Conference Presenters

Pioneer Network Conference Presenters

Sadiya Abjani As a training Specialist at SAGE, Sadiya has presented at various conferences and meetings on cultural competency in housing and social service settings. She built the first interactive course for SAGE using Articulate, set up the Litmos learning system for the organization and shepherds course work, including multiple recorded and live presentations and webinars. She holds a Bachelors in Islamic Studies and English from the University of Texas at Austin, where she spent time learning curriculum development and gaining expertise in training development and delivery.

Addie Abushousheh Addie is a gerontologist, researcher, and consultant for organizational and environmental development in long-term care. She explores cultural and bio-psycho-social perspectives, organizational structures and processes, physical environments, workforce models, and regulatory and financial frameworks in relation to decision making, resource management, and quality improvement. With combined expertise in architecture, organizational development, aging and applied research, Abushousheh advances comprehensive and translational agendas related to quality assessment and performance improvement. In addition to independent consultation and research, Addie is also a Technical Expert for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and works on behalf of the Mayer-Rothschild Foundation in Chicago, IL.

Abigail Amidon, music therapist at Shenandoah Valley Westminster-Canterbury, founded the music therapy program at the Virginia CCRC in 2012 stemming from their culture change initiative. Currently, Abigail provides individual and group services while overseeing the internship program and program development. Abigail has been a guest lecturer at Shenandoah University, the Eastman School of Music, and the American Music Therapy Association Mid-Atlantic Region Conference. Abigail holds a bachelor degree in music therapy from Nazareth College. In addition to maintaining her Board Certification in music therapy, Abigail has received specialized training in neurologic music therapy and hospice and palliative care music therapy.

Kathryn Anderson has over eleven years of experience as the nurse leader in an organization with a long history of creating and sustaining person-directed care, with responsibility for providing excellent clinical care and services in the context of home. She and her staff work with residents every day to develop care plans that balance resident choice with perceived risks, following a simple, but well-defined process. As a culture change leader in her organization, her responsibilities include orienting new employees to their care philosophy, providing ongoing teaching and training to veteran staff and ensuring policies and procedures are in sync with revised COPs.

Ashton Applewhite Author and activist, Ashton Applewhite is the author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism. In 2016, she joined PBS site Next Avenue’s annual list of 50 Influencers in Aging as their Influencer of the Year. Ashton has been recognized by the New York Times, National Public Radio, and the American Society on Aging as an expert on ageism. She blogs at This Chair Rocks, has written for Harper’s, Playboy, and the New York Times, and is the voice of ‘Yo, Is This Ageist?’ Ashton speaks widely, at venues that have ranged from universities and community centers to the TED mainstage and the United Nations. Ashton is a leading spokesperson for a movement to mobilize against discrimination on the basis of age.

Caroline Baker has worked for over 20 years in the independent care home sector in Great Britain and currently oversees 200 care homes providing care for people living with dementia. In her last post, she was the Director of Dementia care for over 400 care homes. In both roles, she has helped to develop 2 different award winning programs that have helped to change the culture in care homes and have reduced the use of anti-psychotic medication, depression scores, falls, distress and increased well-being. Caroline has presented externally and has several publications including a book based on the former program.

Barry Barkan developed the first culture change project in long term care in 1977. Since then he has taught and written extensively about the Live Oak Regenerative Community approach to culture change. He is among the founders of the Pioneer Network. He continues to serve as a guide and mentor to others. Barry co-founded the Elders’ Guild to bring the 21st century culture of aging to people who are aging in their communities, engaging emerging elders in a culture that promotes community, deepening wisdom, and championing the future.

Debora Barkan has been training people in the Live Oak Regenerative Community Project in the Pioneer Network Institutes in the beginning of the 21st century. She developed the program and trained the staff for implementation at the Live Oak Living Center, an iconic model for culture change in El Sobrante Ca. Debra has conducted many workshops and seminars of the Live Oak Regenerative Community, the community development model and has served in the role of community developer for more than 30 years. Along with her husband, Barry, she continues to serve as a guide and mentor to others. Together, they have been building the Elders’ Guild to engage emerging elders in a culture that promotes community, deepening wisdom, and championing the future.

Sonya Barsness is a Masters-prepared gerontologist working with elders, individuals living with dementia, and those who care for them for over 20 years. Sonya has facilitated educational programs across the country to diverse audiences about person-centered care, with a focus on person-centered dementia care. Sonya has also worked with long-term care communities in various capacities for most of her career. Sonya was the lead content developer for the microlearning lessons.

Laura Beck serves as Learning and Development Guide for The Eden Alternative. During her 13 years with EA, she developed Eden at Home, an initiative focused on meeting the needs of Elders living at home and their care partners. Laura serves as a trainer and speaker (national/international credits) and curricula developer. As the daughter of an Eden-nurtured Elder, she has experienced first-hand the powerful effect of person-directed care, particularly as it involves the role of the consumer and the creation of informed, supportive, intergenerational communities.

Celia Berdes ,now retired, has been a researcher in the field of aging and long-term care for more than 20 years. A sociologist, with a special focus on community-building in residential facilities and on understanding relationships between care workers and older people. The focus of her research interest and activities was relationships between residents and direct care workers. One of her main concerns has been the dissemination of research results to those working in care settings.

Denise Boudreau-Scott is President of DRIVE, a consulting and coaching company committed to helping senior living and healthcare organizations build a high-performance culture. Through leadership development, focus groups and strategic planning, DRIVE helps aging services organizations improve the resident and staff experience, and the bottom-line, through more engaged leaders and employees. Denise is a former nursing home & assisted living administrator, co-founded & is chairperson of the NJ Alliance for Culture Change, serves as vice-chair of NAB Member Relations Committee & a member of NAB Exam Writing Committee. Denise was recently appointed as a board member for the Pioneer Network & chairs their Communication Committee. Denise received her BS in Gerontology from the University of Scranton & her Master in Health Administration from Cornell University where she is appointed as a lecturer & Executive in Residence, the youngest in the history of CornellÍ Health Administration program.

Jim Boyle has 30 years experience as a nursing home administrator at LTC organizations throughout Chicago area. Proven leadership in creating new, person-centered programs in skilled care, assisted living and independent living. He is currently the administrator of The Scottish Home in North Riverside and co-led efforts to create and open the Caledonian House, small homes for people living with dementia.

Cathie Brady, M.S., has more than 30 years of experience in executive leadership roles providing services and advocating for older adults in a variety of settings. She was the Executive Director of the Department of Aging Services for the city of Bristol, Connecticut, where she revitalized programming and participation through development of award-winning, life enriching programs. For 10 years, she served as the Regional LTC Ombudsman for Eastern Connecticut and developed educational programs to introduce her nursing homes to culture change. Cathie has an M.S. in Organizational Management from Eastern Connecticut State University.

Gregg Brandush worked as a registered nurse from 1991 and 2004. After graduating from law school in 2004, he held a position with the Illinois Protection and Advocacy agency where his work included identification of unsafe facility practices. Since 2010, he has worked for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services where he has been a Long Term Care surveyor, LTC enforcement branch manager and where he currently serves as the Deputy Associate Regional Administrator for the Midwest Division of Survey & Certification

Ilan Brat is a veteran journalist who has worked for 11 years at The Wall Street Journal. Based on his expertise in storytelling and understanding of the value it has, he founded Life Well Tell, a network of journalists that captures the life stories of people with dementia.

Peggy Brenner is the Regional Director of Nursing for 6 continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) and culture change coach for the above. Provide education, guidance and support to all departments in 6 CCRC’s as they progress on their culture change journey. She has attended Choreography of Culture Change through Action Pact and has presented numerous topics related to culture change at Pioneer Network, Leading Age PA and the annual Leading Age Convention. Served 3 years on the Board of Directors of the PA Culture Change Coalition and presently serves on the Southeastern Chapter of the PA Culture Change Coalition.

Sarah Brown is both a licensed Nursing Home Administrator and Registered Nurse and has served in a variety of health care roles in senior services, ambulatory care, performance improvement, and partnerships. Her passion has always been in serving those in need and continuous improvement to better healthcare outcomes through evidenced based research. In her role as I the Executive Director of Empira. she provides oversight and support to the Empira team in development, deployment, diffusion and monitoring of key clinical programs.

Vickie Burlew, a RN and licensed nursing home administrator, teaches the subjects of leadership and regulation in an MSU Nursing Home Administration Course. She is also an Eden Mentor, Educator and Guide. In this capacity, she helps organizations facilitate culture change, while maintaining regulatory compliance and professional standards of practice. She has been a speaker for various LTC organizations for the past 15 years. Vickie is also Certified Dementia Practitioner and Trainer.

Margaret Calkins Dr. Calkins is nationally recognized as a creative, dynamic leader, trainer and researcher in the field of environments for elders. She is Executive Director of The Mayer-Rothschild Foundation, the only national philanthropy exclusively committed to person-centered long-term care in the US. A member of several national organizations and panels which focus on issues of care for cognitively impaired older adults, she is a highly sought after speaker for conferences in the US and abroad. Maggie currently serves on the board of the Pioneer Network.

Mondy Carter has been a family caregiver for 14 years and has been an instructor and performer of Improv for the last 30. He also has been presenting with his wife Karen for the last 20 years combining art and Alzheimer’s. He has begun to present solo Keynotes and just finished a 3-day tour.

Sue Ellen Clark Sue Ellen’s current role at Westminster Canterbury is lead support for person directed living and the director of therapeutic recreation. In role, she has developed and incorporated many successful art programs and currently conducts several weekly creative arts events. She is wildly creative and loves to design programs that have meaning and purpose, are captivating, draw on a person’s strengths, and speak to people’s interests. Sue Ellen has presented at three national conferences and one state conference in regards to meaningful life engagement particularly around people who have dementia.

Kelly Cooke oversees the resident-life program at St. Pauls House and was instrumental in implementing new life story technology there. She has led dementia-care units and life-enrichment programs in senior living communities for eight years.

Beth Cooper has worked as a Culinary Director for Compass Group for 10 years where her responsibilities include and as a training consultant for the past seven years where she drives resident satisfaction and customer service programs in long term care, training and developing hourly and management staff in soft skills and hard skills. She earned her CPLP (Certified Performance and Learning Professional) from Association of Training and Development in April 2015.

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. 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 Conference, the Pioneer Network Conference, the 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. y own organization, Hearts In Care.

Chris Cox currently is the chief operating officer of the Hometown Segment of Signature HealthCare. He oversees operations for 60 rural nursing homes and over-all responsibility of approximately 5,000 Elders on a daily basis. He has been instrumental in providing thought leadership around the idea of person directed care and aligning practices with the daily values of the organization.

Janice Dabney has enjoyed a 30+ year career in long-term care. For 20 years, she was the Social Work Director of a large urban nursing home, overseeing the development of programs to support person-centered care. I participated in numerous quality assurance and process improvement projects in this facility. Since 2004 she has worked at the Labor Management Project(LMP), serving as Assistant Director since 2010. The LMP provides organizational development and performance improvement consultation to Healthcare industry and Union leaders in NYC hospitals, nursing homes and home care agencies and has designed and delivered training in process improvement methodologies to teams throughout the NYC area.

Janice Dressander has a personal mission, “Because others have invested in my growth and development; I invest in the growth and development of others.” Her personal mission is possible because of the many opportunities that have come across her path to touch the lives of clients, residents, staff, families and even strangers. Using humor and stories, as well as practical tools, Jan inspires others to carry out their mission and to invest time and training in the next generation of caregivers and administrators. Jan has experience in home care, assisted living, long term care, dementia consulting, and working with children.

Sanet du Toit holds a position as a teacher/researcher academic in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Discipline of Occupational Therapy, at University of Sydney in Australia. She has a leadership role within the discipline in coordinating core occupational therapy units of study for the professionally accredited Bachelor of Applied Science and the Master in Occupational Therapy. Core and elective units involve on campus, in-the-field and on-line learning. She has an affiliation with the University of Free State South Africa. Sanet is passionate about advancing the care and well-being of older people.

Hilary Dunn is the project manager for Making the Most of Mealtimes and CHOICE+ development. She is a knowledge translation expert in long term care

Dayne DuVall Dayne’s father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and that changed his focus. Relocating to be with his family, he watched as this fatal disease destroyed his dad’s life and devastated his family. He became a Reiki practitioner, licensed massage therapist, and patient advocate. Dayne served for three years as Chief Operating Officer of National Certification Board for Alzheimer Care and most recently served as Senior Director, Second Wind Dreams where he directed the Virtual Dementia Tour Program. He still serves as a consultant to that program. and beginning of 2017, Dayne became Director, US Operations for Java Group Programs which provides evidence-based peer-support programs targeting isolation and depression in senior living environments, concentrating on residents with dementia.

Shannon Effler, MSW, is the OPTIMISTIC Research Manager overseeing project coordination and promoting communications throughout OPTIMISTIC. In addition to her key role with OPTIMISTIC, she has been involved in aging services and aging research for a decade. She revitalized and leads Indiana’s Culture Change Coalition, Indiana Person Directed Care Coalition.

Amy Elliot is a PhD researcher/evaluator of culture change whose work includes the evaluation of the relational coordination practice model. As a consultant, Amy designs and conducts mixed methods research and evaluation projects, including designing, conducting, and analyzing focus groups, interviews, and surveys; conducting statistical analysis, developing theory of change and logic models, and designing and conducting cost-benefit analysis and predictive modeling.

Paul Falkowski has ten years experience recruiting and training volunteers for long-term care communities using state-of-the-art instructional design techniques for adult learning developed from numerous focus groups and surveys of long-term care professional staff. Research focuses on identifying various ways in which volunteers are recruited, screened and trained highlighting exemplar programs found throughout the world. In addition to writing numerous articles and conducting workshops for care staff, Falkowski is currently writing a book. He has won numerous awards for his work is well known for his presentations concerning volunteers and their role in long-term care.

Jeannine Forrest For three decades, Dr. Forrest has combined a passionate belief that dementia and end-of-life care should enrich wellbeing with a deep reliance on state-of-the-art research in pain management and dementia care. Through extensive consulting, she builds compassion and dignity into dementia-care programs nationally and internationally and helps families understand and their loved one’s needs from the inside out. Her clinical practice and academic research has touched the lives of thousands of people.

Nancy Fox serves as the Chief Innovation Officer. at Vivage Senior Living where she oversees the organization’s development of new models of care, new initiatives, new curricula, and cutting edge practices that serve to position Vivage in the evolving post-acute health care. Nancy’s recent project led in partnership with the Loveland Housing Authority resulted in the successful development and nationally recognized first Green House model replication in Colorado. Prior to her current position, Nancy served as the Executive Director of the Eden Alternative, an international not-for-profit person-centered care organization. Nancy holds a nursing home administrator’s license, and for the past 20 years, she has joined many courageous and passionate people on a journey to seek a better world for our Elders and those who care for them. She was recently appointed by the Governor of Colorado to serve on the Colorado Nursing Home Innovations Grant Board, and is a past Board Member of the Colorado Culture Change Coalition. In 2015, Nancy received the highest honor in long-term care in Colorado, the Vesta Bowden Award, presented by the Colorado Health Care Association. Nancy is a national and international speaker and educator and has presented at many major conferences. She is the author of a book, The Journey of a Lifetime: Leadership Pathways to Culture Change in Long-Term Care, published in March, 2007. She is currently completing work on her second book, also on leadership in a care community.

Barbara Frank has spent the past 40 years helping nursing homes be better places to live and work. She has worked at the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform and as Connecticut’s State LTC Ombudsman. Facilitated Campaign for Quality Care, to develop consensus for OBRA 87. Facilitated first Pioneer Network gathering in 1997, and St. Louis Accord in 2005 – national stakeholder gathering to improve quality through culture change. Co-founded B&F Consulting with Cathie Brady. With David Farrell they co-authored Meeting the Leadership Challenge in Long-Term Care: What You Do Matters (Health Professions Press 2011) and Doing Better Together: A Nursing Home Leader’s Guide to High Performance (HPP 2017).

Jeffrey Goldone is the President of J. Goldone Consulting & Training, LLC, specializing in dining services management in senior living, with a focus on person-directed living environments. He has presented annually at the Pioneer Network Conference since 2013, as well as at Leading Age National and Leading Age Illinois. Jeff was the Administrator of Dining Services with Lutheran Senior Services for 27 years, where his responsibilities included: support of nine CCRC campuses, 2.5M meals annually; planned, opened, and trained for 33 households / neighborhoods in the person-directed living approach. He is an adjunct professor at Fontbonne University, St. Louis for the Certified Dietary Managers course.

Amanda Green is the Director of Marketing for Healthcare Therapy Services, Inc. Her story is both personal and professional. She has had a front row seat for the last 12 years navigating the health care journeys of close family members. This has led to her passion and personal mission to improve the experience, health literacy and patient engagement during the skilled stay and care transition. 15+ years experience developing strategies for nearly 120 senior living providers in the areas of care delivery, rehabilitation and marketing. She is an active board member for Argentum Indiana Chapter as well as ACHCA Indiana Chapter. She currently performs research on improved outcomes with increased person-centered care initiatives from pre-admission to 60 days post discharge.

Diane Hall is the executive director of Florida Pioneer Network, a member of the National Dining Practice Standards task force, past president of Florida Dietetics in Health Care Communities, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and has a history of serving on many strategic positions with Florida Health Care Association. Diane’s years of leadership and experience in dining and nutrition services provides a depth and wisdom with the ultimate goal to benefit our precious seniors. She has seen every paradigm shift in long term care over the past years and has demonstrated her ability to adapt and grow within the profession.

Megan Hannan leads a team of consultants who provide insight and support for transforming institutional culture, especially toward establishing the Household Model. Her expertise focuses on facilitating change through the high involvement of staff, families and residents, and fostering their collaboration in self-led teams dedicated to growing a vibrant life with and for people living with dementia. She has held leadership roles as a mentor with Eden Alternative International and as an executive board member with The Pioneer Network. She is called upon to present at numerous state, national and international conferences, including the World Congress on Alzheimer’s and the Eden Alternative International Conference. Megan developed PersonFirst®, Action Pact’s signature train-the-trainer program, and the workbook and video entitled, “Becoming Who They Were.”

Ann Marie Harmer has been a Dementia Care Specialist for a number of years and is currently undertaking an MSc in Dementia Care. She works across 60 care homes to provide specialist advice and support in dementia care. She is also responsible for implementing the 10-60-06 programm within the homes.

Patience Harris is the Senior RN Specialist for the Pathway to Excellence and Pathway to Excellence – Long Term Care programs. She brings vast experience in the creation and maintenance of positive practice environments, and expertise in quality improvement strategies, staff engagement, collaborative practice, and evidence based practice. As the program liaison, Patience is passionate about supporting organizations to create the best place for their nurses to work, and the powerful impact nurses can make everywhere.

Jeanne Heid-Grubman has over 40 years of experience in the field of elder care in a range of settings from community based services to acute hospital-based rehab. She is currently an administrator at Victory Lakes, a Franciscan Retirement Community in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. She has been an administrator in assisted living and skilled care residences for over 14 years. Jeanne holds a master’s degree in social work. Over the years, she has been an enthusiastic advocate for person-centered care and remains deeply committed to enhancing the quality of life for elders. She is on the Board of Directors for Pioneer Network and chairs the education committee. Jeanne also previously held the position of Director of Education and Outreach for the national office of the Alzheimer’s Association, where she assisted in the development of the Association’s Campaign for Quality Residential Care. The major product of this campaign was a set of practice recommendations that communities across the country used as guidelines for developing and assessing their own dementia care programs. Jeanne had primary responsibility for the development of the national dementia care training program for health care providers.

Denise Hyde, Pharm.D., discovered culture change in 1997 at the Thomas Fitzgerald Veterans Home in Omaha, NE. Denise left the Veterans Home in 2001 and became a Regional Coordinator for The Eden Alternative supporting six states. In 2005, Denise was hired by the Quality Improvement Organization in Nebraska to do culture change work and Medicare Part D projects. Denise is one of the founding members of the culture change coalition in Nebraska and has spoken frequently on culture change locally and nationally. Denise is the Community Builder for The Eden Alternative supporting Eden Registry Members. She provides consultation, guidance, training and support to organizations implementing person-directed care using the Eden Alternative Philosophy. She is also assist in project work and curriculum development.

Melanie James In her role at Schlegel Village, Melanie provides support to the Directors of Recreation and the village recreation teams along with some of our contract team members (e.g., Horticulture Therapist, Music Therapist, Social Service, Chaplins, etc). Her work to support the Wisdom of Elder philosophy and practices across Schlegel Villages, she: facilitates education and the review, update and develop of policies and procedures related to recreation and leisure in the 16 Villages; introduces, supports implementation and review of new program ideas; and builds relationships in the community to enhance meaningful engagement within the Villages and in the broader community.

Jeff Jerebker is a nationally recognized leader in long term care. As the former CEO of Pinon Management, he dedicated his career to revamping what long term care management could be. Jeff and his team introduced psycho-social models of care more than a decade before the culture change movement began, transforming many troubled nursing homes into flourishing communities of excellence along the way. He is a national speaker, blogger, elder care influencer and author of the book, OhMercy! The Coming of Age of a Nursing Home Pioneer.

Heather Johnson is a new team member on the Empira team, providing support in development, deployment, diffusion and monitoring of key clinical programs. Prior to joining the team, she served as LPN for a skilled nursing facility in the Empira consortium where she was the program leader for the Falls, Sleep, and SOS Empira programs. She has the experience of implementing the programs first hand at a site level.

Bill Keane is currently a Consultant in Aging, living in Greater Chicagoland. He recently retired as the Executive Director of Clare Oaks Retirement Community, a comprehensive continuing care campus serving the needs of over 300 elders in independent and health care settings in suburban Chicago. Mr. Keane supervised executive leadership initiatives with over 265 team members engaged in organizational change and financial restructuring due to Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Prior to this engagement, Mr. Keane worked out of Washington, DC as a Project Guide for The Green House® Project, an initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to grow a new alternative to the traditional American nursing home. Before this, Mr. Keane was based in Chicago where he was a consultant in aging and dementia; served as the Chief Operating Officer for Harbor Senior Concepts of Illinois; and was Director of Special Programs for Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging. Here, he developed tools and staff education projects in dementia care, customer service excellence and leadership within the Mather residential, community and research programs.

Heather Keller Researcher and expert in food and nutrition for older adults, she is the lead researched and developer of CHOICE+. Heather develops novel strategies and programs to enhance mealtime experience in long term care.

David Kent is a resident at the Village of Erin Meadows, long term care home in Mississauga, Ontario. He was an educator/teacher for 35 years and had influence the lives of thousand of students. Currently, he is the President of the Resident Council at Erin Meadows, and the chair of the Village Advisory Team (VAT), whose primary objective is to lead the culture change initiatives in our home. David is one of the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award as presented by the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) at their last annual conference which took place on November 24, 2016.

Cheryl Kruschke has been a nurse since 1980 and as currently an associate professor at Regis University where she teaches culture change in the Gerontology Certificate Program. She has experienced culture change as a nurse, administrator and educator and is an Eden Alternative educator. She studies culture change and has given presentations locally, nationally and internationally regarding culture change. She currently serve as president of the Board of Directors for the Colorado Culture Change Coalition.

Joy Langereis recently completed an internship in a long term care home and is now working for Hope Network where she provides case management for Elders with severe mental illness and medical concerns. Hope Network Integrated Care provides a home for individuals who have been turned away from long term care, psychiatric hospitals and other housing opportunities. Hope Network provides a home like atmosphere, care, respect and the opportunity to make choices, enhance quality of life and increase independence.

Britta Larson As a professional in the field of aging for over 15 years and as a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, Britta is passionate about culture change in long-term care. A certified trainer with the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging she has trained over 25 senior service organizations on how to best serve LGBT older adults. She has presented on the topic of LGBT Aging at many conferences including the National Conference on LGBT Equality, the American Society on Aging, the Governor’s Conference on Aging, and the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Conference. As the Senior Services Director at Center on Halsted, she is responsible for overseeing the older adult programs at Center on Halsted which serves over 500 seniors annually.

Kendall Leser Dr.Leser has several years of research experience in the field of health behavior and health promotion, specifically working with people with cognitive impairment. She is currently the project manager for the Ohio PELI-Can project, where she works to promote the implementation of the PELI as a quality improvement tool in Ohio’s 962 nursing homes. Dr. Leser has also worked as a direct care provider for people receiving community-based, long term care services.

David Lindeman, PhD, is Director Health, Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), UC Berkeley, and Director, Center for Technology and Aging (CTA). Dr. Lindeman has worked in the field of aging and long-term care for over 30 years as a health services researcher and gerontologist, conducting research related to health care technology, assistive technologies, chronic disease management, healthy aging, disabilities, dementia, community-based and residential services, long-term care workforce, and family caregiving. Dr. Lindeman’s current research focus is on the incubation, start-up, and scaling of technology-enabled solutions for older adults, including initiatives that address critical health care challenges through mHealth, sensors, telehealth, assistive technologies, data analytics, and precision health. These technology-enabled solutions cover a continuum of health care and aging and disability issues, ranging from wellness to complex chronic conditions, with an emphasis on global applications. Dr. Lindeman serves as an advisor to foundations, government agencies, businesses, and venture firms. Dr. Lindeman previously served as the founding Director of the Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging; Associate Professor of Health Policy at the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, Rush University Medical Center; and Co-Director of the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Dr. Lindeman received his PhD and MSW from the University of California, Berkeley.

Rita Lopienski oversees life enrichment programs at large non-profit CCRC. Her department includes Chaplain, volunteer and activity staff. She has provided spiritual programming in senior and health care living for 33 years. She, who has completed seminary education, works with local churches and chaplains to provide religious and spiritual care. Rita has been leading seminars for 20 years at state, national and international conferences.

Jessica Luh Kim works alongside Melanie James in supporting Schlegel Villages’ signature programs and the culture change journey across the organization.

Wendy Lustbader has been conducting trainings on aging throughout the country for almost thirty years to social workers, nurses, physicians, and other health professionals. She teaches three clinical practice classes per year at the University of Washington School of Social Work : Family Healing, and two sections of Trauma and Recovery.

Bill Lutz is the founder and owner of Optimum Solutions & Strategies, LLC and his mission is to jump-start a culture change in residential healthcare communities through grass roots changes in dining services. The result is savings in labor and food cost, vastly improved food preparation, and more satisfied customers and staff. Bill educates residential healthcare practitioners by presenting various seminars, workshops and cooking demonstrations across the country. Bill’s seminars speak to the need for practical improvement in dining services, and how to enhance food service through restaurant style service, methodology and execution. Before founding Optimum Solutions in 1997, Bill owned and operated several award winning fine dining restaurants in Columbus, Ohio. For the past 19 years Bill has been on the cutting edge of what is now being accepted as person directed care working nationwide implementing positive change in residential healthcare communities.

Matthew Lysobey has been a licensed nursing home administrator for over 20 years. For the last 7 years, his focus has been on exploring service as an antidote to depression and apathy. In his current position, he is working with 75 Rockport Healthcare Services communities in their initiative to implement service based programs for the Elders and Care teams.

Anne Mahler As a Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, Anne has the opportunity to work with residents, families, and staff in 2 long-term care settings. As the homes have embraced culture change during the past several years, she has worked with staff in 1st understanding, then implementing and ultimately evaluating, the philosophies and components of culture change. Together they have explored the 10 core nursing competencies related to culture change, and developed hands-on, skill-building strategies for both improving resident-directed care, as well as empowering our work teams.

Imelda Maurer Sr. Imelda is a licensed nursing home administrator and holds a Masters degree in Applied Gerontology. Her experience includes directing aging service communities at all levels of care, developing a sense of community among staff and residents. As the Founder and Director of a not-for-profit organization, Service to Our Own, she has worked for systemic change with Religious Institutes of women, providing consultation, workshops and presentations. Through her blog on aging and aging services, she works to raise consciousness about transformative culture change.

Angie McAllister is the Director of Cultural Transformation – Hometown and a Certified Eden Alternative Educator & Mentor with Signature HealthCARE She is the currently responsible for facilitating the development of person directed care practices in 60 of their rural nursing homes. She also leads the creation and implementation team which develops world class quality of life programming to enhance the overall well-being of 5,000 Elders who currently reside with us.

Meaghan McMahon began her consulting practice in July 2015. Since that time, she has worked with local government agencies, for-profit, not-for-profit and start-up organizations in both the Washington D.C. metro area and San Francisco. Meaghan earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Sociology from Cornell University where she graduated magna cum laude. Following graduation, she attended the University of Michigan School of Social Work as a Geriatric Scholar and in 2011 earned her Master of Social Work degree.

Michael McCann provides leadership to a volunteer program that in the past year consists of over 450 volunteers completing over 9200 hours of service within the local community. This community outreach program has won the Leading Age Illinois Community Impact Award four times out of the past seven years (20172015, 2013, and 2011) for innovative outreach programs, as well as the School District 54 Community Partner Award (2012).

As the Lifestyles Director for Friendship Senior Options, Michael McCann has over 20 years of providing leadership for nonprofits in all dimensions of wellness. As a transformational executive leader Michael uses his experience to motivate, teach and facilitate long-term personal development and well-being. Michael is currently publishing his first book, The Hidden Male, which will discuss spiritual and enrichment ideas for retired males. He has also published numerous journal articles.

Michael is also on the faculty for College of DuPage as well as a contributing partner with McHenry County College, Harper and Roosevelt Universities teaching physical, mental and spiritual wellness. Michael has served on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Activity Professionals (NAAP) as Conference Trustee and currently works with NAAP as Leadership Liaison. Michael is also President of Chicagoland Activity Professionals Association and on the board of directors for the Elgin Women’s Crisis Center.

Kim McRae Together with a B.A. in Journalism/Advertising and over 14 years of experience in consumer marketing, PR and advertising; and a deep desire to help others, Kim has become a FCTA (Family Caregiver Turned Advocate). She promotes and champions humanizing dementia care, person-centered living, family-centered care and culture change throughout the entire spectrum and continuum of life-long living and long-term care. She is the Co-Founder and previous Director of the Culture Change Network of Georgia, and is serving on numerous national and local initiatives to improve quality of life for elders and their care partners.

Whitney Mills is an investigator at the VA Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety and Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine. Her research focuses on long-term care in the areas of environmental gerontology, transitions of care, assessment of everyday competence, person-environment fit, affordability, and resident quality of life, and uses both qualitative and quantitative methods. Whitney is a co-investigator on a large, VA-funded project investigating methods for improving person-centeredness of care in VA Community Living Centers and has published several articles in this area.

Sue Misiorski is a member of executive team at PHI–the nation’s leading resource on the direct care workforce where she supports PHIs newly launched 60 issues campaign, dedicated to raising awareness and dialogue around issues related to the workforce crisis in long term care. She provides education and consultation to clients in nursing homes, home care, and assisted living. She has been supporting employers to improve their workplace culture for two decades, is a speaker at multiple national conference, former board president and founding member of Pioneer Network.

Steven Montgomery is a licensed architect with more than 25 years of experience related to the planning and design of a full range of senior residential care environments including skilled care, assisted living, memory support, and independent housing. Past speaker at Life Services Network and Leading Age Illinois, Aging Services of Michigan, and Pioneer Network conferences on topics of environmental design and its supportive capacity in facilitating culture change. Mr. Montgomery began, and is chair of, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago Chapter Design for Aging Knowledge Community which facilitates programs related to environments for aging and issues of resident directed care.

Susan Moser, a chaplain and Culture Change Coach, is directly involved in providing End of Life (EOL) Care to residents and families and works collaboratively with the palliative care team. Creating tranquil rooms at and developing EOL music libraries were T.E.L.L. initiatives. Susan co-created the Four Principles of Culture Change and as an educator and trainer with over 20 years experience, she facilitates trainings and workshops for employees throughout her organization.

Dana Nelson-Eisinger is an Occupational Therapist and Nursing Home Administrator with over 15 years experience in SNF management. She is a Senior Care Resources Quality Committee Member.

Donna Newman-Bluestein has worked as a dance/movement therapist with people with dementia, among others, for 40 years. She is a national and international speaker, workshop presenter, and trainer. Donna co-authored the articles Movement as the Medium for Connection, Empathy, Playfulness, published in the Journal of Dementia Care in 2010 and Embodiment and Dementia and Dance Movement Psychotherapists Respond for Dementia journal in 2013. She is currently co-authoring a training manual, The Dance of Interaction: Embodied Relationships in Dementia Care to be published Spring 2017.

Sylvia Nissenboim, LCSW. After working 40 years in the field of aging, specifically with individuals and families dealing with dementia and other disabling conditions, Sylvia now has a thriving practice in counseling, coaching and training, with areas of expertise are both family and professional caregiving, aging, care communities, well-being and resiliency. I In her work, she coach leaders and teams in ways to improve the work environment, training in areas related to stress management, care for the caregiver, Positive Interactions in the workplace. Sylvia has created trainings that elevate and improve the quality of their lives. As a leader, consultant and coach of the professionals working in these settings, she continues to develop programs that engage, inform and educate individuals and teams to work more cohesively in the provision of care to elders. Based on her book, The Positive Interactions Program, this session is designed to help leaders create environments that retain, develop and promote staff for greater wellbeing, all around.

Anna Ortigara has been teaching and consulting in Long Term Care for several decades. Her work includes authoring the LEAP program at Mather Life Ways, Dementia specialization with the Rush Alzheimer’s Institute and authoring educational resources at the GreenHous Project. Anna has served as board President of Pioneer Network and teaches national workshops on topics related to culture change. Anna currently serves as an Organizational Change Consultant for PHI where she provides education, consultation and project leadership to organizations that are implementing innovative practices in order to improve quality of care and quality of jobs.

Lorraine Pasadino is a very active senior living in a CCRC. She holds several graduate and doctoral degrees as well as continual professional development (e.g. CDP) in leadership, strategic planning and change. She is a consultant and National Speaker and Trainer. Lorraine is a passionate crusader for culture change. She is a certified Hospice Volunteer and also works with her certified therapy dog in a variety of settings for dementia care. On a personal level, she has guided her parents, family members, friends on their journeys through dementia and death.

Leslie Pedtke serves as administrator of Aviston Countryside Manor for 22 years where she crested the program “Through the Looking Glass” as a way for staff to really know what it’s like to be dependent on others for simple daily tasks. She has recently moved to a new role as the educator for quality improvement for all of the communities in King Management Company. Her goal is to ignite within others the passion and knowledge to develop care-partner relationships. Leslie is the author of a book about the story of Through the Looking Glass, which is due to be published in August.

Susan Pettis began her career working with older adults. For over fifteen years she managed older adult community-based health/wellness, direct assistance, and recreation services. Since 2002, she has directed residential and long-term care programs. As Administrator at Huron Woods, she directs daily operations of a 73 bed licensed Home for the Aged community for persons with progressive dementia, operating with a $5.6 M budget; 130 staff, and an aging-in-place psychosocial/clinically supported model of care. Under her direction Huron Woods has maintained good standing with the state licensing agency, and secured state and national awards recognizing quality of care, innovative programs, and exemplary care givers.

Camilla Pimentel is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the VA Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR). Her research focuses on quality of long-term care, nursing home cultural transformation, and medication safety, and uses both qualitative and quantitative methods. Camilla is a co-investigator on a large, VA-funded project investigating methods for improving person-centeredness of care in VA Community Living Centers. She has published articles in this area and also sits on a nursing home cultural transformation committee at my local VA medical center.

Jonathan Pinsker has been in the food service and hospitality industry for the past 28 years. He holds a culinary degree from Johnson and Wales and is currently working toward a masters in hospitality management. Jonathan has taught college hospitality management and has conducted trainings and public speaking at many levels. He sees his number one qualification as his love of providing fun to all of our residents, taking them back to the great memories they had in their lives.

LuMarie Polivka-West retired from 23 years with the Florida Health Care Association, having served as the Sr. Vice President for Policy and Program Development with responsibility for the planning and implementation of long term care related policies and programs, and staffing the Quality Credentialing Program. She was the 2006-2010 Principal Investigator for a major John Hartford Foundation grant and a participant on the Dept. of Health and Human Services Emergency Preparedness Policy Development Standards workgroup. Ms. Polivka-West is a past Florida Director of Licensure and Certification with the Agency for Health Care Administration, HRS Medicaid Program Development Chief and Aging Community-Based Services Chief with over 20 years in state government.

Prof. Christine Rabner has worked with a range of long term care organizations to support their culture change journeys. She has provided training and coaching on culture change in homes in southern Ohio, and conducted research and training on person-centered care with people living with memory losses. Examples of person-centered care initiatives with homes include increasing engagement in meaningful daily activities for people with memory loss and supporting implementation of ‘Music and Memory in eleven organizations in 2016. Dr. Raber directly supervises graduate students throughout the academic year in three courses in which students complete clinical experiences with elders in nursing homes, assisted living, and adult day programs.

Lisa Rill, an Elder advocate, is a former nursing home social worker. She earned her Ph.D. in 2011, Sociology (specialization in Health and Aging), Florida State University and is a member of the Aging Research Faculty at FSU where she conducts research on long-term care and other age-related issues that focus on quality of life and quality of care.

Bryan Rill, trained as an anthropologist, Bryan moved on to teach design psychology at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the top design school in Asia. He founded and directs the Co-Creation Initiative, a program that designs and applies co-creative processes. His work stems from over two decades of inquiry into human consciousness, a journey that has taken him from exploring transformative media environments to training with monks in the mountains of Japan. As President of the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, Bryan is constantly exploring new ways of knowing and being. His scholarship and firsthand experiences serve as a foundation for the design of transformative leadership and creative programs.

Jonathan Rubell has been ArchCare’s Director of Learning & Organizational Development since 2016. His initial focus was delivering a 16-hour leadership development course based on Lencion’s “Five Dysfunctions of a Team”. and from there was tapped to lead the rollout of an organization-wide process improvement initiative. As a result of a partnership with Rutgers University (NJ) he and 5 ArchCare Managers earned Green Belt status in Lean Six Sigma methodologies. He supervised the creation and delivery of a 6-hour White Belt training course for 190 management and 24 direct care staff in ArchCare.

Susan Ryan, BSN, MA, has over 25 years of nursing experience with a predominant concentration in the field of gerontology and Alzheimer/dementia care. She currently serves as Senior Director of The Green House Project. Her passion for improving the quality of life for elders has been demonstrated in a variety of settings. Prior to working with The Green House team, Ms. Ryan served on the leadership team of a non-profit continuing care retirement community, where the organization transformed their culture by assessing industry innovation and outcomes and developing strategic and educational protocols.

Judy Ryan is the author of “What’s the Deal With Workplace Culture?” published by PeopleTested Media, and writes 2 columns (one national on Emotional Intelligence since 2006, one local to St. Louis on The Extraordinary Workplace since 2012), is a regular keynote speaker at senior healthcare conferences including Pioneer Coalition (MO & IL), COCMA, LT DON (MO & IL), AHCA/NCAL, INHAA Missouri Alliance for Homecare, Leading Age, Forum for Workplace Inclusion, etc. Judy is known for her 7-step culture transformation process in which all employees become personally responsible and together improve at least one significant ROI condition.

Catherine Schalk is responsible for successful operations for 9 Long Term Care Homes in the province of Ontario. She ensures compliance to Ministry of Health and Long Term Care regulations, financial success, exceptional resident satisfaction and employee engagement. She serves as the lead for Culture Change within her company of 27 Long Term Care homes in Ontario as they endeavor to make people’s lives better.

Carol Scott works for the National Ombudsman Resource Center, a part of The Consumer Voice (CV). CV has over 40 years of experience educating and empowering consumers regarding issues in long-term care communities and promoting best practices for quality care delivery. CV brought the first pioneers together in the 1990s. Carol has been actively serving as an advocate for the rights of long-term care residents for more than 23 years, serving as the Missouri State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. She was very active in the formation of the Missouri culture change organization, MC5.

Dr. Linda Shell MA, RN has worked in aging services for over twenty-five years. Linda is passionate about developing leaders and improving the quality of life for older adults. She spends much of her time working with organizations to help develop resilient leaders at all levels. Dr. Shell developed her SurTHRIVEL leadership model from her doctoral research on resilience characteristics and strength based leadership concepts. Linda has facilitated Leadership Academy for LeadingAge Minnesota for the last 7 years. Linda is known for her engaging presentation style and ability to apply theoretical principles towards the pursuit of leadership excellence.

Kimberley Smith is the Patient and Resident Care Manager and Site Leader who has operational responsibility for a tertiary mental health older adult acute unit as well as the residential care program supporting people with advanced dementia. Kim is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse who is incredibly passionate about serving people with dementia and their families with the respect and dignity they need. She led the Metamorphosis culture change in her residential care home, Youville in BC, Canada, where she was able to use her passion and leadership to shift the culture in a very short dedicated time that has sustained the changes.

Beth Soltzberg, MSW, MBA, directs the Alzheimer’s/Related Disorders Family Support of Jewish Family & Children’s Services in Greater Boston. Beth’s work includes facilitating the JF&CS Memory Cafe_ and Balancing Act group in Waltham, and coordinating the Percolator Memory Cafe_ Network, a resource for those starting and sustaining memory cafes across Massachusetts. Beth also co-coordinates the Dementia Friendly Massachusetts Initiative. Beth earned her MSW and MBA from the University of Chicago and a certificate in end-of-life care from the Smith College School of Social Work. She holds an advanced credential in hospice and palliative care social work (AHPC-SW).

Mary Martha Stewart has focused her career on changing organizations with “we’ve always done it this way” cultures. With a master’s degree in human resource development and 25 years of experience, she develops and implements performance solutions and processes to improve the effectiveness of non-profit organizations and government agencies. She started her career as an instructional designer using instructional systems design methodology and adult learning principles to design, develop and evaluate training programs. Mary Martha is the Culture Change Director for Riverside Health System. Riverside is the largest provider of services for older adults of any health system in Virginia, offering community, nursing home, and home-based services.

Karen Stobbe, Executive Director and Chief Dementia Warrior of In The Moment, a non-profit whose mission is “to promote well-being, celebrate life, and facilitate learning for dementia warrior”, was working as an actress, director, writer and instructor of theatre when her Dad, Manfred was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Her life has taken on a new focus and new meaning in combining the knowledge of her two worlds into one life work. Karen has presented over 700 workshops, keynotes and performances. She has written a book, has a training DVD, been on NPT’s This American Life and recently presented at the International TED MED Conference. She was the co-writer of all the scripts and content for the Hand in Hand Training Toolkit produced by CMS and distributed to every nursing home on the country.

Angie Stone has been a clinical dental professional for over 30 years and has been involved with improving the oral health of older adults since 2002. She is a certified caregiver. Angie is the author of the amazon best selling book, “”Dying From Dirty Teeth””. She is the founder of the HyLife Oral Care Alliance which is an organization that is committed to enhancing the oral health of older adults and this organization serves the field of Aging Services. In 2012 Angie was awarded the Sunstar Award of Distinction for her work with oral health and the older adult population. She lectures nationally on the topic of the importance of oral health in the aging population.

Marilyn Stufflebean has 26 years of experience as a registered nurse. She has been in a nurse leadership position for at least 16 years now, and is currently the Director of Nursing of 124 bed nursing home. Marilyn is active in all areas of developing the nursing work force, including oversight of the hiring process, training staff in enhancing communication skills, developing an accountability process, and moving the organization forward in all aspects of person directed care.

Jo-Ann Tait is the co-lead for the Residential Care for Me initiative and serves as the Program Director for the ElderCare and Palliative Services at Providence Health Care in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse passionate in serving the vulnerable older adult population across the continuum of care.

Mary Tate Senior Analyst, Mary Tate, RN, MSN, NEA-BC is a content expert with the Pathway to Excellence team. Mary presents to organizations, leadership and professional development/educators on correlations of a positive work environment that fosters nursing staff retention and satisfaction among all employees. Mary’s resume spans direct care nursing to administration and she speaks eloquently to the application of the Pathway to Excellence Standards in varied organizational structures and settings.

Mary Tellis-Nayak After teaching school for nine years, Mary Tellis Nayak pursued a career in nursing. She has worked in most areas of care for the elderly: as a bedside caregiver in a hospital-based SNF, a manager of a home health agency, a DON in a freestanding nursing home, and the chief clinician in a large multifacility organization. She was the president/CEO of the American College of Health Care Administrators. Throughout her career, she has led quality improvement programs throughout long-term care. In leading JCAHO’s program for long-term care accreditation for ten years, she developed the first set of standards for dementia care units, subacute care, and long-term care pharmacies.

Mary is currently the Vice President of Quality Initiatives for MyInnerView, a product of the National Research Corporation. In this role she works with customers to develop plans based on the results of their surveys. She also speaks nationally on topics related to quality in the post-acute continuum.

She has been on the editorial board of Advances in Post-Acute Care and served on the Boards for Caring for the Ages and the American Medical Directors Association Foundation as well as the for the State Veterans Homes Foundation. She was on the advisory board for the Planetree Continuing Care initiative and also served on the Planetree Designation Committee for Hospitals.
Tellis-Nayak earned an MSN in gerontological nursing from Rush University in Chicago and an MPH from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received an honorary doctorate in Human Letters from A. T. Stills University as a result of her work in Long-Term Care. With her husband, Dr. V. Tellis-Nayak, Mary won the American Health Care Associations lifetime achievement award – Champion of Quality – in 2013. They have recently published a book: The Return of Compassion to Health Care.

Vivian Tellis-Nayak has been a university professor and continues to be a researcher in medical sociology with a focus on gerontology. His research in long-term care has been published in books and in national and international professional journals. He has lectured and conducted research in the U.S., Ireland, Italy, the Bahamas and India. He has played a big role at My InnerView from its founding days. He draws from the ample archives of My InnerView for his research articles in issues of the Senior Housing and Care Journal. In it, he presents a challenge to advocates of quality in nursing homes—should you revise your agenda, when you discover that residents, families and state surveyors look at the same nursing home and draw different conclusions? His book, The Return of Compassion to Healthcare, will be published in the spring of 2016. He and his wife Mary were the 2013 recipients of the AHCA Champions of Quality Award. He also won the ACHCA Award for Journalism in 2012.

Kristine Theurer has a Master of Arts in Gerontology and has pioneered the use of standardized peer support programming in senior living. She has received numerous research awards including the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and a doctoral grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She presents regularly at conferences and leads training workshops for staff working in health care across Canada and the US. She has published a number of peer-reviewed articles on peer support, the most recent titled “The Need for a Social Revolution in Residential Care” in the Journal of Aging Studies. She also leads peer support workshops for staff working in health care across Canada and the US and serve on the planning committee for the national conference on culture change in Canada.

Kathleen Unroe, MD, MHA, is the Director of the $30.3 million CMS long term care community demonstration project OPTIMISTIC. She is a geriatrician and long-term care living center physician whose research, clinical, and policy work focuses on improving quality and access to palliative care in long-term care communities. Dr. Unroe is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Indiana University and a practicing nursing home physician.

Jennifer Valvo is an LPN and holds a MS in Health Care Management with over 20 years experience in SNF. She is the Manager of the Case Management department in a 118 bed SNF.

Dr. Susan Wehry has over 30 years of experience in late life mental health. She has educated policymakers, caregivers, administrators, physicians and other health and human service professionals from Alaska to Florida. In 2002 and 2007, Susan assisted the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) in the development of web-casts on mental health needs and individualized care planning in nursing homes and has been an active partner in CMS’s current initiative to improve dementia care in nursing homes. In 2010 she authored a curriculum known as Oasis which has successfully helped transform care, reduce unnecessary anti-psychotic medications and support mental health recovery and is working on its implementation in Texas.

Jalane White is intimately involved in all aspects of operating a person centered home. Her organization has been on a journey to change the culture of caring for elders, for 15 years. The organization has been designated in their state as a mentoring home to guide other homes in their person centered journey. The home has received recognition for leadership and forward thinking as it is related to becoming “person centered.” Jalene is responsible for oversight of career development throughout her organization has been active in state as well as national presentations on this topic.

Charles Whitlock currently serves as Director of Health Services and oversees health services offered in a continuing care retirement community and is the Executive Director of Hospice Care by Pennswood Village. He has twenty years of experience in geriatrics in various health care roles, primarily social work. Other roles include: case manager, Medicaid coordinator, admissions coordinator, bereavement counselor and nursing home administrator. He is an educator to others and a student as well as a caregiver for his mother and father.

Deborah Wiegand is a licensed nursing home administrator of over 25 years having served in nonprofit organizations during her career. For the past five years, she has served as a Project Guide with The Green House Project. In this role, she partners with organizations to create Green House homes across the country. Her knowledge is shared through extensive technical assistance such as educational programming, regulatory reviews with state agencies and design collaboration with architects and interior designers.

Amie Wilker has worked in Long Term Care for many years both as a Recreation Manager and for the past five years as an administrator. She has a solid background in Therapeutic Recreation and gerontology. Amie is responsible for the operations of Westmount Long Term Care, a CARF accredited home. Her job entails ensuring compliance to Ministry of Long Term Care standards, financial accountability, superior resident satisfaction and employee engagement as well as managing any risk for this home.

Dr. Rob Winningham has nearly 20 years of experience researching applied memory issues and for the past 15 years has conducted research on older adults and ways to enhance their mental functioning and quality of life. Most recently, he has been helping with their life enrichment platform for senior care. He is a full Professor of Psychology and Gerontology and currently serves as Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dr. Winningham makes frequent television and radio appearances and has given well over 700 invited presentations about memory and aging at various conferences and workshops.

Denis Zafirovski has been serving seniors for over 10 years now. He was one of the original team members of Schlegel Villages when the organization decided to join the Culture Change journey and put living first in the fall of 2009. He has been a key member of the Village Advisory Team (VAT) at The Village of Erin Meadows, a committee responsible for promoting and advancing Schlegel Villages’ aspirations, which represent the pillars of the overall Culture Change journey. His passion is empowering Residents and finding life purpose and meaning for each and every Resident of The Village of Erin Meadows.