Dr. Rosemary Laird Geriatric Clinician Of The Year
By Dr. James Palermo // June 21, 2013
DEDICATED TO SPACE COAST SENIORS
ABOVE VIDEO: Based on her personal commitment as a physician, educator and indefatigable champion for senior health and wellness in our community, Dr. Laird was recognized as a 2011 Space Coast Humanitarian, and now in 2013 the American Geriatric Society’s Geriatric Clinician of the Year. She called her profession “absolutely the right fit” for her, and credits her parents as well as her team for all that she and the Aging Institute have accomplished.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Dr. Rosemary Laird received the prestigious 2013 Clinician of the Year Award from the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) at last month’s AGS Annual Scientific Meeting in Grapevine, Texas.
The national award recognizes a practitioners’ valuable contributions to quality healthcare for older people and the importance of the geriatrics clinician in our healthcare delivery system. Through these clinicians’ efforts, scientific advances are integrated into the practice of geriatric medicine, resulting in improved health, well-being, and quality of life for older adults.
OVER DECADE OF COMMITMENT TO BREVARD SENIORS
Since coming to Brevard in 2002 as the founder and Medical Director of the Health First Aging Institute, Dr. Laird has dedicated herself to improving the health and well being of older adults living on the Space Coast by increasing the availability of high quality geriatric care services across the care continuum.
The Aging Institute was created through the generous donations of the Cape Canaveral Hospital Foundation, and receives ongoing support from the Health First Foundation.
DRIVING FORCE BEHIND MULTIPLE GERIATRIC PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
Dr. Laird, who is a Clinical Associate Professor of Geriatrics at the Florida State University College (FSU) of Medicine, and Past President of the Florida Geriatrics Society, has been the driving force behind a multitude of geriatric initiatives in our community over the past eleven years.
“While our out-patient geriatric specialty and geriatric psychiatry clinics are the most active of our program, I have also enjoyed an opportunity to bring a wide range of quality geriatric care programs and services to our community via other programs and services of our health system,” Laird said.
She established The Center for Family Caregivers, a RN Case Management program, which offers information, support, and hope amid the many challenges faced by caregivers, and is co-author of Take Your Oxygen First: Protecting Your Health and Happiness While Caring for a Loved One with Memory Loss, a book recounting Leeza Gibbons’ story of helping her mother through a diagnosis and helping caregivers protect their health and happiness while caring for a loved one with memory loss.
In collaboration with Health First Health Plans, Dr. Laird created a Personal Visiting Physician home care program, which sends physicians to frail, homebound patients who have trouble getting to primary care locations. In its seventh year, the program now cares for 900 seniors who are either homebound or in transition from hospital to home.
HUMBLE CHAMPION FOR SENIORS 2011 CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN
Based on her personal commitment as a physician, educator and indefatigable champion for senior health and wellness in our community, Dr. Laird was recognized as a 2011 Central Florida Humanitarian. She called her profession “absolutely the right fit” for her, and credits her parents as well as her team for all that she and the Aging Institute have accomplished.
Also very active with the AGS at the national level, Dr. Laird served on the Health Cares Systems Committee and chaired the Special Interest Group in Health Services Administration.
“Dr. Laird is an exceptional, passionate, and caring geriatrics clinician whose primary focus has been on improving care for older adults in the office, hospital, and community at large,” said Robert Schreiber, MD, physician-in-chief at Hebrew SeniorLife and an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. “She is a master teacher, leader, and superb practitioner.”
“It is truly humbling to receive this honor and without question I share this honor with my team at Health First Aging Services and my extended family at FSU Department of Geriatrics,” Laird said.
Especially as a geriatrician I know that the work of caring for frail elders is not accomplished well by any one person. You need a strong and multidisciplinary care team – including family and professional caregivers – working with you and your patients.
THE REAL DEAL
Having worked closely with Dr. Laird for 10 years and experienced her care, compassion and uplifting patient-centered focus in caring for my parents, I think I can speak not just for myself, but for thousands of local seniors and their families and say that she brings a special and unique dimension and perspective to comprehensive innovative senior care to our community. With this award as geriatric Clinician of the Year it’s heartening to know that the rest of the country recognizes Dr. Laird for what we’ve know for the past eleven years.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN GERIATRIC SOCIETY
The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is a not-for-profit organization of over 6,000 health professionals devoted to improving the health, independence and quality of life of all older people. The Society provides leadership to healthcare professionals, policy makers and the public by implementing and advocating for programs in patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy.