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Students studying senior living industry earn award
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
By Sue McMurray, College of Business
PULLMAN, Wash. – The senior living management class at Washington State University recently won the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) 2012 Best of the Best Award in the category of human resources and staff development.
This national award honors programs that are advancing business excellence in the field of senior living.
The WSU School of Hospitality Business Management collaborated with Emeritus Senior Living, Aegis Living, Leisure Care and Merrill Gardens to develop and teach the semester-long class to college juniors and seniors. Through both classroom lecture and site visits, students are able to explore an area of career opportunity most never even knew existed.
The class grew from 14 students in the first semester in fall 2011 to 36 students in the second semester. The four companies are looking at ways to grow the class with the university.
"This collaborative project has been an amazing effort to grow students’ professional perspectives,” said Nancy Swanger, professor and director of the WSU School of Hospitality Business Management. "But to be recognized with an award by ALFA confirms that we are on the right road in terms of cultivating innovative thinking and business acumen that has real-world value.”
"We have the honor to spread the good news about remarkable resident-centered programs fulfilling every aspect of senior living operations, from wellness services to staff development,” said Rick Grimes, president and CEO of ALFA. "All of this year’s entries speak to the high standard of innovation and professionalism among our members and demonstrate their resourcefulness and ingenuity.”
Making the cut
Program submissions were judged for their uniqueness in the industry, innovative use of ideas from outside the industry, impact on residents, their families, staff and operations, embrace of industry core principles, strength of quantitative and qualitative results and strategic vision.
Winning programs and other innovative strategies are recognized in the May/June 2012 issue of Senior Living Executive and will be recognized at the ALFA conference this month.
The Assisted Living Federation of America is the largest national association exclusively dedicated to professionally managed, resident-centered senior living communities and the seniors and families they serve. Since 1990, ALFA has advocated for choice, accessibility, independence, dignity and quality of life for all seniors.
ALFA’s programs promote business and operational excellence through education, research, publications, professional networking and online tools designed to foster innovation and entrepreneurism in the field of senior living.