Michelle Lazzarotti, 732-745-8528 or 908-930-6954,

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Edna Arguello-Hitchner, 732-745-8528 or 732-853-6878,

New Brunswick, N.J. – November 11, 2019 – Saint Peter’s University Hospital is the first and only hospital in New Jersey to be recognized as an “Age-Friendly Health System – Committed to Care Excellence” by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). With this designation, Saint Peter’s has joined a nationwide movement to improve health care for older adults, contributing to a goal of 20 percent of U.S. hospitals and health systems becoming age-friendly by 2020.

“All older adults deserve safe, high-quality health care that is based on what matters most to them as individuals, and delivered reliably in every setting,” said Leslie D. Hirsch, president and chief executive officer, Saint Peter’s Healthcare System. “Our age-friendly initiative is an important part of our overarching vision to provide every older adult with high-quality, state-of-the-art care that addresses multiple, chronic conditions and aligns with their personal needs. We look forward to sharing our best practices, learning from others, and continuing to improve the care of older adults so that they may enjoy an optimum quality of life.”

An Age-Friendly Health System is one in which clinical care settings reliably implement four geriatric care practices known as the 4Ms: What Matters, Medications, Mentation and Mobility.

  • What Matters: Know and align care with each older adult’s specific health outcome goals and care preferences including, but not limited to, end-of-life care, and across settings of care.
  • Medication: If medication is necessary, use Age-Friendly medications that do not interfere with What Matters to the older adult, Mobility, or Mentation across settings of care.
  • Mentation: Prevent, identify, treat, and manage dementia, depression, and delirium across settings of care.
  • Mobility: Ensure that older adults move safely every day in order to maintain function and do What Matters.

Areas of geriatric specialty at Saint Peter’s include diabetes, diagnosis and treatment of depression and anxiety, diagnosis and treatment of memory loss, hormone replacement therapy, minimally invasive surgery, nutrition counseling, orthopedic services such as hip resurfacing and knee replacement, pain management and wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for non-healing wounds.

Several years ago when Saint Peter’s unveiled the larger, newly constructed, 29,000-square foot Robert and Joan Campbell Adult Emergency Department (ED), the facility included geriatric-friendly enhancements such as softer lighting and mattresses.

In addition, Saint Peter’s nurses have staffed offices in Monroe Township in the many adult residential communities that are located there, providing services that include blood pressure monitoring and basic blood testing. Saint Peter’s has also developed targeted programs aimed at treating patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Earlier this year, Saint Peter’s University Hospital also earned a “High Performing” rating for Geriatrics in recognition of care that was significantly better than the national average, as measured by factors such as patient outcomes. “High Performing” is the highest rating U.S. News & World Report awards for those types of care.

Saint Peter’s now joins more than 100 health systems working to improve care for older adults by providing consistently high quality and individualized treatment so that it is tailored to patients’ goals and preferences. As part of the Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative, The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the United States, are helping hospitals and other care settings implement a set of evidence-based interventions specifically designed to improve care for older adults.

The interventions can be tested and adapted by participating in Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Communities. These are collaborative entities comprised of health care teams from all over the country who are committed to sharing data and learning together. All teams strive toward reliably implementing best practices across emergency departments, intensive care units, medical-surgical units, general wards, and primary and specialty care settings.

The Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative was launched in 2017 by The John A. Hartford Foundation and IHI with a commitment to make 20 percent of hospitals and health systems in the United States age-friendly by 2020. For more information, visit


About Saint Peter’s University Hospital

Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a member of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, is a 478-bed acute-care teaching hospital sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen. Saint Peter’s is a state-designated children’s hospital and a regional perinatal center, and is a regional specialist in diabetes, gastroenterology with a specialized Heartburn and Reflux Center, oncology, orthopedics, and women’s services. The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital provides families with access to a full range of pediatric specialties, including a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, pediatric surgery and orthopedic surgery featuring innovative anterior scoliosis correction surgery. The hospital offers a midwifery service and has plans to open a brand-new state-of-the-art Birth Center in Fall 2019. Saint Peter’s is a sponsor of residency programs in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and internal medicine, and is a major clinical affiliate with Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. Visit or call 732-745-8600.

About the Institute for Healthcare Improvement

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is an independent not-for-profit organization based in Boston, Mass. For more than 25 years, IHI has used improvement science to advance and sustain better outcomes in health and health systems across the world. IHI brings awareness of safety and quality to millions, catalyzes learning and the systematic improvement of care, develops solutions to previously intractable challenges, and mobilizes health systems, communities, regions, and nations to reduce harm and deaths. IHI collaborates with a growing community to spark bold, inventive ways to improve the health of individuals and populations. IHI generates optimism, harvests fresh ideas, and supports anyone, anywhere who wants to profoundly change health and health care for the better. Learn more at