Develop community based home-visit nursery care station in Japan

Develop community based home-visit nursery care station in Japan

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Our desire is to fill the increasing needs of home-visit nursery in Japan.

Currently we are providing home-visit nursery service in 48 locations nationwide. At CANNUS, certified nurse which is away from their full-time employment because of their personal reason such as child-birth or marriage serve for the elderly or handicapped who is in need of professional medical care at home. We are also aiming at expanding our service to suburban and rural areas to increase the quality of social welfare service in Japan.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

CANNUS’s low-cost care fill the need which national healthcare system cannot provide solution – domestic helpers are prohibited to conduct medical care activities and nurse are generally not willing to do non-care activities such as residential care since their unit cost is expensive. We are in challenge for the regulation reform to bring solution to the shortage of human resources of doctors or nurse, by allowing nurses to open a clinic by him/herself alone. If the system realize, nurse will be able to open home-visit nursing station in the rural area. At the same time, it will raise same discussion to allow medical technicians to enter into the market which will enhance competition to provide services in better quality at lower cost.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The service by CANNUS provide security and safety of the elderly and handicapped by providing professional nursing care at home. There are gap between numbers of license for nurse and the nurse actually in their job – which is a hidden and important resource to fill the at-home nursing needs in the community. By bridging the gap between demand and supply, we provide nurse an opportunity to serve for the people with their professional expertise with confidence, and provide the professional service to the people in need, at the same time, to provide the family to time to rest. CANNUS has also brought a systemic change in the society – we have successfully lobbied the government to change the regulation so that they can needs in the area affected by the 3.11 earthquake in Tohoku. The service by CANNUS enables elderly and handicapped to live in the community but not in the hospitals -- which ensure their quality of life, by connecting certified nurse who is willing to get back to work and the people who is in need care service at home.
About You
Volunteer Home Care Nursing Association CANNUS
About You
First Name


Last Name


Facebook Profile
About Your Organization
Organization Name

Volunteer Home Care Nursing Association CANNUS

Organization Phone


Organization Address

1-2-4, Kugenumatachibana, Fujisawa-city, Kanagawa

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact
How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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What stage is your project in?

Operating for more than 5 years

Tell us about the community that you engage? eg. economic conditions, political structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement efforts.

Aging is the critical social issue in Japan. The elderly population has exceeded 20% and 5 million of these elderly need nursing care. On the contrary, we have serious shortage of doctors and nurses. The gap is estimated as 560 thousands nurses, which is resulted by difficulties to recruit new nurse versus retiring population, 120 thousand inflow versus 145 thousand outflow a year.

As a result, many families have to choose nursing by families and it cause increasing number of accident and inappropriate care.

Shortage of nurses can be solved by utilizing these “Potential Nurse Resources” who has license as a nurse but not in their job is estimated as 550 thousand. Currently we have 6,000 home-visit nursing stations, which is far below the demand. The cause of this issue is the regulation which requires more than 2.5 nurses for one nursing station. We have been lobbying the government to allow even one nurse to open nursing station in rural area.

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

The founder, Yumi Sugawara resigned her job at her marriage, after she worked as a nurse at ICU. She eventually took care of her mother-in-law hospitalized for terminal cancer and realized the importance of home-visit nursing by her word “If we have you at home, I can stay home because you are allowed to handle drip infusion”. Seeing her mother-in-law regained her energy after coming back to home to spend her last moment of life, Yumi decided to devote to home-visit nursing.

At the same time, she found the potential of potential nurses who can utilize their skills even they have left the hospitals some time ago. With the desire to provide peace and security to the families who is tired of nursing, she came up with an idea of “home-visiting nurse” association and established CANNUS in 1996. She also started her care provision business Nursecare in 1998.

Social Impact
Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured

CANNUS has expanded to 48 locations nationwide and influenced other organization working on the same filed.
More than 900 nurse have worked for CANNUS over 15 years, including 600 in its HQ in Fujisawa
At the 3.11 earthquake, more than 400 nurse have joined CANNUS to serve for the needs at the areas affected.
More than 1500 families benefited from the service. Number of people who join in the trainings exceeds 5000.
CANNUS advocated that nurse license should be treated as license for domestic helper and the government took their advice into regulation.
The government approved CANNUS’s request for its first case to open nursing station by one nurse in response to the relief activities for Tohoku earthquake.

How many people have been impacted by your project?

1,001- 10,000

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

Continue to develop home-visit nursing at the area affected by earthquake and tsunami at 3.11 where we are approved to operate nursing station.

Task 1

Provide various care at evacuation centers at Ishinomaki and Kesen-numa as well as at temporary housing for evacuees.

Task 2

Home visit nursing for the elderly people who has returned damaged houses

Task 3

Advocacy and training for the setting up new home-visiting nurse stations at Tohoku area

Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Advocacy, training and education for nurse entrepreneurs who will start her own nurse stations

Task 1

Continuous approach to the government for full implementation of one-person nurse station system

Task 2

Advocacy to potential nurse population who might interested in starting nurse station

Task 3

Provide education, training and back-office support for the nurse who start new nurse stations

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

CANNUS is targeting to set up at least one home visiting nurse station for each of 23,000 school districts and provide education and training for potential nurses. By facilitation market environment with many nurse stations compete for better quality services, we can expect higher service level. Continue lobby effort at least 3 years if the government does not agree with full implementation.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Disagreement from national association of doctors to implement one-person home-visit nurse station, says quality of nursing could not be assured if the station has only one nurse. To demonstrate such needs, CANNUS proactively involve in the discussion with its 48 network of branch operation nationwide to point out quality can be secured even with one nurse.

Increasing number of home-visit nurse stations with low quality services. Some of the nurse stations increasing number of nurse to increase the amount of subsidies from the government. Originally the government intended to open new entries by private sector to promote competition which could lead improved serviced level. Implementation of one-person home-visit nurse station will lead to market-based improvement of service quality.

Tell us about your partnerships

CANNUS is consist of three organizations - voluntary association CANNUS, which works closely with Nursecare which is a for-profit entity eligible to apply for national elderly care insurance as well as another association for advocacy, education and training for nurses.

Explain your selections

Client : CANNUS provide service at lower cost, depending on the demand of local market. It is important to provide services in a fee basis to ensure sustainability of the business.
Local Government : Revenue from national elderly care insurance
National Government : Contracting research project for new business development on nursing industry
Foundations : Fund provision on earthquake relief activity for Tohoku area

How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?

Non-profit entity : CANNUS has been operating as association and for-profit entities since the service is in a fee basis, however, there are needs to obtain charity status in response to offering funding for earthquake relief, particularly from international organizations.
The reason CANNUS has been operating in its entity form as an association was to avoid conflict with national association of doctors which concerns development of nursing outside of supervision of doctors.

Which barriers to health and well-being does your innovation address?
Please select up to three in order of relevancy to your project.


Lack of physical access to care/lack of facilities


Limited human capital (trained physicians, nurses, etc.)


Restrictive cultural norms

Please describe how your innovation specifically tackles the barriers listed above.

1. CANNUS is the first organization which provide professional home-visit nursing care by certified nurses with nation-wide coverage.
2. CANNUS has pioneering to utilize 0.5 million potential nurse resource to bring solution to the shortage of nuses
3. Exclusive authority of doctors to open a clinic is a barrier to the competitive environment which leads to the improved quality of medical care services. Approval and implementation of one-person home-visit nursing station could be applied to other medical related professions, which could lead to the drastic reform of the medical care in Japan.

How are you growing the impact of your organization or initiative?
Please select up to three potential pathways in order of relevancy to you.



Influenced other organizations and institutions through the spread of best practices


Enhanced existing impact through addition of complementary services

Please describe which of your growth activities are current or planned for the immediate future.

Impact to the legal system and expansion of service area : Full implementation of one-person nurse station is expected this year. Massive number of new home-visit nurse stations is projected especially in the Tohoku area.
Home-visit nursing model in the disaster area could be applied for disaster relief and recovery for any disaster area in the other part of the world.

Do you collaborate with any of the following: (Check all that apply)

Government, Technology providers, NGOs/Nonprofits, For profit companies, Academia/universities.

If yes, how have these collaborations helped your innovation to succeed?

Research project on new medical business development which is collaboration with Ministry of Economy, Technology and Industry. The research forms ground of advocacy discussion toward medical industry. In partnership with nurses, medical technicians and doctors who is proactive in home care, CANNUS achieved its high quality service to provide. For the earthquake relief, we are in collaboration with non-profit organization such as JEC, AMDA or Sayaka Welfare Foundation to share information on community, volunteer support, in-kind donation from companies. Join research with universities (Kyoto Univ, Int’l Univ. of Health and Welfare, Keio Univ., Hirosaki Univ.)