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Massachusetts Support for Culture Change

Survey Agency

The director of the state survey agency is an active member of the Massachusetts Culture Change Coalition, regularly attending meetings, and serving as the chairperson of the Coalition's Regulatory review sub-committee. The Coalition conducted a statewide educational session that drew well over 500 people – including all state surveyors. In addition, the state survey agency has been holding regular "in-house" educational sessions for surveyors about culture change efforts across the state. State CMP monies are redirected to facilities through "Resident Empowerment Grants" of up to $30,000 annually. There is specific language in the grant applications that require the monies to be spent on improving residents' quality of life.

Long-term Care Ombudsman Program

The Massachusetts State Long-term Care Ombudsman Program and a local ombudsman program director are active members of the Massachusetts Culture Change Coalition. The Coalition has sponsored a statewide conference and regional forums in which both state LTCOP staff and local program office staff actively participated. Local ombudsmen also enter into dialogue with homes around culture change activities. The LTCOP produced an informational handout about culture change for families and consumers looking for a nursing home. They have also provided training on culture change to local ombudsman program directors and the program's 400 volunteers. In the fall of 2007, the LTCOP sponsored a photo exhibit during Resident Rights Week of residents who provided quotes and thoughts on their past and current lives. Many of the participating facilities are on their culture change journey and the LTCOP used the opportunity to educate legislators about the impact of culture change on the lives of residents. The state ombudsman also participates on the advisory council for a state funded workforce development initiative that focuses on creating a positive a work environment with career advancement and education opportunities for long term care staff. This project includes an emphasis on culture change. The Director of the State Long-term Care Ombudsman Program office views the role of her program as "providing education to consumers on what to look for, what questions to ask to judge facilities' commitment to culture change, to share information with staff at facilities that may or may not be on their culture change journey and to support facilities that are on the journey."