259124 Assessing organizational capacity building as a strategy to prepare senior-serving organizations for the Silver Tsunami

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 1:06 PM - 1:18 PM

Chris Armijo, MSPH , The Colorado Trust, Denver, CO
Jana Smith, PhD , Tri-County Health Department, Greenwood Village, CO
Erin Caldwell, MSPH , National Research Center, Inc., Boulder
In 2011, the first post-WWII Baby Boomers reached age 65, marking the beginning of an expected 20 year growth-trend of the older adult population. Anticipating this growth, The Colorado Trust invested $6.5 million in 20 senior-serving organizations through the Health Aging Initiative in 2007. Each organization was awarded a four year grant to fund new or existing senior services and build their organizational capacity. Technical assistance for building organizational capacity was provided through group trainings and one-on-one support from external consultants. Primary evaluation questions were “what outcomes and outputs were achieved by grantee organizations and collaboratives?” and “does providing technical assistance to build the capacity of grantee organizations help improve their ability to serve seniors?” The evaluation team utilized several methods including pre- and post-Organizational Capacity Assessments (OCA), grantee and consultant progress reports, surveys, consultant timesheets, and focused discussions and interviews. Substantial increases were observed in number of seniors served per reporting period – from less than 10,000 to over 25,000. Modest increases in organizational capacity were seen on the pre- and post-OCA scores. However, post-only assessments showed that grantees were quite positive about the impact of the organizational capacity-building on their organization and the external consultants felt significant gains were made by many grantees. Demands on senior-serving organizations will grow exponentially in coming years. Capacity building efforts are crucial to addressing foreseeable demands. Lessons learned on organizational readiness, linking organizational outcomes and client outcomes, consultants, multi-year funding, and leadership engagement appear key to ensuring organizational and client goals.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe The Colorado Trust’s Health Aging Initiative focused on building organizational capacity in senior serving organizations Discuss the evaluation findings linking organizational capacity building to improvement in senior services Identify lessons learned from building capacity in senior-serving organizations

Keywords: Aging, Organizational Change

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working in the field of public health and capacity building since 2005.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.