|NAAP Mission Statement
To provide excellence in support services to activity professionals through education,
advocacy, technical assistance, promotion of standards, fostering of research,
and peer and industry relations.
Founded by Activity Professionals
for Activity Professionals...
NAAP is the only national group that represents
activity professionals in geriatric settings exclusively.
NAAP serves as a catalyst for both professional and
personal growth and has come to be recognized by
government officials as the voice of the activity
profession on national issues concerning long-term
care facilities, retirement living, assisted living, adult
day services, and senior citizen centers. NAAP is
nationwide in scope with a growing membership in
Canada and Bermuda.
The National Association of Activity Professionals
recognizes the following values:
The quality of life of the
client/resident/participant/patient served is the
primary reason for our services.
The strength of NAAP lies in the diversity of its
members. NAAP recognizes the rich cultural, and
educational backgrounds of its members and values
the variety of resources represented.
The strength of NAAP also lies in the development
and promotion of scientific research which further
defines and supports the activity profession.
NAAP values the development and maintenance of
coalitions with organizations whose mission is similar
to that of NAAP's for the purposes of advocacy,
research, education, and promotion of activity
services and activity professionals.
NAAP values members who become involved at the
state and national level to promote professional
standards as well as encourage employers to
recognize them as professionals.
NAAP affords Activity Professionals across the
country the opportunity to speak with a common
NAAP successfully worked with members of Congress
to secure a change in the nursing home reform title
of the 1987 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
(OBRA). Through our efforts, it became mandatory
that an activity program, directed by a qualified
professional, be provided in every nursing home that
receives Medicare and/or Medicaid funds.
NAAP was the only professional activity association
to participate in HCFA's workgroups that revised
OBRA's interpretive guidelines now in effect.
NAAP provides assistance at the state level to
promote certification of activity professionals,
working toward uniform professional standards for
NAAP congratulates the
2006 NAAP Award
Junior Volunteer of the Year
Kelly Bradshaw, NCCAP, Virginia Beach,
Volunteer of the Year
Mary Ann Pyne, Boulder City Hospital,
Boulder City, Nevada
Administrator of the Year
Sue Molnar, Oak Ridge Care Center, Union
Activity Assistant of the Year
Kent De Lano, St. Mary’s of Michigan
Standish Hospital, Standish, Michigan
Activity Professional of the Year
Karee Slaminski, Colonial Manor Medical &
Rehab Center, Wausau, Wisconsin
NAAP Business Affiliate Award of
Gary Grimm and Associates, Carthage,
Trustees’ Award of Excellence
NCCAP – National Certification Council of
All Award Winners were honored during the
Awards Ceremony and Banquet in Reno,
Visit the NAAP website for activity ideas for
the month of May, including National
Nursing Home Week.
Culture Change was one of the hot topics
at the NAAP Conference in Reno, Nevada.
Enjoy the following article on Culture
Change. Activity Professionals are Culture
Changing the Culture of Aging: Pioneer Practices in Long
Term Care Gaining Momentum
By Myrtle Klauer, ADC, CAP
Changing the culture of life in long term care facilities began as an idea shared by a small
group of individuals. These early pioneers wanted to change the way care was being
provided in nursing homes; they advocated moving from an institutional, medical model to
homes where individuals continue to grow, learn, live and develop meaningful relationships.
In 2000, the Pioneer Network was formed to educate practitioners and the general public
about the need for culture change -- not only in long term care, but all settings in which
elders live. The message of the Pioneer Movement is this: “The Pioneer Network envisions
a culture of aging that is life-affirming, satisfying, humane and meaningful in whatever
setting the elders live: home, assisted living, nursing home, or other unique options.”
By making simple changes in philosophy, these early pioneers began turning their own
facilities into real homes where elders could remain in control of their lives and continue to
be productive. This was accomplished without new construction or major capital
improvements to the facility.
Pioneer practices have steadily gained support of regulatory agencies, advocacy groups,
legislators, and the general public. Through a variety of educational opportunities and
newspaper articles about the benefits of Pioneer practices, the Pioneer Movement has
become a national platform for reform of the health care continuum.
The Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1999 (OBRA) supports Pioneer practices according to
Karen Schoeneman, a senior policy analyst for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
(CMS), Division of Nursing Homes. She has been instrumental in training more than 5,000
surveyors about the importance of deep culture change for long term care and the positive
outcomes she has observed in the residents, families, and staff.
According to Ms. Shoeneman, OBRA supports the philosophy and practices of culture
change because OBRA is based on quality of life and quality care for individuals living in
long term care settings. A 6-minute DVD about Person-Directed Care features Ms.
Shoeneman and Thomas Hamilton, Director of the Survey and Certification Group at CMS
discussing issues related to Pioneer practices. This DVD has been shown to a wide variety
of audiences and is available to facilities at no cost.
The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) held a 2.5-hour seminar about the
Pioneer Network, its mission, culture change values, and best practices. This seminar was
broadcast via satellite and is now available on video. This video, A New Look at the Old: A
Learning Opportunity, can be viewed at no cost by visiting: http://www.nursingcenter.
Pioneer Networking, a national newsletter, was launched during 2002. This national
newsletter provides information and ideas to help facilities and staff embarking on the
culture change journey. This bi-annual newsletter features success stories, updates on
Pioneer efforts, front-burner issues, information regarding Pioneer events and seminars,
etc. To learn more about this valuable resource, and subscribe to the newsletter, visit the
Pioneer Network’s Website: http://www.PioneerNetwork. net.
Several books have been published to help facilities understand and implement Pioneer
practices. Leaders in the Pioneer Movement contributed several chapters for the book,
Culture Change in Long-Term Care. The Pioneer Network published, Getting Started: A
Pioneering Approach to Culture Change in Long-Term Care Organizations as a guide to
helping organizations understand pioneer concepts and make positive changes. The
Sanctity of Life and Sacredness of Death: A journey of Putting Pioneer Network Values into
Practice is a booklet published by the Pioneer Network to help individuals address issues
surrounding death and dying. Information and order forms are available on the Pioneer
Network’s Web site. The site includes related links and other interesting topics.
The Pioneer Network launched its Web site (http://www.PioneerNetwork.net) in 2004. Since
then, the site has continued to expand and offer innovative information to anyone interested
in learning more about culture change. The Pioneer Exchange, a blog offering interested
individuals the opportunity to ask questions and share success stories, is the latest
CMS commissioned the Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) in several states to
spearhead a yearlong initiative, which included free training and technical support to several
nursing homes in each QIOs state. The QIOs taught the facilities’ staff how to begin the
culture change journey and systematically implement Pioneer practices. Surveyors,
ombudsmen, gerontologists, educators, Pioneer Network staff, resident advocates, and
representatives from the state’s long term care associations acted as adjunct faculty and
St. Louis Accord
Near the end of the yearlong pilot collaboration, Quality Partners of Rhode Island (lead QIO
for the collaborative) brought together action-oriented teams of committed individuals from
many states to create and develop strategies to bring person-directed care to their nursing
homes. Individual groups had the opportunity to hear from leaders who shared their
excitement and concerns as they related to their specific work. Each state team developed
an individual work plan. The event was held in St. Louis, Missouri and was a huge success.
Participants exchanged ideas, shared success stories, gathered information from CMS and
State survey teams, and made plans for the continuation of culture change across the
The St. Louis Accord offered participants a chance to network with others on the culture
change journey. Choices of breakout sessions were offered to enable the participants to
gather the precise information they needed to take back to their facilities to help with their
progress. The format also included several universal sessions where participants could
ask direct questions of representatives of CMS and other culture change leaders.
As word of the Pioneer Movement and the benefits of culture change spreads, more
consumers are looking for nursing homes and services that reflect “real life” and provide
control over their lives. Educated consumers are looking for facilities where their loved ones
can remain “in charge” of their lives and make decisions based on their own preferences.
Pioneer practices are more than the “right thing to do.” Facilities that have made the
transition find there are fewer complaints from residents and families -- resulting in
increased resident and family satisfaction. Other benefits include: increased staff retention,
decreased use of agency staff, positive reputation with discharge planners and the
community, increased census, and decreased calls to the Nursing Home Hot Line. Making
the transition from offering a “home-like” environment to making it the residents’ home - with
all the rights and privileges this entails - can be financially beneficial.
With the strong support of consumers, advocacy groups, CMS, and each state’s Department
of Public Health, facilities need to be aware of these changing trends in care if they are to
remain competitive in the future.
Helpful Pioneer Resources
• Pioneer Network: http://www.PioneerNetwork.net
• The video, A New Look at the Old: A Learning Opportunity, can be viewed at no cost by
• Information about how to organize a community event to view the video, Almost Home:
The Activity Director's Office
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