I was asked to commit to writing my thoughts and impressions about my experiences as Board member President and CEO of CALTCM.  As many of you may know I served as a president for 3 years (2009-2012) and as a CEO for almost a decade.

First a bit of history, I joined the CALTCM Board around 1987, upon the urging of my partner at the time, Joe Ouslander, who sat on the Board for a few years and felt that change was needed since he had other priorities to attend to.  We were amid some joint activities with the California Geriatric Education Center at UCLA (California Nursing Homes Survey) which needed a person on the ground. These were the times that most of the decision making was done by a small group of Board members, who had quite a bit of self-interest. They were supported by the executive director, who also ran other organizations that some of the board members were involved with, in Sacramento. 

Since those days, lots has happened as I am looking at CALTCM today, it is a different organization, governed by a thoughtful BOD and a small team of staff. The organization is on a good financial footing and has achieved significant milestones. My goal as president and later as the CEO was to create an infrastructure and funding sources that would allow the organization to grow and expand activities. I also focused on creating a succession plan to allow new leaders to take the helm and lead the organization to where it needed to go. I completely expected the new leadership to surpass us, the old guard, in their ability and their achievement. It has been my greatest joy to see that this goal has been achieved. 

CALTCM has few educational “franchises” such as LMG (Leadership and Management in Geriatrics), which was developed during my tenure at UCLA and adopted later by CALTCM. This unique workshop reached its 20th anniversary with more than 500 graduates. CALTCM SNF 2.0®, was originally conceived by Albert Lam as a mini leadership training for SNF teams, but was later expanded to include the core of INTERACT with a longitudinal on-site coaching component to ensure adequate implementation. CALTCM SNF 2.0®, marketed and managed by our talented Barbara Hulz, has trained many dozens of SNFs from around the State who have actually paid for their training. The program caught the attention of the California Health Care Foundation who supported CALTCM SNF 2.0®with a grant allowing training and coaching of 36 facilities in three counties. Evaluation of this project is about to be published. It also attracted the attention of Health plans such as SCAN Health plan, which made it possible to offer training in Northern and Southern California including facilities in West LA and Santa Monica who were associated with the UCLA Health System. CALTCM was able to extend training and coaching to Ventura County facilities. 

It is humbling that the organization, under the leaderships of two of my former trainees, Albert Lam and Mike Wasserman, made CALTCM a powerful force to reckon with. The organization had a listening ear from CDPH and the State Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr Mark Ghaly, during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Their involvement has reversed some ill-conceived policies regarding transfers of older individuals from acute hospitals to nursing homes. This has been followed by two important bills that will improve performance and governance of nursing homes in California, AB 2644 and AB 749.

My retirement from CALTCM coincided with my retirement from my job at SCAN. The silver lining of these two milestones was that it has afforded me the time to complete the writing of my book, a testament to my dear parents and their heroic activities and survival during testing times of WWII. For those interested, it is available on Amazon for you to read.  

The CALTCM journey has been fabulous, it has been fun to see people take leadership positions and propel the organization to greater heights. Above all I owe a debt to Barbara Hulz, CALTCM Project Director, for all the years she has helped me run the organization and shine. Actually, she has made it all possible with her grace and unique efficiency. Thank you for allowing me to have this wonderful experience.

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