Free Educational Teleconferences
The Education Committee was created to provide information to members of NAHAC that will aid in their advocacy of patients and increase their awareness of new and current topics of interest. The group has also been charged with supplying educational Information to the public.
Full Members and General Public Members have access to additional podcasts inside the Member Areas. Members must login to access these resources.
Simple Steps to Support Patient Safety in the Hospital
Speaker: Karen Curtiss, Founder of CampaignZERØ™
Preventable hospital hazards claim almost 300,000 lives in America every year. Almost 4 million more hospital patients are harmed. Most of these deaths and injury are among older patients, and most result from a strained health care system seriously short on nurses and other critical resources. Karen Curtiss, a national patient safety advocate and Founder of CampaignZERØ™ discusses how common hospital hazards occur, what is being done at the national level to improve patient safety, and how her organization's checklists can help families and advocates safeguard their patient's care in the hospital.
Alzheimer's and Dementia
Speaker: Ms. Pat Felice
Ms. Pat Felice has been an educator and advocate for persons with dementia and their family care providers for over 10 years. As the former Family Services Director at the Alzheimer's Association of Colorado, Pat helped raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease and provided education, support and services to family caregivers, professionals and the general public. Pat has a B.A. in Communications and currently lives in Salt Lake City.
In her own words:
"The challenges of caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease are greatly misunderstood and underestimated by our society. Unless one has been personally impacted by the disease it is difficult for them to comprehend the physical, emotional and financial turmoil Alzheimer's can have on a family. With the benefit of easy access to information and services the burden can be lightened. Unfortunately, many people do not seek assistance and struggle alone due to the persistent stigma and ignorance about the disease that continues to prevail. Education and advocacy are imperative if we are to offer help to those currently diagnosed and hope for a cure in the future."
Getting a Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease
10 Warning Signs Of Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimers Disease and Other Dementias
Doctor's Visit Planning and Communication Tools
Speaker: Beth van Bladel, Founder and Director of Capital Region Patient Advocacy
Beth van Bladel founded Capital Region Patient Advocacy in Albany, New York in 2008 with a grassroots mission of teaching healthcare advocacy and navigation skills to her community. She developed a collaborative resource network of over 100 capital region healthcare experts to create healthcare navigation tools. The tools discussed in this podcast can be found in the Resources section of her website www.capitalregionpatientadvocacy.com and may be used by obtaining permission from Beth.
Effective Teamwork with Psychiatric Patients
Speaker: Richard Heasley, Executive Director of Conard House, Inc.
Richard Heasley is the Executive Director of Conard House, Inc., an organization which encompasses a spectrum of programs and services designed to support, rather than direct, recovery from mental illness. He has been Executive Director of Conard House for over 16 years, and has worked in the nonprofit human services sector for more than 35 years, providing executive leadership and financial management. Richard is a member and past President of the San Francisco Mental Health Contractors Association, the Steering Committee of the San Francisco Human Services Network, and the Executive Committee of the Supported Housing Employment Collaborative. He holds a BA in Philosophy, Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio; Master's in Public Administration, California State University, Hayward, California.
This discussion covers important aspects of healthcare advocacy for individuals with mental illness including resources and tools, roles for advocates and what the future holds.
Medicare and Healthcare Reform
Speaker: Kevin Knauss, Independent Health and Life Agent in California
Kevin Knauss is an independent Health and Life Agent in California representing several carriers for Medicare plans, individual and small group insurance. He does not believe an agent should represent only one company because "one size does not fit all" when it comes to health insurance. Kevin has blogged extensively about healthcare reform, Medicare topics and his occasional travels through California.
You can read his blog access additional information as follows: Kevin@insuremekevin.com, www.insuremekevin.com, Facebook: Insure Me Kevin, Twitter: @insuremekevin
During this teleconference session our speaker addressed the following topics:
Healthcare Reform Affordable Care Act and its effects on:
2. Business/ employees
3. Medicare beneficiaries
Medicare Choices: How to Decide
Speaker: Dianne Savastano, BSN, MBA, Founder and President of Healthassist
The NAHAC Education Committee proudly presents Dianne Savastano, BSN, MBA, the Founder and President of Healthassist, a personal healthcare consultancy established in 2004 and based in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA. Healthassist offers expert help in demystifying healthcare and medical insurance and offers services that help people of all ages navigate today's increasingly complex healthcare system. Dianne has over 30 years of healthcare experience and understands both the clinical and insurance perspectives. Before launching Healthassist, she worked as a nurse providing direct patient care, in hospital management, and in high-level positions in managed care, insurance, employee benefits and business consulting. Dianne was one of the founding members of NAHAC and currently serves on the board of directors as Treasurer.
As individuals approach the age of 65 and sign up for Medicare, they are often surprised and overwhelmed by the 20-40 choices available to them. Comparing one to another is a challenge.
The objectives for the teleconference session on "Medicare Choices" are:
1. Gain a deeper understanding of how the options in Medicare evolved
2. Understand what traditional Medicare covers and does not cover
3. Learn the differences between Medicare Part A, B, C, D and Medicare supplemental/medigap insurance plans
4. Identify preferences
5. Make decisions if you remain employed after age 65
6. Review your choices on an annual basis
Ethical Wills – What You Have Learned Is As Valuable As What You Have Earned...
Susan Turnbull founded Personal Legacy Advisors in 2002 out of great respect for the ancient ethical will, and has become an internationally known advocate for non-binding personal legacy documents as a meaningful component of estate, financial and philanthropic planning. A former journalist, she has ghostwritten and edited numerous ethical wills and personal histories, is the author of The Wealth of Your Life: A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating Your Ethical Will and co-author of Between Generations: A Five Step Guide for Creating an Expression of Donor Intent. She is also the creator of LifeLegacy Cards, prompts for insightful conversation and writing.
Susan is a graduate of Colby College and the parent of three young adult children. She and her husband live in greater Boston.
Your wealth and your legacy have both tangible and intangible dimensions.
During this session our speaker addressed the following topics:
- The definition and history of Ethical Wills
- Why creating an Ethical Will is a valuable experience
- How Ethical Wills can be implemented in your own lives
- How the concept of an Ethical Will can be introduced into your client experiences
Lessons Learned In a Ten-Year Journey Through Childhood Cancer.
Dr. Julia Hallisy obtained her BS in Biological Science from the University of San Francisco in 1984 and a second Bachelor's degree from the University of California in Dental Sciences. In 1988, Dr. Hallisy also received her Doctorate in Dental Surgery from the University of California at San Francisco School of Dentistry. Since then, she has been in continuous private practice in San Francisco, California.
Her second child, Katherine Eileen, was diagnosed at five months of age with bilateral retinoblastoma. Dealing with her daughter's life-threatening diagnosis, the many recurrences of cancer, and the subsequent treatments for the malignant and aggressive tumors marked the beginning an almost 20-year involvement in our healthcare system. The unique combination of her scientific training, her work as a healthcare provider, and guiding a child through a chronic illness has afforded her invaluable insight as an advocate for patients.
In 2008, Dr. Hallisy founded the non-profit organization The Empowered Patient Coalition and co- authored The Empowered Patient Guide to Hospital Care for Patients and Families. The organization provides an advocate directory, factsheets and checklists, SBAR communication tools for patients, pocket guides, a patient reporting survey and hospital and community training sessions on patient safety and advocacy issues.
During this session Dr. Hallisy describes her family's ten-year journey through childhood advocacy. She explains how a patient advocate would have helped them navigate a difficult path. Especially useful is an advocate's ability to help the family focus on their immediate goals as well as organizing and categorizing priorities.
Related resources from Julia:
The Empowered Patient Decision Support App:
Report an adverse medical event:
Help is a Four-Legged Word™
Canine Companions for Independence® provides highly-trained assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities, free of charge. The most advanced technology capable of transforming the lives of people with disabilities has a cold nose and a warm heart!”
Becky Miller is an Instructor for Canine Companions for Independence. She has been training service dogs for people with disabilities with the organization for 6 1/2 years. She has always had a deep passion for working with animals and holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in psychology with an emphasis in animal behavior from St. Mary's College of California. She is currently enrolled in veterinary technician school and holds a position on the Board of Directors for Zoofari Inc, an animal conservation/education non-profit.
Points covered include:
- The breeding, puppy raising, and final training of the dogs
- The application process for those seeking a canine companion.
- The types of assistance the dogs provide
- Outreach to Veterans
- Prison puppy raising programs
- Canine Companions Wounded Veterans Initiative: Calvin and Service Dog Chesney
Watch Video »
- Air Force Veteran Jason and Canine Companions Service Dog Napal
Watch Video »
- Wounded Veterans Initiative
Watch Video »
- One Team, Two Heroes
Watch Video »
- Comfort Dogs on the Diane Rehm Show
Read Blog Entry »
Primary Veteran Diagnosis: PTSD/Moral Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Veteran as an Important Piece of Patient History
Speaker: Dave Eling - Director of the West Michigan Veterans Service Center; Director of the Muskegon Veterans Administration
Dave Eling is a Muskegon native; graduated Muskegon High School 1967; entered US Air Force January 1968 retired February 1988; Hired as Director West Michigan Veterans Service Center 1990; Instrumental in the formation of West Michigan Veterans, Inc. in 1992 and the Muskegon County Department of Veterans Affairs 1994; Dave has been the Director of all three entities since their inception.
Points covered include:
- PTSD/Moral Injury
- Traumatic Brain Injuries in Veterans
- Initiative to ecognize being a Veteran as another Vital Sign
The Keys to Health Care Advocacy for Persons with Developmental Disabilities
Cecelia Ramsey became a passionate advocate for person with developmental disabilities through the lifelong influence of her brother Patrick, a gentle soul who passed away in 2001. She began her career as a Psychiatric Technician, working in three California Developmental Centers over 10 years. She later moved into community based care, serving in steadily advancing positions at service provider organizations in San Diego County. Before her current position of Executive Director at DSC she served as Director of Consumer Affairs for the organization. She continues to serve as an Instructor in the Certified Direct Support Professional program through the San Diego County Office of Education.
During this teleconference session Cecilia covered:
- Barriers to health care in the age of managed care
- Chronic medical and behavioral concerns
- Navigating the terrain of health providers “capacity” perceptions
- Teaching support personnel how to be an advocate for the people they serve
An Overview of the California system of providing for the needs of persons with developmental disabilities.
Speaker: Terry DeBell, R.N.
Terry DeBell, a registered nurse for more than 40 years, currently serves on the boards of several organizations involved in services for people with developmental disabilities. She also serves on a Governor’s Advisory Board and frequently gives testimony to the California Legislature. Her primary focus is on those with a severe or profound disability who are presently served in two of California's Developmental Centers. She is closely involved with the closure of one other Developmental Center, working with other families, the Department of Developmental Services, and Regional Centers to ensure that the residents are able to transition to a non-DC community setting safely and successfully.
A component of NAHAC’s mission is to support public education and foster effective self-advocacy. During this teleconference session Terry will address the following topics:
- An historical perspective on the treatment of people with disabilities, from ancient times to the present. Attitudes from Greek and Roman philosophers, major world religions and science have shaped a cultural perception of disability that is, on the one hand quite negative, but on the other hand very person-centered.
- The effects of the Lanterman Act which requires provision of social services for every person with developmental disabilities in the State of California; the Supreme Court decision ruling in favor of the Olmstead Act which guarantees that people with developmental disabilities have the right to live in the “least restrictive” environment.
- The complicated and, at times, divisive process of moving residents from large developmental centers to community based services.