Pride by association for long-term care pros
James M. Berklan, McKnight's Editor
At their blandest, associations can be conglomerations of disparate members, known for collecting dues for unrecognized purposes and forming mission statements that are forgotten quicker than they are created. But when they get something right, the meaning and impact of their work can bring no bigger smile to your face.
Hello, California Association of Health Facilities.
CAHF, as the long-term care provider advocacy group is known, recently did so much good, we have to call it “very real good.” In fact, the Golden State association received a national honor from its peers, perhaps the highest form of compliment anyone can receive.
The American Society of Association Executives bestowed a “Power of A” Silver Award on CAHF for its role in the rescue of 160,000 respirator face masks that were needlessly being sent to the garbage heap. The award is one of the highest honors that ASAE can bestow.
Dial back to the hysteria — justified or otherwise — surrounding the 2009 swine flu pandemic. The California Department of Public Health purchased tens of thousands of N95 respirators for potential use by medical caregivers.
Just a few years later, the state lost funding for warehousing the unused items. Off to the landfill they were headed, despite their untouched condition.
Enter CAHF and its N95 Respirator Distribution Program. Its coordination of government and private-sector resources is a wonderful model for the phrase “win-win.” With the help of Medical supply distributor Medline, more than 400 skilled nursing centers — not just CAHF members or Medline customers — each received hundreds of the safety devices.
“CAHF's N95 Respirator Distribution Program is another example of how associations continue to have a significant impact in the lives of others,” praised Christie Tarantino, chairwoman of the "Power of A” awards judging committee.
Just seven associations — for groups representing everything from architects to bankers and civil engineers, and, yes, long-term care providers — received the Silver Awards. There also were four Gold and six Platinum honorees.
In other words, long-term care professionals were vaulted into some heady company, thanks to the far-sightedness of CAHF and its leaders.
With all of the salacious headlines the profession draws at times, it's a fine time to take a deep breath, shout “Bravo!” and savor the moment.
James M. Berklan is the editor of McKnight's Long-Term Care News.