UT Health Physicians

ACE and Supportive Care Program

Staffed by physicians from UT Heath Senior Health, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – Medical Center is home to the first inpatient Acute Care of the Elderly (ACE) Unit in South-Central Texas.

Designed to meet the needs of older adults

  • The ACE Unit is physically designed to improve health outcomes and meet the special needs of adults over age 65 with special floors, lights, furniture and calming environment.
  • Daily interdisciplinary rounds, led by nursing staff, address complex issues.
  • Board-certified geriatricians and palliative care physicians work both as primary care physicians and as consultants, based on the varying levels of involvement necessary for each patient.
  • Focus on rapid functional recovery.
  • Focus on the whole patient — mind, body, and spirit.

Key components of the ACE Unit

  • Each patient will receive a complete geriatric assessment including cognitive evaluation, medication review, activities of daily living and depression screening.
  • Family-centered care and a comprehensive discharge planning process contribute to the success of this comprehensive approach.
  • A continuum of care minimizes problems associated with the transition of care.
  • All staff members are specially trained in geriatrics and are dedicated to the needs of older adults.

Team approach

Pharmacy, nutritional services, social services, physical therapy, occupational therapy and spiritual care departments are all involved in patient care from the beginning of admission. This multidisciplinary group meets with nurses and the geriatricians every day to review each patient on the ACE Unit.

ACE team members

Geriatricians or attending physicians are responsible for the overall direction of the medical care of the patient. Specialty care is coordinated through the physician team members.

ACE Unit coordinator and staff nurses

This senior ACE staff nurse coordinates the interdisciplinary ACE team, as well as programmatic development and staffing on the ACE Unit.

ACE staff nurses are involved in the day-to-day care of elderly patients and have received specific training to address issues the elderly face when hospitalized.

Additional ACE staff 

Pharmacists, dieticians, discharge care managers and rehabilitation therapists are all active participants in daily rounds by the interdisciplinary team.

Housekeepers and trained volunteers round out the ACE Unit team.