Education event

Post-Acute Care Conference
The Power of Our Story — Communicating the Value of Post-Acute Care

Register Now
February 15 – 16, 2018
Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach and Marina, Redondo Beach


Words speak, but stories resonate. When it comes to the work we do and the patients we serve, there are volumes of stories and one common theme: a dedication to helping patients reach their highest level of health and independence. At this critical juncture in the evolving health care environment, it is more important than ever that we communicate the value of post-acute care.

This year’s program highlights several ways stories can add value to post-acute care, including:

  • Storytelling as a leadership tool
  • The link between rehabilitation services and population health management
  • Communication for effective patient engagement
  • Strategies for developing high-performing provider networks
  • Incorporating value and patient-centeredness in the discharge process
  • And more!

Make plans today to join us in Redondo Beach.

Who Should Attend?

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


Thursday, February 15

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. | Welcome & Opening Comments

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. | Opening Keynote
The Power of Your Story

Shalyn Eyer, Consultant, FutureSense LLC
Storytelling has long been used to share our individual journeys and build community. In the professional setting, stories are used to strengthen relationships and culture, build brand and lead stakeholders to action. Expect to leave this session with new tools and inspiration to help you share your own story.

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. | General Session
Rehabilitation in the Era of Population Health Management
William Adair, MD, President, William Adair MD Consulting​
The era of population health management is upon us. Payers are shifting from fee-for-volume to fee-for-value. With this, post-acute care is in the crosshairs for achieving needed cost savings. How will we as rehabilitation leaders respond? What can we do to not be left by the wayside in redesigning post-acute care? Join us as we think and plan together.

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Hosted Luncheon

1:00 – 2:15 p.m. | General Session
Spotlight on Innovative Practices — Panel and Micro Presentations

Faculty are leadership within the continuum of care
This session will highlight your colleagues’ innovative models and unique practices in four areas: making the case for acute rehab, developing post-acute care strategies, leveraging volunteers in care transitions and starting the conversation for advance care planning. Participants will break into groups and rotate through quick, interactive learning sessions. Plan to get up close and personal with the presenters, learn from your peers and take away ideas for your facility.

2:45 – 3:45 p.m. | General Session
An Update on Federal Policy Shaping Post-Acute Care

Alyssa Keefe, Vice President, Federal Regulatory Affairs, California Hospital Association
CHA’s Washington-based representative will provide a behind-the-scenes update on policy and regulation at the federal level. Hear the latest activities on key programs, including the unified PAC prospective payment system and ongoing implementation of the IMPACT Act.

3:45 – 5:00 p.m. | General Session
Advancing Communication to Actively Engage Patients in Care

Karen Curtiss, President, PartnerHealth, LLC; and Mary E. Foley, PhD, RN, FAAN, Clinical Professor, UCSF School of Nursing
As patients move through the continuum of care, effective communication is essential to successful transitions. This interactive session will share proven strategies for connecting with patients and guided exercises to practice communication skills. Checklists and other tools that can be used to engage patients, families and caregivers as active partners in care will be demonstrated.

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. | Sponsor Reception & Grand Prize Drawing

Friday, February 16

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 suggestions and questions.

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. | General Session
Developing High-Performing Networks

Colleen O’Rourke, Vice President, Clinical Solutions & Network Strategy, naviHealth
This session offers strategies and tools to develop a network of high-quality providers, including how to select appropriate quality metrics and assess your readiness to undertake the network development process. By utilizing data and objective criteria, you can develop a high-performing network and ultimately drive better patient care. Also learn how to recognize high-value partners and techniques for maintaining strong, ongoing partnerships.

9:45 – 10:45 a.m. | General Session
Legislative Advocacy — How Providers Can Contribute to the Policymaking Process

Tracy Campbell, Vice President, Digital Advocacy, California Hospital Association; Amber Christ, Senior Staff Attorney, Justice in Aging; Alex Hawthorne, Legislative Advocate, California Hospital Association; and Tory Starr, MSN, PHN, RN, Vice President, Care Management Sutter Health (moderator)
In this panel, three health care advocates will describe their roles in the legislative process and provide insight on how you can take part to influence policy. Take away strategies to effectively advocate for post-acute care and the patients you serve.

10:45 – 11:45 a.m. | General Session
A Patient-Centered, Value-Based Approach to Discharge

Lissy Hu, MD, Chief Executive Officer, CarePort Health
As our health care system transitions to value, what is the right approach to discharge planning? Providers will get the most out of established networks by helping patients make informed decisions about post-acute care. Presenter will describe discharge planning tools that can be used to successfully balance patient choice, preferred partnerships and the new proposed conditions of participation as part of the IMPACT Act. Real-life examples of successful programs, beginning with transition from the acute setting and extending throughout the continuum of care, will be shared.


William A. Adair, MD
William Adair MD Consulting

Dr. Bill Adair is a board-certified physiatrist, health care leader, consultant, and passionate advocate for persons with disabilities and excellence in rehabilitation medicine. Until July 2017, Dr. Adair served as the vice president for Clinical Transformation at Advocate Christ Medical Center, where he led the hospital’s health outcome, quality, and safety efforts. In his consulting role, he brings his expertise to acute and post-acute care providers in designing and implementing post-acute systems of care. Dr. Adair has deep experience in post-acute care as a component of population health management, working with the Advocate system in its development of a post-acute network that integrated care across hospitals, acute and day rehabilitation, skilled nursing facilities, home health, and the community. This effort has led to substantial reductions in readmissions and skilled nursing facilities length of stay.

Dr. Adair is a graduate of the six-year Honors Program in Medical Education at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and completed his medicine internship and his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Northwestern University and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Ashley Areyan
Community Engagement Liaison
Providence Institute for Human Caring, Providence St. Joseph Health

Ms. Areyan has been with the Providence Institute for Human Caring since May 2015. At Providence she is helping to bring advance care planning to people where they live, work and pray. Ms. Areyan recognizes that each community is unique and the people within those communities have different ways of approaching conversations about the future and what matters most. She has presented at over 30 speaking engagements in the last two years and has helped organize numerous other advance care-planning events. In 2016, Ms. Areyan organized a series of events called “Right, before I die” at the Museum of Tolerance, which included both print and social campaigns, as well as three large events.

Ms. Areyan received her BA in 2004 from the Southern Methodist University.

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. Ms. Blaisdell 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.

Ms. Blaisdell received a 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.

Michelle Camicia, MSN, CRRN, CCM, NEA-BC, FAHA
Director, Operation
Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center

Michelle Camicia, MSN, CRRN, CCM, NEA-BC, FAHA is the director of operations for Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center at the Vallejo Medical Center. Ms. Camicia is responsible for day-to-day operations of the Center, in addition to provider outreach and quality and regulatory oversight. Actively involved in her field, she is a past president of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses and has participated on numerous national and international advisory panels and committees related to professional nursing practice, rehabilitation, and health care reform, in addition to authoring 13 peer-reviewed publications.

Tracy Campbell
Vice President, Digital Advocacy
California Hospital Association

Tracy Campbell serves as California Hospital Association’s vice president of digital advocacy, responsible for developing strategies and content for digital and social media to achieve the association’s legislative and policy objectives. At CHA, Ms. Campbell’s work includes Our Health California, one of CHA’s growing digital communities and a positive advocacy voice for hospitals and health care. The community consists of more than 800,000 supporters and voters who regularly engage in advocacy campaigns to protect access to high quality health care services. The program has received four national awards for its social media campaigns.

Amber Christ
Senior Staff Attorney
Justice in Aging

Ms. Christ has over ten years of experience in legal services and advocacy. Based in Los Angeles, Amber joined Justice in Aging’s Health Care team in February 2013. She is a leading expert on many health care issues including dual eligible demonstrations, Medicare Advantage, 1115 waivers, long-term services and supports and more. She has conducted over 300 trainings and serves as a resource for advocates in California and nationally. Ms. Christ has co-authored a number of educational resources including a 60-page Advocate’s Guide to the Coordinated Care Initiative and an issue brief summarizing the lessons learned in the dual eligible demonstrations.

Ms. Christ is admitted to the California, Missouri and Illinois bars and is a 2006 graduate of Washington University School of Law

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, Ms. Curtiss 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.

Norma Diaz-Phan, MSN, MSHCA, RN
Clinical Director, Acute Rehabilitation Center & Transitional Care Unit
PIH Health – Whittier

Norma Diaz-Phan, MSN, MSHCA, RN, is the clinical director for the Acute Rehabilitation Center and Transitional Care Unit, a distinct-part skilled nursing facility at PIH Health Hospital, Whittier. At PIH, Ms. Diaz-Phan works closely with nurses and an interdisciplinary team directing daily operations and serves as co-chair for their New Knowledge and Innovation Committee. Her research experience includes depression following stroke and hospital readmissions, and she is currently leading a nursing workflow research study to help improve quality of care and evaluate and manage staffing. Ms. Diaz-Phan is a recipient of many awards including, The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Suzanne Engelder, MSW, ASW
St. Joseph Perinatal Comfort Care Program
The Center for Advance Care Planning and Advocacy

Suzanne Engelder, MSW, ASW has been working in health care for over 30 years in acute care, including the emergency department, oncology and intensive care. Her primary work has been in hospice and palliative care with expertise in clinical care, program development and community education. Most recently, Ms. Engelder developed The Center for Advance Care Planning and Advocacy, a ministry of St. Joseph Health. She has presented nationally and internationally on the importance of advance care planning at all stages of life. Her work has been published in Advances in Neonatal Care and Olds’ Maternal Newborn Nursing & Women’s Health.

Ms. Engelder received her BA in Communication Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1984 and her Master of Social Work from the San Diego State University in 1987.

Shalyn Eyer
FuterSense, LLC

Shalyn Eyer has 20 years of experience in education, government and corporate environments. Building leaders across the organization chart is what motivates and inspires her continued personal and professional development. She has a passion for working with people — building effective teams and cultivating relationships within an organization. Ms. Eyer is a firm believer that successful organizations align their people practices with their business strategy — and share the story of this dynamic intersection.

Ms. Eyer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Masters in Organizational Management and Strategic Leadership.

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. Since 2004, Ms. Foley has worked with the Collaborative Alliance for Nursing Outcomes and is currently chairperson of its Board of Directors. A registered nurse for nearly 45 years, Ms. Foley continues to teach, write and lecture, promoting safe care for workers and patients nationally and internationally. She served on the board of the National Patient Safety Foundation, an advisor to the Partnership for Patient Safety (p4ps) and is a member of the TMIT Patient and Family panel.

Ms. Foley received her nursing diploma in 1973 from New England Deaconness Hospital School of Nursing, her BSN in 1976 from Boston University School of Nursing in Massachusetts, and her Master’s of Science in Nursing Administration and Occupational Health from UCSF in 1994.  She received her PhD in Nursing from UCSF in 2010, and was elected as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2013.  She was elected Secretary of the Academy in October 2016.

Tammy Glenn
Executive Director

Tammy I. Glenn is the executive director of CAREGIVERS: Volunteers Assisting the Elderly, one of the original 25 national pilot programs founded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. As an informal caregiver, author and professional fundraiser, Ms. Glenn has counseled numerous family members and friends in short- and long-term care issues. She is the founder of the national website,, and author of The Carefree Caregiver: A Short Course to Peace of Mind. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Volunteer Caregivers Network and the Social Service Advisory Council for the Ventura County Transportation Commission.

Matthew Gonzalez, MD
Associate Medical Director
Institute for Human Caring, Providence St. Joseph Health

Matthew Gonzales is fellowship-trained, board-certified palliative medicine physician and a 2017 Cambia Health Foundation Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program awardee. He has worked as a software engineer helping to develop a publically available database that allows clinicians to tailor treatment for persons infected with HIV. Since completing his medical training, Dr. Gonzalez has held faculty positions at both UCSF and City of Hope. He now serves as an associate medical director at the Providence Institute for Human Caring, an organization striving to elevate whole person care to the new normal.

Dr. Gonzalez completed his undergraduate degree in Human Biology at Stanford University. Dr. Gonzales attended the Keck USC School of Medicine and completed his internal medicine and palliative medicine training at the University of California, San Francisco.

Alex Hawthorne
Legislative Advocate
California Hospital Association

Alex Hawthorne represents the interests of CHA member hospitals before lawmakers and their staff in the California Legislature. His advocacy focus includes managed care, behavioral health, education and workforce, public health, pharmacy, and women’s and children’s health. He also testifies on behalf of CHA at legislative hearings on issues of importance to the hospital industry.

Mr. Hawthorne has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Humboldt State University.

Lissy Hu, MD
Chief Executive Officer
CarePort Health

Dr. Lissy Hu serves as the chief executive officer and founder of CarePort Health, which enables health care providers to enhance post-acute outcomes and costs by guiding patients across the care continuum and tracking their recovery in real-time. Dr. Hu, an in-demand speaker and thought leader, has previously led sessions at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Harvard Business School, and Case Management Society of America, among many others. Dr. Hu and CarePort received a certificate of special congressional recognition for outstanding contribution to Massachusetts.

Dr. Hu is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School, where she was a recipient of the Kaplan Life Sciences Award, and holds a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Columbia University.

Alyssa Keefe
Vice President, Federal Regulatory Affairs
California Hospital Association

Alyssa Keefe joined CHA in 2011 as vice president of federal regulatory affairs. She is responsible for policy development and analysis of federal regulation impacting California hospitals and health systems and serves as a liaison between CHA and federal agencies including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Prior to joining CHA, Ms. Keefe was the managing director of the Hospital Quality Alliance and senior associate director for Policy at the American Hospital Association. Ms. Keefe has also held senior policy positions at Catholic Health Association of the United States and the National Coalition on Health Care.

Ms. Keefe holds a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communications and Public Policy from Syracuse University and a Masters of Public Policy from Georgetown University.

Colleen O’Rourke
Vice President, Clinical Solutions & Network Strategy

Colleen O’Rourke serves as vice president of clinical solutions and network strategy for naviHealth. A seasoned expert in post-acute care management and operations, Ms. O’Rourke is responsible for the development, monitoring and analysis of comprehensive provider performance data to support overall market operations, and leads the development and continuous enhancement of the company’s clinical model. She has been a practicing physical therapist in the northeast for 25 years, with a primary role as director of rehabilitation services in a wide variety of post-acute care settings, most notably in sub-acute rehabilitation.

Dianne Sauco
Administrative Director, Care Transition
PIH Health – Whittier

Dianne Sauco, MSN, MSHCA, RN, is the administrative director for Care Transition at PIH Health Hospital, Whittier. Ms. Sauco serves as co-chair for the Exemplary Professional Practice and is a recipient of 2017 Excellence in Nursing Leadership. She is currently participating in a research study with University of California Berkley and Ralphs in reducing readmissions, and is participating in a collaborative work with the City of Whittier in creating a plan for the homeless population. Prior to her current role, Ms. Sauco served as the clinical director of Acute Rehabilitation Center and Transitional Care Unit at PIH Health.

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 and sub-acute levels of service and has helped improve quality, access and financial performance. Mr. Starr’s three decades in nursing practice has included community and home health, acute care and academia. He serves as a board member for CHA’s Center for Post-Acute Care.

Mr. Starr holds a master’s degree in nursing from Walden University and bachelor’s degree in nursing from Humboldt State University. He is a 2012 graduate of the California Health Care Foundation’s Health Care Leadership Program.

Robert Walters, PT, MBA
Director, Inpatient Rehabilitation Services
John Muir Health

Robert Walters is a transformation leader at John Muir Health, serving as an internal consultant to managers on process improvement and cost effective clinical redesign. Previously at John Muir Health, he was the director of Inpatient Rehabilitation with oversight for all therapies across two medical centers and a 30-bed, CARF-accredited inpatient rehabilitation facility.  He has a passion for post-acute care and continues to work on Health System collaborative initiatives with other quality partners in the region. Mr. Walters has served on the board of the California Hospital Association, Center for Post-Acute Care since 2015 and is the chair-elect for 2018. 

Mr. Walters received his Bachelor of Science and MBA from Saint Mary’s College of California, and his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from Emory University.


Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach and Marina
300 North Harbor Drive
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
(310) 318-8888
(800) 368-9760 (reservations)

The Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach and Marina is the host hotel and site of this year’s event. Situated on the Southern California coast, Redondo Beach offers spectacular ocean views perfect for rest and relaxation. Conveniently located, Los Angeles International (LAX) is only 20 minutes north and Long Beach Airport only 30 minutes south. For reservations, call (800) 368-9760 and mention the “Post-Acute Care Conference.”



Register by Jan. 26, 2018 and save
Members* $525, Nonmembers** $725

Registrations received after Jan. 26, 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.

Health Care Executives — CHA is authorized to award 8.5 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 10.2 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, Vice President, Publishing & 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.


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 promotional support of the Post-Acute Care Conference.

Platinum Sponsors:


Silver Sponsors: