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2020 AFC Summit Webinar Series

Proudly hosted by Nonotuck Resource Associates




Thank you to those who attended and participated in the 2020 AFC Summit Webinar Series. Below please find links to the recorded webinars along with materials shared by presenters.


Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia: Diagnosis, Treatment and Risk Reduction

Presented by Nicole McGurin, Alzheimer's Association


Webinar Recording


Presentation Materials


This workshop will provide an overview of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia including warning signs, risk factors and diagnostic process.  Research advances in treatment and risk reduction will be discussed.  Participants will learn how to help families to get a diagnosis for their loved one and what community resources and strategies are available to address challenges upon a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.

Presenter Bio:

Nicole McGurin has her M.S. in Gerontology from the University of Massachusetts Boston.  She has nearly 20 years of experience in the field of long-term care in community, assisted living and nursing home settings.  She has worked as a case manager, protective service worker, and Area Agency on Aging manager in the Massachusetts’ Aging Services Access Point system.  Since 2001, her focus has been in dementia care starting a 23 bed Alzheimer’s Care Unit in a nursing home and managing a 40 person Alzheimer’s Care Unit in an assisted living.  She has worked at the Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter for the past 13 years,  first as the Early-Stage Program Manager and currently as the Family Services Director.


Building Resilience Through Mindfulness: Five Tools for Staying Centered During Difficult Times

Presented by Jannelle Robinson


Webinar Recording


This workshop will give participants an experience of five mindfulness practices (movement, meditation, mindful breathing, journaling, and intention setting) and empower them to practice the tools on their own and share them with others. Participants will have the opportunity to practice each of the tools, learn about the benefits, and explore how to integrate them into their daily lives.

Presenter Bio:

Jannelle Robinson combines her background in education and human services with her passion for wellness to bring mindfulness tools to communities in need. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from Lesley University and received her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Certification from Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, where she also worked as the coordinator for RISE, Kripalu’s evidence-based stress resilience initiative. Jannelle has shared yoga and mindfulness with many children, families, and professionals and has supported them to incorporate tools for well-being into their daily lives. She currently works as the Marketing and Wellness Coordinator for Nonotuck Resource Associates, Inc. where she supports the Nonotuck community by integrating mindful resilience tools and self-care practices into the workplace culture.


Supporting Intimacy and Sexuality

Presented by Grayson Fleischner and Kelly Clark


Webinar Recording


Presentation Materials



This course is an interactive training which utilizes real life scenarios and best practices examples to help better understand and support the people we work with in the field of Intimacy and Sexuality.  Topics covered in this training include: Trauma Informed Approaches, Creating Positive Messages, Human Sexual Development, Sexual Expression and Gender Identity, Managing Values, and Working with Families and Loved Ones.

Presenter Bios:

Grayson Fleischner is an Assistant Director of Quality Enhancement, a Human Rights Coordinator, and a Sexuality Trainer for Nonotuck Resource Associates.  He is responsible for working with employees and people served to educate them in the field of intimacy and relationships.  Grayson received his B.S. in Psychology and minor in Music from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2014 and has been working in the Human Service field for over a decade.  He is also contracted by several hospitals in western Mass, providing music therapy to residents.

Kelly Clark is an Independently Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a clinician at Nonotuck Resource Associates. She graduated from Boston College School of Social Work in 1999, where she received her MSW with a strong focus on Trauma and Attachment Theory. She holds a Certificate of Traumatic Stress Studies from the Trauma Center of JRI. Before Nonotuck she had worked as a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor for over 15 years, in outpatient mental health settings and schools as well as in private practice. She specializes in children and adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their families and caregivers. She believes that through the development of authentic relationships and helping people to find more purpose and meaning in their lives as well as love and belonging in their homes and communities, they can not only reach their fullest potential but find the true Joy and fulfillment we all strive for.


Funding Enhancements on a Shoestring

Presented by Jennifer Higgins, Ph.D.


Webinar Recording


Presentation Materials



This course will provide an overview of available funding sources to offset publicly-available and individual donor support for AFC programming. Participants will receive education about alternative sources of funding to augment state and federal support. They will also be given guidance on drafting compelling, timely, and highly-impactful proposals worthy of winning support from a variety of alternative funders, including private foundations, charitable institutions, and others.  

Presenter Bio:

A graduate of the Gerontology Ph.D. Program at the University of Massachusetts, Dr. Higgins has spent more than 20 years writing successful grants for nonprofits. Although she has many successful awards to her credit, Dr. Higgins was recently responsible for obtaining (3) $99M awards from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for one of her clients.

Previously, Dr. Higgins was the Director of Research and Policy at the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers. ADDP is a trade association representing 135 developmental disabilities provider agencies across the Commonwealth. Dr. Higgins was responsible for reviewing research affecting persons with developmental disabilities and making policy recommendations for the agency.

At present, Dr. Higgins is serving a four-year term on the FDA’s Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee. In her role, she reviews a considerable amount of medical research on opioid drug products and opioid abuse-deterrent drug products. She is called to vote for approval or disapproval of the products under review by the committee.

Also, at present, Dr. Higgins provides consulting and grant-writing services for nonprofits across the Commonwealth. Her aim is to be able to provide nonprofits of all types and budget sizes with the tools necessary to diversify their funding streams and realize the same success her current clients enjoy.

Dr. Higgins can be reached by email at commonwealthgrantworks@gmail.com, or by telephone at 413-626-5151.


Nicky's Law: The Journey from Tragedy to Triumph

Presented by Cheryl Ryan Chan


Webinar Recording


In 2020, Nicky’s Law was signed into law by Governor Baker. This was the culmination of more than 6 years of work and advocacy by leading organizations in Massachusetts. Nicky’s Law establishes a registry of the names of abusers who have been substantiated per existing investigative guidelines. Once on the registry, providers are mandated to check the registry before hiring. This closes a huge gap in finding and preventing abusers from being re-hired as caregivers of people with disabilities. This workshop will provide the storyline from start to finish, of Nicky’s Law.

Presenter Bio:

Cheryl Ryan Chan is a well-known community leader and organizer within the disability community. Her work on Nicky’s Law began in 2014 after learning of her son’s abuse. In addition to her legislative contributions, Cheryl is leading initiatives to build stronger communities across Massachusetts, teach families how to build sustainable Circles
of Support and how to practice person-centered approaches in everything they do as they support the ones they love. Professionally, Cheryl is a person-centered planning facilitator and public speaker. She has spoken at conferences and for audiences in Maryland, Wisconsin and California as well as New England.


About Us

The Adult Family Care (AFC) program supports over 10,000 adults across the state, with over 100 provider agencies providing these supports.  

The goal of the AFC Summit has been to provide an educational and supportive forum for Adult Family Care provider organizations to discuss, develop and share knowledge.  Central to the Summit’s mission is imparting best practice approaches through collaboration with trainers & presenters who have demonstrated expertise in their areas.

We’ve continued the dialogue through the formation of AFC Roundtable discussion groups that are now meeting every other month. These groups have expanded to over 200 members from over 60 AFC organizations and are now hosted in four regions across the state; Western, Central, North East and Eastern Massachusetts.  


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Please contact Deb Schnare at schnare@nonotuck.com or Kerrie Paradis at paradis@nonotuck.com with any questions.





What did people like most about last year’s AFC Summit?

"I like the variety of topics to choose from; which helps to keep us up to date on changes at the AFC program level (rules and regs), providing knowledge around the state requirements and the accreditation process"

"Learning about topics that I did not know I needed, and meeting others in the field"

"Workshops were relevant and engaging"

"Very organized, presenters of sessions very knowledgeable, great workshop session, handouts & resources provided beneficial information, great location. Good beverage and food. Satisfied."

"A chance to get together with other’s providing the same, or similar, services outside of the daily office grind."

"My favorite session, by far! I left feeling inspired and full of new ideas to try with my caseload."

"It was a great day of networking and gathering information for our agency."



Legal Disclaimer: Individual provider agencies have unique delivery and documentation systems; the goal of the AFC Roundtable is to discuss, develop and share knowledge. Best Practices, as a shared value amongst individual provider agency systems, is central to the core purpose of the AFC Roundtables.  Each session welcomes and will build upon open, thoughtful dialogue.  The desired outcome of the AFC Roundtable meetings is to continue the dialogue that encompasses professional awareness, forges professional relationships and offers support and assistance from and for all willing providers.  Individual agency and any future business speakers are presenting under these guidelines.


Caregiving with Love:
Guide for Shared Living Providers

Learn how Nonotuck developed a love-based ideology of care. We started our shared living program as an alternative to group homes for people with disabilities. Instead, Shared Living creates genuine life transformation for people with disabilities, as well as families and communities. The true power of caregiving is found through hospitality, authenticity, and love.

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