Senior Care and Workforce Challenges Take Center Stage as Pittsburgh Hosts Elder Care Conference

Nancy Zionts, MBA and panelists discuss forward movement and change in elder care.

"Ready to Impact," the 2023 Pioneer Network/Green House Project Center for Innovation Conference, held July 23–26 at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown Hotel and Conference Center, provided several opportunities to showcase the Jewish Healthcare Foundation's (JHF's) commitment to improving care for nursing home residents and strengthening the long-term care workforce. JHF served as a sponsor of the conference, which also provided an opportunity for partners in the Teaching Nursing Home initiative to engage in-person with JHF Aging Team staff.

On July 24, JHF COO and Chief Program Officer Nancy Zionts, MBA, participated in a panel discussion titled "Moving Forward to Change Eldercare." Along with other members of the Moving Forward Nursing Home Quality Coalition, Zionts shared about the group's efforts to operationalize the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's seven primary recommendations for nursing home reform, as explored in a landmark 2022 report.

Participants discussed areas of focus and invited attendees to join the movement to transform the recommendations into policy change. Then on July 25, Zionts and National and Statewide Advisory Group Member JoAnne Reifsnyder, PhD, MSN, MBA, RN, FAAN, professor of Nursing Leadership and Management in the Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, presented on the learnings from the two-year Revisiting the Teaching Nursing Home pilot project and provided a look ahead to the second phase of the initiative, which will set out to engage with all nursing homes and schools of nursing in the Commonwealth over the next three years. They shared about the pivotal role nursing homes play in resident care and education of the future nursing workforce and discussed the opportunity for other states to replicate the initiative.

Revising the Teaching Nursing Home partners gather for a luncheon at JHF.

Capitalizing on the opportunity to engage in person after two years of virtual project meetings, JHF hosted Revisiting Teaching Nursing Home initiative Pittsburgh-based and visiting partners for a luncheon gathering on July 25. Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, president of The John A. Hartford Foundation, the lead funder of the Teaching Nursing Home initiative, to reflect with the project team on the successes of the pilot and the exciting work ahead for the new Teaching Nursing Home Collaborative.

As an added benefit to conference participants, the award-winning musical "A Box of Memories," made its North American debut in Pittsburgh, and attendees were invited to a Sunday evening show. The story presents perspectives on what it means to live with dementia, from diagnosis to the end of life, through a series of vignettes. Zionts assisted the conference planning team with securing the O'Reilly Theatre as the performance venue, and JHF promoted the musical among its aging networks and Dementia Friends/Dementia Friendly partners.

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