Circles of Caring steps forward to save Gritman Adult Day Health

MOSCOW, ID - The new year started with good news for patrons of the Adult Day Health program in Moscow.

"Definitely cheered," said Adult Day Health Director Barbara Mahoney. "Definitely cheered, very, very excited. And I think the community is, too."

In early October, Gritman Medical Center announced that it could no longer support Adult Day Health after running it for eleven years. It was scheduled to close at the end of 2012.

"Well we had three months to really scramble," said Circles of Caring Adult Day Health Foundation President Nancy Tribble.

A local non-profit organization called Circles of Caring decided that they weren't going to let that happen, no matter what it took.

"I can't even tell you all the levels of areas we had to address from transportation, to our IT, to fundraising," said Tribble.

Adult Day Health opened under its new management on January second. The program didn't have to change locations, and none of the staff lost their jobs. But there's still a few kinks to work out before they're back to normal.

"We're just closing up some loose ends on the Medicaid contracts," said Tribble. "And I would say probably one of our biggest challenges, though, is getting the transportation across the state line."

Adult Day Health serves people from Latah and Whitman County, and participants range in age from their twenties to their nineties. But the people who run it said that it shouldn't be mistaken for a day care.

"I think it's a really good intermix of social, and rehab, and nursing," said Mahoney.

"It's something, actually, the entire country needs," said Tribble.

Adult Day Health usually sees about 25 to 30 participants a day, but they're hoping that number will increase once word of the Circles of Caring success story spreads.

"I want people to know, we're here to serve them," said Tribble.

About half of the funding for Adult Day Health comes from Medicaid, and the other half is paid for by the families that use it. They are working with other organizations to create similar programs in neighboring communities, including one in Lewiston.