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Rufty-Holmes reaccredited by National Institute of Senior Centers

Rufty-Holmes Senior Center has been reaccredited by the National Institute of Senior Centers effective Dec. 1, 2006. Originally accredited in 2001, the center was evaluated for renewal of its accreditation status during November.

Sandi Johnson of the North Shore Senior Center in Northfield, Ill., served as the on-site reviewer, visiting Rufty-Holmes over a two-day period in early November. Her report and recommendation was acted upon by the National Accreditation Board a few weeks later.

The National Accreditation Board commended the center on fulfilling its mission in a thorough manner with excellent collaborations and community partnerships. A commitment to quality and professionalism in service was acknowledged. Note was made that Rufty-Holmes is considered a leader among North Carolina senior centers with a wide variety of programs, extended hours of service and client-directed programming that involves outcome measurements.

The center’s policies and procedures were felt to be expansive, and its comprehensive outreach program was recognized. The stewardship of excellent facilities and grounds was applauded as well as the marketing of center programs and services.

Growth recommendations included the need for additional staffing and resources to meet an increased population, including the expansion of facilities. It was also felt that the employee compensation package was in need of enhancement. It was suggested that the center consider membership fees as one option to increase revenues for the operating budget.

As part of the process leading up to accreditation review, the center conducted a self-assessment involving an Accreditation Task Force made up of board members, ambassadors, staff and volunteers. The task force met for nine months, conducting a comprehensive review of the national standards and evaluating the center’s compliance with them.

As part of the review process, the center developed new vision and core value statements, revised its marketing plan, developed and began using a more formalized approach for tracking progress on annual goals, revised and strengthened several policies and procedures, enhanced emergency response equipment and signage and updated its Participant Satisfaction Survey. The self-assessment process also served as a vehicle for educating board members, volunteers and staff on the multi-faceted operation of the senior center.

Of the estimated 15,000 senior centers nationwide, there are only 135 centers that are accredited by the National Institute of Senior Centers, the only accrediting agency for senior centers. Rufty-Holmes Senior Center remains the only nationally accredited center in North Carolina.

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