Keswick and Notre Dame of Md. Partner to Develop Online Programming

Campus and community-based health care organization Keswick Multi-Care Center, together with Notre Dame of Maryland University, announced Monday a partnership that will bring educational and service-learning opportunities for Notre Dame undergraduate students, as well as more programming to homebound seniors in Baltimore.

The initial focus of this alliance is the Virtual Senior Center, a grant-funded program in which Keswick has partnered with GEDCO and Action in Maturity to implement in Baltimore. GEDCO’s Virtual Senior Center is a collaboration between GEDCO and Selfhelp Community Services in New York City. The VSC aims to overcome the barriers of isolation for home-dwelling seniors with limited mobility and is based on real-time synchronous delivery and communication between the presenter and the audience.

As part of this newly formed alliance, Notre Dame and Keswick’s Community Health Resources—a division of Keswick that delivers health services to members out in the community, not on Keswick’s 40th Street campus—will work together to create programming for the VSC. Additionally, they will engage in curriculum development and support for Notre Dame’s School of Pharmacy and School of Nursing students, as well as instructors and members of NDMU’s Renaissance Institute, a lifelong learning program for those 50 and older. For example, programming could be developed to help first-year nursing students present a class on the importance of hand washing and hygiene for senior citizens via the VSC.

“I am thrilled to announce this new alliance between Keswick and Notre Dame as it builds on our partnership with GEDCO and AIM, as we collectively work to make Baltimore stronger,” Keswick CEO Carmel Roques said. “The future of this strategic alliance will contribute to the wellbeing of older adults by providing interactive educational and interest-based virtual programming on a variety of topics meant to keep seniors informed and engaged. Learning opportunities for Notre Dame students studying in the healthcare field is a wonderful added benefit and shows the great synergy we have with this collaboration.”

Notre Dame University of Maryland President Dr. Marylou Yam said the new alliance demonstrates a convergence of Notre Dame’s and Keswick’s commitment to wellness and to the service of the people of Baltimore and  one that aligns with its mission of service and social responsibility.

“Notre Dame, through its Renaissance Institute, has historically provided a variety of learning and socialization opportunities for our senior citizens, and this alliance with Keswick will help us advance our mission in the community. This partnership will enable us to utilize their talents and those of our pharmacy and nursing students to explore ways via technology that we can remove the barriers to isolation for homebound seniors by connecting them to not only an interactive online educational environment, but a social one as well,” she said.

Keswick has long been known for long term care services on its 40th Street campus. Keswick’s newest initiative, Community Health Resources, allows Keswick to provide health services to the community, not just those seeking services within the healthcare organization’s four walls. To embrace the future and serve the growing older population, Keswick is instituting programs that focus on health and wellness to help aging adults stay in their homes longer and continue doing the things they love. Keswick is still an organization that provides on-campus services, but is also expanding to broaden the population served to assist more of the community with a greater impact on their wellbeing.

Notre Dame of Maryland University was founded in 1895 and is home to Maryland’s only women’s college. NDMU offers a wide variety of full- and part-time undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and certificate programs for women and men, located on a beautiful, secure, 58-acre wooded campus in the residential neighborhood of Homeland. The university also offers programs for adult students at a number of additional locations across the state.

By: Daily Record Staff February 1, 2016