Fellow ACHCA-NY Chapter Members,
Every year we present the President’s message to the membership and every year the message contains something to the effect of, ‘We stand here on the precipice of the most challenging times that our industry has ever seen…’ What generally follows that statement is something about regulation, reimbursement, or staffing changes in the industry. The temptation to list the problems of today and tomorrow are strong again this year. However, we need to move past the challenges that face us. By now it’s common knowledge that each successive year will get more challenging, not less. This is the year to stress the importance of planning for success in an ever-changing environment.
Over the years there has been a subtle, and at times not so subtle, shift in the way we think about and describe post-acute and skilled nursing care. This year it’s not about the shift from long term care to rehabilitative and restorative care; it’s not in the change from rehabilitative care and restorative care to post-acute care. The change here is more in the way professionals are thinking about everything that is happening in nursing homes. Descriptions of education sessions are morphing from phrases like finding the way in health care or navigating the new survey process, to most recently, sessions with titles like, Surviving in Today’s Health Care Environment.
Think about that for a minute. We are going from a mindset of finding our way and mapping things out to a mindset of, ‘Just let me survive it!’. The shift in mindset is very emblematic of what is happening around us and to us. New rules, QAPI, facility assessment, life safety and emergency preparedness assessment, and so many more buzz words that evoke a shudder in some while others glaze over in numbness. It wouldn’t be so bad if some of the old things went away – but they’re not. Full speed ahead, and by the way, you have to do it with two less C.N.A. FTE’s on the day shift.
So, what’s the plan, how do we move forward? Survival is not an option. We can’t be of the mindset that we are going to survive – we will never make it. Survival is one step away from extinction. We must have the mindset of, how are we going to adapt and excel. There are a lot of tools out there to help us on our journey. ACHCA needs to be in the top drawer of the tool box.
On a State level, the tools that will help us is having a strong chapter. We need to be able to know who our members are and be able to call on them for help and guidance at a peer level when needed. There isn’t a situation that’s not similar to something someone else has experienced. We need a network of peers in all regions of the State that we can access when we need them. We also need a strong education program that leads us through some of the changes that are going on around us. Finally, we also need strong relationships with our vendor partners. Many times, they are the ones that have a full picture of what is happening in pharmacy regulation or reimbursement for example.
These are things that will not happen over night and things that on its own the executive committee can not provide. It will take the commitment of our membership be active participants in the Chapter. We need members to part of the process through committee membership. Education and Membership committees are fantastic ways to get involved, meet peers and become part of the network. There are many other ways to contribute also such as asking a peer to become a member, attendance at educational sessions and convention.
In closing, the executive committee is devoted to leading the Chapter to the best of it’s ability. You will have active leadership providing the membership with opportunities. It will be up to the members to react and commit to making the Chapter a vital tool in box of not only administrators, but other building professionals and leadership as well.
Keith Chambery, FACHCA
NY Chapter President