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In 2018, the California Department of Public Health awarded a grant to the California Association of Health Facilities to develop a template for the creation and sustainment of volunteer programs in skilled nursing facilities.


The CAHF Volunteer Engagement Project provides a framework for facilities to engage their communities and create a successful and ongoing volunteer program. Initially, the two and a half year program started an intensive pilot volunteer program in 20 skilled nursing facilities. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the program to pivot to create a hybrid template which incorporates virtual volunteer strategies along with a traditional volunteer program roadmap.


The presence of a robust volunteer program in a skilled nursing center improves quality of life by providing companionship and individualized activities that are resident-driven. The project helped identify effective, positive, person-centered practices supported by volunteers and includes an Idea Guide as a resource. 


A free, comprehensive state-specific Handbook is now available to any of California’s 1,220 skilled nursing facilities that are interested in implementing a successful, sustainable volunteer program.


For more information contact DeAnn Walters at 916-432-5213

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