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Lancaster Area Senior Services Put Quality First

Location: Washington, DC

LANCASTER AREA SENIOR SERVICES PUT QUALITY FIRST -- (Extensions of Remarks - September 15, 2004)

Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate an important event in my district coming up on Wednesday, September 29, an event I would have been eager to attend but for my duties here in the Capitol on that important session day.

On that day, residents and staff of sixteen not-for-profit Continuing Care Retirement Communities in my district will gather together for a ceremonial joint signing of a pledge to participate in Quality First, a nationwide, profession-wide effort to "raise the bar" on quality and on achieving a process of continuous improvement.

These sixteen communities, large and small, constitute L.A.S.S., which stands for Lancaster Area Senior Services. Together, they serve more than 10,000 seniors and 7,000 employees and have made a commitment to work together to explore ways to address trends and services that will enhance the quality of life for their residents.

Part of that commitment was the decision to take part in Quality First. All 16 members of L.A.S.S. are also members of PANPHA, their 300+ member state association of nonprofit housing and service providers, and of AAHSA, their national Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. AAHSA launched Quality First in 2002, along with other provider associations, to make a commitment to earning public trust and to helping older adults and their families live to their fullest potential. Participation in Quality First is a way to prove to a doubting public, a critical media and a skeptical legislature that the profession is committed to quality and constant quality improvement.

The AAHSA/PANPHA version of Quality First to which the L.A.S.S. members have committed includes 10 Elements of Quality: commitment; governance accountability; leading-edge care and services; community involvement; continuous quality improvement; human resources development; consumer-friendly information; consumer participation; research findings and education; and public trust and consumer confidence.

They in turn are based on seven core principles: continuous quality assurance and quality improvement; public disclosure and accountability; patient/resident and family rights; workforce excellence; public input and community involvement; ethical practices; and financial stewardship.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the boards, trustees, and executive staff of the L.A.S.S. communities on their decision to participate in Quality First. As I indicated earlier, it is unfortunate that I cannot attend the commemoration, but I am pleased to be able to mark the event to my colleagues by way of these remarks.

The continuing care retirement communities comprising Lancaster Area Senior Services are: Brethren Village, Calvary Fellowship Homes, Ephrata Manor, Fairmont Homes, Garden Spot Village, Homestead Village, Inc., Landis Homes, Luthercare, Masonic Village, Mennonite Home Communities, Moravian Manor, Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Community, Saint Anne's Home, Tel Hai Retirement Community, United Zion Retirement Community, and Willow Valley Retirement Communities.

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