LAWRENCE -- The Community Care Transitions Program of Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley was recognized with the Innovations Award of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

The award, "The Best of Both Worlds: Care Manager In The Home & Nurse in Their Pocket," highlights the integration of Care at Hand mobile technology into the program. The technology extends "the reach and expertise of clinicians into the homes of older adults recently discharged from the hospital," according Elder Services' executive director, Rosanne Distefano.

Elder Services created the partnership with Care at Hand to improve the program's effectiveness and reduce readmissions by adding clinical nurse oversight. Coaches who visit patients now use a special tablet equipped with Care at Hand mobile technology, which provides coaches with questions tailored to the patient's diagnosis, treatment and risk factors.

The Community Care Transitions program is in its second year of funding by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and is in partnership with six area hospitals, including Lowell General Hospital, charged with reducing hospital readmission.

For information on the program, contact Lori O'Connor at 978-946-1209 or loconnor@esmv.org.

Beacon Hospice holds classes for volunteers

METHUEN -- Beacon Hospice, 13 Branch St., Methuen, will hold orientation classes for volunteers form 6 to 8:30 p.


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m. on Tuesdays, Sept. 16, 23, and 30 in the lower level through the last door at the back of the building. The eight-hour training course covers hospice medical aspects, palliative care, family and cultural dynamics, communication, spiritual dimensions, and grief and loss. Activities with patients may include reading, sitting vigil, creating a Chart-A-Life, or helping with veteran ceremonies. One-on-one training is open anytime and lasts five hours. For information, email Adreana.krukowski@amedisys.com or call 978-837-3333.