WESLACO, Texas (ValleyCentral) —South Texas Health System ER Weslaco has earned a level three geriatric emergency accreditation from the American College of Emergency Physicians.

The bronze-level designation by the organization dedicated to advancing emergency care acknowledges STHS ER Weslaco’s dedication to providing a high standard of care that meets the unique health care needs of older adults living in the Rio Grande Valley, a news release stated.

“Weslaco’s accreditation signals to the public that your institution is focused on the highest standards of care for your communities’ older adults,” read the official letter from ACEP. “Led by a remarkable team of interdisciplinary leaders, including Gerald Banks, MD, MS and Christen Ann Wirth, RN, BSN, this accreditation signals to the public that [the] institution is focused on the highest standards of care for your communities’ older adults.”

The Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation program was developed by the American College of Emergency Physicians along with the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, Emergency Nurses Association and American Geriatrics Society to improve and standardize emergency care for older patients. The program will do so by enhancing staffing and education, focusing on geriatric-focused policies and protocols and more efficient preparation of the treatment area.

The freestanding emergency department will comply with geriatric guidelines by recommending measures ranging from adding geriatric-friendly equipment to specialized staff to more routine screening for delirium, dementia and fall risk, among other vulnerabilities.

“South Texas Health System strives to be a national leader in providing quality, compassionate evidence-based care for the populations we serve, including the elderly,” said Brenda Ivory, Chief Executive Officer, South Texas Health System Heart. “This certification is living proof of our commitment to bring an underserved population important access to healthcare that’s focused on their specific needs and special requirements.”