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Conference Session Speakers

Lori Porter

Lori J. Porter, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Health Care Assistants, NAHCA

Lori is responsible for advancing the Association's mission and vision throughout skilled and assisted living communities nationwide. Lori is a nationally sought after speaker on frontline development, team building and transforming workforces into CareForce's. She brings more than 31 years skilled experience to the leadership of NAHCA. Lori was a CNA for seven years, marketing/admissions director for two years, a nursing home administrator for seven years and 16 years at the helm of NAHCA. Porter is dedicated to motivating, educating and developing frontline excellence. She is a motivational leader whose dedication to long term care is evident in every speech and in every communication.

Session Title:  How I Transformed my Passion for Residents Into Action. 

Session Description:  This presentation examines the nature of passion as a driving force for commitment, action and lifelong service.  Lori will share personal experiences that helped to form her passion for serving our nation’s frail elder and disabled citizens.  She will also elaborate on how that passion gave rise to NAHCA.  The presentation is likely to incorporate a rollercoaster of emotion.  You will laugh, cry and maybe even get excited about the profession of caring.

Session Objectives:

·      Define “Passion”.

·      Describe the potential source of passion for caring.

·      Explain the various ways that passion is demonstrated.

·      Outline positive approaches for putting passion into action.

·      Examine the effects of passion on quality of life and care.


Dave Hare

Dave Hare, Vice President of Training and Leadership Development, Trilogy Health Services, Louisville, KY

Dave has spent the majority of his life developing others, but over the last ten years, he has focused on the development of leaders.  Dave has his Master’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Leadership and Organizational Development and provides executive coaching services both inside and outside of the organization.  Dave has built learning and development strategies and organizations for two Fortune 100 companies within the financial and health care sectors.  Dave is currently accountable for Training and Leadership development within Trilogy Health Services, which is a Midwest based Senior Care Company that delivers Long Term Care services to more than 9,000 seniors daily.  Dave's passion for serving seniors is one of the greatest privileges and most rewarding things he has ever done.  A key contributor to the success in delivering exceptional service at each of our 104 Health Centers as well as through our Pharmacy and Rehabilitation businesses is building a culture of LEADERS.

When Dave is not focused on organizational leadership development, he is with his amazing wife of 24 years and three children.  If it is spring or summer you will find Dave in a dugout or on the baseball field, as coaching competitive baseball is one of his favorite hobbies.  Aside from “marrying-up,” Dave’s only claim to fame is being a contestant on the Family Feud with Steve Harvey.

Session Title:  Exercising Leadership as a Means of Putting Your Passion into Action

Session Description:  We all have a created or cultivated passion to make a difference that exists within each of us!  During this session, each participant will learn what it means to lead and how the power of their influence is strengthened by putting these 7 leadership skills into action.  Learn the 7 powerful skills of leadership that will enable each participant to better lead themselves, lead others, lead teams, and enable them to serve at a higher level.  Through Dave’s model of LEADERS, each participant learns a roadmap to strengthening their leadership and their influence! 

Session Objectives:

·      Define leadership.

·      Describe the power of influence.

·      Examine the Seven Leadership Skills.


Karen Tritz

Karen L. Tritz, Director, Division of Nursing Homes Survey and Certification Group, Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

Karen Tritz is the Division Director in the Division of Nursing Homes in the Survey and Certification Group (SCG).   

Prior to joining the Division of Nursing Homes in February 2013, Karen was the technical director for the survey and certification of organ transplant programs for six years where she oversaw the development of the guidelines, survey process, and quality improvement efforts.

Karen has also worked for the Congressional Research Services providing assistance to Members of Congress and their staff on Medicare and Medicaid long-term care and dual eligible issues.  She was a key member of the CMS Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group where she worked to develop systems of technical assistance for State Medicaid agencies developing long term care services in community settings, as well as implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Supreme Court Olmstead Decision that promotes community integration services for the elderly and people with disabilities.  Prior to her CMS and Congressional Research Service positions, she led a team to develop statewide Medicaid options for working individuals with disabilities at the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services.  Karen received her Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Session Title:  Transforming Passion Into Action with Regulations in Mind.

Session Description:  Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services’ (CMS) New Regulations, Guidance and Survey Process.  CMS will discuss key takeaways from the New Nursing Home Regulations and Interpretive Guidance.   There will also be an overview of why the survey process is changing and the major components of the process.

Session Objectives: 

·      Describe the new conditions of participation for nursing homes.

·      Examine recently published interpretive guidelines (IGs).

·      Explain the new survey process.


Diana Sturdevant

Diana Sturdevant PhD, GCNS-BC, APRN, CDONA, FNGNA, Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist, Director of Nursing Services, Mitchell Manor Convalescent Home, Inc

Diana Sturdevant has over 35 years’ experience working in long-term care, most recently as Director of Nursing at Mitchell Manor Convalescent Home, in McAlester, Oklahoma for the past 22 years. She received a BSN at Oklahoma Wesleyan University and an MS at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center College of Nursing. She is a 2011-2013 Donald W. Reynolds scholar and completed a PhD in 2015 at the University of Oklahoma, College of Nursing. Diana is a strong advocate of nursing home culture change, person-directed care, and empowerment of residents and direct-care staff.

Dr. Sturdevant is a member of the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association, a fellow in the National Gerontological Nurses Association, and is past-president of the Oklahoma Gerontological Nurses Association. She serves on the Oklahoma Governor’s Long-term Care Advisory Board, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Focus on Excellence Advisory Board, Pioneer Network Public Policy Committee, and is a founding member of the Oklahoma Culture Change Coalition. She is also an active member of several other nursing and professional organizations, including the American Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and the Gerontological Society of America.

Session Title:  Culture Change as a way of Transforming Passion Into Action.

Session Description:  Historically, care was driven by institutional consideration rather than individual preferences.  The long-term and post-acute care system continues to move toward person centered care.  Culture Change initiatives are working in concert with person centered care to improve quality.

Session Objectives:

·      Define Culture Change.

·      Describe various culture change initiatives.

·      Present an argument for culture change and quality.

·      Explain how applying culture change principles is a means of expressing passion in service.


Mark Parkinson

Mark Parkinson, President & Chief Executive Officer, American Health Care Association, AHCA

Mark Parkinson is the President and CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA), which represents over 13,400 skilled nursing facilities and assisted living centers. 

Parkinson served as the 45th Governor of the State of Kansas. Prior to that, he was the owner and operator of long term care facilities in Kansas and Missouri. Under Parkinson’s leadership, AHCA focuses on delivering policy solutions to the Hill and CMS, with a special emphasis on quality care. AHCA is now the largest Association in long term care and is at record membership.

His vision has brought Parkinson recognition. He has been named a Top Association CEO by CEO Update and a top lobbyist for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 by The Hill, a leading Capitol Hill newspaper. Parkinson also has the distinction of being selected as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare in 2015.

Session Title:  Sharing Your Passion:  Is sharing your love for those we care for in LT/PA Care. 

Session Description:  This dynamic sharing of information builds upon the presenter’s experiences from childhood to present day and a chronical of his journey in aging services.  He will speak to the genesis of his passion and how that shaped his actions.

Session Objectives:

·       Examine where passion is derived from in one’s life.

·       Describe how passion is frequently exhibited in long-term and post-acute care.

·       Identify advantages related to sharing individual passion for the person served, the caregiver and the organization.


Jeff Wellman

Jeffery S. Wellman, MSHRD, Chief Operating Officer, National Association of Health Care Assistants, NAHCA

Jeff has an extensive background in leadership development, individual and organizational development, and the long-term care system.  He has served in leadership capacities in both the public and private sector for over 30 years.  Jeff started his career in long-term care in 1990 in a residential care facility and then worked his way into the nursing home setting.  He integrates his personal experience with a theoretical perspective to foster advancement in the three key areas of development.

Jeff joined the NAHCA team in 1998.  Over the years, he served the association in a variety of positions and he currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for the association.  In addition, he advances the profession of CNAs through participation on various campaigns, advisory groups as well as public speaking.  To date, he has presented over 3,000 hours of information to a variety of audiences.

Session Title:  Our Passion in Action:  The State of the Association.

Session Description:  This session will address both successes and opportunities for improvement, new initiatives and a glimpse of what NAHCA will look like in the coming years.  Additionally, we will take the opportunity to thank those who helped to make Conference 2017 a categorical success.

Session Objectives:   

·      Identify the core of the association’s success since last conference.

·      Describe the lessons learned and how the association intends to improve.

·      Explain the new initiatives that we are launching this year.

·      Celebrate the people who make NAHCA possible.


Scott Tittle

Scott Tittle, Executive Director, National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL)

Scott Tittle became the executive director of the National Center for Assisted Living – the assisted living voice of the American Health Care Association—in the summer of 2015. Prior, Scott was the president of a state affiliate of AHCA/NCAL, the Indiana Health Care Association and the Indiana Center for Assisted Living. An attorney by background, he has worked on health care issues at the Indianapolis law firm Krieg DeVault and as the health policy director for former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. Scott received his law degree from Indiana University, Bloomington and his undergraduate degrees from Vanderbilt University.

Session Title:  Transforming Your Passion Into Action No Matter Where Your Elders Live. 

Session Description:  The presenter incorporates the depth and breadth of his experience serving frail, elder and disabled people into an interactive presentation that is likely to motivate and inspire.  Because of his diverse set of opportunities, he will speak to passion and its application across the continuum of aging services.

Session Objectives:

·      Explore the fundamental notion of passion for caring.

·      Examine facts associated with aging services.

·      Illustrate the relationship between quality and passion.

·      Provide an example of Passion in Action.