Understanding complexities of our patients

Dr. Gary E. Eddey

By Gary E. Eddey, MD

Matheny has a long tradition of serving as a teaching site for professional students. Our facility offers the state of New Jersey a campus where professional students can learn to care effectively and efficiently for one of the most complex patient populations in the world.

Our role as an educational campus for medical students, nursing students and interns in social work and therapeutic disciplines is directly attributable to our status as a special hospital. That status has attracted affiliations with the New Jersey Medical School and with teaching institutions throughout the United States. The primary purpose of our training programs is to ensure that students entering the healthcare fields of medicine, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language, social work, psychology, recreation, chaplaincy and music therapy are prepared to understand and meet the special healthcare needs of people with complex disabilities. Matheny funds these programs because the more professionals Matheny can train to treat the developmentally disabled population, the more cost-effective and efficient treatment will become.

The training programs we provide have been the focus of several articles in professional journals, have been presented in conferences and have served as models for national healthcare training programs. Our training philosophy was also featured in a national webinar conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This wide exposure results in our programs contributing to the cost-effectiveness of healthcare for persons with disabilities, not only in New Jersey, but nationally as well.

(Fifth in a series of articles by Gary E. Eddey, MD, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, on the habilitative healthcare model).