Press Release

Stanford Hospital & Clinics Achieves NICHE 'Senior Friendly' Status for Its Efforts to Improve Care for Older Adult Patients


Members of the Aging Adult team (L-R): Yusra Hussain, MD; Candace Mindigo, RN; Rita Ghatak, PhD, Director, Aging Adult Services, Geriatric Health; Amina Huda, NP, PhD; and Pauline Marchon, RN.

Stanford Hosiptal & Clinics has achieved "Senior Friendly" status for its NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) program. NICHE is the premier designation indicating a hospital's commitment to excellence in the care of patients who are 65 years and older. The "Senior Friendly" status recognizes Stanford's NICHE program for having implemented the NICHE Geriatric Resource Nurse (GRN) model and aging-sensitive policies, as well as for having included input from patients, families and community-based providers in planning and implementation of NICHE initiatives.  

The "Senior Friendly" status was assigned following a rigorous self-evaluation of the current state and future goals of the NICHE program at Stanford.

"To be able to implement best practices for the care of aging adults at Stanford is indeed so gratifying," said Rita Ghatak, PhD, director of the Aging Adult Services Program. "With the promise of longevity upon us, improving the care of aging adults is now an imperative. This recognition demonstrates that Stanford is making the care for aging adults a priority."

SHC's Aging Adult Services Program (AAS) was created in 2006 to address issues related to aging and to offer a "continuum of care" model in outpatient, home, inpatient and sub-acute settings. With its staff of elder-care experts and geriatricians, AAS has recognized and addressed the needs and concerns of aging adults and their families in the hospital, clinics and home. As a part of developing services for aging adults, Stanford has invested in intensive work to become certified as a NICHE hospital. Training of in-patient RN's is ongoing and being done by the nursing department and AAS.

"Achieving 'Senior Friendly' status is a wonderful recognition and it signals our commitment to provide compassionate, patient-centered care for older adults," said Nancy Lee, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer. "The NICHE program allows us to have trained professionals who understand complexities among aging adults and are able to provide geriatric best practices for wellness, prevention and ongoing care coordination."


NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) is an international program designed to help hospitals improve the care of older adults. The vision of NICHE is for all patients 65-and-over to be given sensitive and exemplary care. The mission of NICHE is to provide principles and tools to stimulate a change in the culture of health care facilities to achieve patient-centered care for older adults. NICHE, based at NYU College of Nursing, consists of over 400 hospitals and health care facilities throughout North America. For more information, visit

About Stanford Health Care

Stanford Health Care (SHC) seeks to heal humanity through science and compassion one patient at a time, through its commitment to care, educate, and discover.  Across its health system of inpatient care, outpatient health centers, medical groups, health plan offerings, care navigation and virtual care services, Stanford Health Care provides patients with the very best in health and care through its unique leading edge and coordinated care approach.

Stanford Health Care is widely recognized for delivering the highest levels of care and compassion, while also discovering breakthroughs for treating cancer, heart disease, brain disorders, primary care issues, and many other conditions.  Stanford Health Care and its Stanford Hospital, along with Stanford Children’s Health and the Stanford University School of Medicine, are committed to delivering Stanford Medicine excellence to each and every patient and family served.

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