2019 Western Mass Elder Care Conference
             "Dying to Know..."                         
June 6, 2019
In the Kittredge Center at Holyoke Community College
The 2019 Western Mass Elder Care Conference offers many educational and networking opportunities and remains an affordable, accessible, "no frills" event.
Conference Registration
June 6, 2019 Activities of the day:
     8am     Registration begins
     8:40     Morning Energy in the Forum!
     8:50     Welcome and Housekeeping remarks    
     9:00     Morning Keynote Address Katie Stebbins VP Economic Development UMass
     10:05    Morning workshops
     11:35     Lunch served on the third floor of the Kittredge Center
     12:45     Afternoon Keynote Address "I'll Be Me" Glen Campbell Documentary
     2:35      Afternoon workshops
     4pm     Adjournment
You must attend the whole day in order to obtain
Continuing Education Hours
This program has been approved for 6 Social Work Continuing Education hours for relicensure, in accordance with 258 CMR, Collaborative of NASW and the Boston College and Simmons Schools of Social Work. Authorization Number D80544
This program has been approved for 6 Contact Hours for relicensure, in accordance with the regulations set forth by the Board of Registration in Nursing, 244 CMR 5.00: Continuing Education
Licensed Mental Health Counselors will receive a certificate of attendance for 6 continuing education hours

If you are hard of hearing or require accommodation, please contact Maureen Conroy, OSD Director at: 413-552-2582. Accommodations must be arranged two weeks in advance.
Please visit our sponsors and vendors throughout the day!
All parking is free and conveniently located on the left side of HCC campus
There is absolutely NO parking in Lot E - cars will be towed
Due to construction at Holyoke Community College, there will be logistical changes to the flow of the conference 
*Workshops will be held on the 2nd and 4th floors of the Kittredge Center  
*Lunch will be served on the 3rd floor of the Kittredge Center 
*Vendors will be located on 3rd and 4th floors of the Kittredge Center as well as in the lobby outside the Forum

Morning Keynote Address

"What Does Caring for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities have to do with Economic Development, Technology and the Entrepreneurial Spirit?"

Katie Stebbins, VP Economic Development at UMass President's Office will provide information and insight into how the field of caring for others is evolving as a leading technology arena. She will discuss how we can realize efficiencies through technology as we make the business case for work enhancement. Katie will also talk about how your own entrepreneurial spirit can be nurtured and unleashed to contribute to the field and move outcomes forward.

Morning Workshops

(Make your Morning Workshop selection following descriptions below)
A1 "Being Mortal" - Join our hospice specialists for a review of Dr. Atul Gawande's groundbreaking documentary, "Being Mortal". This workshop will feature an interactive discussion on having more effective and successful conversations with patients and families facing a serious or life-limiting illness.
Presenter: Tracey Pidgeon, BS, Hospice Liaison, Beacon Hospice
A2 MOLST, Healthcare Proxies and End-of-Life Decision Making - You will learn about the MOLST (medical orders for life-sustaining treatment) form and appreciate the who, what, and why of Healthcare Proxies. Explore and begin to understand that end-of-life decision-making is about deep values and MOLST and HCP are two helpful tools to that end - useful but not the final word.
Presenter - Rachel Broudy, MD, Director of Healthcare Transformation, Full Frame Initiative
A3 "Senior Savvy Showdown" is an interactive computerized Jeopardy-style game featuring questions about common scams, financial literacy, and laws protecting elders and individuals with disabilities. It is a tool used by the Attorney General's office to educate potential victims and will be used in this interactive workshop.
Presenter: Anita Wilson, AB, Case Coordinator, Consumer Protection Unit, Northwestern District Attorney Office
Co-presenter: Ann E. Lynch, AB JD, Assistant Attorney General, Massachusetts Attorney General's Office
A4 The Intersection of Elder Abuse and Domestic Violence - You will learn the dynamics of abuse and its impact on the elder community. Discussion will include trauma informed intervention and guidelines for risk assessment and safety planning including information on local resources and referrals.
Presenter: Mary Kociela, MEd, Director of Domestic Violence Projects, Northwestern District Attorney's Office
Co-Presenter: Jayme Parent, JD, Chief, Elders and Persons with Disabilities Unit, Northwestern District Attorney's Office
A5 Elder Protective Services - When to Report and Why - You will learn about the protective service role - what is investigated and how risks are addressed for elders in the community. When and how to report concerns will also be discussed.
Presenter: Julie Pearce, MSW, Protective Service Program Director, Highland Valley Elder Services
A6 "Shall We Dance?" How Motivational Interviewing Can Help You Have More Effective Conversations with Clients - Trying to help someone change is often challenging. Caregivers can have a hard time resisting the "righting reflex" and feel stuck in a wrestling match with the very person they are trying to help. Motivational Interviewing (MI) offers "spirit" and skills to have conversations that increase clients' motivation to change unhealthy or unsafe behaviors, respectfully and effectively.  The workshop will (re) introduce participants to the principles of MI, often referred to as the Spirit of MI, as well as specific strategies and skills that can be easily incorporated into brief conversations with clients.
Presenter: Alexandra Marie Heinz, LICSW, MPH, Trainer, Boston Medical Center
As of 5/27/2019 this workshop is full. Please choose another.
A7 Cutting Edge Technology - There are many new technological advances in working with seniors!  The workshop will feature an overview of several that are available today in our area.  These include a “Virtual Senior Center,” Avatar, CareLinx transportation, Homecare Connect Telehealth and the one, the only, Rudy of INF Robotics. 
Presenter  Michael Squindo, LCSW MSW, Director, Agawam Council on Aging
Co-Presenter: Meagan Foote, AS, Occupational Therapy Assistant, MercyLIFE
Co-Presenter: Bern Terry, BA, Head of Health Care Partnerships, CareLinkx
Co-Presenter: Anne-Marie Villamaino, BA, Strategic Account Manager, Trinity Health Systems
A8 Talk Saves Lives - Suicide Prevention and Our Seniors - The latest statistics, research about suicide and suicide among older adults will be presented along with the risks and warnings of suicide. Tools, steps and actions to save a life will be discussed as well as a culture that is smart about mental health and suicide prevention.
Presenter - Heather White, BA, Area Director, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Morning Workshop Selections (choose one)

A "Sizzling Salad Bar" will be offered on the third floor of the Kittredge Center at 11:35am. We are unable to accommodate dietary allergies, sensitivities, or caloric intake. If you have restrictions, you are welcome to bring your own lunch and enjoy it with us!

Afternoon Keynote Address

"I'll Be Me"
In 2011, music legend Glen Campbell set out on an unprecedented tour across America. They thought it would last 5 weeks instead; it went on for 151 spectacular sold out shows over a triumphant year and a half across America. What made this tour extraordinary was that Glen had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He was told to hang up his guitar and prepare for the inevitable. Instead, Glen and his wife went public with his diagnosis and announced that he and his family would set out on a "Goodbye Tour." "I'll Be Me" documents this amazing journey as he and his family attempt to navigate the wildly unpredictable nature of Glen's progressing disease using love, laughter and music as their medicine of choice. Special appearances include Bruce Springsteen, The Edge, Paul McCartney, Blake Shelton, Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Steve Martin, Chad Smith and Bill Clinton among many others.

Afternoon Workshops

(Make your Afternoon Workshop selection following descriptions below)
B1 "Being Mortal" - Join our hospice specialists for a review of Dr. Atul Gawande's groundbreaking documentary, "Being Mortal." This workshop will feature an interactive discussion on having more effective and successful conversations with patients and families facing a serious or life-limiting illness.
Presenter: Tracey Pidgeon, BS, Hospice Liaison, Beacon Hospice
B2 Wellbeing in Aging: How our Roles in Healthcare Support or Prevent Equitable Access to Wellbeing - This interactive workshop and discussion will explore how our healthcare systems may encourage elders to make tradeoffs that get in the way of their wellbeing, and how we currently support wellbeing in our roles and systems of care.
Presenter: Rachel Broudy, MD, Director of Healthcare Transformation, Full Frame Initiative
B3 Combatting Compassion Fatigue Holistically - Recognize the indicators, overcome the guilt and learn how to put yourself first in this workshop about compassion fatigue.
Presenter: Mary-Anne Schelb, HHP, Business Development Director, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Western Mass
B4 Supporting Elder Mental Health - A Holistic Approach - This workshop will provide an overview of approaches to addressing mental illness from a wellness perspective that builds on individual strengths and interests, taps into familial and community resources, and builds a shared community practice. Learn about early efforts to mobilize an informed community response and to integrate the work into other community initiatives.
Presenter: Linda Puzan, LICSW, Clinical Services, Coordinator LifePath, Inc.
Co-presenter: Diane Robie, MSHS, Director of Client Services, LifePath, Inc.
B5 Facilitating Change - We all share the frustration of working with clients who we believe would have a better quality of life if they were to just change one or more of their behaviors, and yet feeling helpless in our ability to affect change. During this training, you will learn an overview of strategies that research has shown to affect behaviors of all kinds and practice choosing and leading the right strategy to meet your client's needs. You will leave the workshop feeling less helpless and more confident in your ability to facilitate change in others.
Presenter: Andi Waisman, MS, Healthy Living Program Manager, LifePath, Inc.
As of 5/27/2019 this workshop is full. Please choose another.
B6 "It's Not Just Tea & Toast" - This workshop will feature a panel of presenters from the nutrition and dining worlds who will give a detailed overview regarding the science, benefits, and importance of programs like Medically Tailored Meals, Food is Medicine, Brain Food, and Thrive Dining.
Presenter: Jennifer Putnam, BA, Nutrition Program Director, Greater Springfield Senior Services, Inc.
Co-Presenter: Sarah Downer, JD, Associate Director Center for Health Law & Policy Innovation, Harvard Law School
Co-Presenter: Julie Waniewski, BS, Director of Community Relations, Armbrook Village
Co-Presenter: Jeff Ross, Dining Service Director/Chef, East Village Place/Watermark Retirement Communities
B7 Stirring the "Pot" - Cannabis presents opportunities and challenges for employers, social workers, employees, caregivers, parents, law enforcement, health professionals, etc. It generates interest, excitement, fear, hope, and skepticism. Our facilitators will provide expertise and insight from various perspectives. This will be a 'town hall' type of session where participants are invited to come with questions and opinions; get some answers and possibly leave with more questions!
Presenter: Mary Jo Kennedy, JD, Partner, Bulkley Richardson Law Firm
Co-presenter: Trevor Boeding, MPH, Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Director, LifePath, Inc.
Co-presenter: Mary Jenewin-Caplin, MEd, Area Agency on Aging Director, Greater Springfield Senior Services, Inc.
B8  Community Safety/Western Mass Gang Taskforce - Springfield detectives and officers will present information about gang recognition, gang member trends, and creating contacts with members of law enforcement. This workshop is important for anyone who visits clients in gang related neighborhoods.
Presenter: Detective Moynahan, Springfield Police Department
Co Presenter: Officer Levesque, Springfield Police Department
Afternoon Workshop Selections (choose one)

Fill out entire form and check for accuracy ~ especially your email address!

You may choose to pay by check or
Click on "Pay with PayPal" and you will be prompted to PayPal or credit card payment.
Thank you!
The cost of "Dying to Know..." (check all that apply)

If you pay by check - Make check out to GSSSI and send it to: Greater Springfield Senior Services 66 Industry Avenue Suite 9 Springfield, MA 01104

The Western Mass Elder Care conference is organized by a dedicated steering committee with members from DPH, COAs, ASAPs, and private agency representatives. This conference is a direct result of their hard work. Many thanks to:


Trevor Boeding

LifePath, Inc.


Mary Jenewin-Caplin

Greater Springfield Senior Services, Inc


Celina Conway

Mercy LIFE


Donna Coyle

Appleton Corporation


Nancy Maynard

Long-term Committee Member


Carla McAvoy

Highland Valley Elder Services


Donna Todd Rivers 

Elder Services of Berkshire County


MaryAnne Schelb

Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital


Claudette Swaby

WestMass Elder Care, Inc.


Trina Weiswasser 

Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice


Jodi Zepke

Ludlow COA



Our dedicated sponsors help maintain the quality of content for this conference while keeping costs down for participants

Conference Sponsor



Morning Keynote Sponsor

Mercy Life


Afternoon Keynote Sponsor

Victory Home Healthcare, Inc.


Breakfast Sponsor

Hanger Clinic


Lunch Sponsor



Water Station Sponsor

Senior Whole Health


Registration Sponsor

The Arbors Assisted Living Communities


Health/Wellness Sponsor

Senior Whole Health


Many of our profit and non profit agency sponsors support us every year

A Caring Heart Nursing Services


Alzheimer's Association


Appleton Corporation


Armbrook Village




Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice


Genesis HealthCare Heritage Hall




Hanger Clinic


Home Instead Senior Care


Home Modification Loan Program


Homewatch CareGivers


JGS Lifecare


MCPHS University Pharmacy Outreach




Mercy Adult Day Care of Westfield


Mercy LIFE


Oasis Senior Advisors


Philips Lifeline


River Valley Counseling Center


Rockridge Retirement Community


Senior Whole Health


Soto Home Care, Inc.


The Arbors Assisted Living Communities


Trinity Health of New England at Home


Victory Home Healthcare, Inc.


Willimansett Centers East & West