Adviser Fall 2018 Vol 1 - Page 26

Navigating Challenge and Change: Two Lessons in Leadership 25 WE asked two alumni of the LeadingAge New York IGNITE Leadership Academy to share their leadership experiences with us as they relate to the ever-changing, ever- challenging field of long term care. The first is a story of resident engagement, a key area of focus for success highlighted in Resident Engagement: A Priority for Tomorrow’s Life Plan Community by Holleran. The second story is about leading through change—which seems to be the only constant in our field these days. The stories from these rising stars will surely resonate with other long term care and aging services professionals, and their learning may offer a spark of an idea of inspiration. Jessica Florio, LNHA, MHA, is the administrator of Wesley Health Care Center, a 342-bed skilled nursing facility located in Saratoga Springs, NY. She is a graduate of the IGNITE Leadership Academy 2017-18 class. Your Action Learning Project of creating a Resident Leadership Committee focused on resident engagement, which is a critical indicator for success in long term care. How have you and your organization been impacted by the project thus far? Wesley Health Care Center places great value on the engagement of its residents to enhance their quality of life and achieve meaningful resident participation within our community. To do this, our Resident Council has been restructured to enhance resident engagement and identify leadership skills among participating residents. We work with the council in an interactive manner to identify challenges and problem-solve together with our interdisciplinary team. Residents in the group who had interest in leading and being a voice for their building were approached for additional leadership responsibilities, and these residents meet regularly with administration. These resident leaders can participate on performance improvement project teams to provide new perspectives and solutions on customer service challenges and process breakdown. Resident members of the committee have become trusted partners in offering creative operational, customer service and individualized initiatives within our campus. The ultimate goal is for us to implement resident-driven solutions that best fit their wants and needs. How did the IGNITE Leadership Academy shape you as a leader in this effort? As a graduate of the IGNITE Leadership Academy, my point of view has shifted as a leader. I have a greater appreciation of the importance of engaging residents in the decision-making process. These residents have offered great insight into the phrase ‘do nothing about me without me.’ We look to the interdisciplinary team to solve the many challenges that arise in our field. To truly understand the effect that the problem has on resident life and develop a promising resolution, a leader must step back and allow the residents to lead the way. Michele Gordon, RN, LNHA, is the administrator of UHS Senior Living at Ideal in Endicott, NY. She is a graduate of the IGNITE Leadership Academy 2017-18 class. Change is a constant in long term care and aging services today. Successfully leading your staff through major changes can be difficult. How did the IGNITE Leadership Academy help you navigate change in your organization? Healthcare is a dynamic field – particularly long term care, which is changing faster than ever. Our regulatory environment, payment Adviser a publication of LeadingAge New York | Fall 2018