What’s New at Pioneer Network

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Penny Cook

Penny Cook, President & CEO

A few weeks ago, we at Pioneer Network felt like true Pioneers. In hosting a Virtual Gathering, we embarked on a new project, one that we’ve never done before. True, we weren’t the only ones, but for us it was a first, something so new and very different. It was hard work, a drastic change from our norm, and we learned many lessons.

I think 2020 has been like that for many of us. We’ve had to make changes — to adapt and learn different ways to work, socialize, connect and live. We have learned above all else that we can’t sit and wait to see what will happen before we move forward, we need to adjust to the present moment with flexibility and patience.

This month we want to introduce you to what’s new at Pioneer Network. We have been making some changes internally, working on some fresh products and entering into new partnerships. All of this means we have more to offer you, our network of fellow pioneers.

Tim Johnston

First, it is my great pleasure to introduce you to our newest Board Member, Tim Johnston. Tim is the Senior Director of National Projects for SAGE. Some of you may recognize him from our national conference where he has served as a Guide and others may know him because of his advocacy efforts for LGBT aging and his passion for elder justice, particularly for people living with dementia. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him or you want to learn more, read Tim’s story of how he became interested in the world of aging services.

These past six months have given our staff and Board members some time to review our mission, vision and values. These are the foundation of what Pioneer Network was built on and continue to provide the framework for all that we do. Our vision has not changed, A Culture of Aging that is Life-Affirming, Satisfying, Humane and Meaningful. However, in this world where there is so much competition for our attention, we decided to revise our mission to one that is succinct and relatable — Empowering a network of senior living and care communities by fostering person-directed practices and environments. To see more about our vision, mission and values, you can watch this short video.

Since we were reviewing who we are and what we do, we focused on some of the resources we offer in our bookstore. These are the “Tools You Need to Be Successful.” You may notice a new look where all of the products are categorized so you can have a quick snapshot of what each resource is about — ageism, dementia care, elderhood, dining and many others. Next, we realized that some items we offered in a hard copy format, may reach more people if we offered them electronically. The Engaging Staff in Individualizing Care: An Implementation Handbook, was developed by B&F Consulting and Pioneer Network through our National Learning Collaborative project funded by The Retirement Research Foundation. The Handbook provides how-to information for developing a communication infrastructure for organizations to prevent avoidable declines and maximize good outcomes. A companion to that is the Engaging Staff in Individualizing Care Five-Part Webinar Series. These webinars are also from Pioneer Network’s National Learning Collaborative and encompass B&F Consulting’s method for improving outcomes by engaging staff in individualizing care.  Find out more information about these products below.

Next, we are true believers in the power of collaboration and last year we launched our corporate partnership program, Pioneer Partner Network. We believe in mutual, individualized partnerships. Our inaugural partner was WhisperGLIDE and next month you’ll be hearing about an exciting result of that relationship. Our other partners include Linked Senior, The Eden Alternative, National Certification Council of Activity Professionals (NCCAP) and our newest partners, iN2L and Language of Caring. iN2L will be sponsoring an exciting webinar next month, Purposeful Engagement — The Challenge, The Opportunity, The Example. More information on that coming soon. Language of Caring will begin offering their Communicating Empathy: The Heart-Head-Heart Method to the Pioneer Network community with a special discounted offer.  If you’d like to learn more, attend this free overview webinar on October 6 from 2-2:30pm EST.

Lastly, we heard you. We’ve received inquiries from people who missed our Virtual Gathering and would like to watch the session recordings and access all of the resources and handouts. Beginning October 1, you will have the chance to purchase access to all of the concurrent session recordings and the three keynote and general sessions for $300. Sessions will be available until October 30. This is a great opportunity to provide training for your entire team and a wonderful educational opportunity for your community. Registration information will be released the week of September 28.

2020 has been quite the year and we still have a few more months ahead. We value you and the work you do every day and we want to focus on what’s important to you. If your organization would like to collaborate with us as a Pioneer Partner, we’ll start with a conversation. If you’re looking for specific training or education that your community needs, let us know.  If we can’t meet your needs, we’ll direct you to someone who can. We all have learned this year that although we’re not invincible, we are adaptable and together we can embrace change and look forward to new possibilities.


2 comments on “What’s New at Pioneer Network

  1. Teric Hughes on

    Little did I know when I began the process of achieving my certification as an Activities Director, I would live the process too. As I come to the end of my course, I find myself navigating Emergency Nursing Care, then Hospice Care for my dear mother. Thankfully what I have learned through this course has served me well, knowing the F-Tags have been a godsend. Sadly I have encountered less than empathetic institutions, administrators and staff. Learning how all the wheels need to work in tandem to provide appropriate care of my senior allowed me to ‘yank back the curtain of Covid’ and insure she was, and is, getting the best care possible. Finding Pioneer Network is my next step in following my new career path. I suspect I will not be satisfied as an Activities Director, I believe I will be taking a jump into Social Services.

    • Joan Devine on

      Your mother is so fortunate to have such a great advocate to help her on this journey. I am so pleased that you have “found” Pioneer Network. Wishing you the best in your career as an Activity Director, in social services, or where ever your path leads. Wearing several hats can be so very beneficial in helping to see the whole picture – and the whole person!

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