The Senior Citizens of Kodiak Incorporated found out Friday that it has again been awarded accreditation from the National Council on Aging and the National Institute of Senior Centers. It is the third time Kodiak has achieved accreditation, and is the only senior center in Alaska to have done so more than once.
Senior Center Executive Director Pat Branson explained the accreditation is more than just a simple review.
“It really is a quality assurance. A comprehensive review of what we do in that we have community connections, our fiscal policies are good, human resources and governance – all the nine different standards that I could rattle off to you if you really want to know. And that we are doing the best that we possible can in delivering these operations from the Senior Citizens of Kodiak.”
She said the organization’s board worked long and hard on the self-assessment:
“So they went through the list of documents that are required, policies and review of all these things. We put them into a self-assessment manual that’s about six-inches thick after all the committees had met. And that goes off to the National Institute of Senior Centers coordinator. She reviews that to see if anything’s missing, and then she decides, the coordinator, decides who get to do the off-site review and the on-site review.”
Branson said so many peer reviewers wanted to visit Kodiak to do the review, a drawing had to be held to choose one.
She said there are many practical benefits to the accreditation:
“Not only assuring community members, our participants, our board and staff that we are doing the best work that we can and we have strengths and best practices. But also to our funders, as well, whether it be the city, the borough, the Rasmuson Foundation, corporations that donate to us, the State of Alaska, we can demonstrate that we have done a comprehensive review of what we do here. So we can stand proudly with how we operate here.”
Branson says the national accreditation is good for five years. Kodiak was the first senior center in Alaska to achieve national accreditation in 2003, and went through the process and were awarded a second accreditation in 2008.
She says there will be a community celebration from 3- to 5 p.m. on October 19th, which also happens to be the 40th anniversary of the Senior Citizens of Kodiak Inc.