Pioneer Network Virtual Symposium

March 24, 2021: Envisioning the Future: Exploring Lessons Learned

Pioneer Network is offering a one-day symposium. This virtual event is designed to provide valuable learning within a 6-hour window through four general sessions, followed by an opportunity to gather together to join one of four interactive forums hosted by the general session speakers, designed to explore the topics more deeply.

Pioneer Network: Hot Topics – Culture Change in Action

January 21, 2021: Working Together to Find Our Way to Yes

How many times have you or your team had a great idea about how to do something in your community, and you want to say ‘yes’, but are stopped short because it might be too risky, or the biggest reason heard, that the regulations say you can’t do it.

Even as we say this, we know that person-centered practices and the regulations are not at odds. Sometimes it’s the interpretation, or more often, it’s not WHAT we do, but HOW we do it that creates the conflict.

Pioneer Network is proud to bring together a dynamic panel of individuals from the field of aging services – all of them risk-takers at heart – to share and discuss ideas on how we can work together to find a way to say yes to the person-centered practices we strive to bring to our communities.

Conversations with Carmen

November 20, 2020: CHOICE: New Ideas to Enhance Resident Life in Tough Times
Guest: Linda Bump, MPH, RD, with Host Carmen Bowman

As we all struggle to get through these tough days, we each turn to things that give us comfort – in all areas of our lives. We relive great memories, try to maintain rituals that have meaning to us, and of course, food is always on the list. That’s what “comfort food” is all about, and it’s different for each person. All of this is just as true for your residents. The simple approach of knowing specifically what brings daily pleasure to each resident and honoring true choice for them can brighten their day – and brightening our residents’ lives is what brightens every committed caregiver’s day, too.

Perhaps the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting isolation has awakened in us something primal and universal: a deep interest in food. We see it everywhere. The explosion of cooking and culinary shows on television, Netflix and the internet, food blogs, recipe and cooking sites… We can bring that interest in food into our communities. Food is fascinating, so let’s find ways for residents to experience the food conversations happening everywhere, and perhaps add some new flavor to their days.

2020 Pioneer Network Virtual Gathering – Envisioning the Future

September 1-3, 2020: Envisioning the Future

Join Pioneer Network for three days of networking, education, and discussion with some fun as we Envision the Future of senior living and the world of aging services.

Envisioning the Future: 2020 and Beyond won’t be your typical, sit in front of the computer and watch a screen type of event. Instead, you’ll be part of the action. Each day will start with an opportunity for attendees to gather together to kick off the day. Mid-day, we will again come together for the daily keynote session. In between, there will be concurrent sessions addressing the hottest topics of the day, And at the end of each day, there will be an opportunity to gather around virtual tables with fellow pioneers, sharing information and envisioning the future together.

Action Pact’s Culture Change Now – Conversations with Carmen

August 21, 2020: Meaningfully Engage Individuals – In their Rooms – Especially Those Living with Dementia
Presenters: Carmen Bowman, with Guest Host Megan Hannan

Join us for oodles of ideas to meaningfully engage individuals with their surroundings, especially those living with dementia. Perhaps we are in our biggest challenge ever, to provide meaningful engagement to persons alone in their rooms. What a great opportunity to be creative! Institutionalized, isolated people need the gift of our intentionality to be able to engage naturally with their surroundings, even when there is not a pandemic. We can help to overcome boredom. Get a long list of ideas, contribute to it, and allow it to inform your work into the future.

CMS Memo: QSO-20-34-NH

Changes to Staffing Information and Quality Measures Posted on the Nursing Home Compare Website and Five Star Quality Rating System due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is committed to transparency about changes in publicly reported information on nursing homes during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Changes to the Nursing Home Compare Website and Five Star Quality Rating System:

  • Staffing Measures and Ratings Domain: On July 29, 2020, Staffing measures and star ratings will be held constant, and based on data submitted for Calendar Quarter 4 2019.
    • Also, CMS is ending the waiver of the requirement for nursing homes to submit staffing data through the Payroll-Based Journal System. Nursing homes must submit data for Calendar Quarter 2 by August 14, 2020.
  • Quality Measures: On July 29, 2020, quality measures based on a data collection period ending December 31, 2019 will be held constant.

Please see the full details of the memo at

A Message of Hope from MC5

To All Missourians from the Regional Representatives and Board of Directors of MC5…

This year represents our 15th anniversary. Needless to say, this isn’t how we intended to roll out the new logo, ideas, and celebrate with you all. But upon reflection, it’s ironically appropriate. For many years, culture change coalitions like MC5 and the Pioneer Network have worked hard to define person-directed care and place value on those who depend on us in healthcare. Whether that be veterans, skilled nursing facilities, assisted livings, residential care, those in hospice or in group homes, people with developmental disabilities, and even our own family members–we’ve talked about creating that home-like environment and changing the language. We’ve created Green houses and new dining standards, and tools like the artifacts of culture change.

But in March of 2020, all that progress came to a halt. For the simple safety of our residents and staff, we had to lock front doors, isolate to rooms, stop group activities, and scatter people around the dining room. But as this virus rages through our country and hits our most vulnerable populations, we’re seeing something that years of programs, conferences, and webinars could never produce. We’re seeing humanity, and that is the heart of culture change. No longer are our residents seen by some as a byproduct of a forward-moving society. Instead, they are a living testament that in the face of adversity, life goes on!

MC5 wants to thank all of our friends and partners for a wonderful 15 years, with a special recognition of the MO Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), the Missouri Healthcare Association (MHCA), the Missouri Assisted Living Association (MALA), the Missouri League for Nursing (MLN), the Ombudsman program, and Missouri Leading Age, as well as those corporations, DMEs, hospice companies, food suppliers, pharmaceutical companies, and so many, many more that have helped us bring education throughout the state.

We are honored to continue to fight alongside you. Stay in, stay safe, stay strong. Thank-you.


Check out our Facebook page for inspiring stories of Missourians making a difference during COVID-19.

Message from Pioneer Network

Pioneer Network began 23 years ago when a group of committed, innovative and creative disruptors got together and began spreading the word that the world of aging, care and support needs to be focused on people and not the institution. They decided on the name Pioneer Network so all people and organizations of the same like-mind could be involved, disseminate best practices, share information and have a place to go when they needed resources and assistance.

During this challenging time we are facing with COVID-19, we are committed to continuing the work of our founders, being a resource as you navigate this changing world. To that end, we have been gathering resources from our fellow Pioneers on different ways to engage and connect residents and elders with their family, friends and communities. We empathize and want to support all the amazing team members working in care communities right now, so we are sharing everything we have received from our network. We know there is more happening so if you’re doing something you want included or know of other resources, please contact us and we’ll add them to the page.

This is the time for us to come together, as people, as organizations and most of all as a community. Thanks to all of you for the work you’re doing every day, for the care and support you’re providing to residents and elders and for your kindness, compassion and love.


Pioneer Network is proud to be part of a network of caring individuals who are, in the words of one of our founders, Barbara Frank, “sharing shamelessly” as they contribute to Pioneer Network’s latest set of resources, The ABCs of Combating Isolation.

Check out what has been shared so far and check back as we update the resources our partners continue to share with us.


With our conference scheduled for August 9 – 12, five months away, we are hopeful that the current threat related to COVID-19 will have subsided and that it will proceed as planned.

We will continue to monitor the situation especially as the early registration deadline of mid-May approaches and we will provide updates about the conference through email and on our website.

MC5 2020 Spring Roadshow

April 23, 2020: Understanding Young Coworkers: Recruiting Successful Relationships
Location: St. Joe Medical Center, Health and Education Auditorium, Kansas City

April 24, 2020: Understanding Young Coworkers: Recruiting Successful Relationships
Location: St. Charles Community College, Daniel Conoyer Social Sciences Bldg., Cottelville

Presented by Clint Maun, CSP

Aging Services organizations of today and the future must learn how to successfully utilize younger coworkers in management positions. As this important resource is hired and retained, healthcare professionals must implement success strategies to produce collaborative efforts which ultimately benefit our customers. This session provides essential, up-to-date information on how to attract young talent, develop flexible practices that assist with retention and assimilating the young/new coworkers with mature staff.

  • Identify the current hot buttons for retention in today‘s healthcare environment.
  • Implement the successful involvement of younger coworkers on teams, committees and projects.
  • Discover methods for effective updates on work performance.
  • Become proficient in how to lead – not just manage.
  • Utilize younger coworkers as managers.
  • Develop targeted messages that potential applicants find attractive and respond to.
  • Prepare the targeted pay/benefit strategy for successful recruitment.
  • Implement a team-based effort for recruitment by current employees.

This session delivers timely and proven strategies developed from current staff development consulting initiatives nationwide; includes case studies, examples, lecture, humor, question/answer and group discussion.

More details available on the MC5 Roadshow Conference page.

Pioneer Network’s Hot Topics: Culture Change in Action Webinar

April 23, 2020: Long-Term Care Equality Index (LEI): Introducing Best Practices that Strengthen LGBTQ Inclusive Communities
Guides: Sherrill Wayland, Director of National Education Initiatives. SAGE and Dan Stewart, Associate Director, Aging Equity Project, HRC

Join guides from the LEI Leadership team and Advisory Council to learn about the Long-Term Care Equality Index (LEI) and how your community can be among the early adopters of best practices in creating welcoming and supportive long-term care communities inclusive of LGBTQ community members. Your guides will describe the need for LGBTQ inclusivity, success stories for adopting LGBTQ inclusive policies and practices and the steps you can take today to join the LEI program.

Pioneer Network’s Hot Topics: Culture Change in Action Webinar

February 20, 2020: Compassion: A Competency for Today’s Aging Services Leader
Guide: Denise Borgoyn, NHA, SHRM-SCP, Borgoyn Consulting Services, The Compassion Projects, Author “28 Ways of Compassion”

While the work of changing the culture of aging is happening, we should recognize that aging services staff need person-centered care too and must be placed at the top of the organizational agenda.

How can our workforce give the best in person-centered care if it isn’t shown them through attention and compassion from their leaders? The answer is that they probably can’t. The reality is that most leaders know how important compassion is in their roles. The problem is that these leaders say they just don’t know how to enhance their compassionate behavior in the workplace. The good news is – compassion is teachable!

Join Denise Borgoyn, author of 28 Ways to Compassion, for this crucial conversation as we explore the nature of compassion, how and why it matters, and learn concrete actions to improve communication and compassion to give our staff the support they need and deserve.

Pioneer Network’s Hot Topics: Culture Change in Action Webinar

January 23, 2020: Resources You Can Use to Educate, Advocate, Warm the Soil, Advance Person-Centered Care and Accelerate Culture Change (And They’re Free!)
Guides: Kim McRae, Co-Founder, Culture Change Network of Georgia and President, Have a Good Life; Rose Marie Fagan, A Co-Founder and Founding/Former Executive Director, Pioneer Network and Steering Committee, Culture Change Network of Georgia; and Joan Devine, Director of Education, Pioneer Network

Do you need some new resources to help educate and inspire the general public, care partners and change agents about the WHO, WHAT and WHY of culture change and person-centered care? Well, look no further! The Culture Change Network of Georgia (CCNG) may have just what you are looking for!

Through the generosity of a CMP grant, and through partnerships with organizations like Pioneer Network, they have produced short educational videos on topics from What is Culture Change? to State Culture Change Coalitions: Key to Advancing Change at the Local Level to Culture Change and Person-Centered Care: What’s the Difference? to Why Worry About Words: WORDS MATTER.”

Join Kim McRae and Rose Marie Fagan as they share the story behind the videos and offer some ideas to spark a conversation about how you can use these free resources to advance culture change and person-centered practices.

And while we’re talking, Joan Devine, Director of Education with Pioneer Network will update you on the resources available through Pioneer Network in our Learning Resource Library and more.

Conversations with Carmen

January 17, 2020: Is Something Better Than Nothing?
Guest: Sonya Barsness, Gerontologist

Join Carmen and her guest Sonya Barsness as they think through this question. Not presuming to have the answers, they will examine the question through a range of common practices and. Building on former work together, we will look at customs such as folding towels or baby clothes that serve no purpose, fake animals and babies, fake plants, door covers, murals that disguise doorways and more. What are the pros and cons of fake life offerings and real life? Is something truly better than nothing? Are there unintended consequences?

MC5 Testimonials

MC5 is gearing up to celebrate 15 years as an organization! We are excited and invite you to celebrate by sharing YOUR story.

  • How has MC5 impacted you or your organization?
  •  What features of MC5 do you enjoy most?
  •  What have you learned through a Regional Group training, Road Show or Conference?

Testimonials received from communities, businesses, or individuals will be featured on our website and social media. Send a short written paragraph or short video to or directly post it on our Facebook Page.

We appreciate your partnership to help us continue our mission to promote and support ongoing collaboration within the adult care continuum to create environments where dignity and value of each individual who lives and works there is respected and celebrated.

Conversations with Carmen

November 15, 2019: Shedding Light on Dementia for Family, Friends and Care Givers
Guests: Linda Bump, MPH, RLD

Continuing the conversation on how we can stay in relationship, even when we must “give care” as a family member, friend or caregiver.

In this show, we’ll discuss approaches to support daily activities from self-care, to eating, to pursuing leisure.

In our last conversation, we detailed the five human needs of comfort, identity, inclusion, attachment and occupation. This show will have a special focus on the human need of occupation and will discuss specific ways and techniques to help persons living with dementia continue as much of their normal, daily occupation as possible.

Pioneer Network’s Hot Topics: Culture Change in Action  (Free Webinar)

December 19, 2019: This Holiday Season, Give the Gift that Keeps Giving
Guide: Brian LeBlanc, Marketing and Public Relations Executive

Join us for a conversation about how to make the holidays the best they can be not only for persons living with dementia, but for their Care Partners and for each of us.

Brian will share his thoughts on things like: what are some of the most meaningful gifts you can give; how can holiday traditions have a positive effect on individuals; and what are well-intentioned things that people do during the holidays that add to the stigmatization created around elders and those living with dementia.

Conversations with Carmen

October 18, 2019: Shedding Light on Dementia for Family, Friends and Care Givers – 2nd in series on creating a good life for persons living with dementia
Guests: Megan Hannan, MS and Linda Bump, MPH, RLD

How can we stay in relationship with the people we love who are now living with dementia?


    • Listening and being present.
    • Appealing to strengths and abilities.
    • Experiencing even a small success.

These are things that help any of us have a better moment, hour or day, and often help persons living with dementia feel heard, included, competent and less isolated. That can be huge!

We invite staff, families and friends of persons living with dementia to join us for this “illuminating” conversation. We’ll discuss the five basic human needs: comfort, inclusion, identity, occupation and attachment, and how understanding those can help us be present and in relationship with persons living with dementia. We’ll also talk about simple communication techniques and approaches that have been shown to help ease agitation or confusion.

For this show, we encourage communities to invite family members and friends of your residents living with dementia, to join you for this webinar. Make it a party!

For those who support someone living at home with dementia, gather family and friends together for this webinar.

As always, registration for the webinar allows you to attend the live show and/or to watch the recorded show. Learn at your convenience!

MC5 Fall Roadshow – Restorative Sleep: Lessons Learned, Barriers Encountered, Successes Achieved

October 22, 2019: Restorative Sleep: Lessons Learned, Barriers Encountered, Successes Achieved
Location: Orlando’s Event Center, Maryland Heights

October 29, 2019: Restorative Sleep: Lessons Learned, Barriers Encountered, Successes Achieved
Location: St. Joseph Medical Center, Kansas City

Restorative Sleep: Lessons Learned, Barriers Encountered, Successes Achieved

Presenters: Dave Walker, BSE, LNHA and Mendy Wibbenmeyer

The Restorative Sleep Vitality Program (RSVP) was an 18-month grant program sponsored by MC5. Thirty (30) skilled homes from across the state started this project and this presentation will explain some of the lessons learned, barriers encountered, and successes achieved. The goal of the program was to create a sleep culture for elders by promoting active engagement during the day and restful restorative sleep at night. This presentation will explain how sleep and lack of sleep affects a person’s 24-hour day, and will give participants some practical tips and strategies to create a Sleep Culture for their own residents. Staff from one of the collaborative homes will share their own personal experience.

This presentation will teach you the importance of Restorative Sleep by learning to identify and implement at least ten interventions to re disturbances to nighttime sleep. You will also discover the negative affect of fragmented sleep on the human body. Participating homes will share their insight and discuss how implementing Restorative Sleep as changed their culture. You will learn to apply this knowledge and make it work for your environment!

Join the MC5 Board of Directors

Looking to expand your professional repertoire and contribute expertise?

The Board of Directors of MC5 is looking for YOU!

As experts in culture change and person-directed care, MC5 offers outstanding opportunities for networking within the healthcare continuum of Missouri. This organization is built on education and bringing experience and expertise in person-directed care to staff and residents.

We connect with Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living, Residential Care Communities, hospice, home health, mental health, the veteran’s administrations, hospitals, retail, DME, clinical specialists and many others in healthcare. Broaden your professional horizons and share your knowledge by applying for the MC5 Board of Directors.

Applicants should reply to Justin Blattel at no later than September 14, 2019.

Please respond by telling us 1) why you want to be involved with MC5 and any prior experience you have with the organization, and 2) your professional background.

MC5 is an all-volunteer organization and everyone is welcome! The Board of Directors meets four times per year.

Pioneer Network’s Hot Topics: Culture Change in Action

October 24, 2019: Breaking Through Dementia: Validation
Guide: Vicki de Klerk-Rubin, Executive Director, Validation Training Institute

Validation is a proven, non-pharmaceutical method of communication developed by social worker and gerontologist Naomi Feil that helps improve the connection between caregivers and older adults experiencing dementia, also known as cognitive-decline or disorientation. The session will cover the background of the Validation method, the basics of the Validation method and what to do next!

Pioneer Network’s Hot Topics: Culture Change in Action

September 19, 2019: Watch-list Huddling: A High-engagement Proactive Quality Practice
Guides: Lynn Snow, Research Clinical Psychologist, Research and Development Service of the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center and Christine Hartmann, Supervisory Research Health Scientist, Bedford VA Medical Center

Is your team poised to prevent resident quality problems before they occur? The watch-list huddle is a 15-minute practice that will enable your team to quickly identify and respond to resident conditions that can rapidly exacerbate into full-blow quality crises, thus preventing quality problems before they occur. The watch-list huddle also strengthens your team, improving communication and trust.

In this webinar, you will:

  • learn what the watch-list huddle practice entails through case examples of successful implementation in multiple VA community living centers and
  • learn how to create an action plan for implementing the watch-list huddle practice with your own team(s).

Conversations with Carmen

August 16, 2019: Community Meetings: The Way to be Proactive
Guest: Barry Barkan, Co-developer of the Live Oak Regenerative Community

Join Barry Barkan, co-developer of the Live Oak Regenerative Community – a nationally recognized model for transforming institutions into loving and empowering communities. The Barkans accomplished this by gathering daily to build community, discuss matters of importance, celebrate, remember and mourn. Hear how homes use daily Community Meetings to include residents and team members in discussing grievances and making decisions regarding budget, supplies, vendors and more. Truly the way to be proactive rather than reactive.

Conversations with Carmen

July 19, 2019: Real Babies and Children – How to Welcome Children All the Time
Guest: Angie McAllister, Director of Quality of Life and Culture Change Operations, Signature HealthCARE

This month learn how to successfully incorporate children into the life of a nursing home from Angie McAllister. She will also share ways to welcome employees’ children and host camp all summer long. Join Angie and Carmen for this illuminating discussion about adding more Real Life to the care environment.

You can contribute to the discussion, too, with your questions and ideas for bringing in more real babies and real children – Real Life for true companionship!

Pioneer Network’s Hot Topics: Culture Change in Action

August 15, 2019: A Cruel Irony: Ageism and Ableism in Senior Living Environments
Guide: Jill Vitale-Aussem, President & CEO of The Eden Alternative

We know that our society is full of ageist and ableist messaging. Senior living communities should be a safe haven from this barrage of negativity, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, some of the most damaging examples of ageism and ableism occur right under our noses as residents living with frailty or different abilities are marginalized, ostracized and segregated from the rest of the population. This webinar will expose some of the most common examples of ageism and ableism in community living settings and provide tools to begin to build a culture of inclusivity.

Pioneer Network’s Hot Topics: Culture Change in Action

June 25, 2019: It’s Happening: How Anti-Ageism Activists are Changing the Culture of Aging! (FREE WEBINAR)
Guide: Ashton Applewhite, Anti-Ageism Activist

Join us for an interactive discussion with nationally known author and anti-ageism activist Ashton Applewhite about what’s happening in the movement to change the culture of aging. We’ll talk about international and domestic campaigns to dismantle ageism, and how pro-aging advocates can find resources, confront our own internalized ageism, participate in these initiatives, and help build a better world in which to grow old.