Mayor Pugh and Health Commissioner Dr. Wen Announce Expansion of Telehealth Intervention Program for Older Adults

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BALTIMORE, MD (July 12, 2018) — Today, Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen announced the expansion of the Telehealth Intervention Program for Seniors (TIPS) in the city’s northwest Park Heights community. TIPS is a “high tech high-touch” program that provides remote vital signs monitoring services and social services to low-income adults over age 60.

TIPS originated in the state of New York and began operating at the Zeta Center for Healthy and Active Aging in northwest Baltimore in April. The program is a collaboration between the Medstar Good Samaritan Hospital’s Center for Successful Aging, the Westchester Public/Private Partnership and the Baltimore City Health Department. Funding for the Baltimore City expansion is supported by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

National data indicate that TIPS participants at other sites have reduced their E.R. and hospital visits by 35%. Since the launch in Baltimore in mid-April, nearly 100 patients have been enrolled.

“Increasing access to health and wellness resources for Baltimore citizens continues to be a top priority of my Administration,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “By utilizing the benefits of telehealth capabilities, we can ensure that many of our older citizens who may be unable to make regular visits to their medical professionals will have access to essential monitoring with the aim of identifying issues before they become more serious.  I am grateful to our partners at Medstar Good Samaritan Hospital for helping make possible this latest health technology resource.”

At the Baltimore site, Medstar provides regular remote nurse monitoring, vital signs tracking, and diabetes and heart health education. In addition, Baltimore City Health Department screen participants for eligibility for benefits and resources and educate them about relevant health programs, such as chronic disease self-management and caregiving coaches. Outreach workers connect to social services and other benefits.

“TIPS exemplifies two core principles of public health. First, TIPS, goes to where people are, bringing care out of hospitals and into communities,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. “Second, TIPS is all about prevention so that we can catch life-threatening developments early, before participants end up in the E.R. or the hospital.”

For more information, contact the Baltimore City Health Department, Division on Aging and Care Services at 410-396-2273 or visit our website at https://health.baltimorecity.gov

 

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