Read more: Details about whether you will qualify for OHP as the COVID public emergency ends.

News and press releases

State awards grant to CareOregon for long-term care quality improvement

Jun 6, 2016, 07:00 AM

June 06, 2016



PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) Aging and People with Disabilities program has awarded CareOregon a two-year grant from the Long Term Care Quality Care Fund to develop and test a program of quality improvement training for long-term care facilities.

“Quality is critical to the safety, health and well-being for Oregonians living in long-term care settings,” said Ashley Carson Cottingham, director of DHS Aging and People with Disabilities Director. “We are looking forward to direct care staff having the skills and tools needed through this simple, yet innovative approach.”

Long-term care services and supports is an area of health care that is presently facing enormous challenges. A fast growing number of older adults plus increasing levels of acuity among residents makes the demand on caregivers more difficult. Long-term care service and support organizations face challenges attracting, training and keeping quality staff, while the staff often feel undervalued and underpaid for their hard and caring work.

CareOregon will use the grant to establish a methodology of staff-directed change management that is based on CareOregon’s long history of providing training and collaborative learning opportunities for providers.

CareOregon will build on the components of its Releasing Time to Care program offered to hospital nurses since 2010, and on a companion program for long-term care facilities it piloted last year in the upper Willamette Valley and Portland metro area. Both programs have elements of Lean Management, person-centered improvement methodology and collaborative learning.

“Participants from the hospital setting and long-term care settings have praised CareOregon’s programs for their ability to make quality improvement possible for front-line staff, and to provide them with the tools to make it happen,” said Barbara Kohnen Adriance, CareOregon’s senior business leader for Learning and Innovation. “Improvements in staff and consumer satisfaction, safety, teamwork, leadership and engagement have been demonstrated.”

“I think that the whole profession will benefit from having this tool and set of resources,” said Linda Kirschbaum, vice president for Quality and Services at Oregon Health Care Association. “It is so different than what's been available traditionally and so relatively easy to implement because, again, it doesn't require a top down effort and really can be driven by the people that are most influenced by it.”

“The project will create for Oregon a program that meets national standards of care, enhances team work and communication, and helps caregivers connect to their mission,” said Scott Clement, interim CEO at CareOregon.

During the first year of the grant, CareOregon will develop and pilot the program with 20 community-based care organizations. The second year, CareOregon will scale the program to an additional 40 long-term care facilities, after which it will expand to other facilities in the state. Participating facilities will be selected based on location, size, governance structure and specialty, so as to provide a robust learning opportunity in preparation for state-wide rollout. Funding for the grant will not exceed $731,410 over two years.

“We’re thrilled to be asked to build on the success we’ve had at CareOregon with Releasing Time to Care and other programs like this,” Kohnen Adriance said.

“This builds on the learning collaborative model we’ve developed,” Kohnen said. “We’re really excited to bring the successful aspects of this model to long-term care. We’re looking forward to working with the key people in the profession, caregivers in the facilities and most importantly, with the residents and families.”

For information, contact Jerry Rhodes, 503-416-3718,