Tiffany Lowery, an Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner at Medical Home True Worth, has always felt the need to help people. Growing up around nurses like her mother and grandmother inspired her to pursue a career in healthcare. She also has a passion for caring for individuals who are experiencing homelessness. So when she heard about Dr. Andrew Saverine’s Intensive Primary Care Program, she knew it was a perfect fit.
The Intensive Care Program was established in 2019 when Dr. Saverine saw the need to minimize the amount of high utilizers in the Emergency Department (ED).
“We define high utilizers as those having 4 or more emergency room visits or two or more hospital admissions in the past 6 months, and we specifically target the JPS Connection population,” said Dr. Andrew Saverine, Family Medicine Physician.
Many patients tend to utilize the ED for small services such as medication refills, and that adds up. Not only does it add up financially, it is a poor use of resources.
“Our goal is to identify the patient’s needs,” Dr. Saverine said. “The number one principle of our program is to meet people where they are and try to help them reach self-actualization.”
Medical professionals with the program meet patients wherever they can to provide services to them, whether it be in their homes, camps, or shelters.
“We go to the patients and offer basic family outpatient services,” Lowery said. “It’s like the patient is coming into the office to see their provider.”
While working within the program, Lowery has had the opportunity to change the lives of many patients. One being Carol Canoe, a patient who frequently visited the Emergency Department, until joining the program.
“When I was homeless, it wouldn’t take long for my legs to get infected, so I was in and out of the hospital for over a year,” Canoe said. “Now, they make sure I have all the supplies I need for my daily dressing changes. I just let Tiffany know and within a couple of days she’s here with the supplies. I haven’t visited the ER at all since then and I am thankful that things are going well and that I have the support that I need from my doctors and nurses.”
There is no questioning the commitment Lowery has for providing the best possible care for her patients. She was recognized by her team in August for going above and beyond for a patient suffering from schizophrenia. He was experiencing a manic episode and called Lowery for help.
“With the IPC program, all my patients have my personal cell phone number and work number, where they’re able to call me between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.,” Lowery said. “He called and told me he was having issues and he didn’t have any of his medication. I was able to go to the patient’s home anddetermine his problem and what triggered his manic phase.”
In addition to finding out what triggered his episode, Lowery sat with the patient and helped him call to see how to get his medication for an affordable price.
“With one of our social workers, Edna Frade, I was able to speak with someone that helped individuals with Medicare and Medicaid. They came to the patient’s house and we went through his Medicare part A and part B,” Lowery said. “He was able to get his medication for less and he came to the clinic and I gave him the injection. Since then, he hasn’t had any more manic episodes and his quality of life has improved.”
Lowery has experienced her own survival story with breast cancer, so she knows how important it is to have someone advocating for the health of a patient.
“I truly love and enjoy going into our patient’s homes and building that rapport with them,” said Lowery. “I am honored that I get to let them know they have someone who cares about them and their health so they can have a better quality of life.”