June 24, 2021- Achieve Accreditation is thrilled to announce that they have entered into a new strategic alliance with Assisted Living Consultants Consortium (ALCC). This new collaboration brings together two equally seasoned companies both with over 30 years of experience in the senior living industry.

Kathleen O’Connor, MA President & Founder of Achieve Accreditation shared: “Achieve Accreditation is pleased to once again be helping assisted living providers obtain Joint Commission Accreditation. Assisted living providers will find great value in showcasing their Joint Commission Accreditation achievement as a market force distinguisher as well as enjoy the benefit of accreditation as a brand strategy.

Providers will quickly discover that the Joint Commission standards are a solid template for implementing industry best practices and will also serve as a framework for guiding organizations with their continual performance improvement journeys. Both companies look forward to the collaborative synergies that will come from this new strategic alliance. Both companies also enjoy 30 year plus reputations as subject matter experts with deep and wide regulatory knowledge and long-standing track records of accomplishments in the senior living industry.”

Achieve Accreditation is proud to be celebrating over 30 years as the #1 Senior Living Joint Commission Accreditation readiness expert. Achieve Accreditation offers hands-on guidance and comprehensive accreditation readiness resources for skilled nursing and assisted living providers specific to both initial accreditation as well as accreditation maintenance.

Susan Schneider, RN Founder& Principal Consultant of Assisted Living Consultants Consortium (ALCC) stated: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Achieve Accreditation. It is professionally rewarding when two senior living industry leaders get the opportunity to join forces for the mutual benefit of both companies and even more importantly to collaborate on their shared goal of helping assisted living providers across the nation improve performance. Both Achieve Accreditation and Assisted Living Consultants Consortium strategically align specific to both company missions, core values, and national strategic growth plans.”

Susan Schneider, RN is celebrating over 30 years of experience in senior health care. She has consistently demonstrated service excellence in her career endeavors with assisted living start-ups, assisted living survey preparedness, assisted living system audits, and implementing assisted living standards of practice. Susan is recognized as a true assisted living subject matter industry expert.

Wendy Barrett is the Brand Strategist for Achieve Accreditation. Achieve Accreditation has been assisting senior living providers with obtaining and maintaining accreditation for over 30 years.

  • Jessica Prucha

What is brand storytelling?

Brand storytelling is targeted messaging that fosters the formation of authentic connections. This content focuses on a business’s values and provides the audience with a greater understanding of the business. Brand storytelling helps companies articulate their purpose. Ultimately, brand storytelling helps organizations build deeper relationships through an emphasis on stories and values.

Why is it important for companies to tell their story?

It is important for companies to tell their story because this allows readers or listeners to assess if their values align. When companies share the deeper meaning behind why they started or what drives them, others gain insight to the company’s genuine intentions behind what they do. When individuals at a company tell their stories, they also remind themselves of their “why.” Sharing a company’s “why” has the potential to reignite passion, excitement, and foster purpose-driven thinking.

Why is it important to tell brand stories from the senior living industry?

There are many untold stories about the senior living industry and the high-quality care provided to the nation’s vulnerable seniors. I chose to tell my story with the hope that other young professionals might look to the senior living industry as a fulfilling and rewarding career option. While pursuing my degree in journalism, I was drawn to study Gerontology because of the close relationships I shared with my grandparents. I also was fortunate enough to have a business writing internship with Achieve Accreditation which introduced me to the many undiscovered stories in the senior living industry. I am excited to partner with Achieve Accreditation and contribute to their performance improvement mission within the senior living industry. I am grateful for this opportunity and feel passionately about telling Achieve Accreditation’s story.

Jessica Prucha, BAJ is the Brand Storyteller at Achieve Accreditation. Achieve Accreditation has helped skilled nursing providers and assisted living organizations to

obtain and maintain their Joint Commission Accreditation

for over 30 years.


The Achieve Accreditation Story: An interview with Kathleen O’Connor, MA President & Founder of Achieve Accreditation by Jessica Prucha, BAJ Achieve Accreditation Brand Storyteller.

Jessica Prucha: What inspired you to launch Achieve Accreditation?

Kathleen O’Connor: The inspiration for Achieve Accreditation actually started as a seed in my brain, planted by an undergraduate professor over 35 years ago. I was assigned the task to research a company that I might want to work for after graduation. I stumbled upon The Joint Commission in my research, and I was inspired to learn more. Once I discovered an organization that had an entire mission dedicated to continuous quality improvement, I was hooked. This research project eventually led to a career at The Joint Commission lasting almost a decade, where I was fortunate enough to assist in the development of The Joint Commission standards and survey process, train Joint Commission surveyors, and lecture nationally on accreditation as a representative of The Joint Commission. I will also be forever thankful for the great support provided to me by The Joint Commission in obtaining my master’s degree in Gerontology. My next big career calling came in the form of an initial internal whisper and then a louder voice within me that I could not ignore. I had a great urge to bring the best practices learned during my tenure at The Joint Commission to grow performance improvement initiatives in the senior living industry. This journey eventually led me to launch Achieve Accreditation. Many people say that one good teacher can really change your life, in my case that was certainly true. My professor ended up greatly influencing the entire trajectory of my career path by simply pointing me in the right direction.

Jessica Prucha: What have been the surprises and new trends that you have witnessed specific to Joint Commission Nursing Care Accreditation in the last three decades?

Kathleen O’Connor: The rapid growth of skilled nursing providers seeking accreditation has been a welcomed surprise. The increasing number of third-party payors recognizing accreditation, as well as states aligning Medicaid reimbursement incentives with accreditation, is definitely trending up. This trend benefits both providers and residents when quality is upheld to be both recognized and celebrated.

Jessica Prucha: What are some of the memories that stand out most in your mind over the last 30 years in the field of Joint Commission Accreditation?

Kathleen O’Connor: I have thousands of memories of Joint Commission surveys and the difficult but worthwhile preparation work involved. It has been an extremely rewarding aspect of my career to be in a constant learning environment when working with colleagues and client partners. This keeps the work super fresh. The strong colleague relationships and friendships that I have developed are certainly icing on the cake of an over 30-year career in accreditation. There is a funny memory that has stuck with many of our client partners over the decades and is often brought up when reminiscing with colleagues. Specifically, when my daughter Claire was young, she and I volunteered throughout the month of March for many years. We brought our two Shih Tzus, Shamrock and Finnegan, who were dyed green for the St. Patrick’s Day season, to visit both residents and staff on weekends. I am always amazed how many people still talk about this memory on a regular basis. It really drives home the point that it is the “little things” in life that people actually remember the most.

Jessica Prucha: What excites you the most when you look toward Achieve Accreditation’s future?

Kathleen O’Connor: I am excited for the great privilege to be a part of our client partners’ continual performance improvement journeys. I am thrilled to share my career life with the incredibly professional, supportive, and collaborative Achieve Accreditation team. I am overjoyed to be once again helping assisted living providers obtain accreditation. We are super energized as a team to continue to grow our Achieve Accreditation brand nationally and to be a part of the senior living industry’s performance improvement journey on a wider scale.

Jessica Prucha, BAJ is the Brand Storyteller at Achieve Accreditation. Achieve Accreditation has helped skilled nursing providers and assisted living organizations to

obtain and maintain their Joint Commission Accreditation

for over 30 years.