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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 21, 2005

College Of Nursing Presents Long-Term Care Awards

The University of Iowa College of Nursing presented three awards during the college's 16th annual Long-Term Care Conference and Woodrow Morris Lectureship on Nov. 10.

Kim Meier of Leon, Iowa, received the Outstanding Nurse Leader in Long-Term Care Award; Michael Lensing of Iowa City received the Champion of Long-Term Care Award; and Park Place, a residential care facility in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, received the Innovative Long-Term Care Facility Award.

The awards were established in 2000 with the support of the John A. Hartford Foundation Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence at the UI College of Nursing. Janet Specht, Ph.D., UI associate professor of nursing, presented the awards.

Meier, director of nursing at West View Care Center in Leon, received the Outstanding Nurse Leader in Long-Term Care Award (a $1,000 award) for being a nurse leader who demonstrates innovation and influence in evidence-based practice in long-term care.

"Kim Meier has been the director of nursing at West View for four years," Specht noted. "Her dedication to this job is outstanding. We chose to recognize her with this award for encouraging her staff to continue to learn and further develop their nursing skills. Her attention to the current research and implementation of evidence-based practice ensures residents of West View receive quality care. Both administrators and staff agree that she is a true leader in quality long-term care."

Meier, a 1988 graduate of Osage High School in Osage, Iowa, and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, received her nursing degree from the University of Illinois through the GI Bill. She and her husband reside in Leon with their three children.

Lensing, funeral director of Lensing Funeral and Cremation Service in Iowa City, received the Champion of Long-Term Care Award for his interest, responsiveness and contributions in the area of older persons and long-term care.

"Mr. Lensing has long been a friend and champion of the care of elders, as well as a friend and champion of the College of Nursing," Specht said. "He serves on many committees within the College and promotes the use of creative arts to stimulate thinking and talking about aging. Through this, we expand our perspective of the role of elders in the community, and the care that they receive. We appreciate Mr. Lensing's efforts in our endeavor to train nursing students and involve the community in successful aging."

Park Place received the Innovative Long-Term Care Facility Award (a $1,000 award) in recognition as a facility that demonstrates innovation and influence in evidence-based practice in long-term care.

In 1998, Park Place became the first facility in Iowa to use the Eden Alternative method of care. Barbara Hamilton, director of nursing, and Carol Ruggles, activity director, were instrumental in implementing this innovative approach at Park Place.

"They now have four Eden associates on staff and perform annual training on the method," Specht said. "As part of this approach, Park Place provides annual retreats for families of residents. Through this journey to the Eden Alternative, Park Place learned that the most important aspect of care is listening to residents and following their lead.

"Since implementing the Eden Alternative, staff turnover rates have declined to a remarkably low rate, as well," Specht added. "Park Place is welcoming to students from many colleges, as well as others who want to learn about the Eden principles. Park Place provides an excellent example of how innovation can take place in long-term care and the benefits it brings to residents and staff."

More information on the UI College of Nursing and the Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence at the UI is available online at www.nursing.uiowa.edu/hartford/.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Nursing, 101 Nursing Building, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

MEDIA CONTACT: Michele Francis, 319-335-8960, michele-francis@uiowa.edu