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Wellness

Food 911: How Meals-on-Wheels Redefines Population Health

By | Diabetes Education, Featured News, Help-at-Home, Meals-on-Wheels, Wellness

In September 2019, LifeCare Alliance was awarded a 3-year $750,000 grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Community Living (ACL) to expand our innovative model of care. While this model has been piloted and in progress since June of 2018, the grant will allow us to increase internal case management and referral infrastructure, collect health outcome data to measure the effectiveness of LifeCare Alliance interventions, and complete a thorough evaluation of collected data. Once concluded, LifeCare Alliance will publish and disseminate the findings to seek reimbursement for our holistic, one-stop-shop service model. Ultimately, the goal is to produce research that will allow for replication of our model across the nation.

Certainly, agency volunteers, staff, and supporters know firsthand the incredible impact of our services, as they partner in serving clients 365 days a year; however, the ability to quantify the successful outcomes and results will pave the way for future sustainability, relevance, and leverage in the ever-changing healthcare industry. This innovative network of referrals and information sharing is for clients who frequently depend on emergency services for basic needs.  This innovation is critical to ensuring that members of our community can age safely in place through a collaborative approach to care.

Meet Jerry and Marsha:

Jerry and Marsha, who live with the challenges of diabetes, were referred by their physician for an in-home consultation with LifeCare Alliance’s registered dietitian.  The couple, 74 and 68 years old, respectively, deal with many health concerns that began about a year ago. During that time, Marsha suffered a collapsed lung during surgery.  A month later, she tried the surgery again, but this time it was even worse—her organs began to shut down and her surgery was delayed again.  During Marsha’s healing process, they learned that Jerry needed back surgery and a pacemaker.  Because Jerry was Marsha’s only caregiver, this presented a challenge. That’s when Marsha contacted LifeCare Alliance’s Meals-on-Wheels program to sign up for the frozen meal program.

 “Meals-on-Wheels saved us,” said Marsha.  “Jerry and I are both diabetic, and we learned we could have a registered dietitian come to our home to help with meal planning as clients of LifeCare Alliance, we both took advantage of the service.  Now we know how to take control of our carbs and plan our meals with confidence.”

Jerry and Marsha are one story of many positive outcomes of Food 911: How Meals-on-Wheels Redefines Population Health. The impact of remaining together, independent, and in their own home—where they want to be—is significant, especially during this holiday season.

Meet the Faces of Innovation:

Molly Haroz, Director of Nutrition Programs, and Melinda Rowe, Wellness Services Director, are part of the incredible team at LifeCare Alliance that is implementing this innovative project. Understanding the challenges that many of our older adult neighbors face every day to maintain a healthy independent lifestyle, with dignity in the comfort of their own homes, the two directors have worked closely together to lay the groundwork that led to receiving the grant.

We know that the need is great!  There are still many in our community—including older adults, medical professionals, first responders, and insurance and health systems—who are not yet aware of this innovative approach. We are eager to continue spreading the word to help intercept those who are managing chronic, or even crisis, health situations. During the pilot process, we have seen that the majority of these citizens call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room to receive help with food, home repairs, etc.—services which hospital or paramedics are unable to fulfill. LifeCare Alliance’s goal is to make sure that our neighbors in need do not slip through the cracks, as they navigate complex health situations. By partnering with local fire departments and healthcare providers to refer “frequent flyers” or repeat visitors for ongoing in-home services, we are able to welcome new clients through our comprehensive array of health and nutrition programming.

Randy Little, Fire Chief of the Jackson Township Fire Department in Grove City, Ohio said of the initiative, “we have seen anecdotally how valuable LifeCare Alliance’s services are to our township residents and we look forward to continuing to grow and enhance our partnership, especially since we’ve seen such improvements in the lives of those we have referred to LifeCare Alliance.”

Tim Hill, Regional Manager-Ohio East of American Health Network of Ohio, LLC, said, “our patients come to our providers repeatedly for the same types of injuries that could have been prevented with proper nutrition, homemaking help, or even simple home repairs such as grab bar installations.  We have found that when needs are met, elderly patients often can function safely in their own homes without making multiple visits to our healthcare facilities on a weekly or monthly basis.”

Our heartfelt thanks to you, our supporters, who help make it possible for LifeCare Alliance to be innovative in meeting the needs of more than 30,000 clients each year. We look forward to sharing continued updates about the progress of this exciting project!

Nominate a Volunteer for the LifeCare Alliance Spirit Awards!

By | Carrie's Cafe, Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Columbus Cancer Clinic, Events, Featured News, Help-at-Home, Meals-on-Wheels, POHC, Volunteers, Wellness
Thank you for nominating an outstanding volunteer for the Spirit Awards! Volunteers are essential to the success of LifeCare Alliance in our community, so it is important to recognize the wonderful work they do.
Please use the form below to submit your nomination. We want to know the LifeCare Alliance program that benefits from your nominee’s work, as well as the reasons your nominee stands out from all the rest.
Please visit LifeCare Alliance’s website and social media for information about volunteer recognition events as details are finalized. If you are interested in attending, please be sure to indicate so on the form below. Thank you!
Man cooling down in the water

What You Should Know About Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

By | Featured News, Wellness

LifeCare Alliance has a team of registered nurses and registered dietitians on staff, providing wellness services to the central Ohio community. 

During the summer, seniors are among the most vulnerable populations when it comes to heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Our Columbus Foundation fellow, Radhika Pandit, explains the two conditions and how LifeCare Alliance can be of service.

Heat Exhaustion vs. Heat Stroke

Radhika PanditThere are two main types of heat-related illnesses:

  • Heat exhaustion occurs when the body overheats and becomes dehydrated. Symptoms include profuse sweating, dizziness, and nausea.
  • Heat stroke results from untreated heat exhaustion that has reached a critical stage. Symptoms become more severe and one may stop sweating completely due to extreme dehydration.

If you suspect someone is experiencing heat exhaustion or heat stroke, call 911 immediately.

Who is at a Higher Risk for Heat-Related Illnesses?

Older adults are at higher risk because they commonly take medications or have medical conditions that affect their body’s ability to regulate heat.

“Seniors need to be more mindful of their environment and take more preventative measures,” said LifeCare Alliance nurse Peggy Parisot, MSN, RN.

How Can I Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses?

In order to prevent heat-related illnesses, follow these tips from Nurse Peggy!

  • Avoid exposure to outdoor heat during the hottest periods of the day, generally 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Stay well-hydrated on hot days.
  • Wear light, layered clothing.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol because it causes rapid dehydration.
  • Wear a hat and sunscreen in the sun.
  • Look out for others and notice if they’re expressing symptoms of heat exhaustion.

Beat the Heat Fan Campaign

Living in a house without air conditioning can leave you vulnerable to heat exhaustion or heat stroke during the hot summer months.

If you are in need of a fan to cool down your house, join us during a fan distribution day. Fans are distributed at LifeCare Alliance’s Harmon Avenue facility (670 Harmon Ave). Call the Fan Hotline at 614-437-2870 for information on the next distribution event!

Learn more

Click here to visit the Wellness Department page and get information on available services and wellness center locations.

Thank you, LifeCare Alliance nurses!

By | Columbus Cancer Clinic, Featured News, Help-at-Home, Wellness

Happy National Nurses Week! LifeCare Alliance, originally called the Instructive District Nursing Association and founded in 1898, was the first Visiting Nurse agency in Ohio. Today, the Agency still has a mission to lead the community in identifying and delivering health and nutrition services to meet the community’s changing needs.

National Nurses Week is May 6th-12th annually, and is a time to recognize and support the nursing profession. We want to celebrate the nurses on staff who work hard daily to make sure the needs of our clients are met through the Columbus Cancer Clinic, Help-at-Home, and the Wellness department.

Get to know some of the nurses at LifeCare Alliance:

Doris Gyasi, RN

“I have been in the nursing field for 22 years now. I started as nursing aide, medication aide, Licensed Practical Nurse, and then RN.  To me nursing is not career rather it is a calling.  I’m passionate about healthy living, education, caring, and improving lives. I love what I do.”

Thelma Fosselman

“As a child I never wanted to be a nurse.  It just never crossed my mind until I saw a sign on the OSU campus my freshman year reminding students to get their nursing school application submitted. So I did and here I am. I was an attorney for a short time but I think God has a plan for each of us and it appears that I am chosen to be a nurse and I couldn’t be happier or more fulfilled.” Thelma has been a nurse for 35 years.

Barbara A. Parker, B.S.N, R.N., Faith Community Nurse

“I have been a nurse for 49 years.  After testing the waters by volunteering as teens at Mt. Carmel Hospital, my girlfriend and I decided to continue our education at Capital University, pursuing careers in nursing.”

Melinda Rowe, BSN, RN

“Nursing is a second career for me. I have always been passionate about wellness. I started with nutrition, then fitness, and now the nursing profession. I knew I wanted to be a wellness nurse, with a focus on keeping people out of the hospital and remaining as healthy as possible. Being a nurse allows me to work alongside other nurses as well as other allied health professionals to do just this!”

Julie Poirier, B.S.N.,  R.N.

“I’ve been a nurse 29 years at LifeCare.  When I was in high school, I wanted to be a nurse because nurses care and educate people.   At LifeCare, I’ve been a visiting nurse, weekend nurse manager, home health aide supervisor, and wellness nurse.  As a wellness nurse, I help seniors with chronic illnesses and see travel health customers.   Nursing is great because you learn new things, use critical judgment, and make a difference in your patient’s lives.”

Peggy Parisot

“37+ years of nursing.  I thought it would be a practical way to help people in many different roles and no matter where I am.  My mother, grandmother, and aunt were all nurses and great role models.”

Catherine Nelson Black

Legacy Endowment Campaign featured in Columbus Business First

By | Featured News, Legacy, Wellness

LifeCare Alliance’s $5 million endowment match campaign was featured this month in Columbus Business First.

The article, by staff reporter Carrie Ghose, highlighted the magnitude of such a gift to an agency such as LifeCare Alliance.

“This is a transformational thing for the agency,” LifeCare Alliance President & CEO Chuck Gehring is quoted as saying. “Groups like us never get this. If we get a $10,000 gift, we have a party.”

An anonymous donor has committed to matching the first $5 million in gifts to LifeCare Alliance’s endowment. The donation comes as the Agency celebrates its 120th anniversary.

Click here to learn more about the Legacy Endowment Campaign, contact Chuck Gehring at 614-437-2801, or Rebecca Hurd, Director of Advancement, at 614-437-2867.

Click here to donate to the Legacy Endowment Campaign now!

LifeCare Alliance honors outstanding Franklin County volunteers

By | Help-at-Home, Meals-on-Wheels, Volunteers, Wellness

LifeCare Alliance handed out more than 20 awards on Monday, April 1, 2018, at the annual Volunteer Recognition ceremony for outstanding Franklin County volunteers.

The Spirit Award presentation is a time to celebrate and recognize the dedication, commitment, and achievements of volunteers who give their time to our older adult citizens so they can remain independent in their homes.

This event, which honored the contributions of volunteers the previous year,  was live-streamed on Facebook Live. To watch the ceremony, click here to access the video on LifeCare Alliance’s Facebook page.

The 2017 Spirit Award recipients are:

  • American Electric Power, Corporate Leadership Spirit Award
  • Dr. Akua Amponsah, Help-at-Home Spirit Award
  • Natalie Artz, Youth Leadership Spirit Award
  • Jack DeBarr & Joseph Seifert, The Harriette Goodspeed Spirit Award
  • Kellie DuPont & Family, Future LifeCare Alliance Leader Spirit Award
  • Quentin Feng, Corporate Meals-on-Wheels Route Coordinator Spirit Award
  • Michelle Ford, Groceries to Go Spirit Award
  • Penny Henry, Catherine Gillie Spirit Award
  • Joan Hess, Farmer’s Market Spirit Award
  • Kelly Hollis, Outstanding Spirit Award
  • Huntington National Bank, Corporate Meals-on-Wheels Route Spirit Award
  • Ali Iovino, Food Production Spirit Award
  • Jackie Jacobs, Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Cherie Luckoff, Pet Care Spirit Award
  • John McHugh, Advancement Spirit Award
  • Everett Meidell, John Nilssen Memorial Spirit Award
  • Nationwide, Community Service Spirit Award
  • Nationwide PAWS, Pet Care Corporate Spirit Award
  • Ohio Dominican University, Meals-on-Wheels School Spirit Award
  • Thomas & Angela Stephens, The Samuel L. Black Volunteer Spirit Award
  • Temple Beth Shalom, The Frank Stoddard Raper Spirit Award
  • Wednesday Hump Leagues, POHC Philanthropic Spirit Award

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities for LifeCare Alliance, please call 614-444-MEAL (6325) or visit www.lifecarealliance.org to learn more.

Photo gallery

To see a gallery of images from the LifeCare Alliance Volunteer Recognition ceremony, click here.

NBC 4 Highlights $5 Million Match Campaign

By | Legacy, Wellness

On March 27, LifeCare Alliance’s $5 million Endowment match campaign was featured on NBC 4 by reporter Courtney Yuen.

Watch this report by clicking here.

An anonymous donor has generously promised to match $5 million in Endowment donations in 2018, which will help ensure a permanent source of funding to LifeCare Alliance.

“When he said he was going to do this, I was just in tears,” said president and CEO of LifeCare Alliance Chuck Gehring. “We’ve got to be able to get to those people when they need us.”

The potential of having $10 million added to the Endowment fund this year could mean so much for our clients and the Agency’s ability to meet their needs on a long-term basis. LifeCare Alliance has relied heavily on government funding in the past, but now that this funding has decreased and the need for our services is steadily increasing, the Agency must continue to put its focus on how to secure the future for our clients.

Clients rely on services from LifeCare Alliance to meet their basic needs.  Many are not able to safely cook for themselves, so programs like Meals-on-Wheels is really important to their health and well-being.

Darlene Golden, a client of LifeCare Alliance, told NBC4: “I just love it. I just love it,” she said. “It’s very convenient because I’m not able to go out and get my food too much.”

One of the reasons the Agency has been so successful when other Meals-on-Wheels providers have long waiting lists to receive services or closed their doors due to financial reasons is because of our strong and dependent volunteer base. One of LifeCare Alliance’s volunteers, Jim Kimnach, has been with the Agency for four years. Kimnach said, “It’s a wonderful interaction every day. They have good stories to tell and they usually have a smile on their face.”

For more information or to make a donation to LifeCare Alliance’s endowment, contact Chuck Gehring, president and CEO, at 614-437-2801 or cgehring@lifecarealliance.org, or Rebecca Hurd, director of advancement, at 614-437-2867 or rhurd@lifecarealliance.org.

Click here to donate to the Legacy Endowment Campaign now!

Photo of Columbus Dispatch article

$5 Million Match Campaign Featured in The Columbus Dispatch

By | Legacy, Wellness

The Columbus Dispatch shared the story of LifeCare Alliance’s $5 million endowment match campaign in an article on March 25.

Read the article by clicking here.

An anonymous donor has generously committed to matching the first $5 million in Endowment gifts, beginning in 2018. The donation comes during a momentous time for LifeCare Alliance as the Agency celebrates its 120th anniversary.

“To exist into the future, we need to build this fund up,” Chuck Gehring, president and CEO of LifeCare Alliance, said. “When I heard about this opportunity, I cried.”

The Meals-on-Wheels program is the Agency’s largest service, providing 5,000 meals to 5 counties in the area daily.  One of our clients, Raymond Powell, has been receiving one of these hot, nutritious meals several times a week for 11 years now and also visits one of the Senior Dining Centers every week.

“Without them, I wouldn’t eat very well,” said Powell. “It’s good to get out of the house a bit and have a hot meal.”

An editorial appearing in The Dispatch urged the community to support the Endowment campaign.

Continuing to provide these essential services to our clients is a priority for LifeCare Alliance, and growing the Endowment fund is a key part in securing the future of the Agency.

For more information or to make a donation to LifeCare Alliance’s endowment, contact Chuck Gehring, president and CEO, at 614-437-2801 or cgehring@lifecarealliance.org, or Rebecca Hurd, director of advancement, at 614-437-2867 or rhurd@lifecarealliance.org.

Click here to donate to the Legacy Endowment Campaign now!

LifeCare Alliance CEO Chuck Gehring speaks to the crowd during Big Wheels 2018

LifeCare Alliance Announces $5 Million Match Campaign

By | Carrie's Cafe, Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Columbus Cancer Clinic, Help-at-Home, IMPACT Safety, Legacy, Meals-on-Wheels, POHC, Visiting Nurses, Wellness

At Big Wheels 2018, LifeCare Alliance announced a $5 Million Match Campaign to secure the future, by building its Legacy Endowment.

The Legacy Endowment Campaign is designed to meet existing and future needs of LifeCare Alliance for decades to come.

An anonymous donor has generously committed to matching the first $5 million in Endowment gifts, beginning in 2018. The donation comes during a momentous occasion for LifeCare Alliance as the Agency celebrates its 120th anniversary.

This Campaign creates an opportunity for individuals and families impacted by the work of LifeCare Alliance to express their stewardship and leave their legacies in concrete and meaningful ways.

If you are interested in learning more about the Legacy Endowment Campaign or how you can become a member of the Catherine Nelson Black Society, please contact Chuck Gehring, President and CEO at 614-437-2801 or Rebecca Hurd, Director of Advancement at 614-437-2867.

Click here to donate to the Legacy Endowment Campaign now!


ABOVE: LifeCare Alliance CEO Chuck Gehring speaks to the crowd at Big Wheels 2018.