Vital Research
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Harold Urman, President

Los Angeles, CA – December 15, 2023 – California will formally incorporate the innovative Integrated Satisfaction Measurement for PACE (I-SAT™) survey into its policies for the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) as of 2024. Developed in 2009 through a partnership between the California PACE Association (CalPACE) and pioneering research firm Vital Research, the I-SAT annually measures satisfaction across a critical group— vulnerable older adults enrolled in a PACE program. PACE is a program utilized in 32 states currently. Vital Research conducts I-SAT surveys in nearly 75% of PACE centers in the country.

Effective January 2024, California's Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will require the state's PACE organizations to participate in the I-SAT survey and submit results to the department annually. The policy change comes after years of voluntary I-SAT participation providing invaluable quality and performance benchmarks for PACE sites across California.

Formal adoption of the I-SAT survey into state policy underscores its value as a consistent, comparable source of actionable insights for PACE organizations to assess their services and identify areas for improvement. The groundbreaking tool developed by CalPACE and Vital Research is used to benchmark participant satisfaction, as well as identify growth opportunities.

CalPACE, which represents California’s 26 PACE centers serving close to 20,000 medically- complex older adults and their families, will continue coordinating I-SAT survey fielding by Vital Research. Individual PACE sites will receive customized analytical reports benchmarking the site’s performance relative to peer organizations. Results will also inform policy and best practices for PACE programming overall.

“Standardizing the I-SAT across California’s sizable PACE landscape is a pivotal step in advancing quality services and experiences for this important population," said CalPACE CEO, Val Sheehan. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with policymakers, PACE providers, and our research partners at Vital Research as I-SAT data is put into action in new ways.”

Vital Research President Harold Urman, PhD welcomed the announcement: “Since co-founding Vital Research on a commitment to community-engaged research in 1982, we’ve been honored to support CalPACE and PACE providers with rigorous, inclusive evaluations that give voice to the older adults they compassionately serve. We’re excited to see California cement the I-SAT survey as a standard by which programs can be measured and improved.”

Within the I-SAT participant survey, participants rate the entire PACE experience including activities, meals, transportation, care teams, communications, and more. Sites submit anonymized results to DHCS. In addition to the participant I-SAT survey, Vital Research also offers companion evaluations for family/caregivers and staff working with PACE participants. “Optimizing satisfaction across participants, family/caregivers and staff provides a full picture of PACE program efficacy,” explained Norma Carrillo-Van Tongeren, Research Manager at Vital Research. “Regular feedback allows for refinement of services, activities, transportation, and facilities to better serve California’s vulnerable older adults.”

Learn more about the official policy in California at the Integrated Satisfaction (I-SAT) Survey and Submission Requirements page. For more details about I-SAT and its partner evaluations, visit the Integrated Satisfaction Measurement for PACE (I-SAT™) page.

About CalPACE

The California PACE Association (CalPACE) is a 501(c)(6) association dedicated to the expansion of comprehensive health care services to the frail elderly through the Program of All-inclusive Care for Elderly (PACE). CalPACE was developed to support, safeguard, and expand PACE programs and initiatives in California through education and advocacy to enhance the lives of PACE participants and their caregivers. Formed in 2007, CalPACE jointly created the I-SAT™ with Vital Research in 2009. Find more at

About Vital Research

Since 1982, Vital Research has provided research and evaluation services to organizations focused on social change in the areas of Aging and Disabilities, Health, Community Services, and Education. Vital Research designs and implements research studies as well as formative and summative evaluations to understand people’s lived experiences and the social, economic, and community benefits of programs. In 2009, Vital Research jointly created the I-SAT™ with CalPACE. Learn more at