibiotics to treat infection, if any is present. Or, he may apply chemical enzymes and special dressings to assist dead tissue to break down and assist healthy tissue to grow.

Ms. Geedy makes daily rounds on residents, evaluating the effectiveness of treatments and working with Nursing staff to increase the awareness of potential skin issues and managing them before skin breakdown occurs.

Our Wound Care Team’s work may also include evaluating at-risk residents for nutritional status, because poor health or poor nutrition may predispose to pressure ulcers. If they decide poor nutrition exists, they will work with the dietitian to increase residents’ protein and/or general caloric intake.

Together, the Jewish Home Wound Care team works to prevent or manage pressure ulcers, the age-old scourge of the bedridden elderly and a problem that for many centuries has endangered the elderly and the infirm, and has confounded those who care for them.

And, as of October, 2016, our statistics remain superior to statistics provided to Medicare by other Pennsylvania Skilled Nursing Facilities.

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