Geriatrics Institute - Jeri's Story

Grateful Patient: Jeri Hadley

Jeri Hadley - Geriatrics Institute at Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus

Though Jeri Hadley spent much of her life educating students as a secondary English teacher and college professor, she, in many ways, has now become the student in retirement. For the past few years, she has taken advantage of educational opportunities offered through the Better Health Senior Membership Program and the James and Sharon Maida Geriatrics Institute at Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus (MMCSC). These opportunities range from lunch-and-learn sessions with hospital physicians and nutritionists to one-on-one consultations with a geriatrician.

“Two years ago, I became a Better Health Member after a lunch-and-learn presentation at the Four Seasons,” said Hadley. “A celebrity chef prepared a tasty brunch to educate the audience on nutritious eating and healthy choices in the kitchen. While we enjoyed the delicious meal, the Garden State Philharmonic String ensemble treated us to a medley of classical favorites and Broadway tunes. I was quite impressed with this event and, since that time, I have continued to be impressed with all that Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus has to offer.”

The Better Health Program provides seniors VIP access to social programs, health education, preventive screenings and more at no cost. This drives home the MMCSC message that aesthetics such as art and music are just as important to healthy aging as regular check-ups with your primary care physician. All programs and services offered to seniors at MMCSC focus on the whole person, including physical, social, and emotional aspects, which have always been a priority for Jessica L. Israel, MD, regional director, Geriatrics and Palliative Care, Monmouth Medical Center (MMC) and MMCSC.

“I was drawn to Dr. Israel immediately and felt that she was, not only, an asset to MMCSC, but also, an asset to me,” said Hadley. “After hearing her speak, I realized that her expertise and friendly manner were just what I needed in a primary care physician. She listens, cares, and understands the growing needs of the senior population. Perhaps her greatest asset is her availability, since she readily gives out her e-mail, not just to patients but also, to members of Better Health. During our initial meeting she explained that she thought I was seeing too many doctors who weren’t communicating with one another, and, therefore, I was on too many prescription drugs that were causing adverse reactions by being combined. Dr. Israel was able to help me lay out a plan of action with these physicians and allayed my anxiety about taking these medications.”

Dr. Israel is leading the way in reinventing how the health care industry treats our aging population through the James and Sharon Maida Geriatrics Institute. The only program of its kind in the region, the Institute provides integrated inpatient and outpatient services to patients 65 and older – improving ease of access while enhancing MMCSC’s interdisciplinary approach to caring for the community’s elderly population. Dr. Israel ensures that each patient is treated as an individual. She’s not only interested in medical history but personal history as well. This approach provides unparalleled insight into how each patient views aging and health care as a whole. Part of what makes Dr. Israel such a sought-after physician is the fact that she is a good listener, she is kind and she understands the particular needs of the senior population, making herself available at all times to answer any questions or concerns.

“I thoroughly trust Dr. Israel and feel comfortable in her care and the care of everyone at the James and Sharon Maida Geriatrics Institute. It’s such a relief that I can receive high quality, geriatric care close to home and not have to travel to Philadelphia or New York City,” said Hadley. “People seem to shy away from MMCSC because it’s small, but to me it’s perfect because its single focus is on the patient. With so many extra programs and services offered to seniors, it is a true destination for geriatric care. And, having the benefits of a strong health care system like RWJBarnabas Health at my local hospital makes me feel even more confident that I’m getting the very best care.”