Concurrent Sessions: Day Two

Concurrent Session D


Envisioning the Future: Designing Home For Elders

Moderator: Dr. Margaret (Maggie) Calkins, PhD, EDAC, Board Chair, IDEAS Institute

Emi Kiyota, Founder and Director, Ibasho
Debbie Wiegand, Director of Operations, The Green House Project
Susan Ryan, Senior Director, The Green House Project
LaVrene Norton, Founder, Executive Leader, Action Pact
Megan Hannan, Executive Leader, Action Pact

Dr. Maggie Calkins leads a panel discussion with 5 visionaries in the area of design as they share examples of the work they have done, how it has held up during the demands of the current crisis, what adaptations they made, and their vision for design in the future.

Dr. Margaret (Maggie) Calkins is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of environments for older adults, especially those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. She has spent many years exploring the therapeutic potential of the environment–social and organizational as well as physical–particularly as it relates to older adults in need of support.  A member of several national organizations and panels which focus on issues of care for individuals living with dementia, she speaks frequently at conferences both here in the US and abroad. Maggie is a well-respected researcher and consultant, with over 100 publications in both academic and trade journals. She is a former Pioneer Network Board Member.

Dr. Emi Kiyota is an internationally recognized thought leader on issues relating to healthy aging. She is an environmental gerontologist and organizational culture change specialist. She is a frequent speaker at local, national, and international venues. Dr. Kiyota is currently considering how the work she did to empower elders in Japan as they recovered from the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 could provide lessons for empowering elders in the U.S. as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and better prepare for future events. Dr. Kiyota the founder and director of Ibasho, an organization that facilitates the co-creation with elders of socially integrated, sustainable communities that value their elders. She holds a Ph.D. in architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is a consultant with over 20 years of experience in designing and implementing person-centered care in long-term care settings and hospitals globally. Her current focus is on creating socially integrated and resilient cities where elders are engaged and able to actively participate in their communities. She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters and served on the board of directors of the Global Ageing Network. Dr. Kiyota has been awarded fellowships to investigate this topic, including the Loeb Fellowship at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, the Rockefeller Bellagio Residency Fellowship, and the Atlantic Fellowship for Equity in Brain Health at the Global Brain Health Institute at University of California, San Francisco.

Susan Ryan is Senior Director for The Green House® Project and has spent over 25 years working with elders as a nurse and change agent. She has worked in a variety of eldercare settings and helped to lead her previous organization’s transformation to culture change by assessing industry innovation and developing strategic and educational protocols.

Debbie Wiegand is Director of Operations for The Green House® Project and has spent her entire career as a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, engaging in and leading transformative change in the field of long-term care. Her experience in operations, culture change, design, and education, provides the necessary insight to partner with visionary leaders desiring the best future possible for elders.

Megan Hannan leads a team of consultants at Action Pact 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 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.”

A pioneer and champion of the Household Model, LaVrene Norton has been guiding organizations on their culture change journeys since 1984. She is recognized as the nation’s foremost organizational change facilitator in long-term care and has taken her expertise to Ireland and Australia as well. In addition to building curriculum for the broad series of Action Pact workshops, intensives and consulting, LaVrene has led the Action Pact team in the development of a deep catalog of culture change and Household Model literature, workbooks and DVDs, most notably In Pursuit of the Sunbeam which she co-authored with Steve Shields. She holds a Masters of Social Work.


Four Secrets Your Employees Aren’t Telling You

Denise Boudreau-Scott, President, Drive

Ever wonder what your team members are saying about their work and your organization when you aren’t around? It’s not what you think! Benefit from the incredible feedback of thousands of employees that have shared what goes right in their organization and what could go better. Guaranteed the same bright spots and downsides can be found in your own organization! Once you find out the secrets, learn the essential actions you need to address them.

Denise Boudreau-Scott is President of Drive, which helps aging services organizations improve the resident and staff experience, and the bottom-line, through more engaged leaders and employees. A former nursing home and assisted living administrator, Denise co-founded and is chairperson of the New Jersey Alliance for Culture Change, a member of NAB’s LNHA Exam Writing Committee, chair of NAB’s Member Relations Committee and a former Pioneer Network Board member. Denise received her Bachelor of Science in Gerontology from the University of Scranton and her Master’s in Health Administration from Cornell University where she serves as a student mentor and speaker. She is proud to share that she started off her career as a dietary aide and nursing assistant. Denise lives at the Jersey Shore with her husband, twin boys, one rescued Lab and a mutant Chihuahua who weighs 26 pounds!


Reimagining Living with Dementia: Lessons Learned Implementing the Montessori Philosophy

Laura Roy, Executive Director, Lutheran SeniorLife Passavant Community
Jennifer Brush, Director and Certified Montessori Educator, Brush Development

Implementing the Montessori philosophy involves a culture change process that takes dedication, leadership, courage to challenge long held and deeply embedded beliefs and the strength to challenge engrained processes. This session will walk participants through the year long process and lessons learned while implementing the Association Montessori International Montessori for Aging and Dementia philosophy in personal care. This session will cover the step by step process used to train staff, increase staff and resident engagement, communicate with families, create a prepared environment and sustain the program. Lessons learned will be shared as well as helpful recommendations.

Laura Roy’s enthusiastic leadership and passion for serving elders was instrumental in the creation of Abundant Life™, Lutheran SeniorLife’s model of culture change that encourages and enables elders and the staff who serve them to be who they were created to be. Her passion for person directed living began in 2001 and inspired her to reposition her community to include 6 nursing community households and 2 personal care households. Her passion also led her to the PA Culture Change Coalition and Laura served on the Board of the PACCC for nearly 10 years and led the organization through a rebranding initiative and the organization is now known as VOICE–Voice of Inspired Change for Elders. Laura is a licensed nursing home administrator in the state of Pennsylvania and a graduate of the Coalition for Leadership in Aging Services through the University of North Texas and is a Certified Aging Services Professional.

Jennifer Brush, MA, CCC/SLP, Director, Brush Development is an author, consultant and researcher in the area of dementia care. She helps care communities around the world to implement the Montessori philosophy in long-term care. She serves on the Association Montessori International (AMI) Advisory Board for Montessori for Aging and Dementia and she is the only AMI Certified Educator for Montessori for Aging and Dementia in the US. Jennifer is the author of six nationally recognized books on dementia. Jennifer has over 25 years of experience both as a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) as well as an educator, researcher and consultant. She has led countless live national and international trainings, has facilitated ground-breaking research and managed innovative person-centered projects for the Ohio Council for Cognitive Health. Her expertise and passion for person centered care allows her to flawlessly bridge the gap between care communities and the individuals they serve.


Person-Directed End-of-life Care: What I Learned from my Spouse Transformed Me

Cheryl Kruschke, Professor, Regis University

This session provides a unique perspective regarding end-of-life experiences taught to Cheryl by her spouse. Cheryl has been a nurse for 39 years and spent her clinical experience working in long-term care. She helped hundreds of individuals transition from life to death as part of her nursing experience and thought she fully understood the importance of person-directed care from the perspective of each individual. When her spouse was dying, he taught Cheryl what it really meant for him to make his own decisions regarding his life and ultimately, his death.

Cheryl Kruschke, EdD, MS, RN, CNE is a full Professor at Regis University. Cheryl teaches in the nursing program at the Master’s degree and Doctoral degree levels in the areas of Leadership and Management, Gerontology, Finance, Accounting, Economics and Statistics. Cheryl’s nursing career began in 1980 as a LPN working in the long-term care setting. Her work in long-term care spans over 20 years in a variety of roles including nursing assistant, LPN, RN, Supervisor, Manager of Education and Quality Assurance, Director of Nursing and Nursing Home Administrator. Cheryl has had the opportunity to work with excellent teams, is an Eden Educator, Eden Mentor, and End-of-Life Doula. Cheryl has completed research related to the aging population including safety and person-directed care. Cheryl has extensive experience presenting seminars and speaking at National and International conferences on the topics of Geriatrics, Culture Change, Leadership, Management, and Adult Education.


Leading with DQ (Dignity Quotient) For Managers and Administrators

Leslie Pedtke, Owner and Educator for Quality Improvement, King Management Company

We can transform our cultures through shifting mindsets, opening hearts and treating others as we wish to be treated. It all begins with leadership changing the way they see the staff working most closely with the elders in the communities they serve. While we are committed to transforming our practices, we may be missing an essential link: caring for our staff with dignity. The same ingredients don’t make the same things when the ratios are different. Leslie Pedtke learned first-hand, through staff experiencing living as residents, that true transformation happens when we turn up the volume on our “dignity quotient.”

Leslie Pedtke, LNHA is an Owner and Educator for Quality Improvement for King Management Company, which includes three skilled nursing communities and three assisted living/memory care communities. Her experiences as Administrator of Aviston Countryside Manor from 1994-2017, built a foundation of person-directed care. Leslie’s book, What Living as a Resident Can Teach Long-Term Care Staff: The Power of Empathy to Transform Care, is a teaching tool for long term care professionals, families and students. Leslie is a national speaker on dementia, culture change and workforce development and teaching empathy. She is currently the Board Vice-President and education coordinator of the Illinois Pioneer Coalition. Leslie graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with a Bachelors in Speech Communication and is currently a Masters of Health Care Administration student at Maryville University.

Concurrent Session E


Envisioning the Future: Through the Eyes of Elders

Moderator: Emily Dieppe, Workforce Innovations Consultant, PHI

Verna Cavey, Advocate, Independent Living Resident, Clermont Park
Barry Hickling, Resident, Village of Aspen Lake
Brian LeBlanc, Advisory Board Member, Dementia Action Alliance
Herberta Smith, Resident Supportive Living, Simpson House

Over the past months, life has changed for all of us, and we have been awakened to a renewed focus on the need to examine the future for Elders, wherever they live and whatever their abilities. Join our moderator, Emily Mantle, in a lively panel discussion where Elders from 4 different living settings will share their stories and their vision for the future.

For the past nine years, Emily Dieppa has worked to empower the direct care workforce by creating pathways to economic sustainability and addressing the systemic challenges facing long-term care workers. By creating a home care training center in Detroit, Emily connected incumbent personal care aides to advanced training, higher wages, and an accessible career ladder. She did this work in partnership with diverse stakeholders, including home care agencies, nursing homes, city officials, and labor unions. Emily worked closely with PHI to develop the program’s curriculum and train a multi-disciplinary instructor team. As Chief of Staff for a healthcare workforce organization, Emily has extensive experience leading organizational development and culture change during times of transition. Rooted in mission-driven design, she has created and facilitated internal staff development programs and leadership conferences for over 400 healthcare workers to foster both personal and professional growth. Emily has long been a vocal advocate for quality long-term care. She is an advisory board member for the IMPART Alliance with leaders across Michigan to address an ever-growing caregiver shortage and build the necessary infrastructure for a statewide personal care aide training program. She has also worked with Michigan’s Olmstead Coalition to draft policy recommendations for the state’s Medicaid-funded services.

Verna M. Cavey is a retired educator (lifelong learning and behavioral and social sciences) who relocated to Colorado 23 years ago from the East Coast. (Her graduate work was at The Johns Hopkins University and The Maxwell School of Syracuse University.) When she moved to Clermont Park in Denver, she had the good fortune to meet up with Jill Vitale-Aussem, who was then the Executive Director, as well as work with Jill’s incredible team members. So much for retirement! She’s been involved in the aging field ever since, teaching, creating programs, writing, volunteering with Pioneer Network, sitting on elder and anti-ageism committees and presenting locally, nationally and (recently) internationally. Verna states that she is eternally grateful that many communities and organizations began listening to the voices of residents at the very time that she entered the field and she was able to find her niche.

Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2014, Brian LeBlanc has an up close and personal experience of living with the disease. He has become an expert on the subjects of Social Isolation, Person Centered Focus, Stigmatization and Loss of Identity. In addition, Brian has become well acquainted with and educated on Living Well, Living in the Moment, Positives of Social Engagement, Utilization of Technology, Positive Living and finding his true mission in life. Educator / Keynote Speaker: Person Centered Focus (Seeing ME, NOT my Disease), Alzheimer’s: Up Close and Personal, Living Well with Alzheimer’s, Crisis Intervention Team Trainer for Law Enforcement, Overcoming Stigma.

Barry Hickling was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. He has completed a BA in Social Science at the University of Windsor and studied courses at McMaster University within the Masters of Divinity program. Throughout his work life, Barry held positions as a Footwear Specialist and worked as a Retail Manager & Supervisor, as well as ministering as a Pastor in Baptist Churches. Barry has been living in long-term care for 10 years and remains active participating in the Village Advisory Team, serving as an Executive Member of the Resident Council and as a Board Member on the Ontario Association for Resident Councils. He is actively involved in the “ElderWisdom” project through Schlegel Villages and this past June he participated in team meetings at WETech as their Senior Intern. He is 70 years old.

Herberta Smith is currently a Personal Care resident at Simpson House with 87 years of life experience. She is in the process of printing her memoirs and is one of the community’s Person-Centered (PC) Ambassadors for new resident. Herberta grew up in Philadelphia where her father died during her senior year in high school. She graduated in 1950 and after several odd jobs and the occurrence of the Korean War, Herberta went to work at the Frankford Arsenal. She wanted to be a nurse so she saved her earnings and began attending Mercy Douglas Hospital School of Nursing in September of 1952.  She successfully graduated third highest in her class in 1955.  Upon graduation, Herberta began her (pediatric) nursing career at St. Luke’s Hospital for Children. In the years to come she worked at the Philadelphia Health Department, The School District of Philadelphia and finally at The Medical College of PA. (MCP). At MCP, Herberta met a pediatrician who had an interest in improving the health and safety of children in childcare.  Herberta joined her staff and had the privilege of traveling to Northeastern University in Boston weekly for four months to receive her training as a nurse practitioner (NP).  Herberta maintained her employment at MCP, becoming a health trainer for childcare centers across the state of Pennsylvania. After 17 years at MCP, Herberta sensed a calling to respond to a need for nurses in the war-torn country of Uganda East Africa.  Her training as a NP gave her the confidence to go and Herberta spent 6 years in Uganda retiring in the year 2000.  She retired to Florida, where in 2002 she founded and directed a jail ministry with funding from her church.  There was a brief break in the ministry in 2004 when she traveled to New Jersey to care for a child being sent to her from Uganda for corrective surgery, a process that took 6 months.  Herberta returned home to Florida and worked diligently to further develop the jail ministry called “Turn Around Ministry, Inc”. Herberta was heartbroken when she had to leave the ministry and the needy women and return to Philadelphia due to a medical emergency.


Dismantling Ageism–Old School Style!

Mel Coppola, President/Owner, Hearts In Care, LLC
Ryan Backer, Age Activist,
Kyrie Carpenter, Co-founder,

By now most people have heard of ageism, but few understand how dangerous it is to our health and well-being. Research shows that negative views about our own aging can subtract 7 1/2 years from our lives. To change our thinking, we need to truly see and address ageism as it plays out in all aspects of our lives. Join us and this emerging global movement as we envision a new future where we dismantle ageism. Participants will have a chance to submit questions in advance and guides will discuss. Additional resources and tools will be shared.

Mel Coppola is a self-proclaimed emerging Elder. Her passion for the past eleven plus years has been to elevate the status of Elderhood in our society. One of the ways she does this is by raising awareness of ageism and ableism. In 2014, after earning her Certificate in Gerontology, Mel founded Hearts In Care, LLC to help spread the word that aging and support can be different. In this role, she works with individuals, families, and organizations that span the spectrum of Eldercare services. Mel’s passion shines through whether she is doing a keynote or presenting at national conferences, on radio shows, in webinars, trainings, or in someone’s home. It doesn’t matter the audience, the message Mel brings is that everyone, no matter their age or ability, deserves to live a life filled with well-being! In addition to being an active Eden Educator and Mentor, Mel is a Florida licensed Assisted Living Administrator, an active member of Dementia Action Alliance, and serves as a Steering Committee member of Florida Pioneer Network, Florida’s culture change coalition.

Ryan Backer, an age activist striving to undo ageism within an intersectional context, is a co-founder of, a clearinghouse of anti-ageism resources, as well as the OldSchool@WorkAlliance, a coalition designed to eradicate ageism in the workplace. They (Ryan) are based in Montreal, Quebec, and contribute to the daily operations of both these endeavors and continue to develop and facilitate workshops to educate about ageism. Ryan has facilitated pro-aging, anti-ageism workshop in New York City, Berlin, Dublin, Philadelphia, Montreal, and at the Pioneer Network Conference in Louisville last year. Ryan identifies as a white, non-binary, queer, European-American ‘old person in training’, with an undergraduate degree in Gerontology. They created a zine called “Age Queer” which aims to decolonize age using a non-binary framework and they have been on this social justice path since 2013.

Kyrié Carpenter (Kee-re-ay), is a coach and ageism activist. Her passion for story led her to a career in film, studies in Depth Psychology, and ultimately her work with aging. Kyrié loves being with others in their story, particularly at points of transition. She works with individuals as well as organizations to guide transformation and growth that continues long after their engagement ends.

Kyrié fights ageism as a co-founder of, helping to shift the tragedy only narrative of aging and dementia on the ChangingAging tour. Prior to this she worked with elders living in long-term care. In 2015, she traveled to all 50 states living in a van, the culmination of which was founding a wellness center, Prosper. Kyrié has a MA in Counseling Psychology and wrote her thesis on the Anti-Aging myth in America.


Using a Coaching Mindset to Implement your Vision

Walter Coffey, Managing Partner, WD International Consulting
David Sprowl, Managing Partner, WD International Consulting

This session is designed to demonstrate how a coaching mindset is a key driver to advancing culture change in your organization. The presenters will introduce the HourGlass Mentoring/Coaching Model, which focuses on where you are now and strategies for moving forward. A coaching mindset is about partnership, collaboration, and interdependence — all person-centered values.

Management expert Stephen Covey, reminds us that when you change the way you SEE things, it influences what you DO and the results you GET. Seeing more clearly ensures we get the outcomes we desire. Topics to be presented include reframing, staff empowerment, leadership development, emotional intelligence, coaching supervision, and more!

Walter O. Coffey is a Managing Partner of WD International Consulting. He is committed to the education and development of individuals with an emphasis on supporting organizations to empower and retain their staff. Walter is an international leader in the culture change movement and has the demonstrated ability to transform organizations to become person-centered. Walter has worked with older adults for over 35 years. He served as the President & CEO of LeadingAge Georgia, the Georgia Institute on Aging (the education arm of LeadingAge) and the Center for Positive Aging (the consumer arm of LeadingAge) for 18 years. Along with developing and leading professional development and educational programs, Walter has made presentations at state, national and international conferences. He is passionate about facilitating the development of individuals and organizations, especially relating to quality, person-centered care and services. He became a certified Eden Educator in order to engage and certify professionals and elders in the culture change movement. In 2008, he co-founded and still co-facilitates the state culture change coalition for Georgia. During his career, Walter also served as the Administrator at Northminster Presbyterian Homes, Director of Assisted Living at Presbyterian Village, Director of Adult Day Services at the Alzheimer’s Association/Georgia Chapter, Assistant Director of the Georgia Council on Aging, Administrative Director of Georgia Gerontology Society, and in various ministerial positions.

David Sprowl is a Managing Partner of WD International Consulting and a certified Leadership Coach. He is committed to the mentoring and coaching of individuals with a focus on their professional and personal growth. As a seasoned educator, David has a demonstrated ability to connect with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. David was the Executive Director of Lutheran Towers, a 203-unit high-rise affordable housing community located in the heart of Midtown Atlanta, Georgia. He led the transformative journey at Lutheran Towers for more than thirteen years. David developed a strong management team and staff who were encouraged to explore and grow and were empowered to work together to create and implement innovative programs and services. They developed successful care partnerships which provided the Elders living in the affordable housing setting with one of the strongest supportive service programs in the country. Over 75% of David’s staff were certified Eden Alternative Associates which demonstrates his commitment to the person-centered philosophy. David has been featured in the “Wisdom” section of the national magazine, “FutureAge,” for making a difference through servant leadership. Over the course of his career, David has held the position of V.P. of Members Services for LeadingAge Georgia, Program Analyst for the Office of Inspector General for U.S. Health and Human Services, and various positions with the IBM Corporation.


Use of Montessori Approaches to Engage Residents and Staff

Cameron Camp, Director of Research and Development, Center for Applied Research in Dementia
Gary Johnson, Partner, Monarch Risk Management

The application of the Montessori Method in working with persons with dementia has been shown to be highly effective at fostering engagement in these individuals. This approach has evolved into the creation of resident-led communities in memory care, which represents a new paradigm for providing care to persons with dementia. Based on the values of respect, dignity, equality and trust, the Montessori Method now is being implemented as a management approach to create engaged staff members who care about each other. A system-wide transformation is required to create true culture change. Examples of processes to create such a transformation are provided.

Cameron J. Camp, Ph.D., originally developed the use of the Montessori method as an intervention for use with persons living with dementia. He is a noted psychologist specializing in applied research in gerontology and currently serves as Director of Research and Development for the Center for Applied Research in Dementia. Dr. Camp gives workshops on designing cognitive and behavioral interventions for dementia internationally. These interventions are all designed to reduce challenging behaviors and increase the level of functioning and quality of life of persons with dementia. He has co-authored three college textbooks and published over 150 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Dr. Camp is a Fellow and Past-President of Division 20 (Adult Development and Aging) of the American Psychological Association, a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, and a Charter Member of the Association for Psychological Science. His research has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, and the national Alzheimer’s Association. He is a recipient of the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Applied Research.

Gary Johnson currently works as a consultant. He has served as a Vice President of Operations for a large CCRC in central Pennsylvania. Gary also served as President of Capital Area Health Associates, a physician practice specializing in older adult care. Gary has served on numerous boards and presented at regional and national conferences. Gary is a licensed nursing home administrator, has a MSW from Temple University and a BA from Gordon College. He also served as adjunct faculty for Temple University. He is skilled at creating healthy teams, cultures, and operational efficiencies. Gary’s passion is improving the relationship that happens between frontline staff and their leaders. Gary presented on the topic of Engaging Staff Members in Long-Term Care for the State of Texas’ Person-Centered Care Initiative in March of this year, and has co-presented on this topic with Dr. Camp on an international webinar (over 600 attendees) in June of this year.


VA Lessons from COVID: Connection is the Antidote to Isolation

Barbara Frank, Co-founder, B&F Consulting
Cathie Brady, Co-founder, B&F Consulting
Lynn Snow, Research Clinical Psychologist & Professor, Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center
Christine Hartmann, Researcher & Professor, Bedford VA Medical Center

Hear promising practices from VA Community Living Centers that fostered a whole person, whole team approach as they respond to COVID. Residents struggled with isolation. Front-line staff faced heightened responsibility and risk with fewer of the usual interdisciplinary team members there to support them. Teams found ways to come together virtually, build connection for staff and residents, and support their staff during this time of extreme stress. Share your promising practices in maintaining connection in this time of isolation. Relationships matter most!

Barbara Frank, with B&F Consulting co-founder Cathie Brady, helps nursing homes be better places to live and work. They provide on-site assistance and serve as faculty for state and national learning collaboratives to improve care outcomes by engaging staff in individualizing care. They are currently consultants for the VA’s quality improvement initiative for VA Geriatric Centers; and implementation specialists for a NIA funded grant to Brown University to test the effectiveness of MUSIC & MEMORY on residents living with dementia. Barbara worked at the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform in Washington, D.C., where she directed their 1985 study, “A Consumer Perspective on Quality Care: The Residents’ Point of View.” She helped establish the national network of state and local ombudsman programs. She facilitated the Campaign for Quality, a coalition of organizations representing providers, consumers, practitioners, and regulators that developed the consensus framework for OBRA 1987, the Nursing Home Reform Law. Barbara facilitated the first Pioneer Network gathering in 1997, and in 2005 she facilitated the St. Louis Accord, a national gathering of provider, consumer, regulator, and quality improvement organizations that came together to set a course for state and national work to improve clinical outcomes through staff stability and culture change.

Cathie Brady, with B&F Consulting co-founder Barbara Frank, helps nursing homes be better places to live and work. They provide on-site assistance and serve as faculty for state and national learning collaboratives to improve care outcomes by engaging staff in individualizing care. They are currently consultants for the VA’s quality improvement initiative for VA Geriatric Centers; and implementation specialists for a NIA funded grant to Brown University to test the effectiveness of MUSIC & MEMORY on residents with dementia. Cathie has 30 years of experience in executive leadership roles providing services and advocating for older adults. As the Executive Director, she revitalized the Department of Aging Services for Bristol, Connecticut through award-winning, life enriching programs. She served as the Regional LTC Ombudsman for Eastern Connecticut and developed educational programs to introduce her nursing homes to culture change.

Dr. A. Lynn Snow has been working in nursing homes since she was 17. She is co-director of VA CONCERT (CLCs Ongoing National Center for Enhancing Resources & Training), whose mission is supporting VA Community Living Centers (CLCs) in achieving high involvement quality improvement. Dr. Snow’s clinical and research agendas have focused on the nursing home setting for her entire career. She has served on her state culture change coalition board and as a member of her VA Community Living Center’s culture change committee. Her clinical expertise is in dementia care, (assessment and treatment of pain, depression, anxiety), staff coaching, and mindfulness.

Dr. Christine Hartmann is co-director of VA CONCERT (CLCs Ongoing National Center for Enhancing Resources & Training), whose mission is supporting VA Community Living Centers in achieving high involvement quality improvement. She is co-investigator on a current VA grant with Dr. Camp and Dr. Snow (led by Dr. Michelle Hilgeman) to investigate effective implementation of Montessori practices in VA community living centers. Dr. Hartmann is an implementation science expert, particularly in the areas of nursing home person-centered care, quality, and safety. She has been an active leader and participant in VA culture change efforts locally and nationally.

Concurrent Session F


Envisioning the Future: Through the Eyes of Culture Change Leaders

Moderator: Penny Cook, President & CEO, Pioneer Network

Charlene Boyd, Chief Operations Administrator for Skilled and Assisted Living, Providence Health and Services
Kasie Wood, Executive Director, Traceway Retirement Community
Jennifer Pasternak, Executive Director, Koelsch Senior Communities, LLC
Jayne Keller, MS, Vice-President of Senior Living, Christian Living Communities/Cappella Living Solutions

It’s easy to get focused on the urgent situation around us and forget where we have come from and how we got to where we are today. It can also be tempting to let go of values we have cherished and advocated for in the face of seemingly impossible pressures. Four culture change leaders each share their heart with us, discussing both how we made the progress to today and what we can do to move culture change forward in difficult times.

Penny Cook, MSW, President/CEO: Penny’s commitment to changing the culture of aging and long-term care began early in her professional career as a social worker in Rochester, New York and continued as she moved to Colorado. She strongly believes that the care we provide to elders is directly related to the way we, as a society, view aging. She is passionate about spreading the message that we are in the midst of a revolution about how we age and where we do it. Penny comments that, “no matter whether people live, in nursing homes, assisted living communities or in their family home, we all deserve and should expect respectful and dignified care and support that is centered, directed and tailored to us as individuals.” Penny previously served as the Manager of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program in the Denver metropolitan region and as the Executive Director of the Colorado Culture Change Coalition. There she expanded the Coalition’s reach to look beyond nursing homes and brought the message of culture change to assisted living communities and home care organizations. Most recently she was the Director of Long Term Services and Supports for Colorado Access where she managed a state Medicaid contract to connect individuals to long-term services and supports. Penny received her Master of Social Work degree from the State University of New York at Albany and her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Binghamton University.

Charlene Boyd, MBA, LHNA, Administrator, Providence Mount St. Vincent, a nursing and assisted living community in Seattle, Washington.  “The Mount” has 215 skilled nursing beds including 57 Medicare Certified Transitional Care Unit, 109 assisted living units and an intergenerational childcare center serving over 125 children that are integrated with the elders through programming.  The Mount has received numerous architectural and programming awards for innovation in “culture change.”  Charlene received the 2003 Midcareer Award from the Catholic Health Association. She is former president and a founding board member of the Pioneer Network.

Kasie Wood currently serves as Executive Director at Traceway Retirement Community. Though she initially dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, she soon realized that she had a soft spot for Elders and so after earning her degree in Biology and Psychology, she went on to earn her license as a professional counselor and geriatric consultant. Three years ago when attending a local conference where she heard Steve McAllily from Mississippi Methodist Homes speak about the Green House® Model, Kasie decided that she was going to work there some day, and that’s just what she did. In 2018, she joined their team as Assistant Administrator, went through an AIT program and soon moved into the role of Executive Director. Known to be patient and calm, these have served her well as she has led her team through these current challenging times. In her spare time,  Kacie enjoys running extreme races, being outdoors and anything to do with animals.

Jayne Keller brings more than 30 years of experience in senior services, ranging from skilled nursing administration to operating a full continuum community including assisted living and independent living. She currently serves as the Vice-President of Senior Living for Christian Living Communities and Cappella Living Solutions. Her solid operational talent has brought many successes to the organization and she continues to lead the industry with innovative and creative approaches to significant challenges within the profession. Prior to joining CLC, Jayne worked for two for-profit organizations in Colorado. She served for several years on the Board of Directors for Colorado Health Care Association and served as the state leader for National Centers of Assisted Living. Most recently, she completed a three-year commitment as the chairperson of the LeadingAge Colorado Conference Planning Committee. Jayne is a proud alumnus of the LeadingAge Leadership Academy, completing her academy journey in 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Illinois University and a Master of Science degree in health services administration from Regis University.

As founder and CEO of a successful woman-owned boutique bakery company, Jennifer Pasternak focused on creating a flexible, nurturing work environment for single mothers. At the same time, Jennifer began her career in senior living by joining the first Chicago Koelsch Community as the Business Office Manager. Her effective administrative skills along with her ability to masterfully bring together a diverse team toward a common goal laid the path for her growth into becoming the Executive Director of the same memory care community. While her person-first leadership made an immediate impact, the power of her leadership became evident when her community saw residents and team members test positive for COVID-19. The incredibly low attrition of team members and high engagement of family members were surprising yet a testimony to person-first leadership.


Turning Dementia from Stigma into Esteem

Stephen Klotz, Executive Director of Validation Education, Country Meadows Retirement Communities
Maureen Sirianni, Memory Care Outreach Specialist, Country Meadows Retirement Community of South Hills
Kim Eichinger, Executive Director of Fitness, Country Meadows Retirement Communities

When an older person becomes increasingly confused, disoriented and memory impaired, they are branded with the word DEMENTIA. But we know, rather than becoming “mindless” as that word denotes, new and unrealized parts of their brains are unveiled. Mental and emotional shackles are shed, memories are awakened, and unseen personality traits are revealed. Some people see troubling “behaviors;” validation practitioners perceive pent up emotions and unrecognized needs. Attendees will recognize common words that stigmatize dementia, realize the Culture Change-friendly principles and practices of the Validation Method, and examine new goals and approaches that are more effective for communication and exercise programming.

Steve Klotz is the Executive Director of Validation Education and a Certified Validation Master Educator with Country Meadows Retirement Communities, based in Hershey PA. From childhood on, Steve has been under the influence of older adults. As a pastor and then senior care chaplain for 23 years, he worked alongside many older people. In 1999, Steve began intensive studies of the Validation Method, which focuses on empathy and respect to build trusting relationships with elders living with dementia. As a certified Validation Master Educator, he teaches this person-centered approach to all co-workers at most of the 12 Country Meadows campuses. He has led elder-affirming workshops on Validation and aging topics across the country. In recent years, he taught multi-session certification courses in Fairfield CA and Sheridan WY. Steve is also an adjunct professor at York College of PA, teaching a two-semester Validation Worker certification course, plus “Ethical Aspects of Human Services Professions” and “Social Aspects of Aging” courses.

Maureen Sirianni is a motivated, compassionate care provider and educator. Maureen has worked for Country Meadows Retirement Community in Bridgeville, PA for the past 24 years. She has worked hands-on, providing guidance and support to families and their loved ones living with Alzheimer’s disease. She has provided not only personal care, but also social, emotional, cognitive, and purposeful enrichment as the Memory Support Program Manager. Her goals are to mentor, teach, and lead by example those who care for seniors living with memory impairment. Maureen believes that Validation Method can reopen a world of possibilities where relationships can be dignified, maintained, deepened and ongoing even in this most fragile phase of life. With patience, compassion, and a willingness to listen without judgment, Maureen is able to not only build trust and rapport enabling her to be that safety net for those she cares for; she is able to teach others how to see beyond the illness and truly see the emotions of those living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Kim Eichinger is the Executive Director of Dynamic Living: Fitness and Life Enrichment for Country Meadows Retirement Communities, based in Hershey, PA. Starting out as a personal trainer and gym owner, she knows the crucial role of individual attention, encouragement, and adaptability in building strength, balance, and stamina for everyday living. She develops and guides the fitness instructors at 12 senior living campuses, and often steps in to provide extra assistance and new ideas. Kim is ACE certified and has an AA degree in Gerontology.


Envisioning the Future of Person-Centered Dementia Care from a Pandemic Perspective

Dr. Al Power, MD, FACP
Dr. Jonathan Evans, MD, MD, MPH, CMD, FACP
Dr. Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN

This session features a trio of renowned physicians who are thought leaders in the world of human-centered, person-directed, and relationship-based care and support for people living with dementia and those who care for and about them. It includes a reflection on all things dementia now that the world as we know it has been forever changed by COVID-19. Dr. Al Power will discuss “Beyond ‘BPSD’: A Well-being Approach, which is a proactive, strength-based approached to understanding distress. Dr. Dan Potts will share “Lester’s Legacy: Finding the Artist Within” focusing on personhood and humanity and the spiritual and holistic aspects of living with dementia. Dr. Jonathan Evans will present, “A Critique of the Past, Present and Future of Dementia Care, from a COVID-19 Lens.”

Jonathan Evans, MD, is the Medical Director of two nursing homes. He is Vice-President of The Consumer Voice Governing Board and serves on the Pioneer Network Board of Directors. In his article for Caring for the Ages (August 2017), he wrote this about Person-Centered Care and Culture Change: “Throughout history, the fields of medicine and nursing have always been guided by an ethical framework that has aspired and strived to put the best interests of the patient first. This often has been accompanied by a paternalistic attitude that assumes patients cannot know or decide what is in their own best interests as they are not experts in medicine. But how do others really know what is in our best interest — especially if they don’t really know us, our preferences, or our goals?” From his biography: “Evans sees relationships as an essential part of health care. He was among the earliest advocates of the culture change movement, persuading elder communities to shift from physician- and facility-oriented programming to person-centered care. He considers the details of an elder’s life story as essential as a medical history. “Most medicine is meant to cheat death,” Evans says, “but in geriatrics, we accept death as normal. Our goal is to help people live and not just survive.”

Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN is a neurologist, author, educator and champion of those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and their care partners. Selected by the American Academy of Neurology as the 2008 Donald M. Palatucci Advocate of the Year, he also has been designated an Architect of Change by Maria Shriver. In 2016, he was chosen by the University of Alabama Medical Alumni Association as a recipient of the Martha Myers Role Model Award, which honors physician alumni whose lives epitomize the ideal of service to their communities. Along with his wife, Ellen W. Potts, MBA, he authored A Pocket Guide for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver, which is recommended by the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Academy of Neurology and Maria Shriver. Inspired by his father’s transformation from saw miller to watercolor artist in the throes of dementia through person-centered care and the expressive arts, Dr. Potts seeks to make these therapies more widely available through his foundation, Cognitive Dynamics. Additionally, he is passionate about promoting self-preservation and dignity for all persons with cognitive impairment. He practices neurology at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center.

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.


Making it Together: Engaging Residents and Families in Times of Crises

Lori Smetanka, Executive Director, The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care
Robyn Grant, Director of Public Policy & Advocacy, The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

The COVID-19 crisis has taught us a lot of things, not the least of which is the importance of relationships and communication with residents and families. Including them as partners before and during times of crisis helps craft systems that best balance safety and rule compliance with self-determination, having needs met, and maintaining connection. Through this session we will explore best practices for engaging residents and families, communicating needs and expectations, and working together to make it through crisis situations.

Lori Smetanka currently serves as the Executive Director of The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, an organization with over 40 years of experience educating and empowering consumers regarding issues in long-term care communities and promoting best practices for quality care delivery. During her tenure as Executive Director and Director of the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center, Lori has worked directly with Long-Term Care Ombudsmen, providers, staff, consumers and families to promote best practices in long-term care services and supports. Our annual conferences highlight the benefits of person-directed care and we collaborate with the Pioneer Network, whenever possible.

Robyn Grant is the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. In this capacity, she is responsible for leading the development and implementation of the Consumer Voice’s public policy agenda and growing and mobilizing the grassroots network to support the organization’s policy work.  Prior to assuming this role, Robyn was the Director of Advocacy and Outreach. Before joining the Consumer Voice, she served as the Long Term Care Policy Director at United Senior Action, an Indiana senior advocacy organization, and a consultant with the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center. She has a Master’s in Social Work with a specialization in aging. Robyn was the Indiana State Long-Term Care Ombudsman for eight years and president of the National Association of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs for two terms. She has also served on the Consumer Voice Board of Directors.


Building Community Through Creative Engagement

Angie McAllister, Director of Quality of Life and Culture Change, Signature Health
Anne Basting, President, TimeSlips Creative Storytelling.

What if programming in nursing homes was so interesting that families and neighbors wanted to come and participate alongside Elders? What if it was so “out of the ordinary” that it sparked interest all over the community? Join us for an interactive journey into the world of “Wendy’s Neverland,” a site-specific performance performed by Elders, Staff, Volunteers and Artists in three Kentucky nursing homes in 2019!

Angie McAllister has worked in long-term care since 1995 when she entered the field as a nursing assistant. During the past 22 years, she has worked in many roles including that of an Activities Professional and most currently as Director of Quality of Life and Culture Change for Signature HealthCare. Angie has worked to improve the stigma and perception around aging and nursing homes in general through innovative programming and creativity. She also serves on the Eden Alternative Board of Directors where she works to drive person-directed practices in all healthcare settings.

Anne Basting is Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and Founder and President of TimeSlips Creative Storytelling. Basting’s innovative work as an artist and scholar has been recognized by a MacArthur Fellowship, an Ashoka Fellowship, a Rockefeller Fellowship, and multiple major grants. She is author/editor of multiple books, including her latest, Creative Care (HarperOne); as well as The Penelope Project (U of Iowa), and Forget Memory (Johns Hopkins). TimeSlips fosters an alliance of artists and caregivers bringing meaning and joy to late life through creativity, and has over 900 certified facilitators in 48 states and 20 countries.