PINEHURST – Patty Upham, director of FirstHealth Home Care Services, has been elected to the governing council of the American Hospital Association’s Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation Section.
The governing council represents executives from among the nation’s leading hospitals representing rehabilitation, acute long-term care, skilled nursing, home health and continuing care services.
Council members provide input and participate in the American Hospital Association’s overall policy development process, often identifying and tracking issues of special interest to the types of organizations and services they represent. They also play a liaison role with other health care and consumer organizations concerned with similar issues.
The American Hospital Association (AHA) is the national organization that represents and serves all types of hospitals, health care networks, and their patients and communities. Close to 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 40,000 individual members come together to form the AHA.
Through representation and advocacy activities, AHA ensures that members’ perspectives and needs are heard and addressed in national health policy development, legislative and regulatory debates, and judicial matters. Advocacy efforts include the legislative and executive branches and include the legislative and regulatory arenas.
Upham has been with FirstHealth of the Carolinas since 1999. As the overall leader and manager of Home Care Services, she is responsible for the oversight of two freestanding not-for-profit home health agencies; a complex care management program for patients not eligible for home health, but requiring ongoing chronic disease support and management; and specially trained transitions nurses who are embedded in different care settings to provide support, education and care coordination for patients with chronic disease.
In 2005, Upham led a pilot study to identify the potential impact of Telehealth technology on home care. As a result of the pilot’s success, FirstHealth has received nearly $2 million in grant funding to expand its Telehealth program and is currently developing the FirstHealth Center for Telehealth to begin monitoring high-risk patients in other care settings including Community Care of the Sandhills and Pinelake Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Upham received an ADN from Hartford Community College and a B.S. degree in philosophy and English literature from Towson State University. Her clinical experience includes more than 10 years in intensive care nursing at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., and The Cornell University Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York.
She also has more than 25 years of home care experience with such organizations as the Visiting Nurse Association of Washington, D.C., and the Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey.
A member of the North Carolina Home and Hospice Care Association, Upham is a frequent speaker on the topic of care transitions and creating partnerships across the health care system.
FirstHealth of the Carolinas offers home health services in Moore, Montgomery, Richmond, Scotland, Hoke and Lee counties.