Special Sessions

Conference Special Sessions


Culture Change Links and Leverages to the New CMS Regulations

Sunday, July 30
11:30 AM – 3:15 PM

CMS regulations have always supported the principles and practices of culture change and now even more so. Come learn how a transformed culture, centered around resident autonomy and regard, naturally meets regulations. It is our time to not only link culture change to the new CMS requirements but leverage our proven person-centered care and culture change practices to be more compliant with regulations than ever before. Outcomes realized in Signature Healthcare homes from implementing self-directed living will be shared. (Attendees are welcome to bring their lunch and eat during the session)

Carmen Bowman, Consultant, Edu-Catering
Angie McAllister, Director of Cultural Transformation, Signature Healthcare


Fundamentals of Culture Change

Sunday, July 30
12:30 PM  – 3:00 PM

This session, led by leaders who have been guiding their state coalitions, will focus on the implementation of culture change within the care environment.  Understanding the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of each member of the care team to make this shift from the medical model of care to a person-centered, culture change model of care will be explored.  The necessary steps to implement culture change will be identified.  The participants will develop a list of tools that can be used for this implementation process that can be taken back to their work environment and used immediately in the process of implementing culture change.

Cheryl Kruschke, Associate Professor, Regis University. Board President, Colorado Culture Change Coalition
Meredith Martin, Education Coordinator, The Eden Alternative


Overcoming Your Biggest Obstacles: A Clinic for Changemakers

Sunday, July 30
12:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Sometimes the path of the culture change pioneer can be challenging, lonely and even a bit disheartening.  Change occurs and we grow more adept when we persevere through the challenges, learn from our experiences and keep on embodying the values upon which the Pioneer culture is founded.  Sometimes, we need a helping hand from folks who’ve been there before and worked the hardscrabble soil of resistance so the new culture could take root, thrive and proliferate.  This special clinic for changemakers is designed to help you find solutions to the obstacles, questions and frustrations that result from your greatest challenges.   The guides are three founding pioneers who have had a major impact innovating culture change, transforming institutions and building our movement.

Barry Barkan, Founder Live Oak Institute
Debora Cushman Barkan, Co-Director, Live Oak Institute
Jeff Jerebker


Welcome Session

Sunday, July 30
3:15 PM – 5:00 PM

Pioneer Network wants to officially welcome you to the 2017 conference, connect you with old and new friends, and share with you how to get the most from your conference experience. And special this year, Gregg Brandish, Deputy Associate Regional Administrator, Midwest Division of Survey and Certification, CMS, will join us to share the latest news on one of the hottest topics around, the new Nursing Home Regulations.


Learning Circles

Sunday, July 30
5:15 PM – 6:15 PM

What better forum can there be for sharing and exploring with your fellow pioneers than a Learning Circle? Meet old and new friends as we gather round the circle and share our thoughts on the following: As you have worked to make “Person-Directed Care Happen“, what has been your greatest challenge and what are you doing to over-come it?


EnerGize Your Morning With Aegis Therapies:  Because Person-Directed Care Starts with Caring for You

Monday, July 31
6:30 AM – 7:15 AM

The Top 10 Reasons to participate in the walk.
10. It’s 30 minutes of no sweat walking and talking with your fellow pioneers
9.  Get a goodie bag to satisfy your morning hunger
8.  Earn a special incentives from your friends at Aegis Therapy
7. Walking is good physical exercise
6. Walking 30 minutes / day, 3 times a week is what we recommend for our Elders – why would we not want the same for ourselves?
5.  Walking keeps you connected with nature (or let’s you check out the city!)
4.  Walking with friends creates connections – it a GREAT networking opportunity
3.  You can check out the beautiful Rosemont Fountain
2.  You can check out how to get to the Outlet Malls or Dining Venues for your free time on Tuesday evening
1.  It’s about doing something good for you, so BE A PART OF IT!


Anniversary Celebration!
Networking Reception and Pioneer Party!

Monday, July 31
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
7:00PM – ???

What can be more fun that gathering together with your fellow pioneers! Come celebrate our Sponsors and thank them for their generous support. Visit with them to learn about innovative services and products, share your needs, challenges and ideas for future products and services to help you on your journey, and perhaps you’ll be the winner of one of the great giveaways.

But there’s more! Join us as we continue the celebration at a party hosted by Jack York and the team from It’s Never 2 Late. Dance to a live band, be entertained by our own version of Chicago’s Second City Improv, the Pioneer Players, enjoy a drink and of course, there will be CAKE!


EnerGize Your Morning With Aegis Therapies:  Because Person-Directed Care Starts with Caring for You

Tuesday, August 1
6:30 AM – 7:15 AM

Opening Plenary

Person Directed Care — Past & Present: Listening to Our Elders
Tuesday, August 1
8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Twenty years ago, a group of nursing home pioneers gathered to begin the journey of changing the culture of aging in the 21st century. That first meeting has grown into the Pioneer Network, a vibrant organization that provides networking, education, resources, advocacy and of course, our annual conference about all things culture change.
Join us for the official convening of the pioneers and the roll call of states and countries. Be inspired as you hear thoughts from those who were at that first gathering and hear wisdom from Elders who are living in care environments today as they share stories of how things have changed, how person-directed culture is happening!


Learning Circles

Tuesday, August 1
4:45 PM – 5:45 PM

Looking for more networking opportunities? Then come back to the circle for more sharing! This time, you will explore with your fellow pioneers the following: As we look to Be The Future, what changes do we need to see as we move forward on this journey, be it related to staffing, environment, practice or anything else?


The Future is NOW: Take Part

A conversation with elders and others…like you!

Tuesday, August 1
6:00 PM  – 7:30 PM 

Listen and share with a panel of active, engaged, involved, concerned and thinking Elders living in a retirement community. Hear their desires, frustrations, suggestions and together come up with some important items for Being the Future in elder service.

Megan Hannan, Executive Leader, Action Pact
Jeanne Heid-Grubman, Administrator, Victory Lakes, Franciscan Retirement Communities
Panel of Elders

Luncheon Plenary

Person Directed Care – Be the Future: Becoming Elders
Wednesday, August 2
12:00 NOON – 2:00 PM

We are all aging and hopefully we will live to a beautiful old age.

Dr. Vivian Tellis-Nayak

What will the future hold? Hear from both youth, the future leaders of our movement, as well as from Elders who have led us to where we are today.

We are honored to have Dr. Vivian Tellis-Nayak, co-author, along with his wife, Mary Tellis-Nayak, of the book, Return to Compassion in Healthcare, offer his thoughts on what we as individuals need to think about as we age into Elderhood.

“There are so many statements in this book that made me close my eyes, repeat it, and visualize the beauty of what it means. Everyone should read this book — from those that are new to healthcare to those that have spent their lives taking care of others.” L. Pedke

Ashton Applewhite

Then to close out the conference, open our minds and challenge us as we go forth in the future, is activist and author of the book, This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, Ashton Applewhite who will share thoughts on aging and ageism in her presentation, Old ≠ Sick: How Ageism Warps Our View of Long Life.

Of Ashton and her work, Dr. Bill Thomas, one of our founding pioneers, says the following: “Sometimes a writer does us all a great favor and switches on a light. Snap! The darkness vanishes and, in its place we find an electric vision of new ways of living. I want to live in a world where ageism is just a memory, and This Chair Rocks illuminates the path.”

What a great way to send us off as we go on our way to Be the future!



Exploring the Future: The Next 20 Years

Wednesday, August 2
2:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Join your fellow pioneers as we come together for an interactive brainstorming session to end the conference. Armed with the ideas and energy gained in the sessions and networking of the past 3 days as well as through our personal journeys, we will explore ideas for how we can advance the culture change movement over the next 20 years. What should it look like? What role will each of us play and what do you need from Pioneer Network to assure that the conversation and actions continue beyond the conference?