Chilton Medical Center - ATLANTIC HEALTH SYSTEM
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Chilton Hospital Celebrates Highest Status of Eldercare at 9th Annual Conference

Members of Chilton Hospital’s NICHE Steering Committee at the 9th annual NICHE Conference at Cedar Crest Village in Pompton Plains, NJ. Pictured (l to r, standing) are Helen Filor, RNII; Margaret Puccio, RN; Tisha McTigue, RNC-OB, MS, APN; Karen Stutzer, Ph.D., RN; NICHE Coordinator Carnette Smith, MS, RN; Bobbi Barnicle, CCN, RN; Linda Marciniak, MSW, LCSW, ACSW; and Barbara Giles, RN. Sitting (l to r) are: Christine Apkarian, RN-BC; Bonita O’Connor; Julia Dumpert, BSN, RN; and JoAnn Valent, RN, BC, BSN, CWOCN, COS-C.

As the first wave of the baby boomer generation has reached 65, there is an increasing need for continuous updating of eldercare criteria.

The NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) organization, based out of the NYU School of Nursing, is a nurse-driven program designed to help hospitals improve the care of older adults through evidence-based practices. Around 500 hospitals and health care facilities throughout North America follow NICHE guidelines, including Chilton Hospital.

For the past nine years, Chilton has held its own NICHE Conference at Cedar Crest Village in Pompton Plains to educate nurses and other health care professionals on the latest best practices in eldercare based on NICHE’s findings.

At the 9th annual event on Oct. 18, Chilton’s NICHE Steering Committee had something special to celebrate: The hospital had achieved “Exemplar” status, the highest possible rating from the NICHE organization.

Chilton is one of 6 percent of hospitals in the nation to have reached this designation. Only five other hospitals in New Jersey have reached Exemplar level with Chilton being the only one in North Jersey.

“The NICHE designation and the ‘Exemplar’ status signal our resolve to provide patient-centered care for older adults,” said Chilton Niche Coordinator Carnette Smith, RN, MS. “Through our participation in the NICHE program we are able to offer evidence-based, interdisciplinary approaches that promote better outcomes, positive experiences, and improved care for the older adults in our care. This leads to greater satisfaction rates for our patients, their families and our staff.”

Exemplar status was recognized through a rigorous self-evaluation of the current and planned implementation of the NICHE Program at Chilton.

The four levels of NICHE hospital implementation status are as follows:

  • Early Implementation (17 percent of hospitals)
  • Progressive Implementation (47 percent of hospitals) 
  • Senior Friendly Implementation (30 percent of hospitals)
  • Exemplar Implementation (6 percent of hospitals)

“Chilton Hospital’s evaluation demonstrated a tremendous ability to meet the needs of the older adult patient,” said Liz Capezuti, PhD, RN, FAAN, director of NICHE at New York University College of Nursing. “The hospital’s high intensity level in marshaling geriatric nursing resources and support to enhance care marks it as a leader in the field.”

For more information about NICHE, visit

Chilton Hospital is a fully accredited, 260-bed, acute-care, community hospital. It is a four-time recipient of the HealthGrades Specialty Excellence Award in Stroke, and Five-Star Rated for Stroke Care, the highest possible, for six years in a row. It is also Five-Star Rated for Joint Replacement and Total Knee Replacement for 2012 and 2013. Chilton’s many services include minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgery, a state-of-the-art Emergency Department, a Pain Management center, the Sleep Health Institute, the Comprehensive Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center, the Chilton Cancer Center, the MotherBaby Center, an American Diabetes Association-recognized diabetes education program and a weight loss surgery program. Chilton has recently embarked on a $24 million modernization project, which includes the Cardiovascular Interventional Lab, The Breast Center and the Total Joint Center. The hospital is located at 97 West Parkway in Pompton Plains, NJ 07444. For more information about Chilton's facilities and services, or to find a doctor by name, specialty, or location, please visit or call 1-888-CHILTON.

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