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Updated: 06/19/2014 08:00:02AM
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NuHope says grant would help ease hospital readmission

Dear Editor:

On behalf of NU-HOPE Elder Care Services, I would like to extend my gratitude to the Highlands County Hospital District board for recommending our agency again receive a Health Services grant from the Highlands County Board of County Commissioners.

This grant will continue funding for a unique program that addresses a serious issue that impacts people of all ages: preventable hospital readmissions.

Hospital readmissions are, unfortunately, a common occurrence. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that 15-23 percent of all hospital admissions resulted in readmission within 30 days of discharge. The cost of unplanned hospital readmissions is also very expensive, exceeding $17 billion annually. Just as important, however, is the impact that such readmissions have on the patients’ emotional and physical well-being.

Nutrition plays a critical role in the body’s ability to recover when stressed by illness or injury. Common health conditions such as heart and respiratory disease, diabetes, and kidney disease can also be affected by nutritional intake. Research shows that hospital patients who do not receive critical nutrients during the period immediately following discharge from the hospital are at higher risk for further decline and hospital readmission.

Through the NU-HOPE Hospital Discharge Meal Program, hospital patients who are at risk of readmission due to nutrition-related factors can receive specially designed frozen meals as part of the discharge process. These meals are created to meet precise dietary guidelines in 13 key nutritional areas and meet the dietary requirements for common health conditions such as COPD, CHF, diabetes, and kidney disease.

We are grateful to be considered for this award, as receiving it will provide 300 Highlands County residents with the nutritional support necessary to maximize their recovery and reduce their risk of hospital readmission.

This program represents just one of the ways in which NU-HOPE strives to meet the needs of our community.

Since 1975, NU-HOPE has served as the community’s primary advocate and provider of non-medical services for the seniors of our community. During this time, our services have allowed thousands of older adults to maintain their independence, remain in their own homes, and avoid or delay nursing home placement.

Assistance provided includes home delivered meals, group dining, homemaking and transportation assistance, help with bathing/dressing, respite and monthly stipends for caregivers, telephone-based safety monitoring, and assistance purchasing consumable medical supplies.

I am proud to say that NU-HOPE enhances the lives of over 800 seniors every year by providing ongoing and/or crisis services.

I am also humble in knowing that we could not achieve our important mission without the support of our entire community. Every year we must obtain over $325,000 in local support in order to maintain services at current levels. Even with such support, over 400 seniors will remain on waiting lists, unable to obtain the help they need due to a lack of funding.

Every dollar that we receive, every person we serve, and every unit of service that we provide is important.

In the days ahead, I look forward to meeting with the Highlands County Board of County Commissioners, as well as with other government, business, and community leaders, to discuss the comprehensive needs of seniors and ways in which we may continue to work together to successfully meet their needs.

Again, let me thank the Highlands County Hospital District Board for their dedication to addressing the needs of our community. Their support and encouragement is greatly appreciated.


Ingra Gardner, MA

Executive Director

NU-HOPE Elder Care Services, Inc.

Reach a Child book donation appreciated

Dear Editor:

On behalf of Reach a Child I would like to give a heartfelt “thank you” to Theresa Rhoades and her family from Lake Placid, and Darleen Pierce from Cape Coral, for the boxes of new and gently used books donated to the Lake Placid Reach a Child program.

These books are placed into red backpacks and placed in the vehicles of first responders. The books can be given away to any child, not necessarily ones in crisis. It is all a matter of establishing a positive relationship at an early age that will carry on as the child ages. This is true crime prevention. It really does make a difference in the lives of kids.

Donations of new or gently used children’s books can be dropped off at the Lake Placid Radio Shack, 60 Tower St., Lake Placid, on an ongoing basis. For more information call Carol Pollard at 863-243-1200 or visit the website at

Carol Pollard

Lake Placid Reach a Child


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