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Health care administration grant to support study of long-term care sites

RELEASED: Oct. 1, 2010

EAU CLAIRE — A $42,344 grant from The Commonwealth Fund will support a new study by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire health care administration program that will provide a standardized profile of strengths and opportunities of health care sites nationwide.

The study will include the development of a profile to help identify marks of excellence and areas of opportunity in long-term care settings where health care administration students or administrators-in-training (AITs), are placed for their practicum field experiences. The findings of the study will be a resource for organizations, programs and individuals across the country that work with long-term care facilities.

"Preliminary evidence suggests that AIT experience is critical to the effective development of health care administrators," said Dr. Jennifer Johs-Artisensi, associate professor of health care administration at UW-Eau Claire and one of the study's co-investigators. "This project moves the health and aging services field toward a better ability to define what the profile of a quality practicum or AIT experience looks like and will provide a set of benchmarking features for quality."

According to its website, The Commonwealth Fund promotes "a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy."

The UW-Eau Claire study, endorsed by the American College of Health Care Administrators Academy of Long Term Care Leadership and Development, also has received funding from the The National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards Foundation, UW-Eau Claire's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and UW-Eau Claire's Center for Health Administration and Aging Services Excellence (CHAASE).

"With the passage of the Community Living Assistance Services and Support Act, more Americans are going to be able to afford long-term care when and as they need it, a need which will only accelerate as the baby boom generation ages," said Dr. Mary Jane Koren, vice president of The Commonwealth Fund's Long-Term Care Quality Improvement Program. "Leadership is the key to achieving high-performing, person-centered long-term care organizations. This project, through the development of criteria that will enable training programs across the country to evaluate the sites they select for their administrator-in-training experience, will ensure that their students are exposed to only the best."

The results of the UW-Eau Claire study will be reported in academic and industry publications, and they will be shared with other health care administration programs, organizations and interested individuals.

"The results will provide a tool to help health care administration trainees maximize their educational experience and achieve competency in the skill sets necessary to successful long-term care administrators," said Dr. Douglas Olson, associate professor of health care administration and director of CHAASE, who serves as the director and co-investigator of the study.

For more information on the UW-Eau Claire study, contact Dr. Douglas Olson at olsondou@uwec.edu or 715-836-5067.

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MW/JP/DW

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