In part one of our two-part blog series showcasing geriatrician and bioethicist Dr. Claire Davenport, M.D., M.S., we discussed her medical background and high-level contributions to Inspīr’s Integrated Care Model (ICM). Now, we’re going to dive even deeper to get more insights regarding her role and values as a key player in the healthcare industry.

We understand your academic work focuses on the question: How can healthcare seamlessly arrive at what matters most to the individual? Can you elaborate on this?

This model of care places the individual at the center of care. Traditionally, older adults with multiple chronic illnesses are often excluded from clinical trials. Their healthcare tasks and medication lists quickly become overly complex, burdensome, and can result in dangerous side effects. There is a great deal of uncertainty. For this reason, healthcare providers, who do not specialize in geriatrics, are not always in alignment with the information from which they make their recommendations. My work helps people arrive at what matters most to them, derive specific healthcare goals based on their values, and share what is working for them with respect to the healthcare they are willing and able to do to achieve their goals.

At Inspīr Carnegie Hill and Mount Sinai, we ensure that the person’s individual priorities are continuously referenced in the care that is offered and received. We develop individualized care plans and work in close collaboration with practitioners to ensure that the information and decisions align with the individual’s health goals.

How does this align with Inspīr’s approach?

Inspīr takes an interdisciplinary approach to whole-person health and wellness that is built on a philosophy of vibrant, intentional living and meaningful connections. Their integrated model of care brings together professionals across multiple disciplines to deliver highly coordinated, data-driven, and outcome-based care that is aligned with resident and family goals, and focuses on what’s important to them. They have created an environment where a person could feel completely at home, connected, mobilized, and able to manage their health while keeping in mind that things can evolve and change through this period. Placing emphasis on what matters most, helps the Inspīr team to offer relevant programming that supports people in living their values. I work with the medical team to ensure that the medications and healthcare tasks optimize the interconnection of the individual with their family and their living environment. 

What do you see as the biggest challenge as it relates to caring for older adults?

There are a number of challenges that older adults face, as well as their caregivers and healthcare teams that are relevant right now. First, the pandemic has inhibited people from accessing their doctors and has created concerns around hospitalization. This can lead to fragmentation in medical care and a deepening level of uncertainty. On a day-to-day level, it has increased the level of social isolation and stress that families are dealing with, which leads to mental health and wellness concerns.

How will residents and the care teams at Inspīr benefit from your expertise and our partnership with Mount Sinai? Can you offer a specific example?

Residents at Inspīr will have access to the Mount Sinai Hospital’s number one geriatrics program in the nation as rated by U.S. News & World Report. Our approach to care is one dedicated to compassion and seamless coordination. The primary focus of the department has been older adults—our goal is to improve and sustain the highest quality of life for each patient. Therefore, each of the models of care that residents have access to consists of interdisciplinary teams and emphasizes communication across the healthcare paradigm.

Inspīr residents, who elect to have me as their primary care physician, can be seen by me at Inspīr, or at the Martha Stewart Center for Living at Mount Sinai Hospital. If they fall ill, our Community Paramedicine team can evaluate them at any time of day or night with oversight from Mount Sinai physicians. They can receive care from the comfort and privacy of their apartment and avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital. If they are found to require hospitalization, they will be followed by my colleagues on the Mount Sinai geriatrics teams, who will be in continuous communication with me throughout the hospital stay.

Are there specific programs you are working on with the Inspīr team that will benefit residents with specialized needs?

At Mount Sinai, we are currently working on a number of cutting-edge programs that will benefit residents with chronic disease. These include Parkinson’s disease, advanced Alzheimer’s disease, and psychiatric conditions. We are also focusing on programming to support individuals who may be struggling with chronic medical conditions that cause frequent hospitalization as well, such as COPD, congestive heart failure, and diabetes. Additionally, we are developing a strong palliative care approach to ensure that patients are able to manage the symptoms that arise when they are coping with chronic disease. Each of these programs, and many more, are delivered from research that helps identify how to prevent adverse events and supports wellness across the life span.

What innovations do you envision happening as a result of this collaboration between Inspīr and Mount Sinai Health System?

Together, we are pushing the edges of what is possible in assisted living and redefining the field. Through careful study of the health outcomes of our residents, we will continuously improve and expand the care that is available to them. The Integrated Care Model is one that allows close communication and weekly clinical meetings with the Inspīr healthcare team, and as the house geriatrician, I will ensure that every patient need is met. From this relationship, specific programmatic design will emerge around what matters most to our individual residents. This will spur new growth in patient-centered care for older adults and maximize quality of life.

For people with chronic conditions who are at risk for adverse outcomes, we are developing approaches to care delivery that will come to represent the gold standard. Such approaches are not yet well defined in assisted living facilities, and so there is a lot of opportunity to derive responsive and flexible care that meets people where they are, keeping them safe, healthy, and out of the hospital.

Another tremendous opportunity for innovation is in longevity and wellness—maintaining quality of life as we age. Residents will have access to an ever-expanding number of therapies that are focused on their wellness and a healthy lifestyle. These include bountiful farm-fresh foods, physical therapy, psychotherapy, essential oils, and social programming.

What do you hope the future looks like in regard to care delivery for older adults?

I hope the future of care delivery for older adults allows for improved integration across multiple levels and sites of care. In serving the residents of Inspīr Carnegie Hill, I will be able to coordinate care from patients’ homes to the ambulatory and hospital settings, and back. At Mount Sinai, we have so many incredible programs that are helping people to remain at home and safely connected to their communities, even as they face chronic illnesses. I hope that these continue to expand within our city and across the country.

We hope this blog series has helped answer your questions regarding Inspīr’s Integrated Care Model and the important role Dr. Claire Davenport will play in elevating senior care experiences. Should you have additional questions, please contact us at any time.

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