Vision Centre accelerates LTC leadership, begins promoting resources
The group that has charged itself with creating a more complete vision for long-term care leadership development is enacting a more complete vision for itself this month and next.
The Vision Centre accelerated its progress when it announced Douglas Olson, PhD, its first president and CEO, the last week of August. That alone puts the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization into a faster lane since it had been relying entirely on volunteer efforts the previous three years.
In October, the group will unveil its strategic plan and a star-studded advisory council. It also is nearing publication of a directory of colleges and universities that offer substantial post-acute care leadership development or degree programs.
The Vision Centre’s original goals (from when it was known as Vision 2025) remain intact: To develop at least 25 strong, sustainable university programs and have at least 1,000 paid field experiences available for leaders in training.
“This fall is all about being transparent with that newly minted strategic plan with priorities and activities,” Olson told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. “We’re building a strong foundation. When you see the list of who will be on the advisory council, you’ll be amazed.”
There is also recommitted support from the Vision Centre’s eight endorsing organizations, which are primarily the top associations and groups affiliated with skilled nursing, assisted living and home care operator professional interests.
The Vision Centre’s new name and new tax status were announced at the group’s third annual symposium in June.
Olson was formally appointed president and CEO at an August board meeting. It was Olson who originally created plans for the Vision Centre during a sabbatical from his position as assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He was at the school for 22 years, during which time he developed one of the premier long-term care leadership development tracks in the country, to become the Vision Centre’s top executive.
“There really wasn’t a person waking up every day, thinking about the importance of getting this done. Even though I was committed, it was an overload there, with some extra time spent by a lot of people. But when you’ve got someone who’s president and CEO, knowing every morning this is what we need to build, that’s a very different mentality,” Olson noted.
Steve Chies, the Vision Center chairman and program director for long-term care at St. Joseph’s College in Maine, said hiring full-time staff has launched the group’s mission into a new orbit.
“We are conducting research into the supply and demand for senior care leaders, publishing a directory of colleges and universities that focus on senior care programs, promoting career opportunities to students interested in senior care, advising both current and potential college and universities, and promoting partnerships that include scholarships and internships for providers and universities,” Chies noted.
There is also a new website, monthly communications, recruitment of additional stakeholders, fundraising, and maintaining connections with endorsing organizations, he added.
“The value proposition for universities is finding a new student base,” Olson explained. “For providers, it’s all about finding that expanded pool of leadership talent. (Organizations) are absolutely challenged with finding the right senior living leadership. There’s no shortage of need anywhere.”