Judy Gardetto donates $1.1M to enhance care for older adults

Judy Gardetto’s generous gift will expand and enhance care for aging adults.

Community philanthropist and founder of Gardetto’s snack mix, Judy Gardetto, will donate $1.1 million to enhance care for older patients through Aurora Health Care’s Aging Well initiative. This generous gift will help Advocate Aurora Health transform the health care services and experiences of aging adults by creating a diverse collection of programs through an integrated and preventative approach to health and staffed by trained professionals to meet the unique health needs of older adults.

Gardetto’s gift will support the development and expansion of the Aging Well initiative which has three main objectives: reduce the risk of falls, decrease Emergency Department recidivism and lower hospital readmission rates. Professional teams will work together in all of Aurora’s fourteen Emergency Departments, clinics and communities to improve the coordination of care at all sites.

“With the generous gift from the Gardetto family, we will expand our training programs so that our health professionals are using geriatrics principles as they care for vulnerable older patients,” explained Dr. Michael Malone, Medical Director of Aurora Senior Services & Aurora Health at Home. “This includes evidence-based falls prevention, tools to identify older adults at risk for returning to the Emergency Department, and protocols and resources to help patients and their families when they transition care from the hospital to home.”

Gardetto wanted to support Dr. Malone’s research because she has seen firsthand how much he cares about his patients. She was also motivated by enhancing access to these programs. “As you get older, these are the kinds of issues we start to get concerned about,” Gardetto shared. “Too many people don’t have the kind of help or resources around them that I have. That’s why I’m doing this.”

“We’re so grateful to have visionary donors like Judy Gardetto who share our values and serve as a catalyst to enable us to develop new ways to provide excellent, coordinated and compassionate care for our older patients,” shared Jim Skogsbergh, President and CEO of Advocate Aurora Health.

These geriatric programs will eventually be expanded across the Advocate Aurora footprint, enabling Gardetto’s gift to have an even greater impact.