SMH Earns NICHE Designation for Geriatric Care Initiatives

SMH Earns NICHE Designation for Geriatric Care Initiatives

Thursday, July 13, 2017

SARASOTA (July 13, 2017) – Roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 today, and about 10,000 more will cross that threshold every day for the next 15 years, when the last Boomer is due to reach retirement age.

In the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton region, there are twice as many people over age 65 as the national average, which is why becoming a NICHE hospital is so important, said Sarasota Memorial’s Advanced Practice Geriatric Nurse Karen Reynolds, DNP. 

NICHE – which stands for Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders – is a special designation awarded to hospitals implementing system-wide interventions and initiatives that promote excellent outcomes in patients 65 and older. Sarasota Memorial is one of 766 hospitals internationally that has earned the designation.

“We are honored to be designated and join this international effort to improve care for older adults,” said Reynolds, who is spearheading NICHE initiatives at Sarasota Memorial. “Older patients face greater challenges today than previous generations – higher incidences of chronic disease, more complicated medical conditions and increasingly complex technologies, therapies and treatments. It is imperative that healthcare providers across the nation do all that we can to introduce better programs and care models to enhance geriatric care in our society.”

Participation in the prestigious NICHE program confirms Sarasota Memorial’s commitment to achieve the best possible outcomes for older patients through evidence-based, age-sensitive nursing care and comprehensive support for families and caregivers. Approximately 63 percent of SMH’s inpatient admissions are 65 years and older.

Based at the New York University College of Nursing, the NICHE program collaborates with more than 43,000 healthcare providers around the world on geriatric issues and has developed a comprehensive curriculum and care model to help improve the older patient's experience and enhance the effectiveness and satisfaction of staff working with seniors.

About Sarasota Memorial

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 900,000 patient visits each year. Sarasota Memorial’s flagship 829-bed, acute-care hospital has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s largest, and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services — from urgent care and trauma and emergency services to laboratory and diagnostic imaging, home health, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation. Sarasota Memorial is the only hospital in Florida to earn a five-star ranking from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for quality and safety.  For information, visit