Dr. Heather Pett-Taylor takes the time to get to know patients to better assess the treatment path needed.

Last week you met Volunteers Kathy, Heidi, Alyssa and Alora. And the week prior it was Self-Advocate, Denise Anderson. This week we introduce Bluestone Physician Services, 2022’s Community Partner Dreammaker Award winner. All will be celebrated at the Transforming Lives Gala on August 19, and we sure hope you can join us in thanking them for their advocacy and support.

What does Bluestone do and how do they make a positive impact in collaboration with Living Well? The best way to explain the work they do is to take it from the people who see firsthand the positive outcomes related to the services Bluestone provides. Here is nomination that was submitted on their behalf:

Part of the Bluestone model is personalized care and taking time to get to know their patients.

Bluestone was founded in 2006 and has grown from a small provider to one of the largest supports for people receiving help through assisted living services in the country. Since 2014 Bluestone nurses, case managers, doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners have been coming directly to our homes to assist people where they live. Bluestone services, paid for through regular health insurance, provides additional support to people’s specialty physicians and Living Well nurses. The services can replace primary care needs for those who choice this care path. Their pro-active support allows people to avoid excruciatingly long ER and urgent care wait times, often saving people hours and hours of time. Labs ordered by Bluestone are often drawn in the person’s own home, and even some X-rays can be done in the home. This is incredibly helpful when people are not feeling well, staffing is short, and people are hoping to not sit in an emergency department waiting room with other people who may be ill.

Most importantly, Bluestone staff take the time to get to know people, build long-term relationships, and schedule regular home visits. This all helps Bluestone staff recognize and identify potential health issues before they occur or become as severe as they could without early intervention. This type of individualized and self-styled care is exceptional.

A great example of what they do is seen with people who require more time. Some people served are a little more apprehensive when it comes to medical care, which is often due to a history of traumatic experiences with health care providers. When people can stay in their own environment, where they are familiar and comfortable, and plenty of time is utilized to provide their medical care, those receiving care respond positively and become much less nervous and apprehensive. A simple task like cutting someone’s thickened toenails may take a long time and cause a lot of discomfort when it’s done in the in the comfort of someone’s bedroom at their home these tasks become much more bearable.

When care teams come to the patients, care can be better streamlined for those who are anxious in traditional offices.

Bluestone providers take the time to get to know someone, build a trusting relationship, and provide care how and where it’s needed most. At Living Well these relationships extend to Nurses and managers. The Bluestone Care Team is responsive and quick to answer questions that are posed by Living Well staff via the communication portal which helps to ensure high quality, efficient, and personalized care.

So, what does Bluestone have to say about the partnership? Dr. Heather Pett-Taylor, their primary physician, who puts hundreds of miles on her car weekly, says, “We knock on your doors and come to your living rooms to talk, assess, and collaborate. We bring our stethoscopes, toenail clippers, PHQ9 forms, and always a set of listening ears. We are proud to be a care partner with your Living Well Teams.”

Bluestone’s primary care providers, care coordinators, and mental health services collaborate to support the people we serve—in our homes. And they do so rain or shine, cold or hot, with the goal to make health care easy for the patient and their care team.

Their model is not the typical standard of care treatment you get at a brick-and-mortar office. They meet the patient where they are, both physically and emotionally. Not only do they come to us at Living Well homes, but they strive to understand the goals and care needs, customizing the appointments and pivoting as things change. Living Well helps makes it smooth by sharing recommended nutrition goals, being great partners in wound care and therapies, connecting often to update them on important changes, and always being available when they round, to answer questions and make sure each person is heard.

Dr. Pett-Taylor says that as the doctor leading Bluestones Integrated Care Team, she is often asked—isn’t it kind of weird to see your doctor in your living room, maybe even in your pjs? But she says, “From my perspective, I think it is THE way to deliver health care, what could be better than for me to SEE where you eat and sleep, what challenges or accommodations exist, to sneak a peek at the snack stash you have on your dresser.” She adds, “No white coat for me. You will find me on the floor trimming toenails or checking out the latest recliner in the house, glancing at this week’s dinner menu, or catching up with a chat at the kitchen table. I am honored and humbled each time I see the smile of recognition, and hear, Dr. Heather, I have a question.”

Living Well is grateful for the partnership. And we are delighted to know that when Dr. Todd Stivland, CEO of Bluestone Physician Services, founded the company back in 2006, he did it as a way to create better care experiences for the people who so desperately need great care but are not always comfortable in traditional health care facilities. He identified a gaping hole in the system, and instead of trying to fill the ever-widening hole, he left the system and started a company dedicated to making the changes necessary to create better experiences.


(The Community Partner Dreammaker award Honors an individual or organization whose work in the community has made a significant difference in the lives of the people we serve.)