Mark Hassemer

Dear Readers:

CARF, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, is an independent nonprofit organization focused on advancing the quality of services we provide at ACT.

CARF’s mission:

The mission of CARF is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of persons served.

Representatives from CARF will be visiting us again soon.

The accreditation process involves comparing what we do against various standards for services and business practices. This is done during an onsite survey that is expected in April or May.

ACT has earned the maximum three-year award from CARF after every survey since 1987.

Although there is a lot of preparation involved, I am confident in the outcome. We will once again demonstrate compliance with CARF standards by providing documentation that shows we adhere to each standard. Providing that documentation takes time.

One way we prepare is by taking stock of notable accomplishments that have occurred since the previous survey. Although we regularly celebrate successes, this is a particularly fun exercise. We attempt to compile a statement of all of our successes in a single document. It’s usually an impressive list.

So far, we’ve got more than forty items on a page and a half. I’m sure there will be more. The list demonstrates that we haven’t been sitting still.

Here are some of the things we’ve accomplished:

  • Celebrated 40 years in business
  • Enhanced community awareness through social media and other avenues
  • Improved training opportunities for all staff
  • Increased the starting wage of direct support professionals by $1.00 per hour
  • Implemented major organizational change with the closure of facility-based employment services
  • Refocused employment services on the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the community
  • Changed various programs to more effectively meet needs of individuals
  • Enhanced resources through grants and CoMoGives involvement
  • Increased staff involvement in Statewide associations
  • Presented case studies and reports at local, State, and National venues
  • Improved business practices with new fund accounting software

There’s more. But this should show that we’ve been busy. And not just busy. We’ve produced results. We’ve changed for the better.

Many of these accomplishments are a direct result of us responding to feedback obtained in the review and accreditation process. It’s difficult, but invaluable.

As the CARF manual says, we continually assess the environment, set strategy, gain input from individuals served and other stakeholders, implement the plan, review the results, and effect change. We do this in every area of our work. It’s what good organizations do.

The people we serve deserve the best ACT can be. CARF helps us keep moving toward that ideal.

Until Next Month,

Mark Hassemer