On Lok Hosts Conference to Explore Feasibility of PACE for Rural Seniors

Policy Conference Brings Together Leaders in Eldercare To Advance Innovative Care Model in Rural California

Jun 22, 2010, 10:00 ET from On Lok, Inc.

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- California State Assembly Member Wesley Chesbro joins On Lok, Inc., and other California and national senior care leaders June 23 and 24 at Making PACE a Reality in Rural California, a policy conference that will address the feasibility of bringing the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) to rural California. The SCAN Foundation of Long Beach, California, is supporting this conference through a grant to On Lok.

Hosted by On Lok, the nonprofit organization that founded the nationally acclaimed Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and oversees 10 PACE centers in the San Francisco Bay Area, the conference will explore the complex needs of California's rural elderly. Compared with urban seniors, California's rural elderly tend to be in poorer health and face greater difficulty accessing essential care services. Low-income and disabled seniors are among those who suffer the most. To date, no large-scale policy efforts have succeeded in ensuring their access to health care.

Making PACE a Reality in Rural California comes on the heels of stakeholder meetings in Riverside, San Joaquin and Humboldt Counties, where On Lok met with local eldercare providers to evaluate the viability of bringing PACE to their communities. Local providers believe this care model will dramatically improve services for their frail elderly and are continuing to work with On Lok to explore this possibility.

"On Lok and PACE organizations nationwide are dedicated to providing comprehensive health care and social services that allow seniors to continue living in the comfort of their own homes rather than moving to a nursing facility," said Robert Edmondson, CEO and Executive Director of On Lok. "We want to expand our focus to help rural Californians, who are seriously underserved."

On Lok and other PACE centers provide the full spectrum of care services to enable frail seniors to continue living at home. The majority of PACE centers are located in densely populated urban areas, but PACE has been introduced in several rural areas across the country with great success.

The conference will include keynote addresses and plenary sessions with urban and rural providers, National PACE Association leadership staff and other California stakeholders including legislators, state regulators and foundations.

The conference will take place at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento at 1230 J Street. It begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 23, with a reception and registration. The work sessions are scheduled Thursday, June 24, with Assemblymember Chesbro giving his keynote during the noon luncheon. The program will include action planning and small group discussions before adjourning at 3:30 p.m.

About On Lok

On Lok pioneered the PACE model of care more than 37 years ago; this model has since been replicated at 72 programs in 31 states. On Lok and other PACE sites provide frail seniors with the necessary primary and preventive care, nutrition, prescription drugs, physical therapy, social services and other acute and long-term care participants need in order to live at home rather than in a nursing facility. Participants pay no out-of-pocket costs if they are recipients of Medicare and Medi-Cal.

SOURCE On Lok, Inc.