Grace Cottage recognized as Age-Friendly

TOWNSHEND, Vt. – Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital has joined a nationwide initiative to improve health care specifically for older adults.

In its letter congratulating Grace Cottage for its “Age-Friendly” certification, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement calls Grace Cottage “a leader in this rapidly growing movement committed to care of older adults.”

Grace Cottage is among the first health systems in the country to implement the IHI guidelines for “age-friendly” health care. So far, just over 600 healthcare institutions in the entire country have been named “Age-Friendly Health Systems.”

“Older adults are living and working longer, and our approach recognizes the unique needs of these important members of our community,” says Grace Cottage geriatrician Dr. Ron Vallario. “We are honored to be recognized.”

The IHI designation is based on a review of Grace Cottage’s clinical care in four main areas, what the IHI calls the 4Ms: What Matters, Medication, Mentation, and Mobility. Grace Cottage has proven that it provides patient-centered care, guided by what is most important to the individual patient – what matters. It also aims to prevent, identify, treat, and manage dementia, depression, and delirium – mentation – and to encourage older adults to move safely every day – mobility. And, when medication is necessary, Grace Cottage providers choose medicines and dosages with the least impact on the other three Ms.

The “Age-Friendly” designation is part of an initiative organized by The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the U.S. The aim is to provide guidance and recognition for healthcare institutions seeking to provide the best “age-friendly” primary care for older adults.

Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital includes a 19-bed hospital and ER, a primary care clinic, full-service lab and radiology departments, and both inpatient and outpatient physical and occupational therapy. The Messenger Valley Pharmacy, a full retail pharmacy owned by Grace Cottage, is located across the street from the hospital. For more information, go to or call 802-365-7357.

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