Education event

Post-Acute Care Conference
Making Connections — Creating the Community of Care

February 16 – 17, 2017
Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, Huntington Beach


Whether it’s with other providers, patients or caregivers, connections are a vital component of health care. As episodic payment models become more common, success depends on working closely across the continuum. And by establishing effective partnerships with our patients, we will improve quality and achieve better outcomes. With each new link, we are growing an integrated community of care that will sustain us for years to come.

This year’s program offers several sessions to explore connections, including:

  • Virtual reality in clinical settings — adding new dimension to rehabilitation and caregiving
  • Engaging patients and families as active partners in care
  • Strategies for building collaborative relationships with PAC services
  • Pre-hab — focusing on functional status for elders during and after acute care
  • New developments in workplace violence prevention regulations
  • An update on the IMPACT Act quality reporting requirements and their role in payment reform
  • And more!

Plan now to join your colleagues in Huntington Beach.

Who Should Attend?

Everyone interested in the continuum of care and committed to helping patients achieve maximum health and independence.


Thursday, February 16

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. | Opening Session
Virtual Reality in Clinical Settings — A New Dimension for Rehabilitation and Caregiving
Albert “Skip” Rizzo, PhD, Director, Medical Virtual Reality, Institute for Creative Technologies & Research Professor, Department of Psychiatry & School of Gerontology, University of Southern California
The emerging technology of virtual reality can be a powerful tool in the health care setting. Patients can be immersed in virtual environments to address PTSD, to practice a physical activity or help transfer skills acquired in therapy to real-life situations. The technology can also be used to support providers, patients and caregivers through interactive, intelligent “SimCoaches.” Hear from a lead innovator about these applications and implications for clinical assessment and intervention.

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. | General Session
Head Start on Healing — Pre-hab for Elders
Edgar Pierluissi, MD, Professor, Clinical Medicine, UCSF, and Medical Director, Acute Care for Elders Unit/Interim Division Chief, Hospital Medicine, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center
As reimbursement moves from volume to value, patient care is also evolving. Clinicians at all levels of the care continuum are increasingly aware of the role of functional status in achieving and maintaining optimal outcomes and decreasing readmissions, particularly for the elderly. Learn about a model of care that brings a person-centered, interdisciplinary approach to the acute care setting to improve patient outcomes, shorten hospital stays and reduce costs.

11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. | Hosted Luncheon and Virtual Reality Demonstration
During lunch, be sure to stop by the virtual reality booth for a hands-on demonstration.

1:15 – 2:30 p.m. | General Session
Innovative Collaborations — Panel and Micro Presentations
Emily R. Rosario, PhD, Director, Research Institute, Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare; Celine A. Regalia, MSW, MA CCC-SLP, Director, Alzheimer’s Services/Chronic Condition Services, Collabria Care; Payal Patel, Joint Replacement Program Coordinator, PIH Health; and Tory Starr, MSN, PHN, RN, Vice President, Care Management, Sutter Health (moderator)
This session will highlight colleagues that have developed innovative partnerships to support the unique needs of patients. Participants will have the opportunity to break into groups and rotate through quick, interactive learning sessions. Plan to get up close and personal with the presenters to learn about their collaborations and take away ideas for expanding your facility’s partnerships.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. | General Session
Measuring Quality: The IMPACT Act and Beyond
Akin Demehin, Director, Policy, American Hospital Association
The IMPACT Act has put the spotlight on quality of care in the post-acute setting. This session offers a deep dive into the IMPACT Act, including an update on implementation and how the standardization of quality reporting elements relates to Medicare payment reform efforts. Presenter will also share insight on what’s ahead for pay for performance activities in the post-acute care setting, including value-based purchasing.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m. | General Session
A Dialogue with Health Care Leadership
Daniel L. Gross, DNSc, Executive Vice President, and David Brown, System Director, Rehabilitation Services, Sharp HealthCare
What is the role of the continuum of care in the future? As a member of the CHA and American Hospital Association boards of trustees, Mr. Gross will share his insight, including projections for what is to come and advice for continued success going forward. Bring your questions for this interactive session and expect to gain ideas for connecting with your own leadership.

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. | Reception

Friday, February 17

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. | Breakfast Session
Center for Post-Acute Care Update
Patricia Blaisdell, FACHE, Vice President, Continuum of Care, California Hospital Association
In this annual update, participants will learn about recent activities of the Center for Post-Acute Care and advocacy plans for the coming year. Attendees are encouraged to bring their suggestions and questions.

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. | General Session
Creating High Value Partnerships Across the Continuum
Gordon Phillips, Consultant, Numerof & Associates, Inc.
With the rise of value-based payment models, providers are increasingly responsible for factors beyond their immediate control. Building relationships with trusted partners is crucial for minimizing risk and achieving cost and quality goals. This presentation will outline why and how organizations are moving to value, and will walk you through the stages of establishing strategic partnerships with SNFs and other organizations — from identifying and evaluating potential partners to maintaining relationships over time. Examples of successful partnerships will be shared.

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. | General Session
New Workplace Violence Prevention Regulations
Gail M. Blanchard-Saiger, Esq., Vice President, Labor & Employment, California Hospital Association
Cal/OSHA recently adopted new workplace violence prevention regulations that are broad in scope and will require training of every employee. Integrating the new regulations into post-acute settings may be complicated and challenging. This session will explain what you need to do to prepare, including guidance on policies and procedures, staff training, reporting requirements and more. Plus, hear updates on key HR topics from CHA’s point person on labor and employment law.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | General Session
From Patient to Partner — Engaging Patients and Families in Care
Karen Curtiss, President, PartnerHealth, LLC; and Mary E. Foley, PhD, RN, FAAN, Clinical Professor, UCSF School of Nursing
When we activate a patient and their family in their own care, we gain powerful partners — ones that can work with us every step of the way to achieve the best outcome. This session presents strategies for forming effective partnerships with patients, families and caregivers, and highlights key considerations from the consumer and provider perspectives.


Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort
21100 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Reservations: (800) 822-7873
Driving directions

The Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach is the host hotel and site of this year’s event. Located on the coastline of Southern California and in the heart of Surf City USA™, this resort hotel is a coastal oasis featuring stylish accommodations. The resort’s proximity to the beach and year-round sunshine attract visitors from across California and the nation. Travel to the resort is easy — John Wayne/Orange County Airport is located nearby.

For reservations, call (800) 822-7873 and ask for the best available rate.



Register by February 3, 2017 and save
Members* $515, Nonmembers** $715

Registrations received after Feb. 3, add $100

*Members are CHA member hospitals, CHA associate members and government agencies. **Nonmembers are limited to non-hospital health care providers, clinics, post-acute facilities, and consultants, insurance companies, law firms and other entities that serve hospitals. Education programs and publications are a membership benefit and are not available to eligible nonmember California hospitals.

Tuition includes reception, luncheon, conference materials and CEs.

Continuing Education

Full attendance at the educational sessions is a prerequisite for receiving continuing education. Attendees must sign in at the conference and include their professional license number, if required. Continuing education certificates will be emailed after the conference.

Behavioral/Social Work — Course meets the qualifications for 8.25 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs and/or LCSWs, as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. CHA is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs and/or LCSWs. Provider approval number 128427. CHA maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content.

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe uses of virtual reality technology in the transitional and home care setting.
  2. Identify opportunities to improve care outcomes for elderly patients while in the acute care setting.
  3. Evaluate how to partner with other providers to support patients with unique needs.
  4. Determine the relationship between IMPACT Act quality reporting elements and other Medicare payment reform efforts.
  5. Determine how evolving federal and state policy decisions will drive post-acute care delivery.
  6. Compare and analyze benefits of alignment with potential care partners.
  7. Describe key components of Cal/OSHA’s Workplace Violence Prevention regulation.
  8. Develop strategies for engaging patients and families as active partners in care.

Health Care Executives — CHA is authorized to award 8.25 hours of pre-approved ACHE Qualified Education credit for this program toward advancement, or recertification, in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Participants in this program who wish to have the continuing education hours applied toward ACHE Qualified Education credit must self-report their participation. To self-report, participants must log into their MyACHE account and select ACHE Qualified Education Credit.

Nursing — Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider CEP 11924, for 9.9 contact hours.

Nursing Home Administrators — CHA is authorized by the State of California, Department of Public Health to award 10 contact hours of general credit. Provider Number 1142.

Rehabilitation Professionals — This program may meet continuing education requirements for Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech/Language Pathology. Please request a Certificate of Attendance to submit to your professional organization.

Americans with Disabilities Act

If you require special accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, please call (916) 552-7637.

Cancellation Policy/Late Payment

A $75 non-refundable processing fee will be retained for each cancellation. Cancellations must be made in writing seven or more business days prior to the scheduled session. No refunds will be made after these dates. Substitutions are encouraged. Cancellation and substitution notification may be emailed to In the unlikely event that the program is cancelled, refunds will be issued to paid registrants within 30 days.

Quality Assurance/Grievance

We welcome your feedback. If you have any concerns or dissatisfaction with the quality of a CHA education program, please contact Liz Mekjavich, Director, Education at (916) 552-7500 or email The CHA education quality assurance/grievance policy is available upon request by emailing

Photo Release

CHA will photograph this event. If you prefer not to be photographed, please email CHA at


Please call the Education Department at (916) 552-7637.


Patricia Blaisdell, FACHE
Vice President, Continuum of Care
California Hospital Association

Patricia Blaisdell provides membership support and advocacy for hospital-based medical rehabilitation and skilled-nursing services, policy analysis and interpretation, communication with regulatory bodies and third-party payers, and planning and implementation of educational programs. Patricia has more than 25 years of experience in hospital and health care management in acute and post-acute settings. She has particular expertise in clinical operations and reimbursement across the post-acute continuum of care and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Patricia received her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire, a master’s degree in speech/language pathology from the University of Connecticut, and a master’s degree in health care management from Rensselaer at Hartford.

Gail M. Blanchard-Saiger, Esq.
Vice President, Labor & Employment
California Hospital Association

Gail Blanchard-Saiger is the vice president of labor and employment for the California Hospital Association. In this role, she provides leadership for state and federal legislative and regulatory issues related to hospital human resources and labor relations. Ms. Blanchard-Saiger has more than 15 years of experience as a labor and employment law attorney representing hospitals and health care systems. She is a member of the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration and serves on its Advocacy Committee. She is a frequent speaker and author on health care workplace law issues.

David Brown
System Director, Rehabilitation Services
Sharp HealthCare

David Brown is the system director of Rehabilitation Services for Sharp HealthCare where he is responsible for rehabilitation services and therapies provided in the acute care hospitals, outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities and acute rehab (IRF) settings across four hospital facilities. Mr. Brown has over 30 years of leadership experience in the management of rehabilitation services. He is a physical therapist with a master’s in Public Health/Health Services Administration from San Diego State University.

Karen Curtiss
PartnerHealth, LLC

Karen Curtiss’ father, Bill Aydt, passed away after suffering a dozen preventable hospital acquired conditions following a successful lung transplant to cure idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Two months later, her husband nearly succumbed to sepsis after “routine” surgery. Fueled by grief and regret, Karen researched how she could have been prepared to help prevent the harm they suffered. The result is a body of checklists and a family engagement process to unite all of patients’ Care Partners — families and friends at bedside with medical staff — to safeguard care together. She is now the president of PartnerHealth.

Akinluwa (Akin) Demehin, MPH
Director, Policy
American Hospital Association

Akin Demehin is a director of policy at the American Hospital Association (AHA) in Washington, D.C. Akin leads and supports public policy development and advocacy efforts related to quality and patient safety on behalf of the AHA’s nearly 5,000 member hospitals and health systems. Specifically, he manages policy issues related to national quality reporting and pay-for-performance programs for hospitals, post-acute care providers and physicians. Before joining the AHA, Akin worked at the National Quality Forum and the Center for Quality and Safety at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Akin holds a master’s of Public Health in health policy and administration from Yale University, and a bachelor of arts cum laude in history and science from Harvard College.

Mary E. Foley, PhD, RN, FAAN
Clinical Professor
UCSF School of Nursing

Mary Foley is a clinical professor at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing and director in the Center for Nursing Research and Innovation at UCSF. She served on the board of the National Patient Safety Foundation, an advisor to the Partnership for Patient Safety and is a member of the Texas Medical Institute of Technology Patient and Family panel. Since 2012, she has worked with Karen Curtiss to improve family involvement in patient safety. She is a nursing consultant to “Safe and Sound in the Hospital” and PartnerHealth and she and Karen are faculty members in the Hospital Quality Institute HEN2.0 initiative in CA. Foley received her nursing diploma from New England Deaconness Hospital School of Nursing, her BSN from Boston University School of Nursing, and her master’s of science in Nursing Administration and Occupational Health from UCSF in 1994. She received her PhD in Nursing from UCSF, and was elected as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2013.

Daniel L. Gross, DNSc, RN
Executive Vice President
Sharp HealthCare

Daniel Gross is the executive vice president for Sharp HealthCare, where he oversees four acute-care hospitals, three specialty hospitals, government relations and clinical effectiveness. Gross began his career at Sharp in 1979 as a clinical nurse and has since also served as director of patient care services, regional director of critical care and system vice president of clinical services. Gross is a member of the American Hospital Association (AHA) Board of Directors, chair of the AHA Operations Committee and chair of the AHA Regional Policy Board 9. He is a member and former chair of the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties Board of Directors, and past chair of the CHA Board of Directors. Gross received his BSN from Wichita State University, his MS in nursing administration from San Diego State University and his DNSc from University of San Diego.

Payal Patel, OTR/L, CLT
Joint Replacement Program Coordinator
PIH Health

Payal Patel is the Joint Replacement Program coordinator for PIH Health. In this role, Payal manages data on patient outcomes and serves as a patient resource for the CJR Program to monitor patient outcomes after discharge. Payal has established a committee to work on quality improvement initiatives in hip and knee replacement surgery for PIH Health. Previously, Payal has worked as an occupational therapist.

Gordon Phillips
Numerof & Associates, Inc.

Gordon Phillips is a consultant at Numerof & Associates, a strategy development and implementation firm working across the health care industry with providers, manufacturers and payers. Much of Mr. Phillips’ work is focused on helping organizations build the processes and capabilities required for risk-based payment models that span the care continuum. His insights have been shaped by past engagements and leadership roles in operations improvement at leading academic medical centers and large health care systems. He has a bachelor’s degree from Allegheny College and a master’s in professional studies from New York University.

Edgar Pierluissi, MD
Professor, Clinical Medicine
UCSF, and
Medical Director, Acute Care for Elders Unit
Interim Division Chief, Hospital Medicine
Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center

Dr. Edgar Pierluissi is a professor of Clinical Medicine at UCSF and serves as medical director of the Acute Care for Elders Unit and the interim division chief for Hospital Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. Dr. Pierluissi has cared for vulnerable populations his entire career and is committed to health care quality improvement. Dr. Pierluissi received his MD from Harvard Medical School and completed training and chief residency in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and a fellowship in Quality Improvement through the Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholars Fellowship.

Celine A. Regalia, MSW, MA CCC-SLP
Director, Alzheimer’s Services/Chronic Condition Services
Collabria Care

Celine Regalia is director of Operations at Collabria Care and former program director at Collabria Day Program. Ms. Regalia has 28 years of health care experience, including 18 years working in adult day health care. Celine is past president of the California Association of Adult Day Services and served on their Board from 2002-2016. Celine was one of six adult day services consultants to Disability Rights California working to reach a settlement agreement when adult day health care was eliminated as a state benefit.

Albert “Skip” Rizzo, PhD
Director, Medical Virtual Reality
Institute for Creative Technologies, and
Research Professor
Department of Psychiatry & School of Gerontology
University of Southern California

Albert “Skip” Rizzo is a clinical psychologist and director of Medical Virtual Reality at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies. He is also a research professor with the USC Department of Psychiatry and at the USC Davis School of Gerontology. Over the last 20 years, Rizzo has conducted research on the design, development and evaluation of virtual reality systems targeting the areas of clinical assessment, treatment and rehabilitation across the domains of psychological, cognitive and motor functioning in both healthy and clinical populations. This work has focused on posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other clinical conditions.

Emily R. Rosario, PhD
Director, Research Institute
Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare

Dr. Emily Rosario is a neuroscientist and current director of the Research Institute at Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare. In this role, Dr. Rosario works with numerous clinicians on research studies that are neurologic or rehabilitation focused. She has over 15 years of research experience in rehabilitation medicine, age-related disease and dysfunction, neurologic disorders and endocrine dysfunction at both the basic science and clinical level. Over the past four years Dr. Rosario has also worked closely with the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association in Washington, D.C. to help influence health care policy.

Tory Starr, MSN, PHN, RN
Vice President, Care Management
Sutter Health

Tory Starr is the vice president for Care Management for the Valley Operating Unit of Sutter Health, where he has responsibility for functions across the continuum of care including case management, social services, palliative care and post-acute care management. Mr. Starr developed the Post-Acute Care Population Management Program for Sutter Health, a program that coordinates patient care through the skilled nursing & sub-acute levels of service and has helped improve quality, access and financial performance. His three decades in nursing practice has included community and home health, acute care and academia. He serves as a member of CHA’s Post-Acute Care Advisory Board.


For sponsorship opportunities, call the CHA Education Department (916) 552-7502 or email Lisa Hartzell.

For more information, download the sponsor application.

On behalf of the California Hospital Association, we would like to thank our corporate sponsors for their support of the Post-Acute Care Annual Conference!

Platinum Sponsor:


Silver Sponsors: