History and Growth
History of the Association
In 2010, fourteen NC healthcare organizations operating or preparing to operate PACE programs began meeting to discuss shared interests and issues in starting and operating PACE centers. The National PACE Association provided extensive support to this fledgling group. In 2011, the NC Foundation for Advanced Health Programs agreed to sponsor the new NC PACE Association and secured a two year grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to support the organization and development of the new entity.
In 2012, the Association hired its first executive director and was legally incorporated as a nonprofit entity in North Carolina. In 2013, NCFAHP received a second two year grant from Kate B. Reynolds to support the continued development of the Association and its efforts to expand PACE to unserved rural communities.
January 1, 2014, the Association moved from under the aegis of the NC Foundation for Advanced Health Programs into a stand alone organization. The Association is funded by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, member dues, corporate support and educational program revenue. A third two year grant was awarded by Kate B. Reynolds in 2015.
“The Trust continues to support the statewide PACE Association, as well as individual sites around the state, because of the organization’s ability to deliver excellent health outcomes for low-income, elderly North Carolinians,” said Allen Smart, director of the Health Care Division at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. “In fact, PACE is one of the few programs that deliver results that meet or exceed those for more financially advantaged elderly residents. Investing in PACE is in line with Mrs. Reynolds’ vision to improve the quality of life and health for all North Carolinians, regardless of where they live or how much money they make.”
History of PACE Programs in NC
The state of North Carolina has supported PACE for over a decade. In 2004, the North Carolina General Assembly directed the NC Department of Health and Human Services to develop a pilot program to implement PACE. Elderhaus resulted from this pilot program. In 2008, the State amended its State Medicaid Plan to include PACE as a permanent option.
North Carolina’s first PACE program, Elderhaus, opened in 2008 in Wilmington. It was followed soon thereafter by Piedmont Health SeniorCare in Burlington, which was part of a national initiative to expand PACE to rural areas. Two more programs opened in 2011, two in 2012, two in 2013 and three in 2014.
As of January, 2015, there are eleven North Carolina PACE sites in operation serving over 700 people. In addition to Wilmington and Burlington, there are PACE programs in Asheboro, Gastonia, Greensboro, Fayetteville, Lexington, Newton, Durham, Charlotte and Pittsboro. CarePartners PACE will be opening in Asheville in 2015.
An additional site is under development in Smithfield, and interest is growing as more communities are exploring PACE.
The growth of PACE in NC is among the fastest in the nation. We will soon have more PACE programs than any other state except Pennsylvania.