The program implementation process was not without
challenges. Extensive efforts were
undertaken to communicate the program goals and protocols throughout the
community, with the intent of fostering a wide network of collaborations with
home health and social service providers across the community.
A few home
health providers in the Upper Arlington area were concerned that
National Church Residences/InCare, a provider
of comprehensive senior services in the area who was also operating the
pilot program, was retaining an undue number of referrals which gave them a
financial advantage, and represented a conflict of interest.
National Church Residences/InCare’s
response to community concerns was presented in a White Paper
prepared by National Church Residences in September 2009.
The result of the discussions
and plans between National Church Residences/InCare and the City were to continue working together,
following the ethical standards presented in the white paper to avoid any
appearance of conflict of interest issues. This
careful consideration of the program structure offered an opportunity
to reflect on the program development phase and implement important
refinements. Lessons were learned and we share them for your benefit here.
Advice From Lessons Learned
Awareness and Support
Awareness of the community’s older
adult needs and support from elected leaders, Fire Division, and Administrative
Staff are essential components for program implementation and sustainability.
Recognition and Communication
Recognition of the local
competitive health care environment and working to communicate appropriately to
all potential partners/providers is essential for program success. In Upper Arlington a World Café (community conversation)
was conducted to bring all community stakeholders together,
to dispel myths and share the vision for the program, and to receive feedback
and ideas regarding how the program could be most successful.
Time spent building a strong
public/private partnership is time well-spent (i.e., assuming that employing a
service coordinator is likely not feasible for most governmental agencies,
building a trusting relationship with the private partner for a program such as
STAY UA dictates the success of the program).
Identification of on-going program
funding is essential in order to avoid raising community expectations and then
not following through with expected services.
Grants and philanthropic opportunities should be researched and pursued.
Building the appropriate oversight
structure to include an ethics committee and/or advisory council for the
program provides assurances of quality and supervision that is important to the
confidentiality and freedom of choice is essential to program success.
At the end of the pilot test period, a competitive Request for Proposals
was issued and a subsequent contract
was entered into for implementation of the ongoing STAY
the understanding that the demographics and needs of every community
are different, we have provided implementation guidelines and forms that
are intended to assist you in considering a Firehouse Service
Coordination Program for your community. We hope these resources offer
the helpful insight you might need for all aspects of establishing a