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Beebe Healthcare Nurses to Present at International Conference on Caring for Older Patients

A team of four specialized nurses from Beebe Healthcare were chosen by a national nursing organization to present information on how nurses were able to improve hospital care for Beebe’s older patient population. The NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) conference will take place in San Diego in April and attract nurses from across the country and from Canada.

NICHE, based at NYU College of Nursing, includes a network of 500 hospitals in the United States, Canada and Bermuda. It is a nurse-driven program focused on helping hospitals to improve the care of older adults. The organization collects and shares information from research and from nursing hands-on experience, and shares it with its members.

“We know that older patients can experience specific medical problems related to their hospitalization, such as delirium, when they are in a hospital environment for longer than a day,” explains Margaret Porter, RN, MSN, a nurse manager on one of the inpatient units within Beebe’s Medical Center in Lewes. “We have nurses certified by NICHE as geriatric resource nurses (GRN) who are alert to the problems and can better care for the patients, as well as support other Beebe staff members.”

Beebe became a NICHE-certified medical center in 2011. Four NICHE-certified Beebe GRN nurses will be attending the conference and presenting information on how care has been improved at Beebe. They will cite examples including a decrease in the number of patient falls and infections, and an increase in the attention Beebe staff has been giving to the special needs of the older patients. The four Beebe nurses are: Mary Koyanagi, RN; Amy Balasus, RN; Jessica Neville, RN; and nurse manager Margaret Porter, RN, MSN.

“We are looking forward to sharing our experiences and to learn what other nurses are doing so that as we learn all can continually improve the patient care that we provide,” Margaret Porter said.

Caption: pictured here are NICHE-certified nurses, left to right: Mary Koyanagi, RN; Patti West, RN; Dareth Penuel, RN: nurse manager Margaret Porter, RN, MSN; Jessica Neville, RN; and Amy Balasus, RN.

Beebe Healthcare is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. It offers services throughout Southern Delaware including a 210-licensed-bed hospital, a cancer center, and outpatient facilities at multiple sites providing walk-in care, lab, imaging, and physical rehab services.