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Montefiore Celebrates 64th Anniversary of First U.S. Hospital-Based Home Care Agency

November is National Home Care Month

Bronx, New York (November 8, 2011) - November is National Home Care Month and Montefiore Medical Center is celebrating the 64th anniversary of Montefiore Home Care, the nation's first hospital-based home care agency. Established in 1947, Montefiore Home Care has long been recognized as a "hospital without walls," providing nursing care, rehabilitation therapies and social work services, specifically tailored to individual needs, in the comfort of patients' own homes. In a recent celebration, Montefiore honored nurses, physical therapists and social workers who have helped the agency earn a reputation for delivering the highest standards of health care to residents in the Bronx, Westchester and Putnam counties, during all stages of care.

"Sixty years ago, Montefiore opened the first hospital based home care program, establishing a life line for those transitioning from the hospital to home," said Steven M. Safyer, MD, President and CEO, Montefiore Medical Center. "Since that time, the Montefiore home health program has grown considerably. An interdisciplinary team of nurses, physical therapists and social workers provides a spectrum of care from basic interventions to complex therapies all focused on enabling the patient to remain within the comfort of their own home."

"We are very proud of the individualized programs we have developed over the years for our patients, including our post-partum, behavioral health, telemedicine and joint replacement programs," said Pamela Joachim, Executive Director of Montefiore Home Care. "We continue to partner with departments within the hospital in order to offer superior personalized care to our patients."

During a celebration on November 3, 2011, Senior Physical Therapist Bob Ramos, MPT, was awarded the President's Award for 100 percent attendance, dedication and outstanding service to his patients. "I have been working as a Physical Therapist for Home Care since 1986, and throughout my career I have always admired the presidential award winners," said Mr. Ramos. "I am honored to have received this award and be amongst those recognized for the high level of care provided to the Bronx community, the community that I love."

Michele Mayer, MPT, also a Senior Physical Therapist, was honored as a "Home Care Hero" for 35 years of care-giving in the Bronx. "I am thankful for the opportunity to have helped some of the most underprivileged and needy people in our community," said Ms. Mayer. "As clinicians, it is our mission to make a difference in the lives of patients."

As part of the services offered, Certified Home Health Care Agency (CHHA) is geared towards providing short-term skilled health care, ensuring safety in the home environment and educating patients on medications, as well as disease management. The Long Term Home Health Care Program (LTHHCP) provides professional care at home to the chronically ill or disabled and to the frail elderly who might otherwise require nursing home placement.

Richard Celiberti, Senior Vice President of Network Development at Montefiore Medical Center, said, "We have found that by providing home care services to certain high risk patients once they have been discharged, we have been able to effectively reduce readmission rates."