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The Fairbanks Sessions

I scheduled a bunch of sessions for Alaska providers but much of the material is relevant to all Therap users.

The first several sessions cover some of the highlights of Provider Administration including sites, programs, caseloads, super roles and user accounts.

Here are the first two for your viewing pleasure!

Hugs and Polar Bears,

Allison

Because Alaska

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It has been just about three weeks and I have spent time with just about every single provider in Alaska that is using Therap. The discussions were brilliant, the themes were apparent, and it is clear that we have much to do.

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All of you have since received invitations to the first five of “The Fairbanks Sessions” to supplement training and offer more Alaska-specific discussions when we can. There is also an Alaska User Group on August 22 at 10AM AKDT. You’ll be receiving webinar details closer to our meeting.

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…Oh, Alaska.

You break my heart with your wildness and beauty. From wild and woolly Fairbanks and its Midnight Sun, to salty, ramshackle Anchorage, The Kenai Peninsula and white-capped Redoubt and Iliama, to Homer and glistening Kachemak Bay. And now Juneau with its lush, green mountainsides and ice-filled rivers, straight out of JRR Tolkien.

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Along the way, I have met bikers, hunters, fishermen, bohemians, big dogs and little dogs, Alaska-growns, and a pile of transplants who visited and never left.

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The diversity and charm is unrelenting; the reasons to never leave surround one no matter which area of The Great Big Wild you find yourself in. And I have been made to feel at home no matter where I have visited. Thank you all for that.

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I’m so fortunate to have been here—again. And I promise I will be back. (And hopefully see the Northern Lights!)

Allison

Anchored Down in Anchorage

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The start of this week was with my friendies at The Arc of Anchorage. I spent the day answering a list of questions from their Data Compliance Department, hugging Barb, and hanging with Tricia “Gerrrrr” Skitt and looking at meeting CQL/CARF/HCBW guidelines with her reporting of incidents. We decided it was simpler than we thought and set fire to their form. I also told her to get with Excel (that seems to be the theme with me these days, nerds!).

Brittany and the FOCUS guys were next, Hickok Assisted Living, and Hearts and Hands of Care have rounded out things so far this week here in Alaska. The weather has been windy, partly sunny and around sixty degrees (sorry to miss the heat, east coast, really!).

Watch for some Alaska-specific webinars in July: The Fairbanks Sessions, y’all. I want to make sure all of my Alaskan friendies are on the same page. And no, you do not have to live in Fairbanks to be invited. ;D

Allison

Fire and Truth in Fairbanks

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I spent the end of last week with Fairbanks Resource Agency meeting with department heads, managers, care coordinators, and their new COO, Eric. We spent a lot of time geeking out to Excel and running reports and searches, discussing processes around quality assurance, training, and policies and procedures. It was a jam-packed two days which was pretty brilliant as lines between their various departments opened up and the discussions were plentiful and quite valuable. We are looking to get everyone in a consistent place with Therap and they are really doing very well.

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"And why not use Therap for that??? It CAN do everything!"

The discussions in Alaska have all been around data, quality assurance, process, and billing. They have given me some good ideas and I hope I’ve shared the some with them as well.

Because there is no time for the scenic route…it is all about fire and truth here in Fairbanks, said Charles.

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"There is fire, truth in those Tlogs!"

The next time I’m here, I’m going on an adventure…out into the “wild” with Eric down the river…maybe I’ll shoot something. Or eat dried pike with seal oil. Or fall out of the boat and die. Or maybe just run into the elves, Master Baggins…

I *will* be on Discovery Channel. Fire and Truth in Fairbanks icon wink

More later from Anchorage!

Allison

 

Weather Report: Fairbanks, Alaska

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Chilly, partly sunny. Gorgeous.

I flew from Portland on Sunday up to my beloved Fairbanks to kick off a three-week visit where I plan on meeting every Alaskan provider using Therap to offer onsite training and advice. This is a lot like the first trip I did several years ago, although with less driving. Weather Report: Fairbanks, Alaska icon smile

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Three days in and I’ve already visited several providers in The Land of the Midnight Sun (and yes, it is light around twenty-two hours each day as we head for the solstice!). The big topics of the week are ISP Data, quality assurance processes, and billing (‘cos it works, y’all, really!).

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I was quite moved by all the work Brian at Horizon Assisted Living put into his first apartment for his first two residents. I’ll look forward to seeing him grow as his heart is certainly in the right place in providing a beautiful place to live and creating a company that provides the best services imaginable. Carolyn stood me up at Adult Learning Programs (she dared be on vacation!) but her staff were great and filled with good questions about reviewing ISP Data! And yes, I pulled out Excel and went a little nerd-crazy with them…

And last but not least, I took the “scenic route” to get to Janell, Katrina, and Leslie over at Morning Star Ranch. We accomplished a ton including: giving Katrina her life back by revising their use of ISP Programs (the scenic route, y’all!), adding in some time tracking, and looking at moving into some (spiffy) General Event Reports and the MAR.

Today is for old friends at Crossroads, Teri and Donna, one of the very first stops on my first trip to Fairbanks. We go back hundreds of years in Therap time.

Based on the conversations thus far, I’m going to do several webinars geared for Alaskan providers at the beginning of July called “The Fairbanks Sessions” to fill in the training gaps and help these providers move ahead. All Alaskan providers will be invited, not just Fairbanksians (yes, it *is* a word!).

More soon, most likely when I’ve landed at Fairbanks Resource Agency later this week!

Moose Kisses,

Allison

 

Alaska User Groups

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My friend in Valdez Alaska User Groups icon smile

The Alaska User Groups have been scheduled for 2014. All Alaska providers are invited and will receive an invitation from GoToMeeting close to the date. All of these have been scheduled for online (not that I would ever object to being invited to Alaska…).

Please contact me if you have questions.

February 7 at 10AM AKST

May 16 at 10AM AKDT

August 22 at 10AM AKDT

December 5 at 10AM AKST

See you there!

Allison

 

Goings-On Here, There & Everywhere

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Brookings, Oregon

Oh.Emm.Gee.

It has been a busy few weeks. I feel like I haven’t stopped since returning from our (super-awesome) California conference. I think it’s kind of true, too…

I have been running from southern Oregon (Brookings) with their CDDP and The Mentor Network up to Longview and Tacoma with a bunch of new Washington providers. Alaska has been hopping, too. I have been having weekly meetings and trainings with a handful of providers up there: some new, some revamping, and others getting ready to bill electronically straight to the state.

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I had a great user group in Vancouver with Chris Klimas, who hosted us at his agency, VanCare. We spoke with Jan Sprow from the State of Washington and took a hard look at requirements for their ISP Reporting. Life Works thinks they have it figured out (cos they’re smart and clever); Therap can indeed do what they need. (Of course!)

Watch our site for a TON of trainings coming up from the Certified Trainer nerds, too. I just scheduled them this week.

That’s it. Laying around like normal. Making unicorns. Thanks, Julie.

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Tomorrow, have a Sunday morning session with some Alaskans and then off to Ellensburg to turn Elmview on its head.

At least I have a good assistant, as you can see below!

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Archie is helping Marti edit super roles using osmosis...or keeping her feet warm...whatever

PS: Did you see the moon last night??

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For all my werewolves...

So that’s it. Until I go to Connecticut. And lay around some more. Goings On Here, There & Everywhere icon biggrin

Allison

 

Dear Alaska

This post is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay overdue. Since returning from Alaska, I have been very busy and also been considering what to write about my recent trip to The Last Frontier. A lot of you have asked and there is so much to say so here goes…

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This trip began in Fairbanks, “The Land of the Midnight Sun.” Remember, it was still light until way after midnight when I arrived at 11:30PM on August 6. Fairbanks was my primary destination; Fairbanks Resource Agency (FRA) asked for some major help and training (they shone the Bat Signal into the sky) and they were why I had come.

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A full week of training of direct support staff, care coordinators and directors in all aspects of Therap. Kristi Davis, their provider administrator, was key in orchestrating this plan to finally get FRA ready to pull the lever and launch billing in October. With Catharine’s support, we turned the whole place sideways and began getting them ready.

Highlights of Fairbanks:

I was adopted by my “pack,” Kristi’s herd of Bernese Mountain Dogs.

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We met a dysthymic reindeer at Santa’s house.

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I finally saw a sculpture that PROVES the size of the damn mosquitos in Alaska. SEE!

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I hung out with Ron, Kristi, Teri, Donna, Kaari, and others with whom I’ve become friends. It made this trip feel like a trip home more than a business trip. Thanks, as always, for your kindness and hospitality.

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And then, it was time to head for Anchorage. I decided to take the Alaskan Railroad. Comparable to the cost of a flight, it was well worth it. A twelve hour voyage through small towns, over ravines, and through Denali National Park, made this one of the best things I have ever done. I don’t remember feeling quite so happy ever as I did standing on the observation deck looking out at this immense place.

Highlights of the train ride:

Everything.

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When I arrived in Anchorage, the sun was shining. It was much cooler than Fairbanks, by the way, which had been in the eighties and as dry as a bone. There were also wildfires in Fairbanks that had coated the city in smoke periodically during my stay. Ironic, given that as I write this, it is snowing there now…

The plan for Anchorage was a user group meeting and some meetings with new staff at The Arc of Anchorage, both of which happened and went well. I also spent some time with Hearts and Hands of Care, a new agency, that is very enthusiastic and will be diving into Therap, including billing, as soon as Pauline gets things in order.

Highlights of Anchorage:

The Arc threw me a birthday party!

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I finally met Colleen. She entertained me on my birthday! (And we drank some really good beer.)

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And it’s Anchorage…‘nuff said.

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The final stop was Juneau. It is hard to describe Juneau but I often use the term “otherworldly.” It seems to be always coated in fog and mist, surrounded by mountains and The Mendenhall Glacier, and everything is endlessly coated in green. There is something wild and strange about it. It always reminds me of my first trip to Alaska when I drove to Valdez and went over a mountain pass, down into a valley that turned to sheer rock face and endless waterfalls. I was sure I had stumbled into Middle Earth.

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The plan for Juneau was to meet with some new staff at REACH and have a user group. And we did.

Highlights in Juneau:

Bear hunting and glacier gazing with Anitra

Um, it’s Juneau, y’all

And then, after two non stop weeks, I returned home and was immediately propelled back into training in Washington with some exceptional people. So, sorry for the delay, and as I have told many of you, if you have the opportunity to go to Alaska, don’t even think about it: GO.

I miss it so when I leave. I really do.

I suppose I will just have to find a way back for Northern Lights season. Dear Alaska icon smile

Allison

Washington, Alaska and Parking Tickets

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Greetings from Anchorage!

The past two weeks have been non-stop. I have a lot to tell you…so let’s start with Washington.

Archie and I went to Seattle to host a user group.

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Washington is getting its Therap on and that was absolutely evident by the large turnout to the Seattle User Group. We had around twenty-five people from the Greater Seattle area, Ellensburg, Tacoma, Shoreline, and Olympia. (You’ll notice Dr. Baugh sat to my left…She is my confidante. Dr. LaCasse is also striking a pose.)

And they had a lot to say.

The biggest discussions surrounded two things: auditors and the Washington IISP. Thus far, the feedback from agencies having gone through an audit is very good. The issues primarily revolve around getting the licensing staff familiar with Therap. Aside from that, it looks like we’re passing the grade. And that’s awesome.

The other was discussing the WACs and requirements around their (I)ISP (they have an extra “I” because they are extra special). This discussion began in earnest with SOLA a couple of weeks ago and is continuing throughout the rest of Washington. We reviewed the Therap suite of ISP tools and it appeared to me (and others–it is not just me, really) that the Washington (I)ISP process can be migrated into Therap without much fuss. As Carol Kirk would urge you to do, it just has to be thought out and systemic across your agency. Flow charts help with this. Washington, Alaska and Parking Tickets icon wink

Thanks goes out to Tom Haupt and The Arc of King County for hosting this group AND catering it with bagels, fruit, coffee, veggies and juice…quite a spread. He is one of the nicest guys in Seattle, there is no doubt.

Um, there was one small problem though. Parking tickets…Seattle has some strange rules and we had some parking felons amongst us. Drat! ($47…are you kidding me??)

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Watch your email as we will be having a giant Washington user group online to discuss the (I)ISP soon. And there will be another onsite group in The ‘Couve in October.

And, as I segue into the Alaska part of this whole story, it turns out Archie’s Aunt Barb from The Arc of Anchorage was in Bellevue that very day. They met for the first time and it was a very happy meeting. I know, I know…he just needs to come with me to Alaska!!

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More later on Fairbanks and the Alaska Railroad!

Allison

 

The Final (Orange-Tinted) Frontier

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I’m headed back to Alaska in the next ten days-ish and am looking forward greatly to seeing my friends in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau.

There are two user groups open to the universe and feel free to come by, if you happen to be around.

August 19 at 10AM at The Arc of Anchorage: 2211 Arca Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508, (907) 277-6677

August 20 at 1PM at REACH, Inc: 213 E 3rd Street, Juneau, AK 99801, (907) 586-8228

The groups typically go a couple of hours, depending on what we cover. Please send me a note letting me know how many people you will be sending to either (or both) of the groups, especially for Juneau, as seating is tight.