St. John Specialty Care Center Partners with AHN to Bring Quality COPD Care to the Community

St. John Specialty Care Center, part of Lutheran SeniorLife’s St. John Continuing Care Retirement Community, is partnering with Alleghany Health Network (AHN) to launch a clinical pathway program for residents with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, otherwise known as COPD.

Clinical pathways are high-quality guidelines used in healthcare to maximize the outcomes for a specific group of patients.

With the assistance of AHN, these evidence-based care strategies will help St. John’s respiratory program successfully treat residents with COPD while improving patient satisfaction and reducing unwanted hospital readmissions.

“The program goes beyond treating COPD by encouraging residents to be proactive about their health,” said Diane Heasley, director of nursing at St. John Specialty Care Center. “The goal is to keep them out of the hospital, deliver excellent care and return them safely to their homes.”

With a 2018 five-star CMS rating for quality care and patient satisfaction as well as 82 percent of airway residents recorded as successful discharges in 2017, it’s an honor for St. John Specialty Care Center to continue exceptional care through this partnership.

David Gritzer, executive director at St. John Specialty Care Center, believes St. John’s success derives from Lutheran SeniorLife’s clear mission of providing an Abundant Life®.

“Throughout my experience, I’ve found that the best quality of post-acute care comes from faith-based nonprofit organizations,” Gritzer said. “For me personally, if there is something we can do or we can give, it makes me feel gratified to know we are supporting a need within the community.”

Heasley, a firm believer in holistic nursing care, agrees.

“We provide an Abundant Life® to our residents, but we also live an Abundant Life® while providing care to others,” Heasley said. “It’s humbling to be trusted with this responsibility of caring for the community.”

All necessary training and education for the COPD program are complete with an anticipated commencement date of April 2019.

For more information, please contact David Gritzer at 724-625-1571 or