A Crucial Element

PACE Center on Market Street provides indispensable daily care to Lynn’s seniors

Lynn resident Barbara Pramataris says it firmly and with considerable emotion in her voice: “I wouldn’t be alive today without the people here [at Element Care PACE Center on Market Street].”

In 2020, Pramataris experienced “a really severe case” of COVID-19. “The doctors here ran some tests and discovered that I had four blood clots in my lungs,” recalled Pramataris. “I was so fortunate that Dr. [Tao] Liu came to my house. I had never had a doctor come to my house and do a house call. Dr. Liu said to me, I really need you to go in the ambulance. She stayed with me. It turned out that I was laid up for six months. The doctors put me on all kinds of medications for breathing. I was on oxygen for six months.”

Pramataris said she’s so grateful to the staff at Element Care PACE for going above and beyond and for the daily health care and medical guidance she is receiving from the team of professionals at Element Care.

“I really need to thank Dr. Liu and Nadiya Rutman and everyone at the Center for all they’ve done for me,” said Pramataras. “I’m actually blessed.”

Pramataras, 64, continues to receive care from a team of healthcare professionals, both during her visits to the Center on Market Street and at her home.

“Kristen and Amber came out and worked on my physical therapy,” said Pramataras. “I’m doing amazing now. I feel strong and vibrant.”

Barbara Pramataras represents a success story at Element Care, but as PACE Center Manager Mary Ann McGuirk said proudly, “There are many success stories.”

 A non-profit, healthcare organization, PACE is the acronym for Program Of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. And Lynn seniors speak with reverence about that all-inclusive care and how Element Care PACE – just as its own description of its goal states – “has helped them live safely and comfortably in their homes and communities for as long as they can, keeping their stays in hospitals and nursing facilities as minimal as possible.”

McGuirk said sometimes that noble mission can be challenging. “We just sent someone home from the Center. The social worker has arranged for more homecare for him. The nurse got him more nursing care. The doctor is visiting him at home. And even though maybe we feel like the best place for him to be would be a nursing home – he doesn’t want to be in a nursing home, and we’re going to respect his wishes. We’re going to help him stay at home as long as possible and that’s really the mission to get everybody cared for.”

PACE’s record of helping seniors maintain active lives is well documented. According its website, “PACE participants have up to 43 percent few hospitalizations and 93 percent of PACE participants say they would recommend the program to a friend or relative.”

Each participant at PACE has daily access to highly personalized care that is administered by a staff of doctors, nurses, home health aides, physical and occupational therapists, behavioral health clinicians, social workers, recreational specialists, and other professionals.

Among the much-utilized facilities at the Center is a rehabilitation gym.

McGuirk said she meets with her staff each day to evaluate partcipants’ immediate needs. That interdisciplinary (IDP) team includes a physician, nurse practitioner, nurse, nursing assistant, social worker, dietician, activity department person, physical therapist, occupational therapist, medical secretary, office receptionist, and activity person. A speech therapist and a psychotherapist are also part of the team.

“Every morning at 8 o’clock we sit down as a team and we talk about the cases that are really urgent or bubbling to the surface,” said McGuirk. “For example, for the past month we’ve been talking about a participant who almost lost her housing. We’re getting her back there today, and we’re getting her furniture and other items. That’s the other piece of support. My team loaded up their cars and drove to her house and delivered stuff to her.”

It’s truly highly personalized care – “a soup to nuts” range of services, as one staff member aptly termed it.

McGuirk lauded her staff for the success at Element Care Pace Center, stating simply, “I have a fabulous team.”

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