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Oregon State Hospital CNA Program honored

Recipients of the OHA Directors' Excellence Award pose with OSH superintendent Greg Roberts and OHA Director Bruce Goldberg. (left to right) Diana Marshall, Dawnielle Lorren-Roberts, Roberts, Bernadette Murphy, Goldberg, Nancy Stephen, Marilyn Nichols, Nancy Frantz-Geddes, Kathy Deacon, Becky Hawkins.

Physical changes are taking place at the Oregon State Hospital (OSH), but it's the internal changes that often have the greatest effect on the hospital's ability to assist its patients on their path to recovery.

In yet another example of the ongoing transformation process, OSH was recently recognized for its successful Certified Nursing Assistant Program. Oregon Health Authority Director Bruce Goldberg presented the staff members responsible for the development and implementation of the program with the Director's Excellence Award on March 8.

The CNA program, which the Oregon Board of Nursing described as "a role model for all programs in the state," requires students to undergo 200 hours of instruction and training, with the goal of preparing students to pass the State Board of Nursing's certified nursing assistant examination.

Through the program, graduates gain a unique understanding of the hospital and the treatment and recovery of its patients.

As a result of hiring CNAs who are both highly qualified and already familiar with the hospital, OSH's retention rate for CNAs has increased. This has helped control the costs of hiring and orientation, and ensures the hospital has a high-caliber staff to serve patients.

Dawnielle Lorren-Roberts, a nurse educator at OSH, receives a certificate from OHA Director, Bruce Goldberg during an awards ceremony for the hospital's CNA program on March 8.

Dr. Goldberg praised the team for its initiative to resolve a staffing issue faced by the hospital.

"The program is a phenomenal success," said Goldberg. "It's a great example of staff being proactive and working collaboratively, with wonderful outcomes to show for it."

These outcomes are due in large part to the efforts of the Education and Development Department's (EDD) Nursing Education Team, who spent months preparing the program's curriculum. Nursing team members also participate in the hiring process, serve as instructors, and often put in additional time with students who need extra help.

Staff members from the Office of Human Resources, administrative assistants and hospital leadership also all played important roles in the program's success.

"Everybody involved has exhibited our organization's core values," EDD Director Christopher Wilson said. "The true measure of this work is through the positive outcomes for the people we serve."