Block letters reading "PACE"

STEPS program becomes PACE

Monday, July 1, 2019 |
Bayhealth launched its STEPS to Healthy Aging Program (STEPS) over 20 years ago. “At first, it was mostly a walking program, where people met at the Blue Hen Mall,” explained Bayhealth Clinical Educator Terry Towne, MSN, RN-BC, NE-BC. Over the years, blood pressure monitoring clinics and lectures covering a variety of health topics were added.

Last fall, Bayhealth’s Education department decided to revamp and rename STEPS to better reflect what the program is about. The new PACE Program — PACE stands for Promoting Active Community Engagement — began in January. It includes monthly clinics with individualized counseling from a registered nurse based on each participant’s health problems, medications and blood pressure, as well as quarterly lectures.

Unlike STEPS, which required participants to register and was for those age 50 and older, PACE is available to anyone interested in living a healthier life. However, as Towne explained, a top goal is to involve more of the underserved and homeless populations, as well as those with limited or no healthcare options. That’s why monthly clinics at Dover Interfaith were added.

“PACE targets people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, COPD, and depression, those at risk for heart attack and stroke, and those dealing with tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse,” said Towne. “The program is designed to better educate and engage them in their health to promote more self-care, which will ultimately help lower readmission rates.”

Currently, each PACE clinic is staffed with two educators. Plans are underway to put participants’ charts into the electronic health record system, Epic, which will save time and make it easier for staff to track changes and for providers to better communicate, as they all can access the charts. Towne says while participants may go to different clinic locations, for the best outcomes they’re encouraged to attend one location.

PACE is free, registration is not required, and participants may invite others to join them. Clinics are held monthly from 9 to 11 a.m. on designated dates in Dover, Lincoln and Milford. First-timers receive a full health assessment that covers lifestyle habits, as well as weight, blood pressure and pulse rate/oximetry. Lectures are held quarterly. The remaining 2019 topics address arthritis, healthy cooking and lung health.

For specific dates and locations, call 302-744-7135 or visit Bayhealth's Classes and Events page to learn more.