It’s Older Americans Month and we join in celebrating the many strides of our nation’s seniors and other older adults.
Suncoast PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), a member of Empath Health, is dedicated to supporting healthy, independent living for our Pinellas County seniors who are facing the challenges of chronic illness and life at home. Our team provides comprehensive medical care, adult day care and support services that keep our participants healthy, social, active and in their own homes, where they wish to be. We also help families be at ease knowing their loved ones are living well and being able to take breaks if caregiving.
Carla Creegan, RN, MSN, CHPN recently joined as our new manager at the PACE center. Creegan aims to learn about our participants and what they value. She works together with our team to fulfill their needs and improve their whole well-being.
“I’m responsible for overseeing the center and the plans of care for all of our participants. We look at each individual’s functionality; mental status; and health, social, spiritual and environmental issues and then do our best to meet that person’s needs at home. We have regular plan-of-care meetings and talk as needs come up. We can help support when dental or eye care is needed or a catastrophic event happens, such as when a participant’s family member who was a caregiver passes away,” Creegan said.
Taking in everything that’s meaningful to participants is essential to quality care, she explains. “I do my best nursing when I get to know everybody and put a face to their names. I believe we provide more effective care with our skills when we learn about our participants’ personalities, cultures and spiritual needs, including how they eat and celebrate. We need to support what’s acceptable to them and their quality of life. We found out one of our participants lived a holistic, vegan lifestyle, so we mirrored her vegan diet in our plan of care because that’s important in her life.”
With a calling to nursing later in life, Creegan was born in Missouri and has lived in Florida for many years. She started out working as owner of a mortgage company. In 2003, she went to school for nursing. She has worked at Morton Plant Hospital, Gulfcoast Oncology (now known as Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute) and the Suncoast Hospice mid-Pinellas care center as a staff nurse, admissions nurse and a senior staff nurse. Creegan holds a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and an end-of-life nursing care certification.
She loves her job at PACE. “Nursing is a gift. It’s divine. This is what I was born to do and where I’m supposed to be. At PACE, we want to oversee as much as we can in our participants’ care. I’m excited to see our program grow for our community,” she said.
Joining Suncoast PACE
Visit our Suncoast PACE website or call us at 727-289-0062 or 1-866-458-2933 to learn more about PACE eligibility, enrollment and services. And watch this video to see how our program has enriched the lives of two beloved sisters.