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Plan Now to Be in Providence

February 1, 2005
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A preview of the upcoming ACHCA Conference & Exposition by Joseph Cerquone, ACHCA Vice-President
BY JOSEPH CERQUONE, ACHCA VICE-PRESIDENT Plan now to be in Providence Some of the best educational offerings in long-term care-plus a full slate of fun-filled, network-building social activities-promise to make the American College of Health Care Administrators' (ACHCA) upcoming Annual Conference & Exposition among the most professionally rewarding and personally enjoyable in years.

With a theme of "Charting A Course To Quality," the event, scheduled for April 16-'19, 2005, at the Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, will once again be held in partnership with First Quality Products, Inc., and feature an array of outstanding professional education courses.

On opening day, Monsignor Charles J. Fahey, Senior Associate, Third Age Center, Fordham University, and a member of the recently created National Commission for Quality Long-Term Care, will moderate a town hall meeting allowing attendees to hear from and speak with commissioners directly. The Commission is charged with identifying factors that lead to quality improvement and with keeping track of quality of care nationwide.

Also on Saturday, the Conference will offer education specifically for long-term care nurses. Lori Porter, Cofounder and CEO of the National Association of Geriatric Nursing Assistants (NAGNA), will speak. Sessions will be devoted to helping nurses self-assess their leadership capabilities both overall and within the area of culture change.

Opening day will also mark the beginning of ACHCA's revised and updated study track for the Assisted Living Administrator Instruction (ALADIN) program. Geared toward senior-level administrators, ALADIN will run throughout the Conference, covering critical areas of assisted living administration. A certificate will be given to anyone who attends all of the program sessions.

The Conference will also have a quality assurance certificate track sponsored by Quality Partners of Rhode Island, a leading quality improvement organization. It will cover topics such as the business case for quality, creating a culture of quality, and beginning a culture-change journey. Here, too, anyone who attends all of the sessions will receive a certificate.

Besides these tracks, ACHCA's 2005 Conference will offer some of the best concurrent educational sessions available in long-term care. For the first time, these will be categorized according to ACHCA's Principles of Excellence, formulated recently to advance leadership development. Sessions will fall within one of six key areas: articulating a mission and a vision; creating a culture of quality; affirming the need for person-centered care and quality of life for residents; realizing that many residents experience long-term care as their last home; understanding that caregivers and staff create quality; and exploring how financial viability is essential to providing care and services.

Tried-and-true offerings featuring high-caliber general session speakers will also be on hand in Providence. Vincent Mor, PhD, Chair of the Department of Community Health at the Brown University School of Medicine, will offer a Sunday keynote address. A leading health researcher for 25 years, Dr. Mor recently received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to examine the influence of managed care and integrated delivery systems on the strategic decision making of nursing homes and their consequences for resident care quality.

By popular demand, ACHCA's CEO/Executive Forum, sponsored by SCA Personal Care, will return on Sunday, April 17. Designed for the senior-level administrator, this track proved an instant hit when it was first offered last year. If you are interested in attending, be sure to sign up for it soon; attendance will be limited to 50.

Among the other Conference sponsors as of press time: Cornell Communications, VCPI, Direct Supply, Nursing Homes/Long Term Care Management, MyZiva, and the ACHCA Missouri Chapter.

As for the fun side of things, ACHCA's New England chapters have been hard at work planning social events that are bound to make the Conference most enjoyable. ACHCA's Rhode Island Chapter plans to host the Welcome Reception Friday evening, April 15. On Sunday night, the Massachusetts Chapter will host a fun-filled reception following the ACHCA Awards Reception and Banquet, which will be sponsored once again by Ross Products, a division of Abbott Laboratories.

Conference evening activities will also include a fundraising dinner dance for the ACHCA Education and Research Institute on Saturday, April 16. This will be an opportunity for attendees to support the research arm of ACHCA while spending an enjoyable evening featuring good food, dancing, and a silent auction.

Finally, when conferees aren't partaking in the festivities or listening to a top-notch speaker, they can go out and easily enjoy Providence, a visitor- and pedestrian-friendly city that has been called by some travel journalists a "best place to live in the East."

Of course, no one should "leave the building" without first stopping in the Exhibit Hall, which will feature a wide variety of vendors offering the latest in long-term care products and services. The hall will be open midday Saturday and Sunday, with a free lunch served both days. Lancaster Bingo Company, a Conference sponsor, will once again conduct a bingo-themed "game" involving exhibit hall vendors; participants will be able to win valuable prizes.

See you in Providence! Key Dates for Registration

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