NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) at New York University College of Nursing recently hosted a group of healthcare professionals from Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), Singapore, who met with the NICHE team and NYU faculty, and visited five U.S. hospitals to expose them to the innovative NICHE eldercare programs adopted by the facilities.

Visitors from Tan Tock Seng Hospital: Ms. How Ai Xin, geriatric nurse clinician; Ms. Tan Hongyun, geriatric advanced practice nurse; Dr. Tan Thai Lian, senior geriatrician, head of geriatric department of Tan Tock Seng Hospital; Rosemarie Lifrieri; Dr. Margaret Soon Mei Ling, PhD Nursing, assistant director, Nursing Service; Ms. Chia Siew Mee, nurse educator.

NICHE Contact: Barbara Bricoli | 212-992-9753

Tan Tock Seng Hospital Is Considering Adopting the Program as Part of Its Geriatric Medicine Efforts

The intent of the multi-site visits was to learn how to implement the NICHE program and the Geriatric Resource Nurse (GRN) model. NICHE is the leading, international, nurse-driven program designed to help hospitals improve the care of older adults. Member facilities are located in the United States, Canada, and Bermuda. The GRN is an educational and clinical intervention model that prepares staff nurses as the clinical resource person on geriatric issues to other nurses on their unit and is foundational to the NICHE program.

“We had the privilege to visit and learn from NYU School of Nursing and five NICHE hospitals to help us understand the NICHE program and its implementation,” says Dr. Tan Thai Lian, MBBS, MRCP (UK), FAMS, senior geriatrician, head of the TTSH Geriatric Department. “We were overwhelmed by the hospitality of our hosts, and were deeply touched by the passion, commitment, and drive of every single one we met. The enthusiasm was infectious, and the eagerness to deliver the most valuable care to every patient was most palpable.”

Tan Tock Seng Hospital will be starting the designation process in June. They and another Singapore facility, Changi General Hospital, will be working with over 20 other NICHE hospitals in the June Leadership Training Program (LTP). The LTP is a six week program in which hospitals work with NICHE mentors and facilitators to conduct needs assessments and develop a plan to systemically improve care of their older adults patients.

The group visited Chilton Medical Center, a suburban facility located in Pompton Plains, N.J.; NYU Langone Medical Center, a large teaching hospital located in New York City; Jacobi Medical Center, a public Health and Hospital Corp. (HHC) facility located in the Bronx, N.Y.; University of California San Diego (Ca.) Health System; and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles. The TTSH visitors also attended the recently concluded three-day 2014 Annual NICHE Conference in San Diego, Ca. and the Cedar Crest continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Pequannock, N.J. that coordinates care with Chilton.

The Jacobi Medical Center’s Chief Nursing Executive, Ellen O’Connor, RN, BSN, MS, and NICHE Coordinator and Associate Executive Director for Geriatrics, Rosemarie Lifrieri, RN-BC, MSN, MBA, hosted the hospital site visit. The visit included a presentation on the North Bronx Health Care Network’s NICHE initiative, multi–disciplinary grand rounds, bedside rounds, and a tour of the hospital’s simulation laboratory.

The members of the visiting TTSH group were Dr. Tan; Ms. Margaret Soon Mei Ling, PhD Nursing, assistant director, Nursing Service; Ms. Tan Hongyun, geriatric advanced practice nurse; Ms. Chia Siew Mee, nurse educator; and Ms. How Ai Xin, geriatric nurse clinician. TTSH is a large, public tertiary hospital with special interests in neurology, geriatric medicine, and rheumatology/immunology. According to the hospital’s website, TTSH “strives to meet the special needs of older people, especially those who are frail. We evaluate and treat older people with geriatric syndromes, functional decline and pain.”

“Tan Tock Seng Hospital is very interested in adopting the NICHE program as a central component of their geriatric medicine efforts,” says Barbara Bricoli, MPA, managing director - NICHE. “Challenges exist due to the difference in organizational cultures versus the United States. In Singapore, nurses do not have as much leadership and autonomy as here.

“We learned much from each other,” Bricoli continued. “Several NYU faculty members and many nurses, doctors, social workers, and others at all the hospitals met with the TTSH group. They attended grand rounds, teaching rounds, and toured geriatric psychiatric units and simulation labs.”


NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) is an international program designed to help hospitals and healthcare organizations improve 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 healthcare facilities to achieve patient-centered care for older adults. NICHE, based at NYU College of Nursing, consists of over 500 hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout North America.

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Press Contact

Christopher James
Christopher James
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