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LOS ANGELES JEWISH HEALTH NEWS CENTER
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Helping Seniors and Communities Thrive
Compassionate senior care is key at Los Angeles Jewish Health, where caring healthcare teams keep communities happy, healthy, and well. Having the right help is crucial when caring for older adults, ensuring each individual is treated with compassion and respect. That’s why Los Angeles Jewish Health’s top-tier healthcare professionals treat our seniors like family. Formerly the Los Angeles Jewish Home, Los Angeles Jewish Health was founded over a century ago on a simple act of care and compassion. “Our story began in 1912 when a small group of neighbors gave shelter to five homeless Jewish men during Passover holiday,” says Dale Surowitz, CEO and president. “Our founder Simon Lewis recognized a vital opportunity to provide respite and resources to the community, and that remains our commitment today.” Now the largest nonprofit, single-source senior healthcare provider in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Jewish Health is a leading name in comprehensive senior living and care. From adult day care activities and residential living to short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing, the award-winning organization serves more than 4,000 seniors throughout Greater Los Angeles. “I’m proud of the best-in-class care we provide to the community. Without organizations like ours, we know many seniors would go without,” Surowitz says. “We have a long-standing reputation of delivering excellence in care and services for vulnerable members of the community who need us the most, especially seniors living near or below the poverty line.” The nonprofit is funded in part with government support as well as a dynamic network of support groups, individuals, corporations, and foundations. Los Angeles Jewish Health is a vital community resource for all, rooted in Jewish values. Charity, quality, dignity, and fiscal responsibility drive programs and care designed to help seniors thrive. “We take a holistic approach to healthy aging focused on mind, body, and spirit,” says Surowitz. “That starts with comprehensive care tailored to support seniors’ physical and mental health.” Enhancing Health and Longevity“Many seniors live in settings that don’t offer the socialization they need,” Surowitz says. “Caring for psychological needs is an important part of helping seniors keep happy, healthy, and well, so we offer a variety of programs that do just that.” Among those are music therapy, pet therapy, and intergenerational volunteer programming that brings children and seniors together. With a growing list of activities, classes, and clubs, there’s something for everyone at Los Angeles Jewish Health. “Our responsibility goes beyond just providing care. We’re committed to providing every senior their highest quality of life possible,” says Surowitz. At Los Angeles Jewish Health, a broad spectrum of in-residence and community-based services ensure healthcare needs are met and help patients remain independent and active for as long as possible. Across the campuses, compassionate physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and therapists deliver personalized care that supports the individualized needs of those they care for each day. “We’re there each step of the way as care needs increase, whether patients reside at home or on one of our campuses,” Surowitz says. With two independent living campuses, state-of-the-art assisted living centers, and multiple skilled nursing facilities, Los Angeles Jewish Health provides in-residence options that meet the diverse needs of residents and patients. “Other vital services that reach out to the community include palliative medicine, hospice, dementia care, and short-term rehabilitation. Additionally, the all-inclusive Brandman Centers for Senior Care provide a myriad of coordinated services and care management to our participants, all designed to enhance longevity and quality of life,” adds Surowitz. “From senior housing to short-term nursing facilities, we care for over 1,000 adults on-site. Now, we’re expanding our services throughout the community to help seniors stay safe, productive, and happy at home, which remarkably reduces hospitalizations,” he continues. That’s one reason why the health system recently rebranded to Los Angeles Jewish Health, a name that better reflects its broad spectrum of senior healthcare services. And with the senior population anticipated to double over the next two decades, the timing couldn’t be better. “Our goal is to continue providing outstanding services across our campuses while reaching deeper into our communities,” Surowitz says. “Many seniors want to enjoy their golden years at home, and our programs allow them to age in place while enhancing their quality of life with services designed to keep them healthy.” Compassionate Care and RespectBehind Los Angeles Jewish Health’s centurylong legacy is a tenured team committed to compassionate patient care. “The word ‘mitzvah’ in Hebrew represents a responsibility to care for others, and we take that very seriously,” says Surowitz. “As seniors age, they aren’t always afforded the dignity and respect they deserve. We bend over backward to provide that. It really is heartening to see our staff treat residents like family.” Located at Los Angeles Jewish Health’s Hirsch Family Campus, the Annenberg School of Nursing instills that passion in the next generation of healthcare providers. At thisaward-winning nursing school, the one-of-a kind program combines a comprehensive curriculum with hands-on clinical experience. Altogether, the school graduates roughly 150 vocational nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants, and home health aides each year and often hires alums to work across Los Angeles Jewish Health’s campuses. “Many of our students come from underprivileged backgrounds,” Surowitz says. “Our programs provide the education they need to advance while also providing vital medical care throughout underserved communities.” As Los Angeles Jewish Health evolves, the organization plans to expand educational opportunities and programs, yet its dedication to patients remains unchanged. “We’re committed to continuing to deliver the high level of care and services the community has come to know us for, especially as we grow,” says Surowitz. “That’s our hallmark. It’s who we are—and who we’ll always be.”
With 100 Years of Excellence in Senior Care, Los Angeles Jewish Home Transitions to New Name More Reflective of the Broad Spectrum of Senior Care Offerings Available to All
With a new name and continued focus on meeting diverse senior needs, Los Angeles Jewish Health meets seniors where they are in life, providing a customized senior experience. (RESEDA, CA – July 5, 2022) As it continues to build on more than a century of providing an array of high-quality residential living options and care for Southern California seniors, the Los Angeles Jewish Home is unveiling a new name: Los Angeles Jewish Health. The updated identity reflects Los Angeles Jewish Health’s commitment to offering area seniors a full complement of exceptional programs and services and a comprehensive continuum of care, whether that care is at home, in the community, or on one of their beautiful campus settings. “Over the years, as the needs of our community members have expanded and changed, we have evolved, too, expanding the scope of healthcare services we provide. It is now the right time to transition to a name more reflective of the vast array of senior care services and living options available through Los Angeles Jewish Health, while still remaining true to our mission and Jewish values,” said Dale Surowitz, CEO-president of Los Angeles Jewish Health. Los Angeles Jewish Health is a national leader in senior health and wellness. Established in 1912 in East Los Angeles to assist Jewish men seeking shelter, today Los Angeles Jewish Health cares for a diverse group of thousands of seniors each year through independent housing, adult day care, skilled nursing facilities, short-term rehabilitation, hospice services, and more. What began as a modest residential facility at the turn of the previous century has grown into a leading senior health system, providing for a rapidly growing elder population with a broad range of geriatric and specialty healthcare needs. By 2030, one in five Americans are projected to be older individuals. Seniors 85 and older are the fastest growing segment of this population and are expected to increase fivefold over the next 30 years, from four million in 2000 to 21 million in 2050.“Shifting demographics demand that we sharpen our focus to ensure we are an available senior care resource for every member of our community,” Surowitz said. “As we have for more than 100 years, we look forward to contributing Los Angeles Jewish Health’s extensive experience and medical expertise toward better health outcomes for all seniors.” About Los Angeles Jewish Health: Founded in 1912, and formerly known as the Los Angeles Jewish Home, the non-profit Los Angeles Jewish Health is the largest single-source provider of comprehensive senior healthcare services in the Los Angeles area, serving nearly 4,000 people each year. Thousands of seniors benefit from the Los Angeles Jewish Health’s community-based and in-residence care and services. Programs include: PACE (A Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly); hospice; palliative medicine; community clinics; short-term rehabilitation; and acute psychiatric care. Four campuses (Eisenberg Village, Grancell Village, Fountainview at Eisenberg Village, and Fountainview at Gonda Westside) serve seniors with options for independent living, residential care, skilled nursing care, short-term rehabilitation, and Alzheimer’s disease and memory care. In addition, Los Angeles Jewish Health is home to the Annenberg School of Nursing.
Los Angeles Jewish Health Resident and Holocaust Survivor Celebrates Bat Mitzvah, and 92nd Birthday, during 100th Anniversary of the first American to celebrate a Bat Mitzvah
(RESEDA, CA – March 15, 2022) History will be made at the Los Angeles Jewish Home, Thursday, March 18 as beloved resident and Holocaust survivor Frieda Thompson turns 92 on the same day she will be called to Torah for her Bat Mitzvah. This date also marks the 100th anniversary of when Judith Kaplan, at age twelve, became the first American girl to celebrate a Bat Mitzvah on March 18, 1922. Frieda Thompson, whose parents were murdered by the Nazis, still recalls that one of her mother’s final actions was to ensure her brother was called to Torah for his Bar Mitzvah even as there was chaos all around. Frieda studied for her Bat Mitzvah a few years ago, but COVID-19 prevented gathering as a community at that time. Now, with family flying in for the big day, Frieda will celebrate her Bat Mitzvah during the weekly Shabbat Eve. Service, in the Weinberg Courtyard of the Jewish Home, in front of loving family, caring staff, and dozens of fellow Jewish Home residents. When asked what this day means to her, Frieda offers, “Moses was loyal to his family and to the Jewish people. I too have always felt loyal to my family and the Jewish People.” In commenting on the significance of this lifetime milestone Rabbi Karen Bender commented, “As a small child, Frieda was forced to raise her hand and call out ‘Heil Hitler’. Today her voice rings out as a cherished leader among her peers.” Note: Media interested in attending the Service/Bat Mitzvah must be fully vaccinated/boosted/masked – and must RSVP in advance.
Los Angeles Jewish Home Accepts New Resident Applications
After pandemic-related pause, premier senior living facility reopens its doors (RESEDA, CA – March 12, 2021) The Los Angeles Jewish Home announced it is accepting applications for new residents, as well as participants in its community-based programs, after an extended pause in admissions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The reopening coincides with the one-year anniversary of the nationwide shutdown resulting from the coronavirus. Dale Surowitz, CEO-president of the Jewish Home, says welcoming new seniors will enable the organization to continue its century-long tradition of providing for the region’s frail elderly. "Seniors in Los Angeles depend on us for care. During COVID, ensuring their continued health and safety meant refraining from bringing people in. But now that 99 percent of our residents (as well as the large majority of our staff) has been fully vaccinated, we’re relaunching the admissions process so we can serve even more members of the community." The Home has immediate openings for seniors who need hands-on skilled nursing assistance. "The Jewish Home typically has wait lists for available spaces in our skilled nursing facility; it’s uncommon to have availability as we currently do," Surowitz says. "This represents a rare opportunity for people to get into the Home now, before we reach capacity, which will happen quickly." With the easing of the pandemic, the Jewish Home is also welcoming seniors to its Brandman Centers for Senior Care, a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). Through the program, residents and seniors who live on their own receive medical services, physical therapy, social services, and nutritional counseling, as well as exceptional adult day healthcare that engages them intellectually, physically, and socially. Applicants to the Jewish Home have access to a broad range of programs and services beyond PACE and skilled nursing. From short-term rehab to hospice, independent living, home health, and memory care, the Jewish Home provides support to residents at their varying levels of need. Through the Jewish Home, seniors are also eligible for the organization’s new Brandman Health Plan. Designed for the chronic patient with special needs, the plan offers benefits to anyone in Los Angeles County who is Medicare-eligible and has diabetes, chronic heart failure, cardiovascular disorders, or dementia. Seniors and their families can reach out to the Jewish Home for more information about current openings and availability. "We’re here for new applicants, whoever they are and whatever their needs," Surowitz says. "We look forward to learning how we can help."
Taking Care of Seniors - One Car at a Time
It's an annual rite of passage: Every fall, Angelenos of all ages head to their doctors' offices or local pharmacies to get inoculated for the seasonal flu. This year, against the backdrop of a pandemic that has made health and safety a top priority for all, that pilgrimage is more critical than ever as people across the country seek to protect themselves from flu and keep their immune systems strong in the face of COVID-19. Seniors are particularly susceptible to the flu, and the Jewish Home, a leader in proactive preventive care, is making it as easy as possible for them to get immunized. Case in point: the recent drive-up flu shot event at Brandman Centers for Senior Care (BCSC). Held over the course of two days, the event enabled seniors who are participants in PACE to visit the Center and safely receive their vaccinations. Each left with a goodie bag filled with a cloth mask, hand sanitizer, a toothbrush, toilet paper, and more—essential items for maintaining good personal hygiene as we enter flu season. "Keeping our seniors healthy is central to what we do at BCSC—whether that's safeguarding their physical health or promoting their emotional well-being," says BCSC Executive Director Susie Fishenfeld. "When it came to providing flu shots, we had to get creative this year because of the pandemic and the stringent requirements for physical distancing. This drive-up event was terrific because it enabled us to reach seniors in need and to do it in a way that kept them safe and protected." Some seniors turned out for the event in their own cars; others took advantage of BCSC's shuttle bus service, which brought them directly to and from the organization's Reseda facility safely. When they arrived, they could park curbside, where they were greeted by festive signage, balloons, and smiling staff welcoming them to BCSC. Also on hand was Casey Ott, MD, BCSC's medical director. "It has long been recognized that seniors are at elevated risk of developing complications from the flu because of age-related changes in their immune defense. What's more, older adults account for the most deaths and hospitalizations from both the flu and COVID-19," he notes. "We're enormously pleased so many seniors attended our drive-up event, which we hope will help them stay healthy over the coming months and beyond." For some Angelenos, the coronavirus may have presented an additional barrier to getting a flu shot, says Noah Marco, MD, the Jewish Home's chief medical officer. "People might think they're less likely to get influenza because they're social distancing and wearing masks, but that's really the wrong way to look at it," he says. "We're all part of a community, and we have a responsibility to that community. Even if you're not worried about getting sick yourself, the possibility of contracting the flu virus and then giving it to someone else—with potentially lethal consequences—is no different than it was in prior flu seasons." "Our goal is to equip seniors with the immunizations and a few vital supplies to help meet their needs as they grapple with the challenges of this unusual flu season," Susie says. "If we can make things even a little bit easier during these difficult times, it means we're doing our jobs and making a difference in healthcare!"
Amid pandemic, Californians can now visit loved ones in nursing homes, but few are going
For months, families have pined to see their loved ones who live in California’s skilled nursing facilities, which have been shut down to outside visitors to keep the coronavirus from spreading. California health authorities recently issued guidance for visits to resume, but few are happening as infection rates surge in many communities. Facilities are being cautious after many suffered severe outbreaks earlier in the pandemic. Read more › Author: Associated Press · Publication: Los Angeles Times · Date: July 12, 2020
Getting Down to Business with Frank Mottek, Host of “Mottek On Money” on 790 KABC
Aug 9, 2022 Tue • 8am – 9.30am