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Aging Well initiative receives generous gift to help older adults live well

Stanley Kritzik

Stanley Kritzik recently made a significant gift to the Stanley Kritzik Innovation Fund to support the care of older adults across Advocate Aurora Health and in our communities. The donation will enhance programs and speed innovation for the Aging Well initiative, which is led by Michael Malone, MD, Medical Director of Aurora Senior Services.

“Stanley has been such a wonderful partner in helping us describe the unmet needs of our elderly patients and then reframe those as opportunities to better serve them,” Dr. Malone shared. “He has helped us fill a gap and then leverage that across the system.”

As a past Chairman of the Aurora Health Care board of directors and the Aurora Sinai Medical Center board of directors, Stanley Kritzik has been a true leader in establishing Advocate Aurora Health as the top-12 nonprofit health system it is today. He is passionate about supporting research that enables older adults to live their longest, healthiest lives possible. In 2017, he established the Stanley Kritzik Innovation Fund to advance patient-driven research and transform care.

“What I’m looking for is a variety of cures and solutions so that people will die of old age and not of dementia or other diseases,” he said. The Stanley Kritzik Innovation Fund will support the Aging Well initiative in the following priority areas:

  1. Educate and train our interdisciplinary workforce, patients and their families on geriatric principles and tools to age well. Train our team members across care settings, including hospital, home and community, in best practices.
  2. Develop innovative care models that identify and address the unique needs of older adults in multiple settings where they receive care. Transform clinical care for older adults across the care continuum by disseminating best practice models, including the Age Friendly Health System, and implement new programs to address the needs of vulnerable older adults.
  3. Leverage technology and the electronic health record to provide seamless care throughout the continuum. Enhance existing software programming for Geriatric Fast Facts and implement the eConsult program to provide access to expert geriatrics consultation in rural and remote settings.
  4. Conduct research and develop innovations, with a focus on memory care, care transitions and supporting the Journal of Geriatric Emergency Medicine, to provide the best and appropriate care plan for each patient.
  5. Strengthen community partnerships, including AARP, Alzheimer’s Association, and community-based falls preventions programs.

Dr. Malone shared that most geriatricians in Wisconsin are in the Milwaukee area, so if an elderly patient is hospitalized outside metro Milwaukee, he or she is often cared for by a hospitalist.

“By the time folks have been in the hospital for a number of days and a geriatrician is called, the trajectory of their course has momentum in the wrong way. We are trying to put programs into place, and then share them with our hospitals and communities, so that the continuum of care will go upstream right away.”

The goal is to keep elderly patients out of the hospital and in the comforts of their homes as much as possible. Dr. Malone says it’s about preparing health systems to be age-friendly, and this gift from the Stanley Kritzik Innovation Fund moves us much quicker in that direction.

“I’m pretty lucky. I have an office to go to and can still drive a car. I think people who aren’t as fortunate as I am need the stimulation to stay alert and active,” Stanley explained. “Dr. Malone’s teachings are helping to provide that. We’re not going to live forever, but it would be nice to fade out gracefully when the time comes.”

Stanley Kritzik’s history of generosity

Stanley’s early investments in evidence-based programs, including the Geriatric Emergency Department (Geri-ED) program and Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), have enabled Dr. Malone and his team to scale these and other initiatives across our footprint. Through Stan’s generosity, the Advocate Aurora Senior Services team has used the Stanley Kritzik Innovation Fund to drive innovation, provide geriatric excellence across our health system, and create the Aging Well initiative. His fund supports the application of new technology to aid in preventing and ultimately curing diseases impacting the aging process, including but not limited to, cardiac, cancer, and dementia. Stanley’s generous support enables Advocate Aurora Health to further its impact in the community and help our patients age well.

For more information about the Aging Well initiative, or to make a gift, please contact Robyn Wohlfeil, development director, at robyn.wohlfeil@aah.org.