LifePath, Baystate partnership to help ease hospital-to-home transition 

By MARY BYRNE

Staff Writer

Published: 04-30-2023 1:54 PM

GREENFIELD — Rather than wait until a patient returns home from the hospital to set up the necessary social and support services, a new, grant-funded partnership between LifePath and Baystate Franklin Medical Center will ensure they are connected with the services they need before transitioning back into the community.

LifePath — a Greenfield-based nonprofit serving older adults and people with disabilities in Franklin County and the North Quabbin region — and Greater Springfield Senior Services Inc. (GSSSI) were awarded a combined $300,000 for their collaboration with Baystate Health for the Hospital to Home Partnership Program, according to LifePath. In Franklin County, the grant funds a collaboration between LifePath and Baystate Franklin.

“Coming home from the hospital is a stressful and delicate time for individuals and their support systems,” said LifePath Executive Director Gary Yuhas. “This project will ensure that we are working as collaboratively as possible with our hospital partners to ensure safe and successful transitions for our neighbors here in Franklin County and the North Quabbin.”

The grant award, which was funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, was part of the Healey-Driscoll administration’s $3 million in grants to acute care hospitals and Aging Services Access Points (ASAPs) across Massachusetts.

“As hospitals continue to face strain due to workforce shortages, it is critical that we find new ways to better serve patients in their homes and communities,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh said in a statement. “Through these partnerships, hospitals and local ASAPs will collaborate to better meet individual patient needs in home and community-based settings, improving health outcomes and alleviating pressure on hospital resources and staff.”

Stacy Boron, regional director of health care quality at Baystate Health, said the grant will allow LifePath to hire one staff person at Baystate Franklin and one at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. These individuals will be “embedded in the hospital” to work with hospital personnel, patients and their families to transition patients back into the community with services and support upon discharge.

“We have a significant number of community members that are living at home that just need a little bit more support to make sure they can manage day-to-day living … safely,” Boron said. “[The program] offers them a variety of additional services with those community connections.”

Boron said the goal is to have support staff in place as soon as possible.

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“Right now, [patients] have to wait to return home … to have a conversation and complete an assessment,” she said. “That process would be started before they go home with this new program.”

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne.

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