November 11 Agenda


November 11 Agenda

We are so very grateful for the support of the following sponsors of our National Caregiving Conference:


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General Sessions

9 a.m. Keynote with Cathy Sikorski, winner of our Conference Keynote Contest
Grand Ballroom

Cathy Sikorski has been a significant caregiver for the last 20 years. In addition to that, she has been a practicing attorney in her own practice, dealing largely in Elder Law, with over 12 years of education in issues dealing with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. She began her legal career in general practice in a small town where she grew up and was known to a large contingent of the population through her family. Many of her clients were older adults, which lent her practice to dealing with elder issues. During that time, Cathy went on leave to attempt stay-at-home mothering and ended up staying at home and mothering all kinds of people. First, her Nana came to stay. But since then, she has been the primary caregiver for her great aunt for seven years, her amazing mother-in-law until she almost reached 97 years old, currently her brother-in-law who is wheelchair bound and suffers from multiple sclerosis, and a very dear friend who is permanently disabled from an accidental brain injury four years ago. Fortunately, each and every one of these special people has a rockin’ sense of humor during medical appointments, nudity, and other areas of indignity (well, except the great aunt…who didn’t like to laugh). So this caregiving thing, yea, she’s got it covered, and is continuously consulted by everyone she meets about caregiving personally and with her legal background. the keynote will be live streamed as part of our virtual broadcast.This session will be recorded and available in our conference recordings package.

Our fashion show, a fan favorite at the First Annual National Caregiving Conference, returns this year. Photo credit: Lillie Fuller.

1:30 p.m. Fashion Show
Grand Ballroom

  • Adaptive Clothing

  • What I Wear When I Care

  • Our Loss is Our Gain
    Our fashion show will be live streamed as part of our virtual broadcast.


Family Caregiver Tract
Former Family Caregiver Tract
Professional Tract

Family Caregiver Tract

10 a.m. to Noon ABCs to Cope with Behavior with Teepa Snow
Grand Ballroom

Teepa will describe how to apply the ABC approach:
A = Antecedents – What starts it?
B = Behavior – What is it?
C = Consequences – What happens?

Teepa's workshop will be live streamed as part of our virtual broadcast. Her session will not be recorded and will not be included with our conference recordings.

Sessions listed below will take place in Chicago Ballroom D. Each session is 50 minutes.

10 a.m. The Power to Persevere with Bruce McIntyre

How can you make the move from depletion to renewal? Where can you find the power to persevere? In this session, you will learn to draw from the deep wells and rhythms of refreshment to nurture yourself physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. With warm humor, engaging stories, and evidence based models, Bruce McIntyre will inspire, encourage, and help you put practical tools in your caregiving toolbox. You have the power to persevere!

Bio: Bruce McIntyre serves as the Executive Director of the Parkinson Foundation of Oklahoma. As the author of Thrive Anyway, Parkinson Positive and Graceful Transitions, Bruce shares his expert guidance and warm humor with thousands of people each year.

As a caregiver for his wife for the past 13 years, Bruce understands the world of chronic illness and caregiving. In addition, two family members have experienced the full life cycle of Alzheimer’s. He has led the Caregiver Fundamentals Project in Oklahoma City and served caregivers as a business, church, and non-profit leader. Bruce is also the author of Resilient Life. You can learn more about him at This session will be recorded and available in our conference recordings package.

11 a.m. Boldly Overcoming Loneliness During Caregiving Panel Discussion

The irony of a caregiving experience is you're surrounded but incredibly lonely. Panelists will share how their loneliness affects them and how they work to overcome it. This session will be recorded and available in our conference recordings package.


  • Allison Elkow Lazicky, who cared for her dad

  • Priya Soni, who cared for her dad and now her mom

  • Leslie Cottrell Simonds, who cares for her mom

The sessions listed below will take place in the Grand Ballroom.

2 p.m. A Life Interrupted: Picking Up the Pieces Panel Discussion

A diagnosis changes today and tomorrow. These panelists will discuss the discussions and actions they took after a family member’s diagnosis which helped them pick put the pieces. This session will be recorded and available in our conference recordings package.


  • Denise M. Brown, family caregiver and moderator

  • Chrissy Harris, who began caring for her parents and in-laws soon after the birth of her second child;

  • Allison Elkow Lazicky, who began caring for her dad at the age of 22 and while still in college;

  • Lisa Nigro, who began caring for her son who sustained a brain injury due to the West Nile Virus;

  • Peggy McCallum, who began caring for her husband after his diagnosis of Huntington's disease.

3 p.m. Loud and Proud: The Bold Battle Cry of an Advocating Family Caregiver

We make it happen! Panelists will share their bold moments of advocacy in the health care system, the family, the workplace and the community. This session will be recorded and available in our conference recordings package.


  • Sharon Hall, who cares for her husband and her mother;

  • Priya Soni, who cared for her father and currently cares for her mother;

  • MaryAnne Sterling, who cared for her parents and currently helps to care for her father-in-law;

  • Sibyl Yau, a nurse advocate who previously cared for a parent.

Register to join us in person or virtually.

Back to Tract List

Former Family Caregiver Tract

Each session is this tract will take place in Chicago Ballroom E. Each session is 50 minutes. These sessions will be recorded and available in our conference recordings package.

10 a.m. Finding Your SELF After Caregiving with Lorna Scott

Using the SELF formula, participants will be guided to reconnecting to who they are, what they love, what they want, and how to take the next steps to becoming whole again after caregiving. In this safe atmosphere, this interactive presentation will take the audience through the SELF formula and start the journey back to self-love:

S - Soul: Nurturing the guidance of your soul to remember who you really are
E - Energy: Bringing the energy of the mind, body and soul together
L - Love: Loving Yourself While Letting Go
F - Fun: Finding the smiles, laughs and you Inner Happy

At the end of the session, participants will be able to use the SELF Formula to create their own roadmap and answer the question "What do I do now?"

Bio: Caregiver expert, Lorna Scott, works with individuals and organizations that want to help family caregivers have a higher quality of life and avoid caregiver burnout and after careigiving, helps people through the transition of letting go of the past in order to step in the future. She is the author of the best selling book, Walking the Journey Together … Alone, Finding Peace, Hope, and Joy in the Middle of the Sh** and has helped many caregivers learn how to be aware of subtle changes they can make that will take them off autopilot and get back into the driver’s seat of their life. She has become a go-to expert in the caregiving community. Her personal philosophy is to have a positive outlook on life with a focus on solutions, not problems. She firmly believes that with the right information, attitude, focus and a belief in oneself, anyone can achieve their highest goals. Scott lives in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada where she enjoys playing flute in the community band, attending Toastmasters and spending time with her family, especially the three loves of her life – her two grandsons and her faithful dog Pepper.

11 a.m. Relaunching: Picking Up the Pieces When Caregiving is Done with Debbie Howard

Attendees will learn practical tips and strategies for “figuring out next” and moving forward. The three learning objectives:

  • the non-definitive nature of the grieving process (it’s different for each of us)

  • getting honest with yourself and your goals in life (what do you really WANT)

  • how to move forward, one step at a time

After her mother's passing, Debbie almost lost her business. She rebuilt her business while grieving for her mom and lives to tell the tale today.

Bio: Debbie Howard is a former caregiver who helped her Mom after she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. She has spent the last 9 years working hard to “relaunch” herself. In the first few months after her Mom’s passing, the world experienced “global financial meltdown” (late 2008-early 2009), and she almost lost her then 16-year-old Tokyo-based business. After 2 years of frantically re-building the business (while grieving), Japan’s triple disaster (earthquake x tsunami x nuclear meltdown) occurred in Spring 2011 … and she was “back to square one” again. She rebuilt the business (still while grieving) and then found a business partner in 2012 to help her move things forward, and she lives to tell the tale today. Although it’s taken longer than she expected, she feels she is making progress, slowly but surely. Her recently-published book, titled "The Caregiving Journey: How to Survive and Thrive One Step at a Time," guides caregivers in a straightforward and heartfelt manner, and is the launching pad for Debbie to advocate more widely for "self-care" while caregiving, and for viewing the caregiving journey as a transformative experience.

2 p.m. Your After Life: Bolder Than Before (Panel with Colleen Keavanaugh, moderator)

Join host of “The After Life” podcast, Colleen Kavanaugh, as she speaks with panelists about how the death of a loved one was the catalyst to live more fully than they could have ever imagined. The conversation will explore what grieving looks like for others and how that grieving can give way to self-discovery. Uncover common feelings and struggles that exist in rebuilding your life without your caree. Discover how family caregiver experiences give us certain skills that can open the door to a previously unimagined future. Hear firsthand stories from former family caregivers about how they processed the death of their caree and found themselves in surprising new roles as advocates for other family caregivers – as well as some other surprising new plot-twists in their lives.


  • Leslie Cotrell Simonds

  • Christopher-Charles Chaney

  • Priya Soni

  • Jodi Hempel

Bio: Becoming a family caregiver is rarely anyone’s dream job. The physical and emotional demands can seem endless and finding sympathetic support can be a challenge. For a decade I cared for my parents, a role I was not prepared for and denied having because I was also a mother, daughter, sister, partner, employee and active daydreamer. I thought I would never want to be anywhere near the caregiving world until I tried to go back to my old life and realized how deeply caregiving changed me. I now work alongside family caregivers across the country via one-on-one consulting, national speaking, podcasting, and blogging to empower them to love, prepare, and thrive. In creating customized organizational tools and new ways of thinking, clients feel supported, capable, and grateful in filling the unanticipated role of family caregiving. As a former designer, organizer, and personal assistant now specializing in dementia care and Eckhart Tolle's teachings on presence, I bring a unique perspective to clients where practicality meets spirituality.

3 p.m. Bold Steps to Overcome Loneliness After Loss Panel Discussion

In one moment, it all changes, leaving you with an empty house, a day full of voids and a lack of purpose. Oh, and you're lonely. Panelists will share how they cope with their loneliness and strategies they use to overcome it.


  • Lisa B (Beilstein) Capp, moderator

  • Penny Patnaude

  • Lillie Fuller

Register to join us in person or virtually.

Back to Tract List

Professional Tract

All sessions is this tract will take place in Grand Ballroom 5-7. Each session is 50 minutes. These sessions will be recorded and available in our conference recordings package.

10 a.m. Be Loud & Proud about Your Caregiving Business with Elizabeth Miller

Building a business while working another job or juggling many competing priorities?

Struggling to get the word out about your business?

Attendees will learn how to maximize limited time while effectively marketing their business to family caregivers and networking with other caregiving advocates.

Specific topics this presentation will include:

* Adopting an entrepreneurial mindset
* Defining core business content
* Marketing to caregivers online
* Building your local business brand
* Growing your network of advocates
* Identifying potential partnership opportunities
* Planning for success
* Cultivating habits for business growth

Bio: Elizabeth started and continues to grow her business, Happy Healthy Caregiver, while working full-time as an IT Product Manager, raising two active teenagers with her husband, and caregiving for her mom. Her professional expertise in strategic planning, business process improvement, customer experience, and iterative software development has helped her create processes and systems for her caregiving business. Her business experiences through Happy Healthy Caregiver and the friendships with other caregiving entrepreneurs has inspired her to launch her membership community called ‘Happy Healthy Business’. This online community offers a well-organized business building training library and a forum for entrepreneurs and business professionals who desire a happy and healthy business. Elizabeth also offers 1-on-1 consulting services to help create a personalized marketing plan.

11 a.m. Working with Wellness: The Caregiving Years with Andrew Koch

Individuals will be introduced to the concept of working with wellness as a paradigm shift in our approach to care. Built upon the contrast of "well-derly" & "ill-derly", participants will practice an activity that offers a framework in which individuals, families, and communities can bring their unique perspectives together to support the caregiver and caree in multiple domains of their life. Emphasis will be placed on the Physical, Functional, Energetic, Emotional, Social, Intellectual, Transpersonal, and Overall wellness of the caregiver and caree as they journey together through the caregiving years.

Three Learning Objectives:
1. Define Wellness
2. Define Elderly, "Well-derly & "Ill-derly"
3. Learn how to Utilize the Mindful Moments Wellness Wheel to: Assess, Introspect, Problem-Solve, & Care-Plan

Bio: Andrew is a graduate student at Naropa University studying Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling in Boulder, Colorado. He specializes in supporting student caregivers. His mission is to help support the physical, functional, energetic, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual, and transpersonal wellness of caregivers and their carees. Andrew has been a caregiving educator for four years. He has a special interest in supporting individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Progressive Motor Neuron Diseases.

2 p.m. The Family Caregiver Connection: Supporting Essential Care Partners as Patients Transition to Home with Cathy Crookston, Geri Baumblatt, MaryAnne Sterling and Danny van Leeuwen

As patients transition from hospital to home, family caregivers support provide care, monitoring, coordinating, and communicating with their healthcare team. One study of stroke care partners found that even when agency services were in place, families provided 70% of the care. Care partners are often overwhelmed, fearful they’ll make mistakes, and intimidated to call physicians. The demand for care partners is expected to rise by 85% over the next few decades.

Poor transition communication contributes to readmissions and is at the root of much waste, burnout, and stress. What can be done to better interact with and support care partners? And what approaches, tools and resources can provide confidence, education, and better communication?

Experienced family caregivers MaryAnne Sterling and Danny van Leeuwen will share their insights, dive into the components of care transitions, and frame the challenges.

Then learn about tools and approaches to help support both care partners and hospital staff through the hospital-to-home transition. Geri Baumblatt will describe how a transition series of interactive calls and multimedia programs was developed along with patients and family caregivers to better include, engage and support family caregivers.

Bio MaryAnne: MaryAnne was a caregiver and healthcare advocate for her parents for 20+ years. She is a renowned speaker and educator on family caregiver issues and dementia, as she and her husband have 3-out-of-4 parents impacted by the disease. She is an outspoken advocate of person-centered healthcare transformation, family caregiver empowerment, and improved Alzheimer's education. Her personal story has been featured in Kiplinger, New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal.
MaryAnne serves as Patient Research Partner and Ambassador for the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and Advisor for the National Alzheimer’s & Dementia Patient & Caregiver-Powered Research Network, bringing the voices of patients and family caregivers to medical research as we move closer to precision medicine. MaryAnne is Co-founder of Connected Health Resources and CEO of Sterling Health IT Consulting, focused on health policy and information technology, health literacy, consumer/patient engagement, and communication. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Biotechnology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. You can follow her on Twitter at @SterlingHIT.

Bio Cathy: An honors graduate of Purdue University's School of Nursing, Cathy spent many years as a practicing nurse in Cardiac Intensive Care, High Risk Labor and Delivery and the ED. During her time as a nurse, administrator and educator, she experienced firsthand the rewards and challenges providers face in caring for their patients. Cathy also recognized how the changing landscape in healthcare created a critical need for enhanced communication that can connect providers and patients beyond the walls of the hospital and activate patients in their health. In 2005 she joined Emmi, where she introduces Emmi to healthcare systems. Emmi provides a unique patient engagement solution which assists providers in communicating vital health information to their patients across their care continuum. Her other distinctions include recent speaking engagements for Association of Academic Surgical Administrators (AASA) and Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Business on Healthcare Innovation. Cathy has also spoken at the 2011-2013 annual American Hospital Association Leadership conference, the 2011-2012 AAOS Annual Conference and Poster Presentations at the Institute of Healthcare Improvement's annual conference from 2010-2014 and Adventist Health's 2016 InnovationX Event.

Bio Danny: Danny is an action catalyst empowering people traveling together toward best health (patients, caregivers, clinicians, direct care and support staff). He wears many hats in healthcare: patient with MS, care partner for several family members’ end-of-life journeys, a nurse for 40+ years, an informaticist and a QI leader. He specializes in patient/caregiver/clinician/community relationships. Danny’s current work focuses on learning what works for people at the center of care especially patient-centered research, communication at transitions of care, health planning and informed decision-making, and technology supporting solutions created by and for people at the center. He advises entrepreneurs about strategy, infrastructure, and user friendly workflows and technology. Danny sits on the Steering Committee for the AHRQ-supported Clinical Decision Support Learning Network. He reviews PCORI research funding applications and serves as co-chair of PCORI’s Communication and Dissemination Advisory Panel and has been a member of MassHealth’s Payment and Care Delivery Innovation QI Task Force. Danny is active in the Society for Participatory Medicine, the Organization of Nurse Leaders, and the American Academy of Communication in Healthcare. Danny blogs weekly ( He has spoken at HIMSS and the World Medical Informatics Conferences about Caregivers and HIT. Danny plays baritone saxophone.

Bio Geri: Geri Lynn Baumblatt, MA is the Executive Director of Patient Engagement at Emmi, which produces interactive programs and calls to engage and educate patients and care partners. She partners in research and speaks at patient experience, health literacy, shared decision making, and patient engagement conferences and panels for organizations like AHRQ, the Brookings Institute, IHA, Stanford Medicine X, the Society for Medical Decision Making, the Cleveland Clinic, the Beryl Institute, the ONC, and the Center for Plain Language. She’s on the editorial board for the Journal of Patient Experience, and a contributor to the Association for Patient Experience. She hosts an annual Health Literacy Month Blog series, and recently published a chapter in Transformative Healthcare Practice through Patient Engagement. She’s also an advisor for Roobrik and Helpsy.

3 p.m. Insights from the Trenches: How to Work Well with Family Caregivers

A panel of family caregivers will share their experiences working with health care professionals, their search to find help and their struggle to get what they need. From these panelists, you'll gain insights into how to communicate effectively with family caregivers and how to properly position your services and programs so that family caregivers will use them.


  • Denise Brown, moderator

  • Cathy Sikorski

  • Lisa Riggi

  • Diane Glittenberg

Register to join us in person or virtually.

Dine Around

Dinner at local restaurants with fellow attendees hosted by conference steering committee members. (You choose where you want to eat and with whom. We provide the company and the venue; you pay for your transportation to dinner, your dinner and your drinks. Restaurants will be an easy 10-minute drive from the conference hotel.

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