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K-State Today

October 11, 2012

Advocates for the elderly: College of Human Ecology researchers earn Stowe award for study looking at person-centered care in nursing home policy

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

A project to evaluate person-centered care in Kansas nursing homes has earned two Kansas State University researchers the 2012 Dean Barbara S. Stowe Endowed Faculty Development Award from the College of Human Ecology.

Gayle Doll and Migette Kaup received the award for their project, Evaluating Pay-for-Performance and Person-Centered Care Policy.

Doll is director of Kansas State University's Center on Aging and an assistant professor in the College of Human Ecology's School of Family Studies and Human Services. Kaup, an associate professor in the college's department of apparel, textiles and interior design, specializes in the connections between aging and the built environment.

The Stowe award supports outstanding faculty in the college in their pursuit of professional growth in advancement of the college mission, said Virginia Moxley, dean. Stowe was the college's dean from 1983 to 1998. Known as a progressive and innovative national leader, Stowe helped enhance the stature and productivity of the college.

Doll and Kaup are using the award to further their work in person-centered care in nursing homes. Person-centered care describes the move away from hospital-like styles to a home that allows residents to have more control over their lives.

The Center on Aging and the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services have actively promoted culture change in Kansas nursing homes, according to Doll.

The department is attempting to incentivize person-centered care with a program called PEAK 2.0 -- Promoting Excellent Alternatives in Kansas nursing homes -- and the university's Center on Aging has been asked to write a proposal to evaluate it.

Doll and Kaup conduct research in culture change in nursing homes. Kaup evaluates the environment in care facilities to determine how staff function and residents interact. Doll assesses long-term care organization and leads them through the culture change.

"Kansas has been perceived around the nation as a front-runner in person-centered care," Doll said. "It's the perfect place to begin the effort. This incentive plan will be closely watched by other states."

To gather information to develop a comprehensive evaluation, Doll and Kaup met in Washington, D.C., with representatives from two national nursing home organizations, LeadingAge and American Health Care Association, as well as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly and the Administration on Aging.

"Our goal is to help organizations achieve person-centered care environments within the policy structures that guide their services," Kaup said.

Kaup has a doctorate in architecture with an emphasis in applied gerontology and long-term care policy from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she is a fellow at the Institute on Aging and Environment. She has worked with gerontological projects at Meadowlark Hills Retirement Center in Manhattan and Wesley Towers in Hutchinson.

The author of "Sexuality and Long-Term Care," released in 2012 by Health Professions Press, Doll is active in community and state programs that promote successful aging. Under her leadership, the university's Center on Aging has more than quadrupled the number of students enrolled with secondary majors in gerontology. Doll has a doctorate from Kansas State University in life span human development.