PA Long-Term Care Learning Network Quarterly Learning Collaborative Highlights Successful Skill-Building Strategies for Staff

One of the true highlights of the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Learning Network is seeing the "all teach all learn" philosophy at the core of the program in action.

On September 15, it was on full display as the program wrapped its third quarter of programming and hosted the second Quarterly Learning Collaborative webinar. The Learning Collaborative highlights peer-to-peer education delivered to nursing facility staff and leadership over the past three months. The webinar, attended by participants from 180 long-term care facilities across the commonwealth, followed the quarter's educational theme of enhancing staff's skills for assessment and management of key conditions. Representatives from nursing facilities from across the state shared best practices on key topics covered during weekly webinars, providing an opportunity for a deeper dive into this quarter's theme.

Participants were welcomed by Nancy Zionts, MBA, COO and chief program officer at Jewish Healthcare Foundation, and Jill Vovakes, MHA/INF, director of the Bureau of Quality Assurance and Program Analytics in the Department of Human Services Office of Long-Term Living.

Kicking off the Best Practices from Across Pennsylvania segment were: Tracy Roman, RN, MBA, NHA, senior vice president and chief operating officer, and Lisa Vercusky, RAC-CT, RA-CTA, QCP, corporate quality director at Fellowship Community, presenting on successful alarm reduction using a strong "culture of safety;" Erika Mascia, BA, CDP, ADC, activities director/director of social services at Harmon House Care Center, shared on nursing home exercise programs as a strategy for meeting residents' cognitive and physical needs; Audrey Fernald, RN, BS, infection control preventionist at Fellowship Community, and Debra Wright, RN, BSN, quality improvement specialist at Quality Insights QIN-QIO, presented on improving staff influenza vaccination rates, sharing how Fellowship Community achieved a 98 percent influenza vaccination rate for staff; Taylor McMahon, RN, director of nursing at The Willows Presbyterian SeniorCare Network, shared best practices for working with residents living with dementia using the Age-Friendly Framework and the 4Ms model of care; Christina Lopez, LBSW, social services director at Frederick Living, discussed using a palliative care lens to promote quality end-of-life care within the nursing home and how the facility is increasing staff and resident/family understanding of the benefits of palliative care.

Attendees next heard from Sophie A. Campbell, MSN, RN, CRRN, RAC-CT, CNDLTC, executive director of educational programming and services at the Pennsylvania Association of Directors of Nursing Administration (PADONA). Campbell presented on Fostering the Development of Nursing Administration in Long-Term Care. A nonprofit voluntary organization of Pennsylvania long-term care professionals, PADONA provides education and tools to facilitate education and promotes long-term care nursing as a unique science-based nursing specialty.

Jewish Healthcare Foundation Aging Initiatives Program Manager Anneliese Perry, MS, NHA, CECM, provided an update on resources available to Learning Network participants via Tomorrow's HealthCare, including session recordings, an interactive forum for sharing best practices, a variety of supplemental resources, upcoming events, and "Q-Tips," quality improvement strategies to share with staff.

JHF launched the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Learning Network in 2022 in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) and three managed care organizations of the Pennsylvania Community HealthChoices Program: UPMC Health Plan, PA Health and Wellness, and Amerihealth Caritas/Keystone. This work will advance and support the DHS strategic quality incentive program for nursing facilities. 

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