Steven Chies, MHA, HSE, LNHA, FACHCA - Long-term Care Program Director, St. Joseph's College, Standish, Maine. Author of Pratt's Long-Term Care: Managing Across the Continuum.
The appointment of a CMS Commission on the response to COVID-19 in skilled nursing facilities was announced early in the summer and was tasked with a very specific mandate and deadline. They were to make recommendations on best practices for addressing COVID-19 in the skilled nursing facility sector by early September. This was an important mission with a very short time frame. Kudos to the Commissioners for volunteering for this challenging task and meeting the mandate.
The 187-page document with 27 major recommendations provide an excellent map for providers to lead an organization’s response to COVID-19 as we move into the winter months. It provides some of the best practices that should be adopted in the 15,000 skilled nursing facilities and in many of the nation’s assisted living operations. What was missing in the report in my observation was a discussion of the impact a knowledgeable and quality-driven leadership has and will have on the spread of COVID-19 in the senior care sector.
In my update to John Pratt’s Long-Term Care: Managing Across the Continuum, I have stressed the critical importance of enhancing the academic preparation for leadership in the sector. The development of this leadership is an important part of the work for both academics/providers and relationships that need to be enhanced with better collaboration. Creating learning partnerships between providers and universities, developing meaningful paid internships, and assessing the skills/knowledge for leadership in this sector are critically important outcomes. There are operational issues facing the sector, such as COVID-19 and the other challenges that be confronted by the next cohort of senior care leaders.
It is my belief that developing highly effective, quality-driven leadership in the senior care sector is a key element to achieving superior quality and better outcomes for the patients and residents. The connections between providers and academia will help to create those highly effective future senior care leaders who will need to face the challenges of an aging population.
About the Author
Steven Chies, MHA, HSE, LNHA, FACHCA - Long-term Care Program Director, St. Joseph's College, Standish, Maine
Steven Chies has been engaged and an advocate in the long-term care sector for four decades in both the for-profit and non-profit organizations. Most recently, he is the Program Director for Long-term Care at St. Joseph’s College of Maine where he oversees the courses and teaches online in long-term care studies. He has taught at the University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and Minnesota State University at Mankato. Steve has served in a number of volunteer leadership positions in state and national associations, including as Chair of the National Association of Board of Examiners for Long-term Care Administrators. He has been a Fellow at ACHCA for a number of years. Steven Chies is also author of the Fifth Edition of Pratt's Long-Term Care: Managing Across the Continuum.