Upham’s PACE Center Aides from left to right, Sandra Marin, Juan Diaz, and Carla Sanches; not pictured Idelsy Ruiz.
August 11, 2021 – As morning coffee brews at the Upham’s PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) 1140 Dorchester Avenue day center, the PACE van drivers navigate through the latest street construction into the parking lot. After bustling to get ready, the day now begins for the Center Aide staff members who greet and begin serving the now-settled PACE program participants their breakfast snack.
As she tidies the kitchen, staff member Carla Sanches lingers a moment to note that she has worked at PACE for six years, and feels a personal connection to the participants, “We know them so well, they are part of our family. I took care of my grandmother, my mother.”
Due to the state’s COVID-19 pandemic gathering restrictions for day centers, Upham’s PACE is limited to 40% capacity, which remains a challenge for participants who are eager to attend programming and socialize together as well as for staff—many who have worked at PACE for years—to remain upbeat.
But they now have a special reason to celebrate. The Center Aide staff members received a first-time 100% staff satisfaction rating from the annual Vital Research PACE Satisfaction Measurement.
Vital Research, an independent research and education company, works with the National PACE Association and Massachusetts’ MassPACE to conduct surveys that measure PACE participant satisfaction in a variety of areas including health care services, activities, staffing, environment, transportation, and safety. Upham’s PACE results are compared to other PACE organizations, and in 2021 received a 91% overall satisfaction rating (compared with a national satisfaction rating of 88%). The 100% staff satisfaction score is now a pride point, and reflects the dedication and compassion staff have for the participants.
Since 2008, staff member Sandra Marin has come to work with a strong commitment to PACE and interacting with the participants. “I especially enjoy what I do, it touches me deep in my heart.”
Juan Diaz, known as the “party planner”, is always thinking of how to best serve and engage with the participants and brighten everyone’s day. Working at PACE for almost 20 years, he smiles “Everyone is very supportive.” And then he moves on to linger at a table for a chat over a freshly poured cup.
Founded in 1985, Uphams’ PACE is part of a national model of care that provides older adults and their caregivers health care and community support. Upham’s PACE provides continuous health care services to those who are registered as program participants, and enables participants to live in their communities. Upham’s PACE also operates three Day Centers that provide programming and activities as well as a mobile food van to support participants. For more information about enrollment, programs, and services, visit our website, uphamselderserviceplan.org.