Essex, VT – Governor Shumlin joined Cathedral Square at Town Meadow Senior Housing in Essex on October 22nd to announce a two year federal funding extension of Vermont’s innovative Support And Services at Home (SASH) program.
The recent decision from the federal Office of Management and Budget provides funding for SASH through December 31, 2016. Without the extension, SASH would have lost federal support at the end of the current calendar year.
“Support And Services at Home, combined with the Blueprint for Health, is improving Vermonters’lives and saving money,” said Governor Shumlin. “The feds continued funding this vital program because they recognize it’s delivering results.”
Shumlin added: “Without much fanfare, thousands of Vermonters are benefiting from this component of Vermont’s health care reform efforts.”
The SASH program is a three year‐old initiative which coordinates the health care and wellness services of older Vermonters using affordable housing locations as the centerpiece of a team of providers. SASH operates in every Vermont county and currently serves more than 4000
Vermonters in 118 sites spanning every county in the state. Town Meadow in Essex was one of the first SASH locations in Vermont. “ It seemed obvious to us that strategies to improve the health and wellbeing of Vermont elders should include the professionals with whom they spend the vast majority of their time,” said Nancy Eldridge, Cathedral Square’s Executive Director. “Staff at Cathedral Square and our SASH housing partners interact with residents every day and are well positioned to coordinate the services they need.”
Vermont is one of just six states selected by OMB for continued participation in the Multi‐payer Advanced Primary Care Practice (MAPCP) Demonstration program in order to test innovative, cost-effective methods of delivering health services to Medicare beneficiaries. SASH is a component of Vermont’s innovation model.
Eldridge also highlighted the improved health outcomes of SASH participants, citing a 41% reduction in falls, an increase in the percentage of participants receiving flu vaccinations, and increases in the number of participants who are controlling their blood pressure.
Eldridge described the critical partnership between the Blueprint for Health and SASH, crediting the Blueprint’s director, Dr. Craig Jones, with recognizing the important link between affordable housing and health care.
For more information about SASH, visit www.sashvt.org.