Grand Opening of Mercy LIFE of Alabama
March 20, 2012
Pictured at the grand opening of the Mercy LIFE Center at 2900 Springhill Avenue are some of the leaders that made PACE possible in Alabama - from left are Jan Sticka, RN, BSN, Pace Program Unit MC Division of the Alabama Medicaid Agency; Sr. Deborah Kennedy, RSM, Mercy Medical vice president of mission; Linda Lackey, PACE Associate Director MC division of the Alabama Medicaid Agency; Dr. Eugene Lammers, Medical Director of Mercy LIFE; Diane Lancaster, executive director of Mercy LIFE of Alabama; and Dr. Mullins, State of Alabama Medicaid Commissioner.
The traditional Blessing of the Mercy LIFE building commenced the grand opening on Friday, March 16, 2012 as more than 100 attendees celebrated in this historic occasion. Pictured are (center) the Most Reverend Thomas J. Rodi, Archbishop of Mobile, (left) Sr. Deborah Kennedy, RSM, Mercy Medical vice president of mission; and right Patrick Bolton, chaplain of Mercy LIFE.
Cutting the ribbon for the grand opening of the Mercy LIFE Center from left are Diane Lancaster, executive director of Mercy LIFE of Alabama; Dennis Shortridge, Mercy Medical Board of Trustees; Ray Moore, Mercy Medical Board of Trustees Chairperson; Dr. Mullins, State of Alabama Medicaid Commissioner; and Sister Suzanne Ashton, RSM, M.D., Mercy Medical Board of Trustees.
Mercy Medical celebrated its grand opening of its Mercy LIFE Center on Friday, March 16, 2012 from 2 to 5 pm at 2900 Springhill Avenue in Mobile. A press conference was held on site one hour prior led by R. Bob Mullins, M.D., State of Alabama Medicaid Commissioner. Dr. Mullins announced three new long-term care options for the elderly and disabled Medicaid recipients. The three programs included the PACE program (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) offered at the Mercy LIFE center, the Alabama Community Transition (ACT) waiver to help nursing facility residents move to the community, and a specialized program that will allow ventilator-dependent Medicaid recipients to get care within the state.
Dr. Mullins, who had a family practice in Valley, Alabama for 37 years, shared “It wasn’t long ago that I would say to families, you have three options for your loved one. They can move in with you, you can move in with them, or they can move into a nursing home. Today is an historic day because now you have another choice, Mercy LIFE.”
Mercy LIFE is the first PACE program in Alabama, making Alabama the 31st state to provide the option. The PACE program features a comprehensive medical and social service delivery system using an interdisciplinary team approach in an adult day health center that is supplemented by in-home and referral services in accordance to the participant’s needs. In order to be eligible for PACE a person must be aged 55 or older, eligible for nursing home care, and live in an area served by a PACE program. Services provided through Mercy LIFE include primary and specialty medical care; nursing care; prescription and over-the-counter medications; occupational, physical and speech therapies; in-home assistance with bathing and dressing; social work services; dental care; audiology, vision care; nursing home services and podiatry.
The grand opening of Mercy LIFE highlighted the benefits of the PACE program, commenced with a blessing by the Most Reverend Thomas J. Rodi, archbishop of Mobile, with brief presentations by Dr. Mullins, Jake Bell, Mercy Medical CEO and president; Ray Moore, Mercy Medical Board of Trustees chairperson; Sister Suzanne Ashton, RSM, M.D., Mercy Medical Board of Trustees; and Diane Lancaster, executive director of Mercy LIFE of Alabama. Participant stories and a testimonial by Rosetta, a PACE participant, reiterated how vital the program is for the disabled and elderly.
Tours were available as more than 100 attendees celebrated the historic occasion enjoying gourmet refreshments and music by volunteers that included Timothy Mills on piano, Mahlon McCracken on harp accompanied by his wife Ginger on piano and eight-year old Christopher Conger on violin accompanied by his grandmother Julie Council on accordion. Taking a tour of the center feels like a historic walk in some of Mobile’s oldest communities. Murals, artwork, and archived photographs line the halls to invite anyone who visits a glimpse of Mobile’s past and its future. Many volunteers, artists, interior designers and visionaries collaborated on the beautiful Mercy LIFE Center. The center features a health clinic, PT/OT gym, kitchen, four day rooms for activities, a cafe, a chapel, a laundry room, nurses’ stations, a family room, lobby and waiting areas, a family conference room, and offices for staff, doctors and healthcare professionals.
Since January of 2012, twenty three participants have been enrolled into PACE at the Mercy LIFE Center with plans to enroll as many as 200 participants this year. To schedule a tour or request more information please call 251-287-8420 or visit www.mercylifeal.com.