Coordination of Jewish Hospitals Discussed at Two-day Parley

A steady trend towards increased coordination of Jewish general hospitals and other institutions concerned with care for the chronically ill is causing a greater integration of health and other services, it was reported yesterday at a nationwide conference here on Jewish community and hospital planning for the long-term patient.

More than 150 professional and volunteer leaders of hospitals, federations, homes for the aged. U.S. Public Health Service, family service and vocational agencies and other groups concerned with programming and caring for the chronically ill took part in the two-day conference, which was sponsored by the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. Conclusions reached by the welfare and community representatives in a series of concurrent workshop sessions were:

1. Most of the more than 5,000,000 long-term patients can best be cared for at home in friendly, familiar surroundings and under the care of a medical-social team able to provide a variety of specialized services, supplementing the care provided by the family physician.

2. An essential part of treating the long-term patient is keeping up his confidence and will to overcome his disability as far as possible. Occupational therapy and recreation are two means of accomplishing this.

3. Each community should survey its facilities and formulate a program tailored to its own needs. The community plan for the care of the chronically ill rests on two foundations: the hospital, and some kind of institution capable of providing continuous, supervised nursing care, regardless of the age of the patient.

4. There are pressures to build facilities without regard to an integrated community plan. All interested agencies and organizations–federations, hospitals, homes for the aged, nursing homes, family and vocational agencies–must be involved in the planning to assure a fully integrated program.

The conference was formally opened Saturday night at a dinner meeting. Dr. Milton Terris, Assistant Dean for Post Graduate Studies at the University of Buffalo School of Medicine, warned the medical and social work leaders that the constantly rising demands in caring for long-term patients are threatening “to overwhelm us in their immensity and intensity.” Louis Stern, chairman of the Health Planning Committee of the CJFWF, and general chairman of the two-day meeting, termed the problem of the long-term patient the top priority community problem.

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