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72nd AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo<p><img src="/Monthly-Issue/2021/September/PublishingImages/0921_Expo.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;" />The long term and post-acute care profession will gather Oct. 10-13 for the first in-person American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living Convention &amp; Expo since 2019.<br></p><p>The annual event, held virtually in 2020, will inspire, engage, and reunite with a slew of exciting speakers, education, entertainment, and numerous opportunities to network with colleagues.<br></p><p>It all takes place at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor just outside of Washington, D.C. With plenty of indoor and outdoor spaces, spectacular views, loads of restaurants within walking distance, and a variety of activities, it’s a premier location for reconnecting and learning.<br></p><p>When not participating in the <a href="/Monthly-Issue/2021/September/Pages/Education-Sessions-Have-the-Tools-and-Strategies-You-Need-to-Rebuild.aspx" target="_blank">education sessions</a> or browsing in the Resource Center or Expo Hall, attendees will be able to take a cab into D.C. or a ferry across the Potomac River to Alexandria, Va. There’s no shortage of interesting sites to explore or restaurants to try.</p><h2>Educational Sessions</h2><p>This year’s convention offers an important opportunity to reflect on the experiences of the past year and learn how best to tackle the significant challenges facing providers today. Attendees can earn up to 15.5 CEs. Key topics include&#58;<br>• Rebuilding Census<br>• Trauma-informed Care<br>• Workforce and Leadership<br>• Infection Control &amp; Prevention<br>• Survey &amp; Regulatory Compliance<br>• Reimbursement<br>• Quality Improvement<br>• Technology &amp; Innovation<br>• Assisted Living<br>• Clinical Care Practice<br>• Person-Centered Care<br>• Post-Acute Care<br>• Behavioral Health<br>• Rehabilitation Therapy<br>• Operational Analytics<br><br>Independent owners, providers of homes for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities, and not-for-profit providers can participate in specific constituency education.<br></p><p>The 15th Annual NCAL Day takes place on Sunday, Oct. 10, as does the Rehabilitation Therapy Program. Both are separately ticketed events. See <span><a href="/Monthly-Issue/2021/September/Pages/Education-Sessions-Have-the-Tools-and-Strategies-You-Need-to-Rebuild.aspx" target="_blank">convention education</a></span> for more details and visit the convention website at <a href="http&#58;//ahcaconvention.org/" target="_blank">AHCAconvention.org</a> or <a href="http&#58;//www.ncalconvention.org/" target="_blank">NCALconvention.org</a> to see all the tracks of learning and read full-session descriptions.</p><h2>Opening and Closing General Sessions</h2><p>Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, long term and post-acute care staff went above and beyond what anyone could consider everyday routines, setting their fears aside to care for and protect their residents in the face of great personal risk. The Opening and Closing General Sessions will specifically honor them and provide a platform to reflect and acknowledge what the profession has endured. <br></p><p>The general sessions will feature a variety of speakers and special events that are sure to inspire, including LED Talks—short, powerful messages designed to Lead, Engage, and Discover. The LED Talks will focus on COVID-19 care stories with different perspectives, from direct care staff to CEO to family member, providing a way to recognize and process the personal and professional impacts of the pandemic.</p><h2>Awards Given</h2><p>In addition, the CDC Foundation will award the 2021 McKnight Prize for Healthcare Outbreak Heroes, recognizing all frontline nursing home staff in a formal ceremony. The Evelyn and Thomas McKnight Family Fund for Patient Safety and the CDC Foundation jointly created the award to honor those who serve and protect patients from harm related to health care outbreaks.<br></p><p>“The McKnight Prize for Healthcare Heroes is intended for an individual, but the COVID-19 response has shown us that we are all in this together. The heroism of all the nursing home staff that showed up and kept showing up day after day truly captures the spirit of the award,” said Thomas and Evelyn McKnight. <br></p><p>The entire assisting living workforce will be honored with a new award, graciously sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living (CEAL), that recognizes the continuous support, unwavering commitment, hard work, and selflessness demonstrated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.<br></p><p>Capping things off, AHCA/NCAL will present the Gold Quality Award as well as the Mary K. Ousley Champion of Quality Award and the Jan Thayer Pioneer Award.</p><h2>A Tale of the Past, A Look at the Future</h2><p>AHCA/NCAL leadership will share updates, review important issues impacting the profession, and discuss what’s next. <br></p><p>Attendees will also get a sneak peek at the brand new AHCA/NCAL documentary, “COVID-19 in Long Term Care.” This short film explores the past year from different perspectives of staff, residents, and others who lived it firsthand. Full screenings of the film take place each day at convention. Consult the Schedule of Events for details on time and location.<br></p><p>The Opening General Session takes place on Monday, Oct. 11, while the Closing General Session takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 13.</p><h2>More Special Events</h2><p><span><img src="/Monthly-Issue/2021/September/PublishingImages/0921_convention_Gala-with-Chase-Rice.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;182px;height&#58;308px;" /></span>On Tuesday, Oct. 12, the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Ceremony will recognize both the 2020 and 2021 recipients, honoring the commitment to quality care demonstrated by the recipients of the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards. A celebration with light refreshments will be available immediately following the ceremony.<br></p><p>With A Night of Inspiration&#58; 2021 Gala &amp; PAC Concert Featuring Chase Rice happening on Wednesday, Oct. 13, AHCA/NCAL has combined the Gala Dinner &amp; Show and the PAC Concert into one spectacular evening. The dinner and entertainment provide a fun and relaxing way to wrap up convention. Note that it is a separate ticketed event.<br></p><p>Country music artist Chase Rice, known for hits like “Ready, Set, Roll” and “Eyes On You,” will share some of his new music, such as “Belong,” which he completed during the pandemic. Says Chase, “My favorite line in the song is ‘Where we’re going, we don’t know, but we’re going there together.’”<br></p><p>Additional receptions and social events take place throughout the four days of convention, offering formal and informal opportunities to reunite, network, and connect with colleagues.</p><h2>Expo Hall</h2><p>In the Expo Hall, providers can learn about the latest industry innovations. <br></p><p>“It will be so nice to see current clients and meet new people in person,” says Erin Mooney, chief operating officer of Healthcare Academy, one of the more than 350 business partners who will give product demonstrations, answer questions, and talk about the concerns and challenges facing the sector. <br></p><p>“We are so excited to be able to discuss how our programs, in partnership with AHCA/NCAL, can help providers meet day to day operational and regulatory needs,” Mooney says.<br></p><p>The Expo Hall is a great place to network with company representatives as well as colleagues. Lunch is provided for all who attend each day.</p><h2>Virtual Convention Package</h2><p>For those that cannot attend in person, there is also a virtual convention package available that includes the opportunity for CEs and contains a combination of curated live-stream and on-demand content. Live-stream sessions will be converted to on-demand for those who cannot watch live. The sessions will be timely and attractive to both skilled nursing and assisted living audiences and contain a range of topic areas. Key sessions of the virtual package include both of the general sessions, the Quality Award Ceremony, and a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) update.<br></p><p>Online registration is available through Sept. 24 and offers a $100 discount. After that, registration is offered on site.<br></p><p>“I encourage providers to join us. We have an amazing event planned and a very special Quality Award Ceremony, a highlight for me,” says AHCA/NCAL President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Parkinson. “I can’t wait to see everyone.”<br></p><p>See the complete Schedule of Events and register at <a href="http&#58;//ahcaconvention.org/" target="_blank">AHCAConvention.org</a> or <a href="http&#58;//ncalconvention.org/" target="_blank">NCALconvention.org</a>. <br><br><em>Danielle Levitan is senior director, marketing &amp; product development, for the American Health Care Association. She can be reached at <a href="mailto&#58;dlevitan@ahca.org">dlevitan@ahca.org</a>.</em>​</p>2021-09-01T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Monthly-Issue/2021/September/PublishingImages/0921_convention_ferriswheel.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Caregiving;ManagementDanielle LevitanConvention & Expo will reunite the long term and post-acute care profession after a very tough year.
AHCA Highlights Need to Prioritize Long Term Care Residents and Staff<p>​The American Health Care Association (AHCA) has released “Why It’s Time To Transform Nursing Homes,” a short-length documentary about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on long term care and the urgent need for reform.</p><p>“Nursing homes have been at the epicenter of the global health crisis since the very beginning due to this vicious virus,” said AHCA President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Parkinson.<br></p><p>“This documentary illustrates how the pandemic has exacerbated longstanding issues within the industry, including chronic Medicaid underfunding and workforce challenges,” he said. “Without strategic, swift action from policymakers, the crises we face will continue and vulnerable seniors will be at risk of losing the care they need.” </p><p>The documentary features AHCA leaders and long term care providers, including Parkinson, AHCA Chief Medical Officer David Gifford, MD, Health Management CEO Debbie Meade, and Marquis Companies President and CEO Phil Fogg, who discuss how public health officials failed to support nursing homes at the outset of the pandemic, limiting their ability to access critical resources.<br></p><p>The lack of government prioritization, coupled with the unique susceptibility of the residents to the virus and rampant community spread, tragically led to more than 100,000 lives lost in nursing homes, data show.</p><p>The rollout of safe and effective vaccines was a turning point for residents and caregivers, but the work continues and persistent challenges still linger, they point out. Looking forward, the documentary gives an overview of AHCA and LeadingAge’s Care for Our Seniors Act, a four-pronged reform proposal that will address some of the enduring challenges within long term care and prevent future tragedies from happening.</p><p>“We must heed the lessons of this pandemic, and that means we must make our nation’s seniors and their caregivers a priority,” Parkinson said. “We hope that lawmakers and health care leaders watch this documentary and are compelled to act. This global pandemic is far from over, and the profession is facing a worsening economic and workforce crisis,” he said. <br></p><p>“We are eager to work with federal and state policymakers to help providers through the pandemic as well as enact meaningful reforms that will improve the quality of care for our residents today and tomorrow.”&#160; </p><p>To watch “Why It’s Time To Transform Nursing Homes,” go to <a href="http&#58;//www.ahcancal.org/solutions" target="_blank">www.ahcancal.org/solutions</a>.</p>2021-08-26T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Breaking-News/PublishingImages/740%20x%20740/AHCA-doc.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Caregiving;ManagementJoanne EricksonDocumentary outlines meaningful reforms for nursing home industry.
Florida Association Awarded $1.8 Million Federal Grant to Boost Workforce<p>The Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) has been awarded a $1.8 million grant from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to strengthen Florida’s long term care workforce and attract more certified nurse assistants (CNAs) into the profession, according to FHCA Chief Executive Officer Emmett Reed.</p><p>The CaregiversFL Career Program is two-year project that will focus on raising awareness about long term care as an opportunity for career growth, enhancing the recruitment and retention efforts of Florida’s nursing centers, and building partnerships with statewide educational, workforce, and veterans' organizations to encourage individuals to make long term care their chosen career path.</p><p>The CaregiversFL Career Program will be implemented in partnership with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and will use funds from the Quality of Long-Term Care Facility Improvement Trust Fund, which was created within the Florida health agency to support activities and programs directly related to improving the quality of care for nursing home residents.</p><p>“As our elderly population increases each day, so too does the need for trained caregivers,” said Reed. “With this grant, our goal is to educate the public about the employment opportunities available in our long term care facilities and, in turn, support providers in their efforts to attract more frontline heroes to meet the needs of the residents entrusted to their care.”</p><p>“Florida is home to one of the largest elderly populations in the country,” said Simone Marstiller, secretary for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. “We are proud to partner with the Florida Health Care Association to implement the CaregiversFL Career Program to recruit, train, and retain qualified staff to be the next generation of health care heroes to protect our most vulnerable citizens in Florida.”</p><p>The CaregiversFL Career Program, which will launch in October, includes an interactive website to help job seekers access career opportunities in Florida's long term and post-acute care profession. Florida.carefortheaging.org features state-specific education requirements, along with salaries and career-focused testimonial videos from caregivers developed to inspire high-school students, early career professionals, and job seekers looking for new opportunities to pursue a rewarding career in long term care.</p><p>The site also includes a link to open positions in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities across Florida, along with a built-in interest form to capture information from site visitors, especially those seeking a new career opportunity.<br></p>2021-08-13T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Breaking-News/PublishingImages/740%20x%20740/dr_staff.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />ManagementJoanne EricksonProgram seeks to inspire high-school students, early career professionals, and job seekers to pursue a rewarding career in long term care.
Managing Behavior Without Drugs: It’s a Team Effort<p>For myriad reasons, post-acute facilities are compelled to limit the use of antipsychotics and other sedating medications to the lowest possible levels. But this comes at a time when the population of residents with serious psychiatric illness in skilled nursing facilities continues to rise. <a href="https&#58;//pagepro.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?m=63330&amp;i=716028&amp;p=28&amp;ver=html5" target="_blank">Read more.​</a></p>2021-08-01T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Monthly-Issue/2021/August/PublishingImages/0821_mgmt.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />ManagementRichard Juman, PsyDFor myriad reasons, post-acute facilities are compelled to limit the use of antipsychotics and other sedating medications to the lowest possible levels. But this comes at a time when the population of residents with serious psychiatric illness in skilled nursing facilities continues to rise.