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HomeConference Sessions - RN/Social Work Track

RN and Social Work Track


10:15 am - 12:15 pm -- Session 1

RN / Social Work / Administrator Combined Track

Keynote: A Loving Approach to Dementia Care-Communication and Stress Management Training

This session focuses on positive, life-affirming, constructive communication and stress management techniques that help us better cope with a condition whose boundaries for now are essentially out of our control. In Ms. Wayman's educational, entertaining and enjoyable presentation, she provides the tools and inspiration to fight a battle where loss is not the inevitable outcome. Individually and collectively, we would be wise to pay heed to her empowering message.

Laura Wayman, "The Dementia Whisperer"

Laura Wayman's vision as an innovative dementia care expert is to provide families and professional caregivers with information and practical tips to help them navigate the various challenges that are common when caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease or any dementia or memory loss.

Laura has presented as the keynote or break out session speaker to over 500 audiences nationwide over the last 15 years, positively impacting professional dementia care providers and family caregivers from all walks of life, including thousands who attended Denver University Senior Law Day 2015, the Alzheimer's Association (Houston, Memphis, Grand Junction and Sacramento chapters) caregiver workshops, H.I.C.A.P. Annual Retreat, Music Partners in Healthcare, Placer County and El Dorado County Adult System of Care seminars and various dietary, assisted living/memory care and hospice conferences.

Laura's books and DVDs may be purchased on her website.
A Loving Approach to Dementia CareEncyclopedia of Dementia Care DVD
Our keynote speaker is generously sponsored by

1:15 pm - 3:15 pm -- Session 2

RN / Social Work Track

Senior Health and Wellness through Integrative Medicine

Come learn about complementary and integrative health (CIH) approaches to healthy aging and to the improvement of quality of life in seniors. Dr. Finnell will introduce you to and help you to understand the concepts of lifespan, healthspan, and how to promote healthy aging via connection, recreation, nutrition, relaxation, and meaning. He will teach you how to assess nutritional status and identify key nutritional needs in seniors, help you understand herb and nutrient indications and contraindications, explain how to recognize potential drug, herb, and nutrient interactions, and impart time-tested wisdom and clinical pearls for the promotion of healthy aging and quality-of-life in seniors.

Dr. John Finnell, ND, MPH, LAc

Dr. Finnell is an Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine practitioner, a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, and a researcher in complementary and integrative medicine (CIM). He earned his Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and his Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Bastyr University in Kenmore/Seattle, WA.

Dr. Finnell's approach is to educate his patients on proper living and prevention, to stimulate their body's natural ability to heal, to identify the cause of disease, and to treat the whole person. He provides supportive care and individualized treatment plans for his patients. In addition to acupuncture and herbal therapies, he also incorporates dietary and lifestyle recommendations into each visit. The tenet in Chinese medicine of treating the root (cause) of disease instead of the branches (symptoms) is of primary importance in Dr. John's approach. "This principle is very appealing to me because it is through removing the obstacles to cure that we are able to allow the body to heal," he says. "My patients appreciate this perspective as well because it empowers their transformation by allowing them to make changes in their own lives."

It was his training Naturopathic and Chinese medicines at Bastyr University that laid the foundation for his life's work as it has unfolded today. To support his lifelong commitment to improving the health of individuals and communities as a clinician, educator, and researcher, he completed a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology from the University of Washington School of Public Health in Seattle. In addition, he completed both pre-doctoral and post-doctoral clinical research fellowships with the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Now that he is at AOMA as an administrator, a professor, and a practitioner, he is using his expertise and years of training not only to help his patients regain their health but also to train the next generation of clinicians and researchers.


8:00 am - 10:00 am -- Session 3

RN / Social Work Track

Connecting Clinical Practice to the Community for Collaboration of Chronic Disease Self Management

Over 80% of older adults have a chronic condition such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease or arthritis. Chronic disease accounts for seven out of every 10 deaths in the US and 75% of healthcare costs. The Texas A&M Center for Population Health and Aging (CPHA) focuses on creating collaborations between clinical and community based organizations to combat the damaging physical, mental and financial effects of chronic disease. In this presentation, CPHA staff will demonstrate how communities of care can help their patients become their own healthcare advocate through low cost, non-pharma programming proven to be effective in improving patient health while reducing healthcare costs.

Katharine Tuck, CHWI

Katharine Tuck
Katharine Tuck, CHWI, received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2015 from Texas A&M University. She currently works as the Program Assistant at the Center for Population Health and Aging where she assists with the implementation and dissemination of proven health and wellness programs for healthy aging locally and throughout the great state of Texas. She is a Master Trainer for the Self-Management Education Programs developed at Stanford including the Chronic Disease, Diabetes, and Chronic Pain Self-Management Program. Additionally, she is Lay Leader for the A Matter of Balance and Texersice Select Programs. As a graduate of Texas A&M University, she has been able to combine her love of psychology with self-management skills by training and leading Self-Management Education Programs to encourage healthy aging.

Ashley Wilson, Research Associate

Ashley Wilson
Ashley Wilson is a Research Associate in the Center for Population Health and Aging at the School of Public Health (SPH) at Texas A&M University. Throughout her career at SPH, Ms. Wilson has focused her efforts on project evaluation and the dissemination of various CDSME and other Evidence-based programs that have been implemented both across the state of Texas as well as nationally. Ms. Wilson currently helps to manage the SUSTAIN (Supporting, Unifying, and Streamlining in Texas through Active Integrated Networks) project. The goal of this project is to leverage resources and connect AAA’s, health systems and MCOs in order to provide and sustain CDSME’s across the state. Ms. Wilson is also been a Master trainer for several evidence-based programs including Chronic Disease Self-Management, Diabetes Self-Management, and Chronic Pain Self-Management, and A Matter of Balance. She leads Lay Leader trainings in the programs and thoroughly enjoys teaching the workshops to participants.

Healthy aging is a personal interest of Ashley as well. She practices yoga on a daily basis, is a runner, and enjoys cooking fresh and healthy meals for her family, and in particular, for her 4- and 2-year-old children.

10:15 am - 12:15 pm -- Session 4

RN / Social Work Track

Defining Quality Care: Dementia Care Practice Recommendations

Join us to learn about the newly released Alzheimer's Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations, which outline quality care practices based on a comprehensive review of current evidence, best practices and expert opinions.

Find out how professional care providers can use these recommendations to impact person-centered care in their communities.

Learn more about the Dementia Care Practice Recommendations at care.

Julie Kutac, MA, PhD
Professional Education and Research Specialist, Alzheimer's Association - Houston & Southeast Texas Chapter

Julie Kutac, MA, PhD is the Professional Education and Research Specialist for the Alzheimer's Association-Houston & Southeast Texas Chapter. Dr. Kutac received her BS in Molecular Biology with a minor in Theology from Texas Lutheran University, her MA in Religious Studies from Rice University, and her PhD in Medical Humanities from the University of Texas Medical Branch.

Dr. Kutac's research at Rice University focused upon the ethics of memory and first person illness narratives that captured the subjective experience of Alzheimer's disease. At the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Dr. Kutac continued her studies on aging and elder care as a National Institute of Aging Pre-Doctoral Fellow with the Sealy Center on Aging. Her dissertation focused upon suffering, the elderly, and ways that the medical humanities can improve the practitioner-patient relationship. She has been awarded the Chester R. Burns Award in Medical Humanities, the John D. and Ann Stobo Award in Oslerian Medicine and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

As the Professional Education and Research Specialist for the Alzheimer's Association, Houston and Southeast Texas Chapter, Dr. Kutac serves as the content expert for the chapter. Dr. Kutac prepares and delivers engaging, evidence based education programs to health care providers across Texas. Dr. Kutac also liaises with the scientists studying Alzheimer's disease in the Texas Medical Center and Southeast Texas, facilitating connections between the scientists and the community. Dr. Kutac has presented her research at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference, the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities national conference, the Conference on Medicine and Religion, among others. Her writings are published in The Journal of General Internal Medicine, The Journal of the Medical Humanities, and The Journal of Religion and Health. In her free time, Dr. Kutac sings with the Houston Symphony Chorus and enjoys giving her Shih Tzu-Yorkie mix, Lulu, a happy old age.

1:15 pm - 3:15 pm -- Session 5

RN / Social Work / Administrator Combined Track

Regulatory, Life Safety, and Ombudsman Updates

In this session, HHS representatives will cover regulations impacting the ALF industry, and upcoming changes to those regulations based on recent legislation. The Regulatory portion will cover the upcoming rule amendments to the Chapter 92 Licensing Standards for Assisted Living Facilities based on the implementation of House Bill (HB) 2025 and Senate Bill (SB) 924. The ombudsman presentation will review the role and purpose of a long-term care ombudsman, who is a long-term-care resident advocate. The speaker will review resident rights and how they are affected by POA or guardianships. The Life Safety presentation will cover SB 1049, including provisions in the bill that required the agency to adopt a later edition of NFPA 101 (the Life Safety Code) and proposed changes to the Licensing Standards for Assisted Living Facilities that primarily include the adoption of the 2012 edition of NFPA 101.

Julie Porter, LMSW
Assisted Living Ombudsman
Office of the State Long-term Care Ombudsman

Julie Porter is a Licensed Master Social Worker. In August of 2014, she joined the State Long-term Care Ombudsman program as the Assisted Living Ombudsman. She supports assisted living ombudsmen working around the state, and coordinates with associations and providers. Most recently, Ms. Porter worked as a social worker in healthcare, specifically an acute care medical hospital and a primary care clinic. Prior to that, she worked at HOCTIL, an independent living center, as a licensed bachelor social worker and relocation specialist. In this role, she helped people transition out of a nursing home to assisted living or their own home. Ms. Porter is specially trained in asset-based community practice frameworks and methods of intervention. She holds a bachelor's degree in social work from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (2009) and a master's degree in social work from Baylor University (2012).

Rebekah Eaddy, Architect, Architectural Unit Manager
Long-term Care Regulatory
Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Rebekah Eaddy is the Manager of the Architectural Unit in the Regulatory Services Division of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Rebekah reviews plans for new construction of long-term care facilities and remodeling/renovating of existing licensed facilities, conducts licensing inspections of new facilities throughout the state and advises architects, engineers, providers, and local officials regarding current codes and regulations. She is a member of the NFPA Technical Committee for Board and Care and serves as an alternate member of the NFPA Technical Committee for Healthcare for the 2021 edition of the Life Safety Code. She has presented for Long Term Care provider organizations throughout the state, including the Texas Healthcare Association, the Texas Assisted Living Association and the Texas Organization of Residential Care Homes.

Jennifer Morrison, Manager
Policy, Rules and Training
Long-term Care Regulatory
Health and Human Services

Jennifer Morrison is a manager for several programs, including assisted living facilities, in the Long-Term Care Regulatory Policy, Rules and Training section. She holds a master's degree in Social Gerontology, a Texas Nursing Facility Administrator License, and has more than 15 years of experience with the Texas Health and Human Services enterprise.


8:30 am - 10:30 am -- Session 6

RN / Social Work / Administrator Combined Track

Nutrition Screening and Implementation for Older Adults

This session focuses on nutrition for seniors and how a well-balanced, fulfilling meal can affect a resident in more ways than one to enhance quality of life. Through research and personal information gathered from Ms. Wolfram's 30+ years in the nutrition field, attendees will be guided through senior nutrition focusing on resident rights, dining trends, and the Mini Nutritional Assessment.

Cynthia A. Wolfram, RDN, LD
Owner, Dietitians for Healthcare, LLP

Cynthia is a Registered Licensed Dietitian with over 30 years experience in Food Service Management and the Post Acute Care Industry.

She is Principal/Owner of Dietitians for Health Care, LLP a 52 year old company, employing 10 dietitians, serving seniors in Texas. DHC provides nutrition consultation, menu development and food service management consultation to communities to improve the quality of life for all they serve.

Cynthia currently serves as Chair of Dietetics in Health Care Communities for 2018-19. Active at the local, state and national level for many years including the Academy Political Action Committee, serving as Chair in 2011.

In her free time, Cynthia is an active gardener, volunteer, and the biggest Dallas Cowboys fan in the city of Houston.