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Saint Peter’s earns re-designation as NICHE program for geriatric nursing

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.: Saint Peter’s University Hospital has been re-designated as a NICHE – Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders – site by the Hartford Institute of Geriatric Nursing, New York University College of Nursing.

The goal of NICHE, according to the Hartford Institute of Geriatric Nursing, is “to achieve systematic nursing change that will benefit hospitalized older patients. The vision of NICHE is for all patients 65 and over to be given sensitive and exemplary care. The mission of NICHE is to provide principles and tools to stimulate a change in the culture of healthcare facilities to achieve patient-centered care for older adults.”

The NICHE re-designation is for the period of Sept. 1, 2011, through Aug. 31, 2012.

“Saint Peter’s nurses have worked hard to earn NICHE re-designation,” said Linda Carroll, RNC, MSN, and director, professional practice, at Saint Peter’s. “We are part of a distinguished network of hospitals that provide the utmost in care for older adults.”

Elderly patients and their families can consult with geriatricians and obtain specialized geriatric services at three locations in the Saint Peter’s Healthcare System: the main Saint Peter’s University Hospital site in New Brunswick; the Comprehensive Care Group at Monroe, and the Comprehensive Care Group at Piscataway, which opened this year.

Saint Peter’s provides geriatric services in wound healing, pain-management counseling and end-of-life palliative support. Saint Peter’s geriatricians are also adept at diagnosing and treating diabetes, hypertension, incontinence, musculoskeletal problems, rheumatism and dementia. Memory loss, depression and anxiety associated with dementia – all of which are concerns among the elderly population - are also treated at Saint Peter’s, as are orthopedic issues such as hip and knee replacements. Saint Peter’s also provides counseling for complex psychosocial issues commonly associated with aging.

“As people age, their medical issues tend to become more complicated,” said Shira Goldberg, M.D., a geriatrician at the Comprehensive Care Group at Monroe. “You can’t just look at an algorithm and follow it strictly. You want to individualize decisions so as to treat an elderly person’s precise needs.”

About Saint Peter’s Healthcare System

Saint Peter’s Healthcare System Inc., parent company of the Saint Peter’s healthcare delivery system, is comprised of Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a 478-bed acute-care teaching hospital; Saint Peter’s Foundation, the fundraising arm of the hospital; and Saint Peter’s Health and Management Services Corporation, which oversees the system’s outpatient facilities. These include the CARES Surgicenter; New Brunswick Cardiac Cath Lab; Community Care Services, Inc.; the Margaret McLaughlin McCarrick Care Center, Inc., a residential skilled nursing facility in Somerset; and Saint Peter’s Adult Day Center in Monroe Township. Saint Peter’s Healthcare System is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen. For more information about Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, please visit or call 732-745-8600.

About the Hartford Institute of Geriatric Nursing

Since its inception in 1996, the singular mission of the Hartford Institute has been to shape the quality of health care of older adults through excellence in nursing practice. The commitment to this mission exhibited by the dedicated Hartford Institute leadership, staff and affiliate organizations has made the HIGN today a globally recognized geriatric presence.