IGNORE YOUR SENIORS…AND THEY’LL FADE AWAY!
- Organization Name:
- Assumption Home, Inc. (DBA Assumption Community)
- City & State:
- Cold SpringCold ,
- Organization Website:
- Organization's Mission Statement
To pursue excellence in providing a continuum of health and residential services in a Christian environment.
- Impact Essay
In 1963, a women’s church auxiliary founded Assumption Nursing Home in a rural city of Central Minnesota called Cold Spring, population 3000. By 2002, Assumption Community (AC) had doubled the number of bed in its nursing home, added a low income housing unit, and a market rate housing unit. Along with this growth came the realization that in order to meet the community needs of another 39 years, the management team would have to transform their way of doing business. Under the leadership of a new visionary Administrator, they looked ahead at the number of “baby boomers” who will begin to turn 60 on January 1, 2006, the team decided to make big changes in their approach to senior healthcare.
In the fall of 2002, the team conducted their first strategic planning session. They quickly discovered their suspicions were much worse than first imagined. According to U.S. Census reports, by the year 2015, seniors would represent 45% of the U.S. population. They also realized state and federal support programs created over the previous forty years would never support this large number of seniors. The team decided that first, they had to become the leading advocate organization within the community for their increasing numbers of aging citizens, and second they were sadly lacking in the area of technology.
In January 2006, Assumption Community hired an Independent Consultant with experience in Information Media, technology, as well as, non profit management, marketing and fund raising. Over the next six months he interviewed select staff members and all Department Heads. From their feedback a Transformation Task List was developed with over one hundred projects and changes in operations of the Assumption Community. The task list included new technologies such as installation of a new Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and Microsoft Office Professional 2003. Two days of training on the MS Office 2003 products were held for all computer users, opening the door for many on the team to help implement many of the projects on the Transformation Task List. Since 2007, using a variety of Microsoft technologies purchased through Tech Soup, Assumption Community has: Developed Activity Schedules using MS Outlook for all three facilities; Added 111 new users to Outlook email; Developed an Excel Spreadsheet of volunteers, which gave the Volunteer Coordinator the ability to manage volunteer data in a more efficient manner which has had an impact on the increase of volunteers from 100 in 2006 to 300 in 2009; Using MS Publisher for a new quarterly newsletter, Assumption Community News & Views; Developed a MS Excel spreadsheet for a mailing list of all Assumption Community family members, supporters and donors. Using MS Publisher and Excel for the newsletter enabled us to increase our mailing from 450 copies in 2006 to over 5000 copies of the spring 2009 issue; Also using MS Publisher, we designed a new business card and print all of our campus business cards “in-house” as well as 4-color brochures for Assumption Home, Assumption Court, John Paul Apartments, Assumption Community Therapy, and Assumption Home Health as needed.
This has saved a considerable amount of money previously spent on commercial printers; We also eliminated about 22 inkjet printers and networked all desktop computers through the MS Exchange Server to one of three copiers, including a 4-color copier. This important transformation allows us to print brochures and business cards as needed. Our connection to the MS Exchange Server provided us a shared space that enables us to control access to sensitive documents; MS Exchange Server also allows us to connect to our Electronic Health Records provider, process medical claims, and attend online education and mandatory training seminars; We established three separate “Senior Surfing Centers” of 2 computers and 1 printer each, which provided of our residents and tenants access to computers with MS Office and the Internet.
The success of this initial transformation as well as the implementation of a new indirect marketing program of community outreach resulted in an increased demand from the community for an increase in wellness programs and facilities, so we broke ground for an expansion and refurbishing of our original 1963 nursing home. This 24-month upgrade will be completed sometime in 2010 and has provided us the opportunity to install new technologies into this project. Consequently, in 2009 we upgraded the entire 2003 infrastructure to MS Exchange Server 2007 and over the next three months will upgrade 45 computers to MS Office 2007. Other upgrades using this Microsoft infrastructure include: A VoIP telephone system throughout the entire campus that will provide our residents with a more economical phone system and opportunity to add unified messaging in the future; Wireless access point cabling drops for future installation of wireless access points, when we can afford to install the hardware; An entire building data infrastructure that will provide wired video/data/voice cabling into every resident room to support future demands of video communication for residents and tenants. The incorporation of Windows Movie Maker software using both still pictures and video into our marketing and fund raising plans has also provided us several new opportunities. We began to link videos on our website using YouTube and we started an organization which is helping us capture oral histories of some of our residents. This preservation of personal stories and lessons learned has become very popular among our family members. This leads us to largest reward of the information technology transformation of our campus, the ability to market and raise funds for Assumption Community.
Technology not only provided an increase in potential donors and centers of influence from 450 to 5000, it also gave us the opportunity to promote ourselves to other organizations and government agencies, which presented us with many successful and rewarding community outreach projects, including: Rural Stearns Faith-in-Action Program – Trained volunteers helping seniors in need; Cold Spring Walk n’ Wheel Loop – A pathway for community wellness built in the heart of our city; Cold Spring Area Historical Society – Helping to preserve digital histories; The Best AGE Program – A new approach to fitness making a dramatic change in the quality of life for many seniors; Family Memory Care Program – Enhancing caregiver support for Alzheimer’s families. (Note: Links to all these created organizations can be found at: http//:www.assumptionhome.org).
Thanks to information technology provided by the Microsoft Corporation and Tech Soup, the Assumption Community has adopted a new philosophy “We don’t ignore our seniors, so they’ll fade away!” and we are doing our best to ensure that our community, state, and nation doesn’t either.
- Submission Category
- Transformations to Maximize Impact