WelbeHealth Expands Executive Team with Key New Hire

Sepideh Chegini, MD, Joins WelbeHealth as Chief Medical Officer

MENLO PARK, Calif. (Feb. 17, 2021)  WelbeHealth, an all-inclusive medical care provider that serves frail elderly, helping them live independently in their own home, is proud to welcome Sepideh Chegini, MD, as Chief Medical Officer.

Dr. Chegini will oversee clinical care delivery, ensuring that participants receive the highest standard of medical care while upholding WelbeHealth values and enhancing the experience of its teams. Under her leadership, WelbeHealth programs will further expand into underserved communities.

“We are grateful to have Sepi join WelbeHealth to help us ensure the highest quality care for our frail and vulnerable seniors,” said Si France, MD, Founder and CEO of WelbeHealth. “Sepi has an extensive track record of leading and innovating within value-based care to drive exceptional clinical quality, an inspired culture, and satisfaction in patient-centered care.”

Dr. Chegini is a physician leader fully dedicated to serving the most complex and vulnerable patient populations. With vast experience in value-based care delivery, she is passionate about supporting seniors with complex personal and medical obstacles through integrated, high-quality, and innovative care models.

Previously, she served as the Senior Medical Officer at CareMore Health, leading the institutional Special Needs Plans nationally, delivering person-centric, holistic care to the most vulnerable patients in the comfort of their homes while driving improvements in clinical outcomes and program growth. Under her leadership, the program expanded into ten new markets, reaching its all-time best outcomes by building and supporting high-performing teams and leading with compassion, curiosity, and dedication.

Dr. Chegini also designed and launched CareMore Health’s first palliative care program across Los Angeles and Orange counties to support patients approaching end of life and those with the most complex care needs through an interdisciplinary team-based approach.

“I see it as a true privilege to be in this position and to serve our most precious and vulnerable seniors, establish meaningful human connections with them, enrich their overall health care experience, and support them on their journey so they can reach their full potential,” said Dr. Chegini. “I will work hard to evolve and grow our programs and support our team members so that we can impact more lives and help improve our participants’ quality of life.”

Dr. Chegini obtained her medical degree at the University of Rochester, where she developed her passion for the biopsychosocial medicine model and palliative care. She trained in internal medicine at the George Washington University.

WelbeHealth Administers First Shipment of COVID-19 Vaccines

LONG BEACH Dec. 31, 2020 – WelbeHealth is administering its first COVID-19 vaccines to its elderly participants this week, beginning at the organization’s center in Long Beach, California. The first seniors received their vaccinations on Wednesday, and additional vaccines will be administered next week.

WelbeHealth, a healthcare provider delivering integrated home-based care for frail seniors across California, received its first shipment of the vaccine earlier this week and rapidly deployed its plan to administer the injections to its highest-risk participants.

“This is a momentous occasion for our programs and our society. It’s essential that we all get vaccinated, not only for ourselves but for the safety and wellbeing of everyone in our communities,” said WelbeHealth President Matt Patterson, MD. “With each vaccine, we are literally saving the lives of our elders who have given so much to enrich our world.”

WelbeHealth provides care as part of PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), a longstanding Medicare and Medicaid program that enables older adults to live in the community instead of a nursing home.

At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, WelbeHealth shifted to a remote home-based care model, providing each participant with an internet-connected WelbeLink computer tablet and delivering care in the home whenever possible. The program has a long track record of positive outcomes, including longer life expectancy and dramatically improved mental health and quality of life. The PACE model has proven dramatically safer for seniors during the pandemic, with 85-95 percent lower infection and mortality rates than nursing homes.

 

 

Coronavirus has ravaged nursing homes. For many seniors, there’s a safer option.

PACE keeps frail seniors healthy, socially engaged, and thriving, even in these unprecedented times.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc and claim lives across the country, many seniors and their families have grown nervous about the potential for outbreaks in nursing homes. Housing about 1.4 million Americans, nursing facilities are a major component of our country’s senior care infrastructure and are facing increasing scrutiny as hotbeds for the spread of the virus. In late April, California reported that nearly 40 percent of the state’s coronavirus-related deaths had occurred in the facilities, with a Los Angeles Times analysis finding that the actual figure could be even higher.

Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions are already at high risk, with reports of over 20 percent morbidity for patients ages 80 and older. With the added risk of congregate living in close quarters, nursing homes have become some of the earliest sites of coronavirus outbreaks.

That’s not to say that nursing home operators are to blame for this situation. Even the most comprehensive infection control policies and procedures may not be able to fully contain the virus when the nature of the facilities’ design is so high-risk. In one of his recent daily briefings, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo described housing “vulnerable people in one place” as a “feeding frenzy” for coronavirus. Acknowledging the high risk, at least six states have now gone so far as to grant nursing facilities explicit immunity from coronavirus lawsuits…..read more.

For more on the PACE services that safely provide comprehensive care for seniors, click here.

WelbeHealth Expands PACE into Long Beach and Fresno

WelbeHealth, operator of PACE programs across California, announced the enrollment of its first participants at LA Coast PACE in Long Beach and the upcoming launch of its fourth program, Sequoia PACE, in Fresno. The company has rapidly shifted to a remote home care model to serve seniors safely during the Covid-19 pandemic and continues to enroll new participants in its service areas across California.

PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) is a longstanding Medicare and Medicaid program that provides comprehensive medical and social services enabling older adults to live in the community instead of a nursing home or other care facility. The program has a long track record of positive outcomes, including longer life expectancy (by more than one year), improved quality of life, reduced rates of depression and dementia, and enhanced personal empowerment for seniors. PACE services are available at no cost to most participants as part of their Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits.

“In our HomePACE model of remote care, we help seniors stay healthy and thriving while avoiding nursing facilities, which have tragically become hotbeds for the spread of coronavirus,” said Si France, MD, Founder and CEO of WelbeHealth. “We’re excited to expand our all-inclusive model of care into the greater Long Beach and Fresno regions to serve more vulnerable seniors when they need it most.”

LA Coast PACE’s first participants will enroll with the program on June 1, receiving comprehensive home-based medical care, dental care, physical and occupational therapy, and personal care such as assistance with bathing and meals. The program serves nursing home-eligible seniors across the South Bay and Westside region, including in Long Beach, Artesia, Cerritos, Carson, Torrance, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, Culver City, and other nearby communities.

Sequoia PACE, WelbeHealth’s fourth PACE program, will open later this year to serve seniors in Fresno, Kings, Madera, and Tulare Counties, including in Fresno, Clovis, Madera, Hanford, Tulare, and surrounding cities.

“There has never been a stronger imperative to keep frail seniors living more independently in their homes and communities,” said Sophia Guel-Valenzuela, Regional Vice President & Executive Director of LA Coast PACE. “We’re eager to help more seniors reach their full potential and live with confidence, purpose, and joy.”

WelbeHealth has rapidly adapted to serve seniors during the Covid-19 pandemic, shifting to a remote home-based model to continue providing care while enabling participants to stay physically distanced to reduce the spread of the virus. The company’s PACE programs provide 4G LTE “WelbeLink” tablets to each senior, enabling regular video communications to manage medical and social needs. When in-person care is required, it’s performed by a single caregiver in the home whenever possible. The programs have even continued many of their usual games and recreational activities remotely, combatting the dangerous social isolation affecting many seniors today.

Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions are at particularly high risk during the coronavirus pandemic, underscoring the benefits of a home-based care model. According to the National PACE Association, the average PACE participant in the U.S. is 77 years old with 8 medical conditions, many of which are chronic conditions such as diabetes, dementia, coronary artery disease, and cerebrovascular disease. PACE serves as an alternative to nursing homes as reports emerge that nearly 40 percent of California’s coronavirus deaths have occurred in the facilities.

In addition to LA Coast PACE and Sequoia PACE, WelbeHealth also operates Stockton PACE in the Stockton-Modesto region and Pacific PACE, which serves Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, North Hollywood, and surrounding areas. The company continues to hire new team members at each of its programs across clinical and home health roles to meet community health needs.

For more about the seniorcare services that our PACE program provides, click here.