For years, our region and communities across the country have relied on nursing homes to care for people who may no longer be able to live on their own, or may require a customized short-term rehabilitation program following surgery or a major health event.
However, as our population is living longer and living healthier lifestyles, the traditional approach to long-term care is now viewed from a different perspective; as a result, we are turning to partners that will provide the same excellence in quality care in a cost-effective setting that supports an independent lifestyle.
Think about this: Our region is expected to see a 23 percent increase in persons aged 65 and older between 2010 and 2020, a rate that is 15 percent greater than upstate New York as a whole. According to a 2009 regional assessment, if current population trends continue in the next 20 years, the Adirondacks will rival Florida's west coast with the oldest population in America.
Since taking sponsorship of the Uihlein and Mercy Living Centers in 2007, Adirondack Health has made it a priority to ensure the sustainability of quality care for residents in our region. As the health care needs of our community evolve, so does our approach on how to provide best-in-class care.
One of the ways we will achieve this is by seeking out partners who share our core values and commitment to the North Country. Through shared best practices and productive collaborations with other health care providers, Adirondack Health is committed to meeting our community's evolving needs.
Post Acute Partners, a fully integrated, New York state-based, post-acute-care delivery company, fits that rigorous profile. They provide quality care for more than 1,900 residents and employ more than 2,700 New Yorkers at nine skilled nursing, six assisted living and two independent living facilities in the state. By partnering together on the Uihlein Living Center campus, we will promote an integrated blend of supportive living services to care for the aging population in our region.
Partnerships and collaboration are also about innovation. New and combined resources collectively allow for greater investments in new health care technology, service facilities and employees. Post Acute Partners is known to invest in their operations to ensure the highest quality of care, a fact that is significant to the scale and immediate benefit such a partnership would bring.
As the largest private employer in the Adirondack Park, our unparalleled commitment to resident and patient satisfaction is derived from a high level of investment in staff growth and training. Post Acute Partners, too, has a proven track record of creating quality workplaces for employees. We are committed to retaining and training top-notch talent while recruiting the best and brightest to serve at our facilities.
As the health care industry continues to make dramatic shifts, we feel challenges can best be overcome by working together. Our ultimate goal is to ensure those who choose to live a long and full life in the Adirondacks have access to quality healthcare services delivered by a financially stable system and well-trained workforce.
The potential partnership of Uihlein Living Center by Adirondack Health with Post Acute Partners underscores this shared goal.
Ms. Ralph is the president and CEO of Adirondack Health, based in Saranac Lake.