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Quality in Senior Living

A blog for and about The Joint Commission’s Nursing Care Center and Assisted Living Community accreditation programs.

Honoring Skilled Nursing Care Providers This Week and Beyond


National skilled nurses week.

By Gina Zimmermann,Executive Director, Nursing Care Center and Assisted Living Community Services

It’s National Skilled Nursing Care Week! How do you honor the many brave caregivers who dedicate their lives to serving others? Unless we’re offering to join them in nursing homes, rehab centers, assisted living communities and other skilled nursing settings our words may seem hollow. But we’d like to try. 

So first, please accept our gratitude for your dedication and fortitude to serve through a pandemic, supply chain shortages, public scrutiny and other challenging circumstances. 

And if we can’t serve with you, we will work to serve you. 

The pandemic challenged us all, and in some ways, those challenges brought change and opportunities for improvement. We’re adapting to try and deliver value to our accredited nursing care centers and assisted living communities in new ways. 

  • July 2022 – Enhanced Memory Care Certification Program for Skilled Nursing Facilities 
    The Joint Commission is partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association to help elevate the care of patients and residents with memory impacting conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Collaborating on a wide spectrum of quality improvement initiatives, the two organizations will launch a new set of requirements this July that align with the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations and reflect best practices in long-term care and memory care. 

  • Summer 2022 – A New Approach to Accreditation Readiness Resources
    This summer, The Joint Commission is launching its Readiness Roadmap to help organizations prepare for accreditation before and in-between the triennial survey. Resources are sorted by subject matter and accreditation stage so users can access the content most relevant to their needs, at the right time. 

  • Fall 2022 – Outreach to Consumers
    Later this year, we will launch a new initiative to engage and educate the community on the value of accreditation – especially when seeking long-term care services for themselves or a loved one. Not only will this endeavor allow us to share our mission with a larger audience, it will also recognize the accredited providers who have gone above and beyond to deliver high-quality care.
  • July 2023 – New Memory Care Certification Program for Assisted Living Communities 

Building upon our enhanced certification program for nursing care centers this year, we will launch a new Memory Care Certification Program for assisted living communities. Stay tuned later this year for more exciting news about this launch.

Although thrilled to continue to enhance our programs for providers, their patients, residents and communities, we certainly don’t do it alone. We have a dedicated advisory panel of providers who guide us on our endeavors and help us incorporate the views and needs of our customers. We are so grateful for these generous and thoughtful members who serve on our advisory panel today. 

Nursing Care Center Advisory Council: 
Robert Francis Amoloria
Chief Clinical Officer 
Legacy Healthcare
Chief Clinical Officer
Chelsea Jewish Lifecare

Megan Kate Baker
Regional Director of Sales and Marketing
Ascension Living

Fred Benjamin, FACHE 

Kendra J. Ferrero, NHA, RN-BC
Vice President of Operations and Clinical Management
Citadel Care Centers
Kimberly Kohls, MPH, LNHA, CHSP
Vice President of Operations
Alden Management Services

Dheeraj Mahajan, MD, MBA, MPH, FACP, CIC, CMD, CHCQM
Chicago Internal Medicine Practice and Research (CIMPAR, SC)

Jessica Nance, RN, BSN 
Assistance Vice President of Quality
American Health Partners

Chaparral Foundation dba Chaparral House
Derek Parris
Vice President of Clinical Standards and Programs
Life Care Centers of America

Lori Pearson
Vice President of Risk Management
Synergy Healthcare Solutions

Fran Rainer, MBA, MHA
Chief Clinical Officer, Consulting Services
Rochelle Rindels, MSN, RN, QCP
Vice President, Nursing and Clinical Services
Good Samaritan Society-Sanford Health

Cathy Schrader, BSN, RN, CDP
Director of Education, Sunbelt Division, Clinical
Signature HealthCARE

Michelle Stuercke
Chief Clinical Officer
Transitional Care Management

Lu Sutherland, RN, MSN, PTA
Vice President of Quality Improvement

Dennis White, MSN, MHA, DNS-CT, LNHA
Director of Clinical Operations, Clinical/Nursing
CHI Living Communities

On behalf of The Joint Commission, thank you. We salute your courage and dedication, now and always. Don’t hesitate to reach out by with questions or concerns you may have. We’re here for you.

Gina Zimmermann is the Executive Director for business development for Nursing Care Center Services and Assisted Living Community Services. In this role, she oversees the strategic direction and performance of the Nursing Care Center Accreditation Program.