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September 6, 2012

Olson testifies at U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging legislative policy forum

Dr. Doug OlsonDr. Douglas Olson, Ph.D., associate professor of health care administration, UW-Eau Claire Department of Management and Marketing, and director, Center for Health Administration and Aging Services Excellence (CHAASE) testified July 13, 2012 at a legislative policy forum of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. The forum, which was titled, Advancing Practices for Raising the Bar for the Senior Care Leaders, was part of the 2012 National Emerging Leadership Summit for Long-Term Care Administrators held June 12-14, 2012 in Washington D.C. 

Olson and 11 other experts and representatives of professional organizations discussed contemporary implications of various aspects of the long-term care administration field. Robert E. Burke, Ph.D., chair and professor of Health Services Management and Leadership at The George Washington University, was the panel facilitator.

In his testimony, Olson echoed comments from other panel members regarding the importance of standardizing requirements for administrator licensure and developing continuity in educational programs across the country. He highlighted the various aspects of the administrator program at UW-Eau Claire which included the educational requirements of the health care administration program, the wide scope of experience students receive in the Administrator In Training (AIT) program, and the stipend students receive during their AIT program, a best practice which helps to supports students during their yearlong field experience.  

Olson also discussed research conducted into the quality and depth of AIT programs and the requisite qualifications for preceptors of AIT programs. He concluded his testimony by summarizing the following comments and recommendations of the panel members:

  • Standardization of licensure is needed to allow the field to focus on better approaches and models of training, and allow for greater portability of licensure.

  • Based on preliminary and strong evidence, the optimal and appropriate level of education and field experience for an administrator can be determined.

  • Valuable field experience allows the student in an AIT program to focus their attention on professional growth and development needed to engage in the profession, and that the students be funded during their field experience.

  • Raising the image of a health and aging services administrator is an important issue to address, requiring the recruitment of a variety of stakeholders to assist in this endeavor.

The panel concluded the policy forum by fielding questions from the audience. Panel members also committed to work to achieve progress on each recommendation highlighted during the policy forum.

In addition to Olson, other members of the panel with UW-Eau Claire ties were Steven Chies, vice president, Long Term Care Operations, Benedictine Health Systems, and Randy Lindner, MHSA, CAE, president and CEO, National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) and the NAB Foundation. Chies and Lindner are members of the UW-Eau Claire CHAASE Board of Advisers.

Advancing Practices for Raising the Bar for the Senior Care Leaders             Panel Members

  • Anne Montgomery, Senior Policy Advisor, Senate Special Committee on Aging
  • Chad Metzler, Senate Special Committee on Aging; Staff representative for Senator Herbert Kohl, Chair, Special Senate Committee on Aging
  • Steven Chies, VP, Long Term Care Operations, Benedictine Health Systems
  • Mary Jane Koren, M.D., MPH, VP, Long-Term Quality Improvement Program, Commonwealth Fund
  • Marianna Kern Grachek, MSN, CNHA, CALA, FACHCA, President & CEO, American College of Health Care Administrators
  • Randy Lindner, MHSA, CAE, President & CEO, National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) and the NAB Foundation
  • Wendy Green, Director, Leadership Development, LeadingAge
  • Alice Bonner, Ph.D., RN, FAANP, Director, Division of Nursing Homes in the Center for Medicaid, CHIP, and Survey and Certification, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Nicholas Castle, MHA, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Health Policy & Management, University of Pittsburgh
  • Robyn Grant, Director, Public Policy and Advocacy, The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care
  • Douglas Olson, NHA, MBA, Ph.D., Associate Professor & Director, UW-Eau Claire Department of Management and CHAASE
  • Robert E. Burke, Ph.D., Chair & Professor, Health Services Management and Leadership, The George Washington University.
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