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IAHD Puts Mission Into Action Through CQL Accreditation

On June 7, 2019, The Institutes of Applied Human Dynamics (IAHD) achieved Quality Assurances Accreditation from CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership. This internationally-recognized designation means that IAHD has made ongoing organizational transformation a priority, to positively impact people receiving services, support staff, agency leadership, and other stakeholders. By aligning with the highest standards in human services, IAHD is demonstrating an investment in improving the quality of their services and the quality of life for people receiving those services.

“We’re proud to partner with IAHD to help strengthen their policies, processes, and especially practices,” says Mary Kay Rizzolo, President and Chief Executive Officer of CQL. “They’ve already displayed their dedication to person-centered practices through CQL Certification, and are now building upon that with their recent accreditation.”

For over 60 years, IAHD has delivered a broad spectrum of supports and services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families in the Bronx and Westchester County in New York. They work to individualize supports to accommodate each person’s needs, dreams, and aspirations for quality living within the community.

“Accreditation provides a blueprint, a tool, to improve culture, educate staff, and hold people accountable for their decisions,” shares Pam Sclafani, Director Development & Community Engagement for IAHD. “It makes our mission actionable and real for the individuals we support.”

Through self-assessments, reviews, interviews, on-site visits, focus groups, data analysis, ongoing partnership, and more, CQL Accreditation equips IAHD with a proven framework for quality enhancement. By going beyond solely regulatory requirements of traditional accreditation approaches, IAHD is able to assess the effect that policies and procedures have on people’s lives.

“I was able to witness firsthand how IAHD puts people first,” says Katherine Dunbar, Vice President of Services and Systems Excellence for CQL. “They’ve invested a lot of organizational resources to ensure that supports are responsive to the hopes, dreams, and desires of people receiving services.”

IAHD initiated the accreditation process to develop a productive partnership for the organization’s quality journey to advance an organizational culture shift. “We want to increase the quality of life and quality of services for the people we support, and this is achieved by continuous improvement,” states Omayra Andino, Chief Executive Officer of IAHD. CQL Quality Assurances Accreditation offers a motivational force to drive IAHD to provide an environment for the people supported to live their best life.

“During the on-site visits, Personal Outcome Measures® interviews, and focus groups, people really felt that IAHD was putting policies into practice so that they could achieve their desired outcomes,” shares Betsy Burns, CQL Quality Enhancement Specialist.

At an individual level, it was apparent during the on-site review of the accreditation that IAHD places an emphasis on equipping people receiving services with tools and information to improve independence and self-determination. IAHD is dedicated to advancing rights through teaching people about their own rights, training staff the rights of people supported, and utilizing a Human Rights Committee in reviewing restrictions and intrusive interventions.

At an organizational level, IAHD also takes a holistic look at transformation. Operationally, IAHD has dedicated resources to educating staff, empowering people supported, involve families and other stakeholders, and hold people accountable for decisions. Culturally, IAHD has worked to establish an environment of dignity and respect, recognizing its role serving as the foundation for quality of life. Collectively, the organization also gathers data from multiple sources and analyzes it to inform their quality improvement system.

“We appreciate the hard work that IAHD put into the achievement of their accreditation, and look forward to many more years of partnership with them,” adds Rizzolo.