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Valley's View May 26 season finale to focus on accreditation

May 20, 2005

NR05083

The University of Maine at Fort Kent and Northern Maine Medical Center monthly public affairs television program "The Valley's View," will feature a discussion on accreditation, when the program airs on WAGM-TV, Thursday, May 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental, and self-regulatory process that serves the dual purposes of quality assurance and quality improvement.

Discussion, on the season finale episode, will focus on how the campus and hospital regularly undergo these thorough reviews by outside agencies to ensure they are meeting certain standards in their respective fields.

The accreditation topic is timely for both institutions as UMFK is preparing for an accreditation review by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) in the fall, and NMMC recently successfully completed a review by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

The University of Maine at Fort Kent campus community will welcome a team of visitors from the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of NEASC to review the institution for re-accreditation in November.

As part of the re-accreditation process, the university recently submitted a 100-page self-study report, which thoroughly examines every area from the accuracy and effectiveness of the campus mission to UMFK's physical resources.

Joining program host Jason Parent to discuss the rationale and value of accreditation in the first segment will be UMFK President Richard Cost.

In the second segment, professors Rachel Albert and Kurt Holzhausen, UMFK self-study co-chairs, will speak about the document they have produced with various constituencies on the campus, and the future steps in the accreditation process at the university.

"A major theme threaded throughout the self study is institutional effectiveness. The self study is fairly comprehensive and organized around a description, appraisal, and projection framework, which endeavors to describe how the full array of standards is met," said Albert.

The final segment will feature a discussion with Sue Devoe, continuous quality improvement coordinator at NMMC. Devoe, who oversees the accreditation process at the hospital, will discuss the importance of the regular review for the health care facility and communities they serve.

Also part of the program will be the "College Question," a segment that will look at new and exciting developments on the UMFK campus, and "Your Healthcare Connection" which will look at concerns in healthcare, using professionals from NMMC.

The half-hour program, which takes an in-depth look at contemporary issues using local experts as guests to address the selected topics, is broadcasting from "The Lodge", UMFK's new residence hall.