Posted in on September 17, 2021

Trying to Move Forward at the LeadingAge Rhode Island Conference


Stepping back into a conference hall felt somewhat surreal, but once inside it felt like old times. The LeadingAge Rhode Island conference happened in person and while attendance was certainly lower, the general feeling around the exhibit hall and sessions was a sense of relief that we were getting back to some sense of normalcy.

Moving Forward, But Still Recovering at the LeadingAge Rhode Island Conference

The overall theme of the LeadingAge Rhode Island conference was “Forward”, but as you can imagine there were many discussions and sessions centered around the pandemic that we are still feeling, but also the experiences and challenges we are facing in our industry.

I had a chance to sit in on a very informative session by HealthPro Heritage. The topic was Strategic Approaches to 360 Degree Census Recovery Across the Continuum where speakers Erin Dunn and Elisa Bovee focused on national trends and legislative regulations impacting skilled nursing and home health. Plus, providing their 360 strategic approach to recovering your census in those areas. Some key takeaways from attending were:

  • National Trends show a decline in the percentage of discharges from hospital to skilled nursing from Q4 2019 to Q4 2020 (18% to 14%). Versus an increase to home in that same time period (56% to 59%). Of those that are admitted to SNFs and Home Health the level of acquity is becoming greater.
  • Data is your friend. Through the use of your outcomes, length of stay visitation policies and infection prevention, you can ease the fears of the potential residents, their families and most importantly your referrals. We absolutely agree and have used data to help support our higher level of care clients, like Mulberry Health, and highlight the good work that they and their care teams do to promote their communities.
  • Erin and Elisa closed out by going through their 360 Degree approach of helping to look inside your organization and its processes, finding the data to highlight your care and what unique tools you should be using to position your facility better.

Donna Policastro, of the Rhode Island Nurses Association, concluded the day by providing a historical look into how leadership in women began in nursing – back to Florence Nightingale. While the audience for this talk was mainly geared to women in health care having a voice and speaking up against economic disparity, I was certainly inspired to carry her words into my own world. To hear the others in the room speak to not only what they have faced in the workforce, even though the nursing profession is made up of 88% female, made me realize that we’re still not where we should be in being leaders in this industry. So how can we make that change? We need to continue to find our voice, influence the change and speak up as much as possible! I look forward to being a witness to the changes to come from our little state of Rhode Island from those leaders that attended this session.

Finding humor in a hemorrhagic stroke?

As Julia Fox Garrison took the stage during the lunchtime keynote session, I had no idea I would be laughing along with her as she took us through her life following a hemorrhagic stroke at the age of 37. However, here I was chuckling listening to her recount the endless ways she has approached her days with a positive outlook because she’s just simply happy to be here. It was inspiring to hear her take every opportunity as a new way to make light of her situation as well the antics that her handicaps have gotten her into. The whole point of her story isn’t just to make others laugh and realize you shouldn’t feel sorry for yourself if faced with challenges such as hers, but it was also focused on those in healthcare making sure your bedside manner reflects the person on the other side. I was so enamored by her, I just had to pick up her book Don’t Leave Me This Way: Or When I Get Back on my Feet You’ll be Sorry. I look forward to reading and sharing with anyone who wants it next in line.

LeadingAge Rhode Island Conference
Seniors learn with the Tablet PC supported by caregiver in the c

The buzz around staffing

Whether it was sitting waiting for sessions to begin, around the lunch table or walking through the exhibit hall booths, the big buzz around the LeadingAge RI conference was around staffing. Much like the rest of the nation, and as you can imagine particularly in healthcare, there is a huge shortage in nursing and other care staff. Even before COVID-19, there was a nursing shortage, so you can imagine as we enter a post-pandemic world (hopefully) it’s becoming even more apparent that our industry is in trouble. Not having enough staff is putting strain on those that are left, impacting census and the ability to take on more admissions and leaving administrators wondering exactly what they are going to do next.

Moving Forward and Creating Results Together

Are you feeling the staffing crunch? Are you trying to figure out how to balance increasing census with limited staff? Are you heading into budget season and looking for assistance on how to plan for next year? We’d like to hear more about the challenges you are facing and begin to brainstorm on how Creating Results can help.

Comment on this blog below or email us at – we’re ready to move forward with you!

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