Affinity's Workers' Rehabilitation program receives accreditation
01 / 25 / 2008
Maria Nelson, Media Relations
Affinity Health System
(920) 554-0686 (pager)
MENASHA, Wis. – The Workers’ Rehabilitation Program of Affinity Occupational Health has been awarded a three-year accreditation by CARF International. The program, offered at both
The accreditation represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. An organization receiving a three-year accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process and has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit that its programs and services are of the highest quality.
Additionally, surveyors did not identify any areas of nonconformance to the 1,200 CARF standards that a program is judged on. “This is an extraordinary accomplishment, as only 3 percent of CARF surveys result in no recommendations,” said Brian Boon, CARF president and chief executive officer.
Since 1987, the Affinity Worker’s Rehabilitation program has returned 87 percent of its participants back to work, to job retraining, or provided the capabilities to seek employment. And 81 percent of participants were employed or in a retraining program one year after discharge. The program offers both evaluation and treatment services, including:
- Work capacity evaluation that assess physical capabilities;
- Job analysis to measure the demands placed on a worker by the physical characteristics of the job;
- Ergonomics assessment to adapt job stations to better fit the worker;
- Functional prework screening that looks at an applicant’s ability to perform essential demands of a job;
- ADA paratransit certification that assesses an individual’s ability to access public transportation;
- Physical/work conditioning that helps increase strength and improve flexibility and endurance;
- Work hardening to increase a worker’s tolerance and physical abilities;
- Rehabilitation psychology to address psychological factors that may affect a positive vocational outcome;
- On-site work hardening to provide occupational rehabilitation services directly at the work site;
- Biofeedback, which assists with stress reduction and normalizing muscle functions;
- Back school to provide instruction on proper body mechanics, posture, basic anatomy and general fitness; and
- Vocational rehabilitation counseling to help workers explore their return-to-work options.
“Our goal is to return injured or disabled workers to gainful employment as soon as safely possible,” said Robert Verkins, coordinator of the Worker’s Rehabilitation Program for Affinity Occupational Health. “This achievement is validation that we are focusing on the right things.”
CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of the people served. Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services.
For the Editor:
Affinity Health System, a faith-based regional health care network, is the Fox Valley’s second-largest employer, according to the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry. For the fourth consecutive year, Affinity has been named one of the nation’s top 64 health systems based on clinical performance according to Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care. For ten consecutive years, Affinity Health System has been named to the SDI (formerly Verispan) Integrated Health Network Top 100, an annual assessment of the 100 most highly integrated health care networks in the nation. Both St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton and Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh rank among the top 1 percent of hospitals nationwide in terms of quality and efficiency, as determined by the 2007 Premier | CareScience Select practice National Quality Award. Members of Affinity include Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Health Foundation, Oshkosh; St. Elizabeth Hospital and the St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation, Appleton; Affinity Medical Group, a regional network of 25 family practice and specialty clinics – 22 of which are recognized as NCQA Level III medical homes, the highest level of recognition – in 14 communities; Calumet Medical Center, Chilton; and Affinity Occupational Health.