In October of 2012, AHRC New York City announced a newly-established relationship with the Council on Quality and Leadership, (CQL) who have for decades been leaders in the area of establishing standards and accreditation for organizations providing support to the elderly and disabled. AHRC New York City has been working to acquire CQL accreditation, with the goal of becoming recognized on a national level for promoting quality supports in a person-directed manner.
CQL provides a unique method for conducting conversations with the people supported by AHRC New York City. The goal of these conversations is to find out what each person truly wants from his or her life. This information will be used so that we can support people and plan for a future that makes them happier and more satisfied with their lives. This person-directed approach is one which AHRC New York City will incorporate into day- to-day operations with the expectation that the quality of the support we can provide will be enhanced.
Sandra Moody, AHRC’s Corporate Director of Quality Improvement and Outcomes, has been overseeing the implementation of the CQL approach within the agency. “There are nine basic assurances that CQL states are requirements for all services and supports we provide,” says Sandra. “Currently we have three Basic Assurance workgroups responsible for reviewing our policies and procedures for the agency, and making sure they fit the CQL mission as well as the mission of the individuals and staff.” Each diverse group includes staff from all levels and the people who we support on the team.
On Thursday, March 21st, the Quality Improvement Department held a breakfast celebration for the Basic Assurance Workgroups, congratulating them on completing the first portion of the Self-Assessment tool. Using the CQL Self-Assessment tool each group studies Nine Basic Factors including:
- Rights, Protection, & Promotion
Dignity & Respect
Natural Support Networks
Protection from Abuse Neglect, Mistreatment & Exploitation
Best Possible Health
Positive Services & Supports
Staff Resources & Supports
Continuity & Security
Welcoming guests from the work groups, Executive Director, Gary Lind said, “When I came to AHRC New York City, I heard about the work that’s being done with CQL, and I got really excited about the potential here. As volunteers, you were willing to step up and take this added responsibility and bring your talents to it. You are helping to take this great organization and move it even further toward excellence. It’s a good way to harness the energy, the creativity, and passion that people at AHRC have, and funnel it toward this great goal of engaging everyone in our organization in getting the best outcomes for the people we’re supporting. Thank you for all of the work you’ve been doing, and for all the work you will be doing as we move forward.”
The celebration also included an inspiring story of Miriam Figueroa, Recreational Services, and Colin Cowan-Dewitt,Community Support Professional, who helped Jamel, (in the photo above,) to achieve one of his goals: to attend a basketball game at Madison Square Garden. Their assistance followed a CQL interview conducted by Quality Improvement Specialist, Naida Urena and Miriam, who after speaking to Jamel, realized that they were in a position to make one of his dreams a reality. Jamel, who was also in attendance of the celebration, spoke about his experience with excitement. “It was one of the best times of my life!” he added.
The next steps for the Basic Assurance work groups are to create and improve our current policy and procedures, to fit within CQL’s mission. They will present their work and findings for review in the coming weeks.
The Quality Improvement department would like to thank all staff who have worked together to make AHRC New York City and the community a better place for people with disabilities.