Dr. Martha Carmichael is providing Island seniors with better access to specialized care and supports as the province’s first internist geriatrician.
Dr. Carmichael, who began practicing with the provincial Geriatric Program on May 1, is trained in internal medicine with a sub-specialty in geriatric medicine. Government’s balanced 2017-18 operating budget allocates $1.2 million for the Geriatric Program, which includes funding for a new geriatrician to support seniors’ care – a position filled with the recruitment of Dr. Carmichael.
“I have an incredible passion for geriatric care, and I am so pleased that I am able to practice on Prince Edward Island as part of a geriatric program that is changing the lives of Islanders and their families,” says Dr. Carmichael, who also has extra training in uncommon dementia syndromes, movement disorders, palliative care, and osteoporosis. “I feel privileged to be able to help older Islanders ‘age in place’ – avoiding admission to hospital or long-term care as much as possible – as well as being able to support them, their families, and other members of their health care team in making decisions that reflect their preferences and priorities.”
The Provincial Geriatric Program provides specialized comprehensive assessments of older adults with the goal of improving their health and/or quality of life. With a focus on function, the program supports older adults to remain as healthy and independent as possible for as long as possible. Islanders best suited for the program are older adults with multiple chronic conditions, multiple medication use, memory problems, or problems like falls, etc.
With the addition of Dr. Carmichael, the interdisciplinary provincial geriatric team now includes 2.6 FTE geriatricians, two full-time nurse practitioners and a geriatric nurse specialist.
“Dr. Carmichael is a great addition to the provincial Geriatric Program, offering an expertise that will help the program grow to best meet and support the needs of our aging population,” says Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson. “The Provincial Geriatric Program, Health PEI and our department all have a shared vision for seniors’ care in this province, and are working together to ensure appropriate, timely, and integrated health care for all older Islanders.”
Islanders need to be referred to the provincial Geriatric Program by a primary care provider. Once the referral is received, an assessment is carried out in the setting most appropriate and convenient setting for the individual – at home; in a long-term care, community care, or acute care facility; or at the Provincial Geriatric Program office.
Last year, over 2,100 Islanders were assessed by the Geriatric Program, including new referrals as well as follow-up consultations with existing clients in the program. For more information, visit the Geriatric Program, or call 902-432-2860.