CareWell Services Southwest, the Area Agency on Aging covering Calhoun and Barry counties, recently received recognition from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) with a 2019 Aging Innovations Award, the highest honor presented by n4a to member agencies. The awards program is supported by WellCare Health Plans. CareWell Services was among the top 16 of 48 local aging programs to receive honors during the n4a Annual Conference & Tradeshow, July 27-31, New Orleans.

The 2019 n4a Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards recognizes Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and Title VI Native American aging programs that develop and implement cutting-edge approaches to support older adults, people with disabilities, and their family caregivers. Among the selection criteria was the ease with which other agencies could replicate the program in their communities.  

“n4a is thrilled to present the Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards to a diverse and talented group of Area Agencies on Aging. We are happy to say that every corner of the country is represented in the 2019 awards this year” said Sandy Markwood, Chief Executive Officer of n4a. “[W]e commend them all and urge them to continue creating great programs like the ones highlighted in this year’s 2019 Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards,” Markwood said.

CareWell received the award for the Care Connection Health Intervention Program (C-CHIP), a collaboration with Oaklawn Hospital and local pharmacy Hemmingsen Drug Store, which aims to reduce burdens and increase joy by reaching older adults who have limited health literacy living in rural areas by visiting them in their homes.

Through the program patients receive a visit from a certified community health worker. During the visits, the health worker uses technology to communicate with the patient’s pharmacist and primary care office in real time to get answers to medication questions, conduct a Medication Therapy Management (MTM) review, and more.

Since the start of the program, of the 198 referrals, 141 received in-home visits with options counseling, health coaching and resource navigation. The hospital readmission rate for qualifying referrals was only three percent. Overall, patient self-management confidence increased to 92.8 percent from 78 percent, as reported through the Self-Management Confidence Scale.

The 2019 n4a Aging Innovations Awards honored traditional and new strategies in a range of categories including Caregiving, Health-LTSS Integration, Healthy Aging, Housing, Information & Referral/Access to Services, Nutrition and Transportation & Mobility. 

All winners are showcased in the n4a awards book 

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