Intensive Sessions

Intensive Sessions

Full Day Intensive Sessions

Wednesday August 7, 2019: 8:00 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Intensive 1
Location: Breathitt
Person-Centered Palliative Care: Be the Bridge

Mark Philbrick, Director of Education & Volunteer Services, Transitions LifeCare
Jennifer Craft Morgan, Associate Professor, Gerontology Institute at Georgia State University
Kim McRae, FCTA (Family Caregiver Turned Advocate), Co-Founder, Culture Change Network of Georgia, President, Have a Good Life

Description: Join us to explore the important topic of palliative care. We will discuss what it is, how it is different than hospice, and how it is the key person-centered approach to providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious or life-limiting illness. It is all about improving quality of life and well-being for the individual who is experiencing the illness as well as their family/care partners. Palliative Care is not just about treating pain. It also treats depression, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, anxiety and any other symptoms that may be causing distress. It helps give people the strength they need to carry on with daily life. During the session, we will also provide an overview of a pilot by Alliant Quality, the QIO for Georgia, “Promoting Appropriate Use of Palliative Care Services in Skilled Nursing Centers” and share their newly developed TOOLKIT with attendees.


  1. Understand and contrast palliative care and hospice care.
  2. Describe the full scope of palliative care.
  3. Gain awareness of the TOOLKIT for Promoting Appropriate Use of Palliative Care Services in Skilled Nursing Centers and how it can be utilized in care communities to improve quality of life.

Mark Philbrick

Mark Philbrick has completed an Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Nursing as well as certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He attended the Executive MBA program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. With 42 years of experience in healthcare, Mark’s career, which spans clinical, academic and administrative duties in a wide variety of settings, took a radical turn toward providing hospice care when both his father and older brother were diagnosed and died from terminal cancer in 2004. Mark has served as Director of Duke Hospice and Vice President of Clinical Operations for Hospice of Wake County. He currently serves as Director of Education and Volunteer Services at Transitions LifeCare in Raleigh, NC and is an Adjunct Faculty member at UNC School of Nursing in Chapel Hill. Mark has served as President of the Triangle Chapter of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association and on the Board of Directors of the Carolinas Center for Hospice and End of Life Care. On a personal level Mark loves travel and has done short term medical mission trips to Central and South American as well as Africa. He has been married for 37 years to Karen, a fellow nurse practitioner and UNC Alum and has 3 grown children (Ben, Nick and Alexandra) who want nothing to do with either providing healthcare or receiving it.

Jennifer Croft-Morgan

Jennifer Craft Morgan, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Gerontology Institute at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Her research focuses on jobs and careers, attempting to understand how policy, population, workplace and individual level factors shape how work is experienced and how work is organized across care settings. Jennifer is a national expert on recruitment, training and retention of frontline health care workers highlighting the impact of good jobs and high-quality training. Shehas published widely in highly-ranked peer reviewed journals, authored many reports and translational tools, and has presented extensively at a variety of regional and national conferences. Jennifer has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator of twelve grant-funded workforce-related research projects.  She is currently president of the Southern Gerontological Society and co-chair of the Carework Network.

Kim McRae

Kim McRae is a consultant, speaker, educator and advocate. She is also an Educator and Mentor for The Eden Alternative®. Kim works with organizations and companies as a thought leader, change agent and subject matter expert on caregiving, culture change, person-directed living, and person-centered dementia care.  As a “Family Caregiver Turned Advocate”, Kim comes to person-directed living and person-centered dementia care through a 12-year history as a family caregiver. Kim got involved with the Pioneer Network in 2006 and co-founded the Culture Change Network of Georgia in 2008. She has been actively working to improve quality of life for elders and their care partners for more than seventeen years. In addition, Kim founded About Face Technologies, which is focused on simple and intuitive assistive technology products for those needing simplicity. Kim is an inventor and holds five US and one UK patents.

Intensive 2
Location: Clements
Ageism: Exploring the Connection to Who We Are and the Work We Do

Ryan Backer, Age Activist,
Mel Coppola, President/Owner, Hearts In Care, LLC

Description: Whether you witnessed Ashton Applewhite’s 2017 Keynote, attended the 2018 Ageism Intensive, or are new to the movement- join the conversation to undo ageism. Participants will discuss and reflect upon their personal attitudes about aging, their effect in the workplace, and whether policies and practices in long-term care are ageist. Starting by providing data around internal and external ageism, there will then be a mix of activities that will inform attendees about current anti-ageism resources and initiatives, including, a clearinghouse for all things anti-ageism and provide down-to-earth applications that can be used in the workplace. Together we will explore how the values and principles of person-centeredness are an antidote to ageism, as well as other forms of prejudice that segregate and diminish us. We will also look at how ableism and ageism intersect and the effect on Elders with different abilities wherever they may live. From this foundation, we will work together to identify ways to address the inherent ageism in care communities.


  1. Discover three new ah-ha’s related to your personal ageist attitudes.
  2. Recognize three workplace practices that reflect a negative view of aging.
  3. Identify person-centered principles that can be used to combat ageist practices.
  4. Create a commitment to begin embracing our own aging journey.

Ryan Backer

Ryan Backer is an age activist striving to undo ageism within an intersectional framework. He has facilitated his pro-aging, anti-ageism workshop ‘Age Queer’ in NYC, Berlin, Dublin and Philadelphia. Ryan identifies as a white, non-binary, European-American ‘old person in training’, with an undergraduate degree in Gerontology.

Mel Coppola

Mel Coppola, founder and President of Hearts In Care, LLC, is a passionate and motivational presenter, team builder, facilitator, educator and consultant in the field of aging care. Areas of passion and expertise include:  person-directed care in all living environments; a focus on well-being for all care partners regardless of cognitive and physical abilities; culture change; building awareness of ageism, ableism and other stigmata; empowered care partner teams; leadership; and quality of life and care at all ages and stages. Mel works directly with organizations to help facilitate deep and meaningful changes in the way Elders are viewed and cared for. In addition to numerous local presentations, workshops and trainings, she has presented at multiple aging conferences including the International Eden Alternative Conference, Pioneer Network Conference, Florida Conference on Aging and the Naples Conference on Aging. Mel serves on the Executive and Steering Committees of the Florida Pioneer Network, is an active participant with the Dementia Action Alliance, is the Immediate Past-President of Better Living for Seniors-Pinellas and is proud to be an Educator and Mentor with The Eden Alternative.

Intensive 3
Location: Nunn
Loving: The Essence of Being a Butterfly in Dementia Care

Dr. David Sheard, Founder, Dementia Care Matters
Peter Priednieks, Co-Founder, Dementia Care Matters
Tim Knight, Rn, BSHCA, Executive Director of Health & Wellness, Pebblebrook at Park Springs
Staff Members from Park Springs, Atlanta, GA

Description: The Butterfly Model is not new, has been long in the making, and is delighted to come from the UK to celebrate the beginning of its 25th year at the Pioneer Network conference. It is a resilient model of care where caregivers are the creators of the Butterfly movement. It has sustained people living and working together in care homes over many years. Participants will leave this Intensive believing it is happening, trusting your gut and feeling liberated. Attendees will learn that they can remove obstacles and that there are ways to build on the power of human agency and potential where they work. Feelings really do matter most; we are all a feather away from being vulnerable; being loving needs to return to the core of everything we want to be; all we have is NOW.

In this Intensive, the Dementia Care Matters (DCM) team of founders and  CEO, along with colleagues from Park Springs, will take participants through their experience, demonstrating why the DCM team believes emotional intelligence is the primary competency in achieving culture change in dementia care. This Intensive will model the “look, see, hear and feel experience” which Butterfly Homes go through in terms of ‘An Emotional Journey‘ to achieve their transformation.


  1. Experience the values and core philosophy of The Butterfly Model — which is an inner subjective conviction.
  2. Explore what’s behind DCMs culture change themes of Truth, Feelings, Malignancy, Freedom, Households, and Connections.
  3. Evaluate practically their culture of care using ‘Inspiring’ — The Butterfly Household Model of Care 70 Point Checklist.
  4. Understand evidence from DCMs CEO of his previous experience as a care provider creating Butterfly Homes in Australia.
  5. Engage with colleagues from the first pioneering and successful US Butterfly Home, Park Springs in Atlanta.
  6. Examine the “attached relationship-centered” qualitative and quantitative data from its implementation in five countries.

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.”

Peter Priednieks

Peter Priednieks, Co-Founder, Dementia Care Matters began his career as a Science teacher. In his late 20s, he moved to become an RAF Officer with responsibility for training and development, He went on to be a Training and Development Manager for the next 13 years. In 2000, he joined Dementia Care Matters as the Development Manager/Consultant of the team.  As someone who has always worked from the perspective that each individual has their own reality and needs to be reached in order to realize potential, coming to the field of dementia care brought the different aspects to his personal and work life together.

Tim Knight

Tim Knight began his healthcare career working as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in long term care in 1986 and became a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in 1987. After attending the nursing program at the University of New York at Albany, he obtained his license as a Registered Nurse (RN) in 1998 and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration in 2011.  Tim is originally from Maine and relocated to Stone Mountain, Georgia in April of 2017 to assume the position of Executive Director of Health & Wellness Services at Park Springs.  While working in Maine, Tim served as a Registered Nurse in a variety of healthcare settings including acute care, long-term care and assisted living, introducing a person-centered, person-directed approach to each level of care.  Tim served as the President of the Maine Culture Change Coalition and worked on several statewide projects that supported changing how traditional care is delivered in long-term care, memory care and assisted living.  Tim is currently working at Park Springs in Stone Mountain, Georgia where he continues his passion of culture change through the direction and support of the Household Model of Care and the Dementia Care Matters Butterfly model of care.  In July of 2017, Tim lead his team in opening the new Pebblebrook Health Center and in August 2018, the Memory Care household at Pebblebrook became the first accredited Butterfly Home in the United States and was accredited at a Level 1, the highest possible rating.

AM Mini-Intensives

Wednesday August 7, 2019: 8:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. 

Intensive 4
Location: Carroll Ford
Doing Better Together: Huddling for High Performance

Barbara Frank, Co-Founder, B&F Consulting
Cathie Brady, Co-Founder, B&F Consulting
A. Lynne Snow, Clinical Researcher, Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center

Description: Drawing on lessons from the field, presenters will share strategies for investing in staff, implementing systems to maximize staff performance, and applying person-centered practices to support continuous improvement. Learn how to channel resources into high performance, establish huddles for daily communication and problem-solving, and bring each resident’s social history and customary routines into care planning and quality improvement for team problem-solving that improves residents’ outcomes. The session will focus on improving care for people living with dementia and preventing avoidable adverse events, by putting in place systems to support the staff closest to the residents in individualizing care.


  1. Describe how to use huddles to support communication and collaborative problem-solving.
  2. Explain how to bring data analysis and quality improvement to front-line huddles
  3. Demonstrate how to apply information about the whole person to understand the context for distressed behaviors and to identify individualized interventions that prevent adverse events

Barbara Frank

Cathie Brady

Barbara Frank and Cathie Brady, co-founders of B&F Consulting, help long term care communities be better places to live and work.  They work with individual nursing homes and have served as faculty for state and national learning collaboratives across the country to improve staff stability, care outcomes, and organizational performance through person-centered care. In addition to helping nursing homes excel, they specialize in helping homes through challenging times. B&F led a team in the New Orleans Nursing Home Staffing Project, which helped nursing homes recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and co-produced a film with Louisiana Public Broadcasting called The Big Uneasy: Katrina’s Unsung Heroes. Working with Louisiana’s and South Carolina’s Partnership to Improve Dementia Care, B&F developed a ten-step process to eliminate off-label use of antipsychotics. Barbara and Cathie were faculty for a Pioneer Network learning collaborative project that used individualized care and communication systems to improve outcomes. With David Farrell, they co-authored Long-Term Care Leaders’ Guide to High Performance: Doing Better Together (Health Professions Press 2018) and Meeting the Leadership Challenge in Long-Term Care: What You Do Matters (Health Professions Press 2011). Barbara is a co-founder of  Pioneer Network.

Dr. Lynn Snow

Dr. A. Lynn Snow is a research clinical psychologist in the Research and Development Service of the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center and a professor at The University of Alabama (Alabama Research Institute on Aging & Department of Psychology – Geropsychology division). She began working in nursing homes when she was 17 years old and her clinical and research agendas have focused on the nursing home setting for her entire career.  She has served on the board of the Alabama Coalition for Culture Change and as a member of the culture change committee at her local VA Community Living Center. Her clinical expertise is in dementia care, particularly assessment and treatment of pain, depression, anxiety, mindfulness, and staff coaching. Her research agenda broadly focuses on nursing home quality of care and dementia care, and specifically on implementation of organizational change toward higher quality person-centered care.  Her research has been continuously funded by VA and federal entities since 2000.  She has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles.  In collaboration with others, including Dr. Hartmann, B&F Consulting, and VA Geriatrics & Extended Care leadership, she currently co-direct a national program in VA nursing homes to establish high-functioning, fully integrated frontline quality improvement systems.

Intensive 5
Location: Brown
Engagement and Connection for All — the Circle Talk Way 

Deborah Skovron, Director and Creative Director, CircleTalk
Cammie Cloman, CircleTalk Master Trainer 

Description: This is an interactive session to give participants a hands-on, “felt” experience of a CircleTalk “circle” conversation activity. Participants will engage in discussion and interactive activities to understand how to increase connection in authentic ways utilizing a simple, structured conversation model. Participants will understand the depth and breadth of issues related to social isolation for older adults and how to establish an environment for meaningful and purposeful engagement within small groups. These methods, themes, and activities will be incorporated directly from the CircleTalk Curriculum.


  1. Create awareness of and discuss the CircleTalk method for disrupting loneliness through conversation-based engagement.
  2. Create an understanding of the issues of loneliness and isolation and how they present in older adults.
  3. Teach and discuss overview of CircleTalk program structure and facilitator methods.

Deborah Skovron

Deborah Skovron is the Cofounder and Creative Director of CircleTalk, a structured, conversation-based program method and curriculum that is facilitated by trained leaders to combat the isolation, loneliness, and disconnection commonly experienced by older adults in later life transitions.  As the innovator of the CircleTalk Method™ in 2011, she has designed and led pilot and field testing of this new and powerful program model for over 2000 hours in various senior settings, enhancing the social fabric and sense of belonging and connection within each community.   Deborah has extensive experience in group dynamics, training and curriculum design and has worked for the past 30 years in numerous management consultant and training roles in non-profit and government, pioneering new concepts geared toward increasing the opportunities for people to experience innovative and valuable social connections and a sense of belonging leading to important social impacts for older adults and their communities.

Cammie Cloman has worked in the non-profit sector for 30 years in many capacities including director of programming, marketing director, trainer and organizational consultant.  She has trained nationally and internationally on leadership, management, customer service and job development for persons with disabilities.  Cammie is an enthusiastic champion and always brings passion and energy to her work as a trainer and coach at CircleTalk.  Cammie supports the program implementation of CircleTalk in the field, interacting with managers of community-based and residential programs that are seeking to increase engagement of older adults. She coaches new leaders as they emerge from the training and co-facilitates training programs as well as speaks at conferences and events on the importance of social engagement programs.

Intensive 6
Location: Willis
Lessons Learned from Implementing an Evidenced-based, Person-centered Communication Tool

Katherine Abbott, Assistant Professor of Gerontology and a Scripps Gerontology Center Research Fellow
Alexandra Heppner, Project Manager, Research Assistant 

Description: Participants will be introduced to the evidenced-based Preferences for Everyday Living Inventory (PELI) and learn how to implement Preferences for Activity and Leisure (PAL) Cards, a novel communication intervention to enhance preference-based, person-centered care. Findings from a state-wide Quality Improvement Project with 35 providers will be discussed, practical tips and benefits to residents, staff, and family will be provided, and the step-by-step PAL Card implementation tip sheet will be reviewed. Participants will have the opportunity to practice using the PAL Card materials and leave this session with access to the resources needed for implementation in their communities.


  1. Provide background information on the PELI and the development of the PAL Card intervention.
  2. Discuss the experiences and strategies learned from other providers implementing PAL Cards in their community.
  3. Provide step-by-step instruction on how to implement PAL Cards and discuss best practices for conducting PELI/PAL interviews.

Alex Heppner

Katherine Katy Abbott

Dr. Katy Abbott is the Robert H. and Nancy J. Blayney Assistant Professor of Gerontology and a Scripps Gerontology Center Research Fellow at Miami University. Dr. Abbott’s research and teaching focus on preference-based person-centered care, with a special emphasis on persons living with dementia. She has worked in the field of gerontology for over 20 years and has witnessed the shift in the field of long-term services and supports from using a strictly medical model of care to creating a culture of person-centered care.  Katy contributed to the development and testing of the Preferences for Everyday Living Inventory (PELI) to help organizations get to know their residents and use that information to deliver preference-based, person-centered. With funding from organizations such as the National Institute on Aging, Donaghue Foundation, and  Ohio Department of Medicaid, she has co-authored multiple peer-reviewed articles building the PELI’s evidence base.  Translating research into practice is a hallmark of the PELI research team. In addition to scientific studies, Katy has helped develop evidence-informed resources for formal and informal care partners, including assessment tools, interventions, quality improvement strategies, webinars, videos and tip sheets that promote personalized, preference-based care.  She has a Master’s degree in Gerontology and a Ph.D. in Sociology.

Alex Heppner has almost a decade of experience serving older adults in a variety of capacities and settings ranging from activities assistant in a nursing home to a social worker in an adult day program. In these roles, Alex was exposed to the challenges care providers face as they transition from the medical model of care delivery to one that is person-centered. Alex is currently the Project Manager for the PELI-Can Project tasked with assisting Ohio nursing home providers implementing the Preferences for Everyday Living Inventory (PELI) in their efforts to enhance preference-based, person-centered care delivery. She is proud to be a part of the interdisciplinary team of researchers developing evidence-informed resources for formal and informal care partners, including assessment tools, interventions, quality improvement strategies, webinars, videos and tip sheets that promote personalized, preference-based care. Alex received her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Bradley University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Gerontological Studies at Miami University.

Intensive 7
Location: Combs Chandler
Rethinking Dementia: A Well-Being Approach 

Al Power, MD, Schlegel Chair in Aging and Dementia Innovation
Melanie Pereira, RN, Schlegel Village

Nancy Vasile, Personal Support Worker (PSW), Village of Aspen Lake, Schlegel Village
Jennifer Allen, Neighbourhood Coordinator, Village at University Gates, Schlegel Village
Jasmine Adams, RPN, Village at University Gates, Schlegel Village

Description: This workshop will present an “experiential model” for viewing dementia that focuses on a strengths-based, proactive approach, enhancing several aspects of well-being. The model will be explained and an interactive session will help participants practice the skill of looking at distress through a well-being lens. Team members will share stories of people with complex distress that was dramatically improved with this approach. The support network of Schlegel Villages’ “Personal Expressions Resource Team” will be described, and participants invited to imagine how a similar support structure could be implemented in their communities to promote a well-being approach.


  1. Explain the importance of shifting from a narrow biomedical model of dementia to an experiential model.
  2. Describe the well-being framework and give simple examples of how it can be applied.
  3. Envision a support network for team members who support people living with dementia in the participants’ neighborhoods.
  4. Share case stories of successes with a well-being approach. apply these examples to people living in your communities.

Al Power

Al Power worked as a geriatrician in long-term care communities for over 20 years. He led St. John’s Home in Rochester NY in becoming the world’s largest Eden Alternative member home. He also helped St. Johns’ develop the only community-embedded Green House homes in the nation. Al is a former member of the Eden Alternative board of directors, and a Certified Eden Educator. He is currently consulting with the Green House Project on their dementia educational tools. Al’s work in Canada includes assisting Schlegel Villages with their culture change journey, as well as their support of people living with dementia. Al is currently co-writing a book with Dr. Jennifer Carson on creating inclusive communities for people living with dementia.

Melanie Pereira

Melanie Pereira is a Clinical Nurse Consultant within Schlegel Villages since 2009. She has been a RN for over 17 years in Acute Medicine, Palliative Care, Neonatal/Maternal and Child, Labor and Delivery, and now aligns with her ultimate passion in supporting residents’ quality of life within LTC & Retirement Living.  Melanie supports team members, residents, families and neighborhood communities in understanding the many layers of Dementia, Mental Health and to provide a greater acceptance of one’s Chronic Illness.  Melanie has had the opportunity to lead Schlegel Villages Personal Expression Support Team within Long-Term Care and Retirement since 2011.

Nancy Vasile

Nancy Vasile, Personal Support Worker, Village of Aspen Lake, Windsor, Ontario.  Nancy joined the Aspen Lake team 6 years ago as a Personal Support Worker (PSW).  Being a Personal Support Worker is a second career for Nancy who was a retail manager for a number of years.  Following the birth of her 2nd child, she was inspired by a nurse she encountered and decided to go back to school.  Her first job was in home care where she gained a lot of experience helping people who lived with dementia.  A recommendation from her sister, Danielle, encouraged her to apply at Aspen Lake.  Since staring work at Aspen Lake, Nancy has joined several teams including the Personal Expressions Resource Team (PE-RT), the Village Advisory Team and the Research & Innovation Team.  She’s also taken the Leadership Course and enjoys learning all she can. Nancy has found greater well-being for herself and a feeling like she’s made a big difference in people’s lives at the end of the day since becoming a PSW.  She’s found her purpose!

Jennifer Allen

Jennifer Allen, RSW, MSW, is a Neighbourhood Coordinator at the Village at University Gates in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Jennifer has 15 years of experience working in long term care in various roles including Music Therapy and Social Work. Jennifer is passionate about fostering authentic relationships in her village and supporting person-directed care for residents living with dementia and those receiving end of life care.

Jasmine Adams

Jasmine Adams, RPN, Village at University Gates.  Jasmine has been practicing nursing for the last 4 years but has been working with seniors for almost 20 years. Jasmine started her career coordinating recreational activities and working as a personal support worker.  In 2015, she began work in long term care as a Registered Practical Nurse and most recently I have been in the role of Personal Support Resource Team lead for The Village at University Gates.  Jasmine has a passion for culture change with aging and enjoys supporting individuals living the dementia journey.

Intensive 8
Location: Sampson
Montessori Applications to Dementia Care: So Much More than Just Activities

Cameron Camp, Director of Research & Development, Center for Applied Research in Dementia
Jennie Keleher, Implementation Coordinator, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration
A. Lynn Snow, Research Clinical Psychologist, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration

Description: Effectively engaging residents living with dementia and other cognitive disabilities is challenging for even experienced care teams. This Montessori-based skill-building workshop will introduce practical approaches to identify resident strengths (e.g., reading assessments), ways to use remaining strengths to promote independence (e.g., external cues, categorical decision-making), and strategies for fostering community and meaningful activity (e.g., resident committees, how to offer more meaningful choices, etc.). We will use video, clinical examples, in-session practice, an organizational-self assessment tool, and role-play to provide participants with new ways to foster a sense of contribution and meaningful roles for residents across the spectrum of ability.


  1. Discuss 3 aspects of the birth, research and evolution of the Montessori Inspired Lifestyle®
  2. Identify one technology-based tool to aid Montessori implementation.
  3. List the 5 focus areas of a Montessori community as rated by the MOST Tool; attendees will be able to identify one benefit of using MOST Tool for program evaluation
  4. Identify 3 resident-led activities that foster engagement.
  5. Demonstrate at least 3 specific skills to use to engage people in their work settings.

Dr. Cameron Camp

Dr. Cameron Camp has been the primary researcher involved in translating the Montessori Method of education into an intervention strategy for persons living with dementia. In this effort, he has developed collaborations with researchers and trainers around the world and continues to promote this approach to dementia care based on the values of providing respect, dignity, and equality for persons with dementia. He has worked with rehabilitation staff and researchers in the U.S. and internationally to develop the spaced retrieval approach as a therapeutic intervention for persons living with dementia and related cognitive disorders. Interventions using telecommunication have been another focus of Cameron’s intervention research, where he has been among the first to use cognitive rehabilitation techniques involving spaced retrieval and Montessori methods to address issues such as medication adherence in persons with HIV-Associated Dementia and in older adults with Type 2 diabetes and early stage dementia. These interventions have been shown to be effective in persons’ homes and include successful interventions with persons who have had traumatic brain injury.

Jennie Keleher

Jennie Keleher was fortunate to enter the field of aging services in 2016, through the opportunity to serve as Implementation Coordinator on the VA-funded research study, Adapting Montessori Activity Programming for Veterans Living in Community Living Centers (AMAP).” She was suited to the work given a professional background in implementing a supported employment model within various programs serving people living with disabilities such as schizophrenia, autism and spinal cord injury. Since earning a master’s degree in Social Work in 1998, and discovering the Individual Placement & Support model of supported employment through an early career research position, Jennie has championed the rights of people to identify their preferences, capitalize on their strengths, advocate for themselves and direct their own paths of treatment and work. She has supported individuals to claim these rights, and to exercise them in meaningful ways to realize their own goals. This mindset has undergirded a seamless transition for Jennie to working with Veterans living in VA Community Living Centers (CLCs). Culture change and its priority on person-directed care is promoted in the VA; Jennie believes the Montessori approach to care not only upholds, but advances person-directed care, and she is passionate about its application across VA CLCs.

Dr. Lynn Snow

Dr. A. Lynn Snow has conducted health services research on nursing home quality of care issues, including efforts of nursing homes to engage in organizational transformation toward more person-centered care, for the past 20 years. She was co-investigator on a pilot project which focused on the development of qualitative and quantitative methodologies for assessing cultural transformation within the VA’s Community Living Centers. Lynn collaborated on the development of the Resident-centered Assessment of Interactions with Staff and Engagement (RAISE) tool, a structured observation tool to measure, quantitatively, staff and CLC resident interactions and resident engagement in life. This tool is now used nationally in VA CLCs.  Lynn currently serves as Co-Principle Investigator on a national VA project furthering knowledge in the area of person-centered care and organizational change. She is co-investigator on the VA’s “Adapting Montessori Activity Programming for Veterans Living in Community Living Centers (AMAP)” study, where she plays a key role in materials adaptation and in guiding implementation across participating sites. Lynn has developed clinical expertise in executive coaching of leaders, accruing 105 hours of instruction in this area. She travels extensively providing staff training workshops regarding culture change issues in local, regional, and national settings.

PM Mini-Intensives

Wednesday August 7, 2019: 11:15 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 

Intensive 9
Location: Sampson
Eat Status Quo for Breakfast: Be a Courageous Leader 

Sarah Brown, Executive Director, Empira 

Description: Why does meaningful change take so much time? How can meaningful change occur with limited resources and abundant regulations? How can you engage your stakeholders to engage and make meaningful change for older adults now? Empira, a collaborative of four aging service providers, has spent the last 18 years digging deep into the most challenging issues facing aging services. Come learn about the lesson from the past, current success and challenges of today and be inspired to continue paving the way for future where society values interdependence and inclusive to everyone across the lifespan.


  1. List a profound ah-ha moment that re-engages excitement for meaningful change.
  2. Discern the concepts of innovation and optimization and know when to deploy each method of quality improvement.
  3. Discontinue the cascading effects of well-intended traditional approaches in aging services and use predictive thinking to proactively anticipate outcomes.

Sarah Brown

As Executive Director of Empira, Sarah Brown oversees the development and deployment of Empira’s signature quality improvement programs, as well as the ongoing pursuit of applied evidence-based research. She presents Empira’s work at state and national conferences.  Since 2001, Sarah has held a variety of roles and knows elder care from the inside out. She has worked in direct patient care, leadership, education, and consulting in a variety of settings, including long-term care, transitional care, clinics, large health systems, and partnerships. Sarah has always been passionate about serving those in need through the continuous improvement of care practices to achieve better clinical outcomes and aging experiences.

Intensive 10
Location: Willis
A Transformation to Neighborhoods: Construction, Organizational Design, Change & Technology 

Lisa Reifenrath, LNHA, United Methodist Communities
James Clancy, Executive Director, United Methodist Communities 

Description: Learn the steps to take to prepare for a physical transformation from an institutional to a home environment. Explore the challenges and strategies we faced during the transformation by staff, residents and family members. In addition, understand how to apply a person-centered approach to organizational design changes: decentralized dining, person-centered care practices, learning circles, household huddles, and household roles. Take away useful forms to track and monitor progress. Lastly, observe and utilize Connected Living and One Day tools for person-centered resident engagement. Discover how we are overcoming ageism and using technology to bridge the gap between generations.


  1. Discuss the pre and post construction of the physical environment: the journey from institution to home.
  2. Apply a person-centered approach and discuss the impact those changes made on UMC Collingswood.
  3. Create an opportunity for participants to observe and utilize Connected Living and One Day tools for person centered resident engagement.

Lisa Reifenrath

Lisa Reifenrath has the privilege of serving elders as the Licensed Nursing Home Administrator at United Methodist Communities at Collingswood with the mission of ensuring “all are free to choose abundant life.”  Lisa started her career with elders over 17 years ago as a direct caregiver and has had the pleasure of being an Activities Director, Director of Social Service and Director of Human Recourses.  As a driving force for person- centered care, she passionately creates an integrated approach to elder engagement by creating, developing and training Household Leadership, supporting and guiding frontline associates in culture change activities and empowering elders’ voices.  Lisa holds a B.A. in Health and Exercise Science with a specialization in Health Promotion Fitness Management, from which she graduated first in her class.

James Clancy

James Clancy has served as Executive Director at United Methodist Communities for the last 15 years.  He has devoted over 22 years to serving elders as an Administrator.  James is committed to ensuring all elders are free to choose abundant life. James began his career nearly 40 years ago as a nursing assistant in a very institutionalized nursing home and has grown to become a leader in person-centered culture implementation now at 2 campuses of United Methodist Communities. He is a true advocate of resident choice and is passionate when speaking on the subject.

Intensive 11
Location: Carroll Ford
Person-Centered Practices: Returning Power to Those We Support

Ivette Rivera-Oritz, Manager for Pharmacists and Dietitians, Texas Health and Human Services (HHSC)
Dr. George Bithos, Independent Ombudsman for State Supported Living Centers of Texas
Mary Bishop, Person-Centered Practice Team Lead, Texas HHSC

Description: Learn how Person-Centered Thinking training has been utilized to assist nursing homes across the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) system in restoring positive control of the lives of those residents who live there. Explore how the state of Texas is utilizing non-pharmacological interventions such as music and memory, person-centered practices, and trauma-informed care, in an effort to reduce the use of psychotropic medication and return positive control back to those being supported who are aging, and how this has taken Texas from 50th in the nation to 17th in the use of psychotropic medication.


  1. Discuss the use and application of Music and Memory, Person-Centered Practices and Trauma-Informed Care that help people obtain positive control over their lives.
  2. Apply skills needed to be able to identify what is important to the person being supported to assure the dignity and worth of the person while identifying what the person’s behaviors are telling us.
  3. Define the success that Texas has had in reducing the use of psychotropic medications over the past 3 years from 50th in the nation to 17th in the nation using non- pharmacological interventions.

Ivette Rivera-Oritz

Ivette Rivera-Oritz has over 14 years of experience reviewing and providing quality monitoring visits to long- term care communities in the state of Texas, providing technical assistance regarding antipsychotic medications, dementia care, nutrition related issues, nursing related topics and providing toolkit/resources. Ivette is a Person-Centered Thinking Certified Trainer, as well as Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) and a Manager for pharmacists and dietitians. During their quality monitoring visits, Ivette and her team engage the nursing home staff to create an environment that is “home” instead of an institution.  As a trainer, Ivette has provided the Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia Care Seminars and Person-Centered Thinking training to a diversity of staff in long-term care communities and has over 20 years’ experience in the field of education and adult learning.

Dr. George Bithos

Dr. George Bithos, whose office directs a staff of 18 in advocating for the residents across the State of Texas including people with IDD and concurrent diagnoses including behavioral health, forensic, geriatric, medically compromised issues. His office supports advocacy, protection of rights and due process, and monitors service delivery for the residents, their families, guardians, and the public.  After earning his degrees in Theology, Ethics and History at the University of Durham in the United Kingdom, Dr. Bithos returned to the States to work in academia in Boston.  In 2004, he returned to Texas to become the Executive Director of the Texas Conference of Churches.  He was appointed the Independent Ombudsman for State Supported Living Centers in February 2010 by Governor Perry.  Dr. Bithos developed and organized the Office of the Independent Ombudsman and has guided that Office since its inception.  In June 2015, he was certified as a Person-Centered Thinking Trainer by the International Learning Community. In 2017, he completed the Texas Leadership Institute on Developmental Disabilities training sponsored by the National Leadership Consortium for Developmental Disabilities.  Dr. Bithos has also completed Person- Centered Coaches’ Training and is a trained mediator.

Mary Bishop

Mary Bishop is a Certified Person-Centered Thinking Trainer and Mentor Trainer Candidate and holds a Certification in Trauma-Informed Care Trainer through Dr. Karyn Harvey.  Mary is a Licensed Master Social Worker who has worked with older adults in nursing homes, home health, hospice, and private psychiatric hospitals. For many years, she has served people needing supports and advocacy including children and adults with intellectual and developmentally disabilities.  Currently, Mary serves as Texas HHSC Person Centered Practices Team Lead where she is responsible for guiding and directing person-centered practices across HHSC.

Intensive 12
Location: Combs Chandler
Unlocking and Desegregating Memory Care: Practical Pathways to Inclusion

Jennifer Carson, PhD, Director, Dementia Engagement, Education and Research Program, University of Nevada Reno
Al Power, MD, Schlegel Chair in Aging and Dementia Innovation 

Description: Increasingly, locked and segregated ‘memory care’ is being challenged, especially by people living with dementia who are demanding their human rights and the freedom to live in a restraint-free world. As a field, we are being called to create inclusive communities for people of all abilities. The time for change is now, but it’s a complex issue that requires knowledge, planning, communication and teamwork. In this session, we will explore the case for inclusive living, including moral, clinical, evidence-based, and demographic arguments. Then we will consider practical pathways to inclusion, highlighting two practice-based examples from providers who are leading the way.


  1. Reflect on the segregation of people living with dementia.
  2. Discuss the case for inclusion and integrated living.
  3. Create practical pathways to inclusion and compare practice examples.

Jennifer Carson

Dr. Jennifer Carson is the director of the Dementia Engagement, Education and Research (DEER) Program and director of the Gerontology Academic Program (GAP), both at the University of Nevada, Reno. As director of the DEER Program, the majority of her time is spent in the field, bridging research, practice, innovation, and education through a number of funded, collaborative projects, each with national visibility. As director of the GAP, Jennifer teaches one undergraduate gerontology course per term and oversees the gerontology certificate program and minor, both of which are endorsed as Programs of Merit by the Academy of Gerontology in Higher Education. She describes herself as a participatory action researcher, community developer, dialogue educator, and social change agent, who mobilizes people in working together to change the culture of aging and dementia. One example of how Jennifer brings these roles together is evidenced by her doctoral research, Working Together to Put Living First: A Culture Change Process in a Long-Term Care and Retirement Living Organization Guided by Critical Participatory Action Research (Carson, 2015). Over 4 ½ years, this research engaged Schlegel Villages’ (then-) 12 continuing care retirement communities in an organization-wide initiative to collaboratively transform the culture of aging and care. This culture change journey was recognized with an Excellence in Aging Services Award by the International Association of Homes and Services for the Aging due to our deep commitment to including all community members in the change process and the replicability of this approach, which was guided by appreciative inquiry. While awards are validating, the true impact of this work is seen through the profound changes in the everyday lives of people.

Al Power

Dr. Al Power worked as a geriatrician in long-term care communities for over 20 years. He led St. John’s Home in Rochester, NY in becoming the world’s largest Eden Alternative member home. He also helped St. John’s develop the only community-embedded Green House homes in the nation. Al is a former member of the Eden Alternative board of directors and a Certified Eden Educator. He is currently consulting with the Green House Project on their dementia educational tools. Al’s work in Canada includes assisting Schlegel Villages with their culture change journey, as well as their support of people living with dementia. Al is currently co-writing a book with Dr. Jennifer Carson on creating inclusive communities for people living with dementia.

Site Visits

Wednesday August 7, 2019: 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (5-hour session)

SV 1
Businar Tour to The Homeplace of Midway, Kentucky

Limit 40 people

Mary Hopfner-Thomas, Project Manager, The Green House Project
Mary Lynn Spalding, President & CEO,  Christian Care Communities

Description: Participants will engage in an interactive learning experience that begins with a trip to The Homeplace. Fun trivia about culture change and The Green House Project will leave attendees knowing more about the model than ever before. Upon arrival, hear the unique story of how a small community in Kentucky partnered with Christian Care Communities to establish the first Green House homes in Kentucky. Upon departure, attendees will share their insights and experiences with one another based on all that was seen and heard.


  1. Identify unique aspects of the Green House model in paired learning exercises in preparation of touring the Green House homes at The Homeplace.
  2. Learn about the history of The Homeplace and then tour Green House homes to review and evaluate how the Green House model is employed. Tours of both assisted living and skilled nursing licensure will be available.
  3. Understand how the Green House model is lived out to fulfill the core values of Real Home, Meaningful Life, and Empowered Staff. An exploration of the beliefs behaviors and systems that contribute to The Homeplace’s success and ongoing challenges will be explored in paired learning exercises.

Mary Hopfner-Thomas

As Project Manager with the Green House Project for the last 8 years, Mary Hopfner-Thomas works closely with Green House homes to educate, mentor, and support Green House Educators on a variety of topics related to culture change, the Green House Project’s Core Values, and person-centered approaches to caring for elders and empowering team members, including Shahbazim, Educators, Guides, and Sages.

Mary Lynn Spalding

Mary Lynn Spalding joined Christian Care Communities in 2009 and was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer in 2016. She brings over 30 years of business development and operational healthcare experience to the team. Prior to joining the organization Ms. Spalding was a Vice President with Trilogy Health Services, a Corporate Officer with Jewish Hospital St Mary’s Healthcare as well as served in regional and national leadership positions with publicly traded healthcare organizations. During her tenure with Christian Care Communities, Ms. Spalding successfully completed four major building projects, expanded and re-aligned home and community-based services, completed multiple acquisitions and divestitures as well as supported a system wide refinancing.  With emphasis on the needs of the senior population, Ms. Spalding has successfully implemented a unique approach to Alzheimer/Dementia care throughout the Commonwealth. Recently, the organization completed a strategic planning process, which allowed them to re-focus their core operations and position themselves for the future. Ms. Spalding is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator, serves on multiple boards and is active in national and regional senior living and support services organizations.

SV 2
Nazareth Home

Limit 52 people

Mary Haynes, CEO and President, Nazareth Home, Inc.
Jack York, Founder, IN2L 

Description:  Your day promises to be one of discovery and engagement as the team at Nazareth Home in Louisville takes you on a tour of their community, sharing how their culture change journey has been guided by the Hatch Model, a model which supports changing culture through meaning, environment, clinical and workplace practices.  In addition to touring the campus, you will participate in three learning sessions.  You will see how they have brought individualization to the environment through their work with TrueDoors; how workforce innovation has been enhanced through technology and their partnership with IN2L; and how meaning and clinical practice have come together through their Connected Affirmation Palliation (CAP) program, which focuses on the integration of palliative care and engagement technology as central components to restorative, activity and therapy programs in senior living. The CAP program aims to increase the opportunity for person-centered care to grow beyond the traditional standard and daily life of persons living in nursing and assisted living communities while creating pathways that increase active daily living and provide a road map as to how to pivot into the palliative care phase.


  1. Experience how the team at Nazareth Home has used the Hatch Model to guide their culture change journey.
  2. Learn how senior living and engagement technology organizations can partner to develop and implement innovative and comprehensive palliative care programs, such as CAP and recognizing how technology can help deliver the information family, friends and staff need to prepare for the dying process.
  3. Ascertain the importance of providing person-centered experiences and affirming the life lived by each person using their story.

Mary Haynes

President and CEO of Nazareth Home in Louisville, Kentucky, since 2001, Mary Haynes is an active advocate for innovation in long term care and began Kentucky’s first dementia support homes.  Nazareth Home is a 5 Star nursing home ranked among the nation’s top 10% of communities.  Due to its leadership in person-centered and rehabilitation care, Nazareth Home has received the distinction of the state’s Facility of the Year and was designated one of Louisville’s Top Workplaces.  As the founder of the Kentucky Coalition for Person-Centered Care, Mary is engaged with CMS as the leader of the state’s stakeholder group for improvement initiatives.  She has been honored by her peers for leadership. and\ community education.   A frequent thought leader presenter and a Louisville Business First ‘leader to watch,” Mary’s most recent frontier is the promotion of a better understanding of palliative care. This past year, she was recognized for her leadership in elder care in Kentucky with the Champion for Aging Award.

Jack York

Jack York is the founder of IN2L, a computer system that integrates the hardware, software, media and various components necessary to allow virtually any person with any interest in using a computer — regardless of background, physical or intellectual abilities — to do so pleasurably, engagingly, and without frustration.