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News From the Society

        Be Part of More of a Good Thing for a Positive “Careforce”

        “It sounds lofty, but it’s doable if we start one step at a time,” says JoAnne Reifsnyder, PhD, MSN, MBA, FAAN, of a new effort by AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine aimed at developing action plans PALTC facilities can use to grow and strengthen their workforce. Dr. Reifsnyder, professor of health services leadership and management at the University of Maryland School of Nursing and former executive vice president and chief nursing officer for Genesis HealthCare, is the facilitator for the six-session virtual roundtable series “More of a Good Thing: A Framework to Grow and Strengthen the PALTC Careforce.”
        More of a Good Thing expands on the already successful, evidence-based 4Ms Framework of the Age-Friendly Health System: what Matters, Medications, Mentation, and Mobility (Institute for Healthcare Improvement, “What Is an Age-Friendly Health System?” https://bit.ly/3Imr59K). Guided by the themes of the 4Ms, these focused, collaborative discussions will help develop an action plan with practical steps PALTC facilities can take immediately to build trust and engagement with current staff as well as to recruit and retain new team members.
        “These roundtables present a unique opportunity to work together to codesign some actions we can collectively take to positively address workforce issues,” explains Dr. Reifsnyder. The virtual programs are structured as two-way conversations with short presentations to trigger ideas for discussion, followed by breakouts to identify specific actions. “Participants can be the architects of something that will be disseminated and used widely,” she says.
        Dr. Reifsnyder observes, “One of the 4Ms is what matters, and we ask residents what is most important to them; but we also need to apply this to our workforce as well. We need to ask our nurses, certified nursing assistants, and other team members what matters to them and really listen and respond.” She adds, “This is part of a culture change, a new way of thinking about our workforce and engaging people to feel they are their best selves.”
        Although some of the conversations will address ongoing issues, the focus will be on innovation, fresh approaches, and new opportunities for partnerships. Dr. Reifsnyder says, “We don’t want to replicate what is already being done out there, but we want to collaborate and build on it.”
        There are likely to be some naysayers and different opinions, she admits. However, “if someone, for example, says, ‘I’ve tried that, and it didn’t work,’ I would like to know about what they did, the work environment, how they welcome and onboard new employees, etc.”
        Even if you’re not used to being involved in such discussions, Dr. Reifsnyder suggests that it’s still important to participate in these roundtables. She notes, “Everyone has something to contribute. We are looking to crowdsource the collective intelligence of people on the frontlines, and we need you to codesign this. Even if you think you’d rather listen than talk, please join us, and know that we want your input when you are ready.”
        Upcoming programs are scheduled for June 23, July 28, August 25, and September 22. To register, go to https://bit.ly/3KfOZEL.

        AMDA On-The-Go Wins Prestigious Award for Outstanding Podcasts

        AMDA On-The-Go (AOTG) has won a Bronze Anthem Award for purpose-driven projects as part of the Webby Awards program (see https://bit.ly/3Mxfib4). AOTG was recognized for its COVID-19 podcast series, which featured Wayne Saltsman, MD, PhD, CMD, as host; Swati Gaur, MD, MBA, CMD, as a guest; and John Gladstone as producer.
        As the pandemic swept across the country and through long-term care facilities, many federal and state organizations weren’t able to respond as quickly as necessary to this rapidly changing environment. AOTG sought to fill that gap with expert advice delivered for free in the most rapid and succinct platform available. The podcast platform showed a 55% increase in downloads during the COVID-19 series.
        AOTG was launched in 2019 to support PALTC medical directors, clinicians, and staff. The AOTG family has grown to include JAMDA On-The-Go, Caring On-The-Go, AMDA On-The-Hill, and the Geriatric Journal Club.
        There have been more than 160,000 downloads of the podcasts. Go to https://paltc.podbean.com/ to download episodes from the extensive archives.
        Earlier this year, the Society established the Gladstone Award for Media Excellence in honor of John Gladstone, who passed away after a long illness. Dr. Saltsman was the award’s first recipient. He notes that Mr. Gladstone was proud of the podcast’s popularity. “He loved that people were listening and that the downloads started to accumulate,” Dr. Saltsman says. “He was thrilled when we hit — and then exceeded — 100,000 downloads; and he was so proud that people were going back to older shows and listening to those.” He adds, “It’s humbling to receive this award, but I want to celebrate John. I think he would have thought this whole fuss wasn’t necessary ... I got to know John the man, and he was a good man.”