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'First in the nation': San Diego now has 18 hospitals offering specialized ER care for seniors

'First in the nation': San Diego now has 18 hospitals offering specialized ER care for seniors
Posted at 6:18 PM, Aug 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-12 20:32:23-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego has become the first county in the nation where every eligible hospital has earned geriatric emergency department (GED) accreditation.

Representatives from several San Diego hospitals gathered for a press conference on Thursday to acknowledge the major milestone.

“We’re not only the first county in the nation, we are the only county in the nation that is fully GED certified,” said Shelley Lyford, CEO, and Chair, of West Health.

San Diego is now home to 18 accredited geriatric emergency departments: which means older adults will have access to specialized care wherever they are in the county.

“We all know that older adults use the ED far more than any other age group,” said Nick Macchione, Director of the County’s Health and Human Services Agency.

Health officials say that by 2030, seniors will make up about 21% of San Diego's population. And now local hospitals are better prepared to handle that increase.

Susan Nelson was recently a patient inside UCSD’s geriatric ER. She noticed things like non-slip floors, easily-accessible amenities, and specially-trained staff.

“Just so over the top caring and asking if there was anything I needed," she said. “The nation will look at San Diego and see it as #1."

Susan DeMarois, the Director of California's Department of Aging, agreed in a speech at the conference: “You truly are a model for the state and the nation."

The accredited GEDs are spread amongAlvarado Hospital Medical Center[], Kaiser Permanente San Diego[], Palomar Health[], Paradise Valley Hospital[], Scripps Health[], Sharp HealthCare[], Tri-City Medical Center[], UC San Diego Health[] and VA San Diego Healthcare System[].