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What is the Ceca Award?

Ceca stands for Celebrating Caregivers and was established to celebrate caregiver excellence and promote quality patient care by providing healthcare institutions with the funding, tools and best practices to recognize their outstanding caregivers.

The Foundation’s program centers on a peer-to-peer recognition program and award process that creates employee engagement and learning. Caregivers who are engaged and appreciated consistently perform at higher levels, leading to improved patient care and better patient experience. The Ceca Award is given to caregivers who best exemplify the qualities of empathy, humor, integrity, professionalism and teamwork in treating patient-residents — qualities valued by the cared-for and fellow caregivers alike.

Who is eligible for the award?

It takes a team to deliver outstanding patient care. Therefore, we define “caregiver” broadly to include all staff members at each Healthcare Partner – including direct care, indirect care, administrative and support services. Independent contractor staff may also be eligible if mutually desired. Every employee or contract person in each department receives an account, and every person is eligible to nominate and receive the award. While direct caregivers interact most directly with patients and residents, approximately 30 percent of Ceca’s honorees serve patients in a supporting or indirect care roles.

What is the cost of the Ceca caregiver recognition program to our organization?

Ceca Foundation underwrites the entire cost of the program, which includes financial awards, recognition software, and hardware to support one web-enabled CecaTV monitor. Depending on hardware preferences, there may be a need to mount and provide monitors with power and network access. Additional Ceca TVs are available for purchase by Ceca Healthcare Partners for approximately $400, including shipping and handling.
For larger organizations with supporting Foundations, Ceca may partner with the charitable affiliate to co-finance the award and program support costs.

How much time and effort is required to launch Ceca’s program?

Total cumulative staff implementation time typically ranges from 3-6 days, but this may vary depending on your institution’s size and complexity

For the vast majority of staff, there is minimal time and effort required to support the initiative. Most Healthcare Partners appoint a project manager to coordinate with Ceca’s project manager and internal departments to implement Ceca’s program. Project management typically takes 2-3 days of coordination over the typical 4-6 week implementation period. Additional time requirements are distributed among various internal departments as follows:

  • Human Resources – organizes and delivers staff names, email addresses, photos and other information [estimated 2-4 hours depending on existing availability]; organizes and conducts staff training [1-4 hours depending on staff size]
  • Maintenance/Engineering – installs a web-enabled Ceca TV monitor and hardwires it to the network. [estimated 1-2 hours]
  • Information Systems and Technology – reviews Ceca’s website and installs internal whitelists and desktop links to Ceca’s Award website. [estimated 2-5 hours–there is no need for integration with the Healthcare Partner’s information systems]
  • Legal and Compliance – reviews Ceca’s procedures to assure compliance and reviews Ceca’s standard agreement. [estimated 2-3 hours]
  • Marketing – prepares communications to announce and promote the program’s launch. [estimated 2-4 hours]
  • Various internal departments may contribute a total of ~10 “evangelists” to receive initial training, test your new Ceca Award site and promote the program to the staff. [estimated 3-6 hours cumulatively]
  • Incidental time is required to appoint a Selection Panel member to represent the patient-resident community, procure award props, select staff member to take photos, etc. [estimated 2-4 hours]


How much time and effort is required to maintain the Ceca program after launch?

On an ongoing basis, an hour or two each month is required from a very limited number of staff.

  • President/CEO/Administrator (or a designee should they be unavailable) – serves on the Award Selection Panel.
  • Human Resources Designee – uploads new employees into the system and removes former employees through our automated system at regular intervals throughout the year.
  • Marketing Advocate – encourages program participation at the organization’s discretion; minimal time organizing award presentations/celebrations.
Is the honoree selection process independent of the Healthcare Partner?

Cooperation and support of Healthcare Partners is critical to the success of our caregiver recognition program. However, the selection process should strive to be as independent as possible. Healthcare Partner management serves as one of the three voting members in selecting award winners, but may also veto a panel selection if deemed inappropriate. This supports the credibility of the selection process with individual caregivers without ceding management control. Cash awards are financed directly by Ceca to avoid being classified as additional compensation, and IRS Form 1099 is issued by Ceca when required. Healthcare Partners are also encouraged to continue using their own employee recognition programs (e.g. employee of the month, special awards) and to work with other healthcare recognition programs—as most programs are complementary to Ceca.

How does your system deal with Private Health Information (PHI) to conform to HIPAA?

Ceca does not request nor require any patient or resident-specific information. In the unlikely event that private information is submitted, absolutely no free-form nomination is ever displayed publicly. Only summary level nominee and nominator names and photos are shown publicly on CecaTV Monitors – without detailed text information.

Why does Ceca need to be insured and indemnified by its Healthcare Partners?

Ceca operates as a not-for-profit charity, classified under IRS section 501(c)(3). Ceca’s program is provided to its Healthcare Partners on a mutually voluntary basis. Either party may withdraw from the program with reasonable notice. Ceca underwrites the program without remuneration and is not a vendor. As such, Ceca requests that Healthcare Partners add it as a “named insurer” under their insurance policies (typically without cost to Partners) and indemnify Ceca for potential third-party claims and legal actions. This allows Ceca to operate in good faith and as a going concern.

How is confidential information protected?

Although Ceca does not hold PHI data, all nominations and staff account data are kept private and protected by log-in credentials. Data is securely hosted in Microsoft’s Cloud database, assuring compliance with industry security standards. Ceca staff and its providers are also bound to strict confidentiality standards, and Ceca agrees to restrictions on use of program data.

How is Ceca Foundation currently funded?

Ceca was launched in 2013 with a $1 million contribution from the Matthew and Rosemary Lawlor family. Annual financial reports are prepared by Jitasa, a leading accounting firm specializing in not-for-profit organizations, and are posted on Ceca’s website at www.cecafoundation.org. (See annual IRS Form 990-PF). Ceca’s investment funds are managed by US Trust, an affiliate of Bank of America. The Foundation estimates that existing funds cover program financial and operating needs for 10 Healthcare Partners over its five-year strategic plan starting in early 2014, when Ceca launched its first Healthcare Partner.

How will Ceca fund future expansion and ongoing operations for an extended period?

After completing the initial phase of its strategic plan, which involved launching and operating 10 Healthcare Partner programs, Ceca will seek additional funding from the Lawlor family and other foundations and private individuals. Additional funding would be used to add potential Healthcare Partners in metropolitan Washington DC and beyond. At a future date, Ceca intends to rely on revenue outside of eleemosynary sources to provide a stable, recurring source of funds, without compromising the foundation’s charitable character.

How do you measure the results of the program?

We measure results by looking at several specific metrics.

Level of Engagement

The Participation Rate measures the number of unique staff members that make award nominations divided by the total staff (FTE) over a 90-day rolling period.Ceca also measures engagement by the “touches”, defined by the number of nominations made and received, plus the number of sign-ins and responses.

The Recognition Rate measures the number of unique staff members recognized on an annual basis, divided by the total staff (FTE) for that year.

Ceca also measures engagement by the “touches”, defined by the number of nominations made and received, plus the number of sign-ins and responses.

Impact on Patient-Resident and Staff Satisfaction

Ceca uses a Net Promoter Score where caregivers rate whether they would recommend the facility for their own family of friendsI. Research suggests that employees are rigorous in making the patient satisfaction assessment.

Ceca also tracks other metrics, such as CMS benchmarks, employee satisfaction, patient satisfaction, employee retention and turnover.

Are each Healthcare Partner’s performance metrics kept private?

Yes. Ceca supplies each Healthcare Partner’s senior management program performance metrics on a monthly basis. In addition, Ceca sends a performance comparison with a blind pool of other Ceca Healthcare Partners’ performance metrics. None of the shared information identifies individual institutions. Each Healthcare Partner’s management chooses how to use its own information. For example, many share the participation rate with their staff to encourage increased adoption.

If we decide to move forward, what’s the process and timeline?

After both parties complete their due diligence (including a review of Ceca’s standard agreement), Ceca and its Healthcare Partners enter into a preliminary agreement to move forward. We then begin implementing the system as described above. Once the system is in place and a definitive agreement is fully executed, Ceca works with Healthcare Partners on employee training and marketing programs to raise awareness and interest in the Program. This can take anywhere from two weeks to two months—depending on the availability of partner resources, information and the size of the organization.

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