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Who's Who and What They Do

As a patient in Highland's Geriatric Fracture Center, you can be sure that you're in the best of hands—receiving the highest level of prioritized care from a dedicated team of medical professionals who understand the unique medical needs of older patients.

Your team is comprised of highly experienced orthopaedic surgeons, geriatricians, anesthesiologists, orthopaedic nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, nursing assistants, and social workers—all working together with you and your family to get you treated and back to your normal routine as quickly as possible.

The Roles of Our Team

  • Orthopaedic Surgeons
    Combining years of clinical experience with specialized research in the area of treating fractures in older adults, our orthopaedic surgeons are literally writing the book on geriatric fracture care. And they're sharing this knowledge with doctors at hospitals throughout the world to advance the quality of care for fracture patients.

  • Geriatricians
    With more geriatricians on staff than any other hospital in the Rochester area, we're able to pay extra special attention to the myriad medical factors that come into play in the treatment of older adults with fractures. Our geriatricians will work with your primary care doctor as needed to ensure continuity of care. And they'll collaborate with other professionals, including social workers, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, and others, to manage all aspects of your care.

  • Hospitalists
    A hospitalist is an acute-care specialist physician who manages your care in the hospital. Usually trained in internal medicine, a hospitalist has the skills and expertise needed to provide care specifically tailored to meet the unique needs of hospitalized patients and their families. Because a hospitalist has a special focus on patients in the hospital, he or she is more accessible to manage your inpatient care. A hospitalist can help you achieve a smooth, speedy recovery by following up on tests and adjusting your treatment throughout the day as necessary. The hospitalist is also close by in case of an emergency and is available to spend more time talking in person with you and your family about your care.

  • Anesthesiologists
    The goal of all the providers at the Geriatric Fracture Center is the safe and rapid return of all patients to their pre-fracture level of function. The anesthesiologists on our team bring to that effort our knowledge of all the physical and mental changes that come with the aging process. These can include a decrease in heart or lung function, increase sensitivity to medications and loss of some mental capacity. Beginning in the pre-operative process we work with the geriatrician to gather information, about the patient's medical history, key laboratory work and physical exam. We then formulate a plan, in conjunction with the surgeon and geriatrician, to minimize the effects that our medications have on the heart, lungs, kidneys and brain, but that will keep the patient safe and comfortable in the operating room. During the operation and in the recovery areas we monitor the patient very closely ensuring that their vital signs are stable and that the patient has minimal pain. It is our goal to decrease as much as possible the harmful changes to pulmonary function and mental status that can lead to prolonged recovery and increased risk for heart problems or potentially lethal infections. Be sure to ask your anesthesiologist questions when you meet him or her, so that you and your family can make informed choices that can have real impact on your return to your best function possible.

  • Orthopaedic Nurses
    At the core of your care in the Geriatric Fracture Center is a team of orthopaedic nurses who, in addition to their general nursing skills, possess a wealth of specialized training and knowledge in the care of fractures in older adults.

  • Physical Therapists
    As part of your care, a physical therapist will work with you on exercises and other strategies that can help speed your recovery.

  • Occupational Therapists
    An occupational therapist will evaluate your ability to take care of yourself following surgery and show you different ways to care for yourself while following the precautions set forth by your doctor.

  • Social Work
    Social workers are available to you and your family to provide discharge planning, emotional support and counseling, and resource assistance and advocacy. As a member of the health care team, the social worker:
    • Screens and evaluates patients
    • Responds to patients' and families' requests for services
    • Evaluates the level of support provided by family, friends, or neighbors
    • Refers patients to community resources, such as sliding fee-scale aides, family service agencies, geriatric services, or community health nurses for home health services
    • Evaluates options and refers patients to inpatient rehabilitation programs, if necessary