General Sessions

2019 General Sessions

Monday August 5, 2019
Breakfast and Opening General Session
8:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Grand Ballroom

Nurturing the Spirit: A Key to Making it Happen!

The Pioneer Network Values and Principles tell us we need to “Respond to spirit as well as mind and body.” As we come together in our opening session, we will explore what that means to each of us.

Join us for the official convening of the Pioneers where Penny Cook, President and CEO of Pioneer Network, will share a state of the movement address. Then join us as we explore with Keynote speaker, Dr. David Sheard, how the journey to Person-Centered starts with each of us and with our organizations. David will share his belief that we all need to return to being Person Centered as a life philosophy about the meaning of self. His talk promises to inspire as he shares lessons learned in creating person-centered organizations by nurturing emotional resilience.

We will close our time together with the presentation of the 2nd Annual Community Commitment Awards where we will recognize award-winning teams whose resident-led projects are nurturing the spirits of residents and staff in their organizations as they provide meaning and purpose to their lives and to those in the greater community.

Feelings Matter Most: Nurturing Emotional Resilience Creates a Person-Centered Organization

Dr. David Sheard, Founder, Dementia Care Matters

The journey to Person-Centered starts with each of us, and with our organizations.

The adoption of true person-centered care and relationship focused support has been slower than intended. It has been 20 years since UK Professor Tom Kitwood’s seminal work ‘Dementia Reconsidered.’ The learning from the UK is that there never was an intention for caregivers to learn a new set of ‘doing‘ competencies, methods or skills. David believes we all need to return to ‘Being Person Centered‘ as a life philosophy about the meaning of self.

David’s perspective is that sustainability and resilience cannot be forged until care organizations are more congruent in ‘being‘ sustainable and resilient themselves first internally and then towards staff teams. David will demonstrate through a model of emotional intelligence that responding with an emotional labor strategy is the only way forward.

For individuals, David’s message is that this is ‘An Emotional Journey‘ to achieve. It requires us as care partners to focus on being real, being connected and being congruent. This only comes from being part of a team who have learned, developed and shared what being person-centered in their own lives means. It’s all about BEING this, not doing this.

Dr. David Sheard
Global pioneer and dementia care change management specialist, Dr David Sheard has changed the future of dementia care through his radical and innovative dementia care ‘Butterfly Model’. Founder of international award-winning Dementia Care Matters, David has grown the organization over two decades to be a world leader in culture change in dementia care across multiple care settings in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia and the USA.

As a globally respected author, film-maker, TV Consultant, and motivational speaker, David’s aim is to shape culture change in dementia care and to emphasize the primary competency is in a model of emotional intelligence where ‘Feelings Matter Most.’ David’s beliefs, values, boundless energy and passion have driven changes that to many were only a dream. His herculean effort has revolutionized the culture of care nationally and internationally.

As a qualified social worker, University Lecturer and former General Manager, Old Age Psychiatry in a UK NHS Trust, David has an appointment as a Visiting Senior Fellow in the School of Health and Social Care, University of Surrey, UK and holds the Honorary Degree award of Doctor of the University (D Univ).

David’s purpose is to demonstrate that quality dementia care is all about emotional care and that this is no different to what we all need in life — believing that “All we have is now.”

In 2018, DCM launched “All Care Matters,” transforming the DCM Butterfly Model into all care homes, and not just dementia care — this is the next stage of DCM’s disruptive innovation.



Tuesday August 6, 2019
General Session

3:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Grand Ballroom

The Voice of Elders: Our Guides on This Journey!

In our opening general session, we heard from Elders who were making it happen through a commitment to their community. As we come together for our final gathering, we will share again what can be learned when we listen to the Voice of Elders.

We will begin by recognizing some very special individuals who have served as our guides through the years and now find themselves to be among the Elders who seek to have a voice as we continue to Make it Happen. They will not be here with us merely to be honored, but to teach us — and we promise they will have wise lessons to share.

We will end our time together as Anne Basting, Angie McAllister and residents from Signature HealthCARE communities come to the stage to tell us about “I Won’t Grow Up,” a project that demonstrates the Pioneer Network Value and Principle, Shape and use the potential of the environment in all its aspects: physical, organizational, psycho/social/spiritual. You will hear about this outstanding project and then be entertained and inspired as they share a performance of “Wendy’s Neverland. Will You Believe?”

Wendy’s Neverland. Will You Believe?

In 2018-19, MacArthur Fellow Anne Basting and award-winning Eden Educator Angie McAllister lead a team of Elders, artists, staff, family and volunteers through an ambitious reimagining of the story of Peter Pan as part of the “I Won’t Grow Up” project. Twelve Signature HealthCARE nursing homes across rural Kentucky joined with regional and national artists to explore the story and create and stage an original play inside three nursing homes. Basting and McAllister share the story of that unique journey — blowing up “activities” as we know them to transform the nursing homes from stigmatized health centers to vibrant cultural centers. They will be joined by several Elders and staff involved in the project for an interactive retelling of the story of the “I Won’t Grow Up” project and the making of the culminating event, the play Wendy’s Neverland. Will you believe?

Not only will you be entertained and inspired, but Anne, Angie and the team will share with you the core concepts of TimeSlips’ Creative Community of Care training that supported this project, ways that you can transform activities into long-range projects and the impact that the “I Won’t Grow UP” project had on the lives of the Elders, staff and families/volunteers who were a part of it.

Anne Basting
Anne Basting is Professor of Theatre at the Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and founder and President of TimeSlips. Anne Basting’s innovative work as an artist and scholar has been recognized by a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, an Ashoka Fellowship, a Rockefeller Fellowship, and multiple major grants. She is author/editor of multiple books, including the Penelope Project (University of Iowa), Forget Memory (Johns Hopkins University), and the forthcoming Creative Care (Harper One). TimeSlips fosters an alliance of artists and caregivers bringing meaning and joy to late life through creativity and has certified facilitators in 47 states and 18 countries.

Angie McAllister
Angie McAllister serves as the Director of Quality of Life and Culture Change Operations for Signature HealthCARE. Angie has worked in skilled nursing services since 1995, where she entered the field in a nursing assistant position. Since that time, she has held several different roles. Angie is an Eden Alternative Educator and Mentor. She also serves on the International Board of Directors for The Eden Alternative. Angie is also an advocate of creative engagement, purpose-filled living and person-centered care in aging services.