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Innovative Partnerships: VCU Gerontology + DMAS + FACT

Person-Centered Trauma-Informed Care in Virginia Nursing Facilities

Nursing facility Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) staff often experience high on-the-job stress, vicarious trauma, and childhood or post-traumatic stress disorder from life events that impact their health, well-being, and job performance and satisfaction. Likewise, people living in nursing facilities may also experience various types of trauma and loss ranging from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), post-traumatic stress disorder, unexpected transitions and loss, and re-traumatization.

FACT and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Department of Gerontology are partnering to develop a multi-modal training program focused on increasing resilience within CNAs. Using a Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) civil penalties fund grant, the project will build trauma-informed and resilience-focused organizational cultures within licensed nursing facilities.

This project is focused exclusively on nursing facilities and proposes to develop a pilot that assesses individual resilience and organizational trauma-informed care capacity with four nursing facilities in Virginia. Because organizational policies, practices, and supports effect CNAs’ ability to deliver services, this project will target CNAs, managers, and administrators as follows:

  • CNAs will participate in a resilience/trauma-informed capacity survey pre-test, focus groups, trauma-informed care training, resilience skills-building training, and resilience/trauma-informed capacity post-test.
  • Managers and Administrators will participate in interviews, resilience/trauma-informed care training, resilience skills-building training, and resilience/trauma-informed capacity post-test.

FACT was excited to facilitate this innovative partnership and has convened a multi-disciplinary stakeholders advisory group, which includes several FACT Board members. At the conclusion of the pilots, FACT will develop an issue brief that highlights the project and research findings and educates on secondary trauma.

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