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Workshops & Presenters


Community Health Workers as Part of Multidisciplinary Teams: Exploring Models That Work!

This session will explore hands-on approaches for employing the role of Community Health Workers (CHWs), into multidisciplinary teams, and provide a practical review of the core competencies of CHWs, as established by the Board of Certification of CHWs. The presenter will offer concrete examples of CHW program models and propose key strategies for improving the engagement of CHWs into care teams.

Learning Objective:
Participants will be able to understand the core competencies for CHWs, identify at least 2 models of CHW programs and identify concrete strategies for CHW integration into multidisciplinary teams.

Presenter Information:
Erica Guimaraes, Program Coordinator, Office of Community Health Workers, Department of Public Health.

erica-guimaraes.jpgErica Guimaraes is a Program Coordinator in the Office of Community Health Workers at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, where she assists in promoting best practices for CHW integration into health care and public health teams. She also supports implementation of CHW certification in MA, including developing processes for CHW training program approval. Prior to joining DPH, Erica worked for 11 years in the Community Health Worker field, in the roles of a CHW, CHW supervisor and CHW program manager, at community-based organizations and clinical settings. Erica holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.



Social Security Disability and SSI


This presentation will educate participants on Social Security disability benefits and SSI, the differences in these programs, how to apply and the impact of working while on disability.

Learning Objective:  
Participants will gain a clearer understanding of both programs and how it affects beneficiaries who hold employment

Presenter Information: 

Sabrina Feliciano, Metropolitan Public Affairs Specialist for the Social Security Administration

sabrina-feliciano.jpgSabrina Feliciano is the Public Affairs Specialist at the Social Security Administration for the Boston Region.  Her current jurisdiction covers seven district offices; spanning from North Adams, Ma to Waltham, Ma. She has worked for the Social Security Administration for 17 years.  During her career with Social Security, she has gained experience inside of numerous field offices providing service through multiple positions. She is a graduate of Springfield College and has a bachelor’s in human services. Additionally, she is fluent in the Spanish Language.  



Becoming a Resilience Warrior: The Path to Well-Being


Are you ready to battle stress? Are you ready to charge forth to gain mastery over your physical and mental health? Sustaining a healthy mindset while coping with the demands of life can be challenging.  I invite you to join us on our quest to become a Resilience Warrior. This interactive workshop will provide insight into the impact of stress on your mind and body and offers strategies to enhance your emotional resilience to achieve robust health and well-being.

Learning Objective:  

  1. Explore the connection between emotional health and resilience.
  2. Recognize stress and the effect on our body and mental health.
  3. Develop an understanding of the physiology of stress.
  4. Understand the pathway to anxiety and how mindfulness can change the brain.
  5. Learn about the gut-brain connection and how a healthy gut impacts mood and well-being.
  6. Learn about the nervous system and the relaxation response.
  7. Explore mindfulness techniques and movement to manage stress and build resilience.
  8. Learn how expressing gratitude and acts of kindness can build resilience.

* Criteria for successful completion: register your attendance for the workshop, attend the workshop in its entirety (70 minutes), complete a workshop evaluation form at the end of the workshop.  At the end of the day, proceed to the table designated ‘CEU’s’ to collect your CEU certificate.

Presenter Information:    
Julie Chartier, Registered Nurse; Nonotuck Resource Associates
*Absence of conflict of interest exist for all presenter(s) in this workshop.

julie-chartier.jpg With great passion, Julie has made a life commitment to helping people develop a deeper awareness of self to find the path to emotional and physical health. Julie has 20 years’ experience in community health nursing, including working with at risk adolescents, individuals with addiction, the elderly, and people with physical and intellectual disabilities. Julie has worked at Nonotuck Resource Associates for 11 years as an RN and Wellness Coordinator.



TBI TALK: Truth, Science, and Survivor Wisdom


An interactive workshop aimed at providing insight into quality driven care for those living with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) across the continuum of care. This workshop will also offer firsthand knowledge from TBI survivor Kate Harvie.

Learning Objective:  

  1. Discuss current treatment options and challenges for traumatic brain injury survivors.
  2. Discuss opportunities for healthcare providers to improve treatment for traumatic brain injury survivors.
  3. Discuss key concepts surrounding traumatic recovery.

* Criteria for successful completion: register your attendance for the workshop, attend the workshop in its entirety (70 minutes), complete a workshop evaluation form at the end of the workshop.  At the end of the day, proceed to the table designated ‘CEU’s’ to collect your CEU certificate.

Presenter Information:
Kristen Kocot, M.A., LMHC, CEO/Lead Consultant, Therapeutic Behavioral Interventions (TBI)
*Absence of conflict of interest exist for all presenter(s) in this workshop.

kristen-kocot.jpgKristen is the founder/lead consultant of Therapeutic Behavioral Interventions (TBI). Kristen has worked across the healthcare continuum for over 17 years, with a concentration in traumatic brain injury (TBI) and neurodegenerative disorders. Kristen has worked with hundreds of clients and their families, as well as organizations focused on program development. Kristen is best known for her expertise in TBI and individuals presenting with behavioral challenges. Kristen is a strong advocate for the highest clinical quality standards across settings, as well as a voice for caregivers and families of those living with neurological impairment.

Kate Harvie, Author of: Believe It and Behave It: How to Restart, Reset, and Reframe Your Life.

kate-harvie.jpgKate Harvie is a strategist and marketer. She has worked in big business, small business, and startups. As director of communications and strategy for The Vanderbilt Republic, she creates digital content and develops brand experiences. Author of Believe It and Behave It: How to Restart, Reset, and Reframe Your Life and survivor of a TBI, she is building a movement for survivors of all kinds of trauma.

Absent from conversations about care for citizens with disabilities is their relationships with their communities. Do they have friends other than family and caregivers? Are they given opportunities to create authentic relationships?  Loneliness is the most common complaint of those we love, and it contributes to long-term mental and physical health issues.  Happiness is the most common desire for families and caregivers when asked what they most want for their loved ones.  It’s time to shift the conversation about care so that it includes supporting relationship building.  



Building Bridges: Creating Relationships that Build Lives of Dignity


Absent from conversations about care for citizens with disabilities is their relationships with their communities.  Do they have friends other than family and caregivers?  Are they given opportunities to create authentic relationships?  Loneliness is the most common complaint of those we love, and it contributes to long-term mental and physical health issues.  Happiness is the most common desire for families and caregivers when asked what they most want for their loved ones.  It’s time to shift the conversation about care so that it includes supporting relationship building.  

Learning Objective:  

  1. We will identify the essential elements necessary to support citizens, their caregivers and providers in:
  2. Identifying opportunities to find authentic relationships based on common interests.
  3. Developing a plan to “keep the runway clear” of obstacles to building relationships.
  4. Sustaining relationships.

Presenter Information:
Cheryl Ryan Chan; Parent, Advocate, Person Centered Planner

cheryl-ryan-chan.jpgCheryl Ryan Chan has been a student and practitioner of person-centered philosophy and planning for more than 7 years.  She is also Mom to Nicky, a 26-year old man impacted by autism and intellectual disabilities.  Cheryl has been a leader in the autism and disability community for 20 years in Massachusetts, training and presenting on her journey and numerous other topics that have served to guide families and individuals on their own journeys.  She has also presented nationally and continues to travel educating families and professionals on being person-centered in everything they do.



Quality Matters: A Panel Discussion


Representatives from AFC providers of different sizes from across the state will discuss their approaches to providing high quality AFC services. The focus will include how these providers have structured their AFC program operations to offer a consistently quality service to families, caretakers and individuals. They will share lessons learned and best practice for growth and sustainability.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will take away ideas on how to structure their operations to maximize quality outcomes as they grow.
  2. Learn practical changes that can be implemented to support both the short- and long-term objectives of their AFC program, without changing staff or making large investments.
  3. Attendees will learn of tools and strategies to enhance data quality, collaboration and efficiency in the provision of AFC services.

Presenter Information:
Mollie Murphy, Co-Founder, Annkissam

mollie-murphy.jpgMollie Murphy is the Co-Founder of Annkissam, a software company that specializes in software for Home and Community-Based Services and she is the President of Applied Self-Direction, a national self-direction Technical Assistance, Membership and thought leadership organization. Mollie has nationally recognized expertise in HCBS and self-direction. Mollie has assisted state and federal agencies to design and implement high performing and compliant programs. She has worked with states to develop programs from their inception and to improve services and processes in existing programs. Mollie is regularly a presenter at national conferences and has authored several issue briefs for the SCAN Foundation and others. She says, “I am grateful to help our clients support individuals to thrive in their homes and communities. I get to work with some of the smartest and kindest people around -- both within Annkissam and within our clients' organizations.” She graduated Summa Cum Laude with highest honors in Economics from Clark University.



Alternatives to Guardianship


One of the challenges facing families in the AFC support model is how to assure that their loved one is legally protected, which often leads to parents or other family members perusing legal guardianship.  Legal guardians are not permitted in most cases to be paid caregivers.  Providing families with additional options and resources could allow people with disabilities to remain key decision makers in their lives, by having people important and well known to them to assist them in the process.  Alternatives such as Supported Decision Making may be an option for these families. One major area of decision making in their lives may often be their personal health care decisions. This session will examine some of the concerns and questions that may arise as to how to best support people in making these decisions.

Learning Objective: 
To explain what Supported Decision Making is, as well as touch upon other alternatives to guardianship that may provide the type of protections that families are looking for without loss of dignity or court decrees.

Presenter Information:  
Michael Kendrick PhD, Director, Supported Decision Making Initiatives, Center for Public Representation, Northampton, Massachusetts

michael-kendrick.jpgMichael Kendrick is currently Director of Initiatives on Supported Decision Making for the National Center for Public Representation.  These currently consist of five demonstration projects on Supported Decision Making in Massachusetts and one in Georgia in cooperation with the GAO.  Upcoming is the establishment of a technical resource center and a targeted initiative on the use of Supported Decision Making in relation to decisions around health care.  Michael has spent the last twenty years in international consulting and prior was the Assistant Commissioner for the Massachusetts Developmental Services Department and Director of the Institute for Leadership and Community Development.



Hoarding Assessment, Communication and Teambuilding


Attendees will gain strategies to communicate effectively with individuals struggling with hoarding behavior; acquire valuable tools for proper assessment of a hoarding situation; and learn practices to cultivate a coordinated team approach to assist individuals and their caregivers. These skills and tools are founded on evidence based best practices.

Learning Objective:  

  1. Gain strategies to communicate effectively with individuals struggling with hoarding behavior.
  2. Acquire valuable tools for proper assessment of a hoarding situation.
  3. Learn practices to cultivate a coordinated team approach to assist individuals and their caregivers.

Presenter Information:
Erika Woods, Senior Environmental Specialist/ Deputy Director; Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment and Chair of the Cape Cod Hoarding Task Force.

erika-woods.jpgErika Woods is a Senior Environmental Specialist and Deputy Director of the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment. She is a Registered Sanitarian and has over 13 years of experience in public health service including the enforcement of State regulations relating to sanitation and housing. Erika has been the Chair of the Cape Cod Hoarding Task Force for 5 years with the mission of providing education, collaboration and support to those affected by hoarding, either in a personal or professional capacity. 



Cannabis Legalization in Massachusetts


This session will focus on the current state of cannabis legalization in Massachusetts. Information will be presented on who the Cannabis Control Commission is, their role, the current status of implementation and updates to the medical program.  

Learning Objective:  
The objective for this workshop is to provide up-to date-information about cannabis legalization in Massachusetts.  Attendees will come away with reliable information that will help them to better understand who the Cannabis Control Commission is, their role, where the state stands on implementing cannabis legalization and updates to the medical program.

* Criteria for successful completion: register your attendance for the workshop, attend the workshop in its entirety (70 minutes), complete a workshop evaluation form at the end of the workshop.  At the end of the day, proceed to the table designated ‘CEU’s’ to collect your CEU certificate.

Presenter Information:  
Jennifer L. Flanagan, Commissioner, Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.

*Absence of conflict of interest exist for all presenter(s) in this workshop

jennifer-flanagan.jpgCommissioner Jennifer Flanagan was appointed by Governor Charlie Baker in 2017 to serve on the Cannabis Control Commission for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  A former State Senator, Jen represented the Worcester and Middlesex District in North Central Massachusetts.

Commissioner Flanagan attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Boston and a Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling from Fitchburg State University.  

Commissioner Flanagan was elected to the House of Representatives for two terms, representing the 4th Worcester District.  Jen was then elected to the Massachusetts State Senate, where she served four- and one-half terms. Commissioner Flanagan has served on several committees while in office, most notably Vice Chairperson of the Committee on Ways and Means, Chairperson of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery; Chairperson of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities; Chairperson of the Special Senate Committee on Addiction Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Options; and Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health;

Commissioner Flanagan serves on the following boards in the community: The Board of Directors for YOU, Inc. in Worcester, MA, the Board of Trustees for the Dr. Franklin Perkins School in Lancaster, MA, the Advisory Board of Trustees for the Seven Hills Foundation in Worcester, MA, and the Advisory Board for the UMass Women into Leadership program (UWiL) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.



Managed Care:  Now and Looking Forward


The session will provide important information on initiatives that are relevant to the AFC Service Model, including ACO’s, SCO’s, OneCare, and MCO’s.

Learning Objective:
Attendees will gain a better sense of the landscape of these initiatives and the impact they will have on AFC provider agencies and those receiving supports.

Presenter Information:      
Jeff Keilson, Vice President of Strategic Planning, Advocates.

jeff-keilson.jpgJeff Keilson, Senior Vice-President for Strategic Planning, has more than 40 years of experience working with elders, people with autism, intellectual and other developmental disabilities, and persons with mental health needs and their families.  His experience is focused on developing and evaluating comprehensive local and state-wide systems of services, including family supports, residential, day and employment, and health care for people who are poor and have Medicaid or and Medicare. He has worked with and provided the leadership in developing services to support people to move to new homes in the community from state developmental centers, state hospitals, and nursing homes.

At Advocates, Jeff is responsible for directing the implementation of a more person and family centered system of services. He also provides leadership in supporting Advocates’ strategic growth, building partnerships, and directing marketing and fundraising efforts.

Jeff is a co-founder of Rewarding Work Resources, Inc., a national non-profit corporation that provides an innovative way for individuals with disabilities, elders, and their families to recruit respite workers, personal assistants, and other direct support professionals.  He also works with individuals and their families to support their efforts for greater self-determination.          

He has been the director of the Lindemann Mental Health Center in Boston, Massachusetts, a comprehensive community mental health center affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital. Jeff served as Assistant Commissioner for Community Programs and Regional Director for the Metro Region for the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services.

Jeff spearheaded the self-determination initiative in Massachusetts supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; one of the cornerstones being supporting self-determination and control of resources in communities of color.

In 2008, Jeff was the recipient of the prestigious Gunnar Dybwad Leadership Award from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 2015 he received the President's Award from Northeast ARC, and most recently he was invited by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy to serve on the state's Disability Rights Advisory Committee.



Dementia Conversations: Helping Families Navigate Difficult Topics


This course will provide an overview of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia including signs, symptoms and stages.  Three difficult conversations that often arise for families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia, i.e. doctor’s visits, driving and legal and financial planning, will be presented using videos. Participants will learn strategies for addressing these issues with people living with dementia and their caregivers at different stages and will have the opportunity to discuss other challenging topics.

Learning Objective:  

  1. Provide basic understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia including signs and symptoms and stages.
  2. Present videos depicting difficult conversations that arise for families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.
  3. Discuss effective communication strategies for addressing these topics with family caregivers and supporting family caregivers to have these conversations with their loved ones.

* Criteria for successful completion: register your attendance for the workshop, attend the workshop in its entirety (70 minutes), complete a workshop evaluation form at the end of the workshop.  At the end of the day, proceed to the table designated ‘CEU’s’ to collect your CEU certificate.

Presenter Information:
Nicole McGurin, Family Services Director, Alzheimer’s Association MA/NH Chapter.
*Absence of conflict of interest exist for all presenter(s) in this workshop

nicole-mcgurin.jpgNicole McGurin has worked in the field of aging services for the past 20 years.  She received her undergraduate degree in sociology with a concentration in gerontology from Chestnut Hill College and her graduate degree in gerontology from the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has experience working as a home care case manager, protective services worker, and Alzheimer’s Care Unit Director in both assisted living and nursing home settings.  For the past twelve years, she has worked at the Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter as the early-stage program manager and now the director of family services.   She has had the opportunity to consult with families individually, facilitate support groups, and develop and present educational programs about coping with the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  In her current role as director of family services, she oversees the 24/7 Helpline, care consultation, and Dementia Care Coordination.



UMass Opioid Crisis Task Force Training


The Opioid Crisis Task Force has been developed to decrease opioid-associated morbidity and mortality in our community. Through the task force, we plan to:

  1. Catalog and disseminate efforts to prevent, identify, and treat opioid use disorders through clinical and research endeavors.
  2. Establish priorities for initiatives that emphasize evidence-based care for patients with opioid use disorders.
  3. Collect data on markers of opioid use within our patient population to guide strategy.
  4. Create a culture that removes the stigma associated with opioid addiction.

We want to optimize access to treatment and empower our caregivers with the knowledge, tools, and facilities they need to care for our patients with integrity and compassion.

The task force is comprised of content experts, bedside caregivers and thought leaders from across the entire UMass Memorial Health Care spectrum. President and CEO Eric Dickson, MD, tapped Kavita M. Babu, MD, a toxicologist and emergency medicine physician at UMass Memorial, to lead the task force as the system’s Chief Opioid Officer. Dr. Babu is also an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Presenter Information:
Dr. Kavita M. Babu, Chief Opioid Officer, Toxicologist and Emergency Medicine Physician at UMass Memorial.






What Resources are Available?  Answers Regarding Transportation, Housing Options, and SNAP benefits


Each presenter will provide a 15-minute overview of the resources available related to their area of knowledge and expertise.  Attendees will be able to ask questions to the panel experts in the last 20 minutes of the workshop.

Learning Objective:  
Attendees will come away with additional knowledge, awareness and resources related to Transportation, Housing and SNAP benefits as it relates to AFC members and their families.

Transportation:  Gain awareness of types of transportation services that may be available in their communities and how to find them, learn about examples of how organizations can supplement existing services, and get an introduction to how individuals and families can get involved in transportation advocacy.

Subsidized and Affordable rental housing options:  Attendees will be provided with information related to subsidized and affordable housing options to those receiving and providing AFC services.  Attendees will be family with different types of housing and the application process.

SNAP – In this session we will review the eligibility of foster care households for SNAP benefits. More specifically we will discuss the: inclusion or exclusion of foster care children/adults; household composition rules; purchase and prepare rule; countable and noncountable income; limitations on separate household status for foster care recipients; and verification options.  Attendees will receive clarification on foster care policy, review available DTA resources and answer SNAP eligibility questions for foster care service providers.

Presenter Information:  
Catherin Boyle, Housing Pathways.

catherin-boyle.jpgCatherine Boyle is the president of Autism Housing Pathways, a Massachusetts non-profit that helps families identify housing options for their adult family members with disabilities. A commissioner of the Winchester Housing Authority, and a member of the Winchester Housing Partnership Board, she has completed over 60 hours of HUD housing counseling training. Catherine is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds a certificate of graduate studies from UMASS Boston in adapting curriculum.

Rachel Fichtenbaum, EOHHS Mobility Manager, MassMobility, Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

rachel-fichtenbaum.jpgRachel Fichtenbaum has worked at MassMobility since 2011, first as Mobility Information Specialist and now as EOHHS Mobility Manager. Previously, she worked in workforce development. She has a Master of Public Policy from the Heller School at Brandeis University.

Kevin Pouv, Department of Transitional Assistance, Staff Initiatives.

kevin-pouv.jpgKevin Pouv is a SNAP Initiatives Coordinator for the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance. He is tasked with researching, developing and managing special projects geared towards increasing client access and overall SNAP enrollment across the state. Some of his more recent projects include standardizing group home processing procedures between DTA and other EOHHS state departments. He is also heavily involved in developing new policies and procedures to streamline operations and service delivery at the department’s Senior Assistance Office. Prior to becoming a SNAP Initiatives Coordinator, Kevin has held several positions at DTA, including SNAP Policy Analyst, Training Unit Supervisor, Training Specialist and SNAP Case Manager. Although he works primarily for the SNAP Department, his cross-program knowledge of SNAP, TAFDC and EAEDC has allowed him to work collaboratively with other business units across DTA and the state.   



Note from the AFC Summit Organizational Committee:
**Absence of conflicts of interest exists for all members of the planning committee and content reviewers*

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."

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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