Green House Blog

Anna Ortigara, MSN, Honored by Long-Term Living Magazine

We’re not surprised…but we are very pleased to hear that our colleague and friend Anna Ortigara is one of the four people selected this year to receive Long-Term Living Magazine’s 2014 Long-Term Living Leaders of Tomorrow award.

The award honors individuals who are “…making a difference in their towns and states while serving as exemplar model for others across the country” as leaders in the long-term and post-acute care field.

For the past six years Anna was the Resource Director for The Green House Project.  She was a passionate and driven team member who played an integral role in developing our educational program including countless tools and resources.

Earlier this month, Long-Term Living Magazine published a profile of Anna and the incredible work that she has done over the years, including her work before Green House and the role she holds now as an organizational change consultant with the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI).  In the article, Anna talks about the importance of educating others about communication and team-based problem-solving skills and says, “I’ve come to really believe that using a coaching approach to leading change as the model or framework creates the capacity, the possibility of all the rest of the transformation for the organization.”

Talk about Green House Core Values during National Nursing Home Week® 2014

Are you interested in spreading the word about the Green House model and bringing Green House homes to your community? You’re invited to join Green House adopters and enthusiasts across the country next week during National Nursing Home Week® to educate your local communities and policymakers about The Green House difference.

This year, the American Health Care Association is using the Hawaiian theme, “Living the Aloha Spirit,” for National Nursing Home Week. According to their website, this aloha spirit means that “… the people of Hawaii are encouraged to treat others with deep care, respect and humility, leading to individuals creating a better world.” The Green House model’s core values of Meaningful Life, Empowered Staff, and Real Home, align closely with this year’s theme and we are excited to invite communities across the country to see the difference that our model offers.

Want to get involved next week? Click the Calendar of Events below for details.

 

Contact Meaghan McMahon at (mmcmahon@capitalimpact.org) with your questions or to share success stories, photos and letters.

Louisville Business First Highlights Rick Marshall of Christian Care Communities

This year, Christian Care Communities broke ground on the first Green House homes in Kentucky.  Rick Marshall, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Christian Care Communities, was recently featured in Louisville Business First, a business journal.  In this personal highlight, Rick says beginning construction on the future Green House homes at The Homeplace at Midway was the highlight of his year.

Rick also describes his 25 year career in health care and the importance of a wellness approach to health care.  Click here to read more about Rick’s career in healthcare.

Green House Model Integrity Initiative and Questionnaire

Since the beginning of this year, the Peer Network Model Integrity Committee has worked hard to establish goals for creating a benchmarking system based on the Green House Project core values and clearly defined essential practices. These goals are:

–          To develop a credible, efficient, and effective system to monitor, assist and promote excellence among Green House Model adopters

–          To create this system using a set of Standards of Excellence that in content and application become the gold standard in benchmarking superior performance in  Long-Term Care

This initiative, led by the Peer Network Model Integrity Committee in partnership with Peer Network Project Guide Marla DeVries and consultant Sandy Ransom, will include both quantitative and qualitative elements.  According to Sandy, “We want to be able to clearly show, in quantifiable terms, the Green House difference. This will enable both adopters and the Green House Project Team to definitively show that general long-term care expectations are exceeded in Green House homes, and people experience a greater sense of home and autonomy.”

In order to establish a system that will work for all communities, we will be sending a questionnaire to each adopter organization this summer that asks for information regarding Meaningful Life, Empowered Staff and Real Home and the essential practices that comprise each value. There will also be questions regarding each adopter’s current data collection processes.

This process will allow us to successfully implement and sustain the integrity of the Green House model now and in the years to come.

 

Thank A Nurse in Your Life as we Celebrate National Nurses Week

This week is National Nurses Week. Nurses play an integral role in Green House homes by empowering care teams and bringing knowledge and skills to the Shahbazim. Without nurses, Green House homes could not offer the high level of person-centered care and meaningful life to their elders, that is synonymous with THE GREEN HOUSE® Project. So, let’s take this opportunity to celebrate the nurses who take care of us, who worry about us, and who allow us to do our jobs every day.

National Nurses Week 2014 icon“Every day, nurses step forward embracing new technologies, resolving emerging issues, and accepting ever-changing roles in their profession. They lead the way for their patients, colleagues, organizations, and the health care industry as a whole.”

Watch a message from Karen Daley, the President of the American Nurses Association, here.

Starting on May 6, National Nurses Week began as National Recognition Day for Nurses, but has since gained an entire week! “National Nurses’ Week was established in 1993 by the American Nursing Association to recognize and celebrate nursing professionals. National Nurses’ Week runs through May 12, which is the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the British woman considered the founder of modern nursing.”

If you’re looking for ways to celebrate the special nurses in your life, the American Nurses Association has put together some ways to promote National Nurses Week: Suggestions on How to Celebrate National Nurses Week.

Take the time to thank a nurse in your life today!

7th Eden Alternative International Conference: Green House Staffers Present on a Wide Variety of Culture Change Issues

The Eden Alternative is celebrating 20 years in 2014!  So, the conference last week was time for a celebration and a chance for thought leaders and partners from across the country to share their knowledge and experience with conference participants.  Below are highlights from just a few of the sessions led by Green House team members.

Bringing Eden Alternative Principles to Hospice: Treading New Ground

Person-centered care can be a powerful differentiator in competitive hospice markets.  The Eden Alternative Philosophy can help hospices deal with financial realities like the increased focus on efficiency dictated by Medicare reimbursement cuts, as well as the employee stress and dissatisfaction caused by these changes.   It’s also an important way for hospice organizations to demonstrate to staff that they remain focused on their clients and mission, despite the economic challenges.

That was the message from the session entitled: “Bringing Eden Alternative Principles to Hospice: Treading New Ground” presented by Project Guide, Claire Lucas, of The Green House Project.  While the basic concepts remain consistent across the care continuum, there are unique challenges incorporating person-centered care in the surprisingly medically focused hospice environment.  One challenge is that Elders are located remotely.  Another is the short duration of typical hospice care, with most ranging from just a few days to two weeks.

The Eden Alternative philosophy encourages hospice providers to enrich their visits, and add more value.  Focusing on simple pleasures, activities and hobbies, and reminiscing are a few ways to keep the focus on the person.  Other ways to enhance home hospice visits include aromatherapy, comfort touch and music.

Well-being and the Empowered Workforce: Respect, Relationships, and Growth

The key to empowered staff is coaching leadership according to Project Guide, Marla DeVries and Director, Susan Frazier of the Green House Project staff.
Empowered Staff is the “human architecture” of the Green House home explained Frazier.

In the Green House model, the CNA role is replaced by a versatile worker, called a Shahbaz .  They are part of a self-managed work team – a team that is respected for its proximity and deep knowing of Elders.  A central component of an empowered workforce is coaching leadership, creating empowerment conditions and always “educating, educating, educating.”  “While traditionally a leader is focused on managing people,” said DeVries, “coaching leaders must embrace people.”

With an empowered workforce, the focus is no longer about care-giving, but about care partnership – how staff works together.  Clinical support team staff members do not come in to deliver a solution, but to support staff and to work as a coaching partner.  While working as a mentor and an educator, a coaching leader must balance support and accountability with team members.

A Community-based Green House Approach: Development Goals, Opportunities and Outcomes

There are unique benefits available to providers and developers teaming up to provide healthcare via decentralized community-based approach.

Using the nation’s first community-based Green House project as a case study, Susan Frazier and SWBR Architect, Rob Simonetti, expressed that incorporating senior living options like Green House homes into residential developments is a win-win.  Elders benefit because they’re not segregated from the community, living in a real home, with a normalized environment and routine, and being part of a real community.

Incorporating Green House homes into developments also benefits the developer.   It enhances community support and helps them achieve construction efficiencies.  It’s also a significant market differentiator – the Green House model is very attractive and seen as a positive addition to a development.  “Green House homes make it easier for developers to sell market rate housing,” according to Simonetti.  Part of the attraction is buyers who are anticipating a future need, either for themselves or a loved one.