Dr. Teresa DeLellis, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Manchester University, helped develop and implement new policies and protocols for senior emergency care, including data tracking and quality improvement programs. In addition to her faculty role, she also holds an appointment as a clinical pharmacy specialist in geriatrics and transitions of care at Dupont Hospital. She has been “going for the gold” since she led a compliance initiative in 2018 that earned Dupont Hospital a Bronze Level 3 Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation. After a rigorous process, interrupted by COVID-19, her goal was realized in August when the hospital advanced to the highest standard: a Gold Level 1 accreditation in geriatric care. “As a clinician and educator, it has been rewarding to help implement geriatric-based health education for the emergency department staff who worked hard to achieve this level of care,” DeLellis said. She has a clinical practice at the Fort Wayne hospital, which is the 11th in the country to achieve the Gold status.
The American College of Emergency Physicians, with support from the Gary and Mary West Health Institute and John A. Hartford Foundation, launched the accreditation program in 2018 to recognize those emergency departments that provide excellent care for older adults. For Dupont Hospital CEO Dr. Lorenzo Suter, the Level 1 transition validates the skills of Dupont’s nurses, physicians, pharmacists and technicians in treating seniors.
"Our facility is dedicated to our mature population,” said Suter. “To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.” Identified as the most vulnerable population affected by the pandemic, seniors’ healthcare quickly rose to the forefront last spring. With board certifications in geriatric pharmacy and as a pharmacotherapy specialist, DeLellis was prepared for the challenges ahead.