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Astorino Announces Telehealth Initiative For Seniors

Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino watches as volunteer technician João Pinto, a student at Pace University, takes the vital signs of Shirley Hunter, a resident of the Soundview Apartments at United Hebrew in New Rochelle. Photo Credit: Courtesy Westchester County
Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino explains the new Telehealth Intervention Programs for Seniors (TIPS) as Commissioner Mae Carpenter listens. Photo Credit: Courtesy Westchester County

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- County Executive Rob Astorino is launching a "Telehealth" program to help monitor senior citizens' health.

The program, known as the Telehealth Intervention Programs for Seniors (TIPS), "uses technology to remotely monitor seniors' health as a way to improve a person's quality of life while also reducing healthcare costs," according to a press release.

TIPS uses three elements to help Westchester’s seniors age successfully and avoid unplanned hospital and other medical visits, according to the release:

  • Clinical monitoring of vital signs, including blood pressure, pulse, oxygen levels and weight.
  • A complete benefits “check-up” to make sure seniors are aware of all social programs available.
  • Hands-on, intergenerational support from a network of volunteers, including graduate student nurses and college students from Pace University.

“TIPS empowers seniors be active partners in their own health care,” said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “We value our seniors here in Westchester, and we want them to age successfully. We also realize that skyrocketing healthcare costs require us to be innovative. TIPS is at the forefront, bringing together high-tech and high-touch for the benefit of our seniors. We are excited to roll it out across Westchester.”

TIPS builds on the Livable Communities Initiative, "which put Westchester on the map as one of the first seven places nationwide to receive AARP’s prestigious designation of an 'Age-Friendly Community,' which was given in partnership with the World Health Organization," according to the release.

TIPS will be available throughout the county at senior centers, senior apartment buildings, houses of worship and libraries.

“Telehealth has become a common and trusted tool to help seniors age better, but TIPS is much more all-inclusive than other programs,” said Mae Carpenter, commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services. “Westchester is leading the way in telehealth services by combining the best technology available for remote monitoring with other well-established Westchester programs, like Care Circles and Caregiver Coaching.”

TIPS was developed in collaboration with Pace University, a partnership that began in 2005 and expanded in 2013 to include pilots of the telehealth program at several test sites. To date, more than 140 seniors have participated, according to the release.

“This is a natural partnership,” said David Sachs, professor of Information Technology at Pace Seidenberg School of Computer and Information Systems. “Working with the Department of Senior Programs and Services on this strategic telehealth initiative only makes good sense. We know that TIPS will make a difference in the lives and in the health of seniors.”

For more information about the TIPS program, all 914-813-6408 or visit the Westchester County TIPS webpage.

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