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Geriatric Medicine Unit
Barbara Roberge, is a nurse practitioner and nurse researcher at MGH Senior Health. A New Englander all of her life, she began her nursing career at the Boston City Hospital (BCH) Diploma School. She worked at BCH in the surgical intensive care unit for several years, and then went back to school to get a BS in Nursing at Boston University so she could work for the Boston Visiting Nurse Association (VNA). Later she started and managed a health center home care program in Boston. Caring for elderly patients while she worked in home care inspired her interest in geriatrics. She continued her education at Boston University where she obtained her Masters degree as a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner. Barbara then worked as a nurse practitioner for almost 10 years before returning to school at the University of Massachusetts-Boston to obtain her PhD in gerontology social policy.
Barbara was one of the first people hired when MGH Senior Health was formed. She had already been working at MGH as a geriatric clinical specialist for the inpatient Medical Service, and she was excited to transfer to a new opportunity in an outpatient practice.
Barbara loves her role at MGH Senior Health. She enjoys working with her patients, especially those over age 90, and their families the most. “There is something special about someone who lives to over 90 and their attitude toward life. They have beat the odds and they know it, and often have interesting stories to tell,” she remarked. She also enjoys working with the support staff, whom she feels are incredibly important to the quality of patient care at Senior Health.
Beyond her clinical role at the practice, she is Director of Quality and Safety for Senior Health and was team leader for the Senior Health team that successfully obtained a Medical Home level three certification, the highest level possible for a Medical Home designation, Senior Health is the first practice at MGH to attain this status.
She has obtained research funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examining transitions into the hospital for frail elders. When she is not working, she spends time with her family, including her husband Larry, daughter Amy and 3 grandchildren and a son Alex who graduated from the Road Island School of Design.
“Patients will ask me why I did not go to medical school. To them I say because the profession of nursing allows me to focus on health"~ Barbara Roberge, NP PhD
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