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Shepherd's Care Foundation first in Canada to earn CARF accreditation for its aging services network

CARF site survey preparation aligns with Alberta organization's focus on quality and excellence

Edmonton, Alberta -- October 21, 2008 -- Shepherd's Care Foundation holds the distinction of being the first organization in Canada to be accredited for its aging services network by CARF International. The accreditation is for three years, the highest level available.

CARF defines an aging services network as two or more entities that cooperate with each other in delivering multiple levels of care. The network entities might have formal contracts or be under common ownership.

Shepherd's Care Foundation provides a full range of seniors care and service options, using an aging in place model, on eight campuses in the greater Edmonton, Alberta, area.

"We chose CARF because its aging services network standards cover our housing, home care and assisted living services, as well as our long term care stream" explained Shepherd's Care Foundation President John Pray. "We believe it is important to demonstrate accountability and excellence for the organization as a whole, not just in one area. CARF's standards were designed for application in organizations like ours that provide a continuum of services to seniors."

By applying CARF aging services network standards, Shepherd's Care can better attain its vision to be a leader in providing innovative aging in place services with excellence.

CARF survey preparation brings its own rewards

An organization must apply CARF standards for a minimum of six months before CARF conducts an on-site survey that may lead to accreditation. Shepherd's Care Foundation approached its conformance to CARF standards as an ongoing process rather than a short-term project.

"We viewed our accreditation preparation as a road map for quality improvement," explained Shepherd's Care Foundation President John Pray. "Preparing for the surveyors' visit supported one of our strategic directions -- to focus on quality and excellence in all we do."

In their self-examination of conformance to CARF's aging services network standards, Shepherd's Care staff members discovered CARF standards resonated with their own organizational values.

"We deliberately sought out and then embraced the CARF standards because they are developed through a consultative, peer-review process that grounds them in provider realities," Pray said. "Most important, the standards centre on the perspective of persons served, which aligns with the focus of our services."

Pray added, "Preparing for a CARF survey didn't seem like extra work as we used the process to help us move forward in areas we had already identified as important to Shepherd's Care. Preparing for the survey ensured that our progress in quality remained our priority."

Pray concluded, "We are pioneering a new way of achieving benefits for our residents and clients that comes from participating in a quality-improvement-focused approach to accreditation that encompasses all care and service areas of our organization."

For information about aging services network accreditation, visit www.carf.org/aging or contact CARF's Aging Services customer service unit toll free at (866) 888-1122 or by e-mail at as@carf.org.

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About Shepherd's Care Foundation

Registered through the German Pentecostal Assembly (Alberta) in 1970, the not-for-profit Shepherd's Care Foundation provides accommodations and services that allow seniors to access support and healthcare as they age in place.

Almost 40 years of experience in developing and operating facilities has made Shepherd's Care Foundation a leader in supportive housing and continuing care services in age-in-place environments, in Alberta. Its mission is to celebrate life in a caring, Christian environment that provides the safety, dignity, and high quality care essential to each resident's well-being. The compassionate, skilled, and dedicated staff, together with an attentive volunteer base, makes Shepherd's Care programs and services a unique environment for the elderly.

For more information, please visit Shepherd's Care Foundation's website at www.shepherdscare.org. The head office is at 6620 - 28 Avenue, Edmonton, AB T6K 2R1, Canada, telephone (780) 463-9810.

10/21/2008 12:05:00 AM

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