Winona Health physician and geriatrician Jennifer Forsyth, DO, now sees people at their senior living, assisted living and long-term care residences so they do not have to make a trip to the clinic for their doctor appointments. In addition, Dr. Forsyth currently continues to see patients in the clinic one day a week.
According to Robin Hoeg, chief operating officer hospital and primary care services, this community-based care model improves access to care for those who have difficulty traveling to appointments either because of a lack of convenient transportation or because of mobility challenges. “We are always looking for ways to improve healthcare and access to care. Providing care in congregate living communities can be so much more efficient when a doctor or associate provider can go to the residents rather than having each resident make a trip to the doctor,” she said.
The increased efficiency, while likely one of the most obvious benefits, is not the most important.
“When I see a person in their own home – their own space, I get a much better picture of their day-to-day life, their priorities and challenges,” Dr. Forsyth said. “In my experience, most are also more likely to be relaxed enough to ask questions and take in the information that will be most helpful to them. So, having their appointment in their home also has the potential to improve their care and, therefore, their overall health and well-being.”
Cheryl Krage, director of assisted living at Winona Health, said, “Receiving care in the comfort of their home makes it so convenient for residents and their families. Dr. Forsyth really gets to know residents and their different health goals and challenges. Residents can have their family member at their doctor visit, but instead of spending their time together getting to and from a doctor appointment, they can enjoy more time relaxing together.”
Dr. Forsyth joined Winona Health’s family medicine team in 2015. In addition to being a board-certified family medicine physician, Dr. Forsyth is also certified in geriatric medicine. She said, “The complexity of human biology is fascinating. The best part of my work is meeting and getting to know my patients. I enjoy really listening to them and hearing their story, and it seems like they are very comfortable talking to me. That relationship is especially helpful in providing the best care for them.”
Dr. Forsyth currently provides in-home appointments at the following residences: St. Anne, Sauer Health Care, Senior Living at Watkins, Adith Miller and Roger Metz manors, Callista Court, Sugarloaf Senior Living, Brookdale Senior Living, Lewiston Senior Living and Speltz Estates. Winona Health’s goal is to expand into the senior independent living residences, as well. Those who would like to be added to her schedule should talk with the residence director or call Winona Health Family Medicine at 507-457-7648 and asked to be scheduled with Dr. Forsyth for a home visit.
To learn more about Dr. Forsyth or other healthcare providers at Winona Health, visit winonahealth.org and click “Find a Provider.”