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Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center Partners with Bethune-Cookman University

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., January 7, 2014 – Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center has partnered with Bethune-Cookman University to pilot a program in 2014 called Florida Hospital Community Care to help local residents in-need manage their chronic diseases, such as heart disease or diabetes.

Patients who receive care at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center and meet a certain criteria, including medical history of chronic diseases and financial need, will be eligible for enrollment in Florida Hospital Community Care.

Through this program, a team of clinicians including a registered nurse, social worker, dietician, and counselor, supported by a team of student health coaches from Bethune-Cookman University, will coordinate post-discharge care for patients with limited resources to manage their chronic conditions.

“This is an innovative way to provide care to our patients who do not have the necessary resources to do it on their own,” said Ron Jimenez, MD, Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center Chief Medical Officer. “Once these patients leave the hospital, a team will coordinate care for them indefinitely, free of charge. No one else in the area is doing anything like this, especially partnering with a university to train students.”

In January 2014, Dr. Jimenez and Jill Piazza, Florida Hospital Volusia/Flagler Director of Health and Performance, will teach a class called “Community Healthcare: From Theory to Practice” at Bethune-Cookman University’s College of Health Science Honors College. This seminar will be an elective for sophomore and junior pre-medicine and other health sciences majors, and will offer them training on how to be a health coach.

The semester following, these students will be enrolled in a practicum internship with Florida Hospital Community Care. Through this program, these students will be paired with patients to help coach them and emphasize compliance with the personalized health plan mapped out by the Florida Hospital Community Care team. As a health coach, students will aim to reduce what ultimately falls through the cracks and can escalate into costly and overwhelming health problems; this includes helping patients avoid missing appointments, misunderstandings and noncompliance with prescribed health regiments.

“This is a hands-on internship,” said Piazza. “These students will gain real world experience as they interact with patients and write and present case reports to the Florida Hospital Community Care team each week.”

The program will accept 50 patients in 2014, with plans to grow in time, both in numbers and in reach by expanding to other area Florida Hospital locations. 

About Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center
Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center is a nonprofit health-care organization committed to hope, health and healing. A recipient of the 2012 Florida Governor’s Sterling Award for performance excellence, and named the safest hospital in the state by Consumer Reports, Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center is a national leader in patient experience. The medical center includes two hospitals in Daytona Beach and Ormond Beach, a Comprehensive Cancer Center on the main campus in Daytona Beach, an outpatient facility in Port Orange, and an imaging center. With more than 1,800 employees and employed physicians, Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center is a member of Adventist Health System which operates 44 hospitals in 10 states. For more information, call (386) 231-6000 or visit www.floridahospitalmemorial.org.