Do we have access to a nurse?

Yes, IHS does contract with a nurse who is available for staff consultation and support of the consumer. She monitors all health related services provided to consumers and directly to any consumer who require specialized medical support due to having insulin dependent diabetes or who require g-tube feeding. The nurse provides training in Medication Administration.

What kind of training is required? How much of it is individualized?

All staff who provide direct support services are required to have a high school or G.E.D., reliable transportation including insurance, CPR certificate, First Aid certificate, training in Client Rights, and unusual incident reporting,

Before working with a consumer, all staff are required to complete job shadowing which includes observing experienced staff working with the consumer, documentation, and training both general and specific provided to the individual consumer. As a part of job shadowing, staff are required to review the consumer’s ISP and observe an experienced staff providing services.

Each month, staff are required to attend staff meetings which will provide additional training which may be on general or specific consumer related topics. Staff working with consumers who require assistance with medication must successfully complete a 14-hour course and hold a state certificate for Medication Administration. Annually, certified staff must complete ongoing 2-hour update. Staff working with consumers who have insulin dependent diabetes or require feeding through a g-tube must also complete a 4-hour course to be certified to provide this support. If the consumer receives specialized services from ancillary professionals such as a Speech Therapist, Physical Therapist, or Occupational Therapist, staff working with those individuals receives training in implementing carry-over programs.

What is your table of organization?

IHS Services, Inc. is a owned company by David and Gail Bloom. We have a State Director who oversees the services provided throughout the state by providing support and training to the District Managers. The state is divided into Districts and each with a District Manager. Each District Manager provides support and training to the staff working as Support Service Coordinators and/or Support Specialists in their district. The Support Service Coordinator is assigned to locations where 24-hour service is required. They provide supervision and training to the Support Specialists working with the consumers as well as direct support to the consumers.

As an agency, IHS has 2 offices. The Worthington office is responsible for all personnel files, payroll and billing for services provided to the consumer. The office in Lima handles all paperwork required to document consumer services.

How do we recruit staff?

Many of our staff have come to us through personal recommendations. Historically, this has been through family and current staff who recommend someone they know. Additionally, we have recruited through local colleges as well as newspaper advertisement.

What is your staff retention?

IHS retention rate exceeds the average of agencies in our field. We believe this in part due to the fact that IHS strives to create as many full-time positions as possible. Staff working part time are usually doing so by their own preference. The majority of staff work full time. We feel this enhances our ability to provide continuity of support. Our staff retention rate is far below the nation wide industry standard of over 55%. In 2008 our retention rate was 84%. In 2006 and again in 2007, our staff retention rate was 85%. Only 25% of the staff have been with IHS 1 year or less, 19% of the staff have 2-6 years of service, and 56% of the staff have provided 7-15 years of service with IHS. IHS Services, Inc. has been providing support services since February of 1993. Our management team has the following experience with IHS: our State Director, 15 years; our District Managers average 10.6 years; our site coordinators called Support Services Coordinators average 8.4 years; our Payee Specialist has 12 years; our Office Managers average 13 years. Our Program Specialist has been with IHS for 5 years in various capacities. A couple of years ago we restructured the company and asked a longtime employee to accept the position of Consumer Support Specialist who has 14 years.

Will staff have a 24-hour beeper or cell phone?

IHS does require all staff who supervise a site to carry a 24-hour beeper or cell phone. District Managers and State Director all carry pagers and/or cell phones. The offices have 24-hour voice mail available for non-emergency communication.

Who decides which staff work with me?

You assist in that decision. The IHS staff person who is responsible for coordinating your support services will schedule a time for you to meet any new person. If things go well, the new person will be scheduled to come in and observe an experienced staff person working with you. We call this “job shadowing,” and every person who works with you is required to complete this process before they actually start providing services.