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Patient-Centered Approach to Care Must Account for Cultural Sensitivity

Boston Globe Opinion Piece by Wayne Lowell, President & CEO of Senior Whole Health
Published March 24, 2016

IKE SWETLITZ describes a movement that has the potential to revolutionize how the health care profession looks at and treats different races (“New lessons about race and health,” Stat, March 14). But we should consider going even further by extending this new approach to ethnicity while avoiding both biological and cultural stereotypes.

Health care is already moving in the direction of individualized care. A patient assessment should look beyond race, gender, and even age, and include such health determinants as community supports, the safety of the patient’s neighborhood, and the patient’s family structure. When possible, the assessment should be conducted by a care worker with the same ethnicity as the patient, and the individualized care plan should be delivered in a culturally sensitive way. This would lead to better adherence by the patient.

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Lessons From a Decade of Caring for the Elderly

Lowell, MA., September 26, 2014 —A lot happened in 2004. The Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years and the New England Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVIII. Google launched Gmail. Former President Ronald Regan passed away and the popular sitcom "Friends" aired its finale.

In health care, something less noticed but nonetheless momentous was taking place. Massachusetts was launching a new, bold, experimental model in senior care – one that would come to shape our entire health care system.

Ten years after signing up its first member, Senior Whole Health recently topped 10,000 members, including nearly 1,000 in Middlesex County.

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SWH Names New Massachusetts President

Veteran Health Plan Executive Becomes President of Senior Whole Health of Massachusetts 

CAMBRIDGE, MA, Aug. 28, 2014 – M. Keith Peifer, a veteran health plan executive with a track record of growing membership, has been named president of Senior Whole Health (SWH) of Massachusetts, the company announced today.

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A Fruitless Fight to Die at Home

October 5, 2014 — The New York Times

To the Editor:

Your article describes an all-too-typical scenario for seniors who want their final days to have quality and meaning. There is a solution, but it needs to be more quickly and fully embraced by policy makers and the health care community.

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