Call Us Today

The Phoebe Institute on Aging 2018 Spring Conference

Building a Customer Driven Culture
Thursday, April 26, 2018
8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
University Center at DeSales University
Presented by Cura Hospitality

Register by clicking on this link, or in the order form below.
Click here to view the conference brochure.

The cost for the full-day conference, which includes all programming, a continental breakfast, and a buffet lunch, is $25. Students and Phoebe employees are admitted free with a valid ID (which must be presented during morning check-in) and scholarships will be considered. Most CEUs are offered at an additional cost. Register by April 17, 2018. Please call 610-794-5150 with questions.

Scroll down in the order form and click the “register” button after you select your ticket option.

Customer driven culture aims to transform organizations that serve seniors by infusing person centered awareness and approaches into all interactions, relationships, and services, in order to provide positive experiences for everyone involved. The benefits of empowering those in our care to make their own decisions are many. By doing so, we optimize their health, their well-being, and the satisfaction they find in their own lives. This conference will explore an exciting new direction in the way we work with seniors, as well as its effect on family caregiving and dementia care.

Applications have been submitted for Nursing, Nursing Home Administrator, Personal Care Home Administrator, Social Work, Community Life, and Pastoral Care credits.


Conference Schedule
Session Descriptions
Continuing Education (CEU) Unit Hours
Speaker Biographies
Directions and Parking
About the Phoebe Institute On Aging


Conference Schedule
The Conference is presented by Cura Hospitality
(The session descriptions are listed below the schedule)

Session Descriptions


8:00 – 11:35 a.m.

Keynote and Workshop: Building a Customer Driven Culture
Sponsored by L.R. Webber

Anna Ortigara, RN, MS, FAAN, Organizational Change Consultant, PHI Consulting Services

Everything in the area of aging services is moving towards an approach that recognizes the sovereignty of the individual who receives supports and services. The intensive morning presentation and workshop will provide a highly experiential glimpse into the four core elements of person directed living, the ultimate expression of elder empowerment that effectively shifts power and focus to the elder and the elder’s closest care partners.


First Breakout Session

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Option A: Creating Person Directed Care Teams

Anna Ortigara, RN, MS, FAAN, Organizational Change Consultant, PHI Consulting Services

Creating person directed care settings is important, but it cannot be accomplished without a shift in leadership engagement of staff in the process. This session will explore how to create a coaching culture with the goal of empowering direct care staff and creating work teams. Empowered staff has the capacity to listen to and empower seniors. This model depends upon quality jobs, which is directly related to greater staff satisfaction and job retention.

Option B: ARTZ @ Jefferson: A New Paradigm for Empowerment at the Intersection of Arts, Dementia, and Health Care

Susan Shifrin, Ph.D., Founder & Executive Director, ARTZ Philadelphia

It is too often the case that the voices of people living with dementia and their care partners are not heard or attended to, by their care providers or by their communities. ARTZ @ Jefferson establishes a new paradigm in which the students of medical and other health professions learn what it means to live with dementia, straight from the experts themselves: those with diagnoses or their primary care partners. This session will present alternatives to the narrative of incapacity surrounding dementia; introduce the goals and impact of the collaboration between a small nonprofit and a large medical school; and invite audience members to integrate this paradigm in their own practices.

Second Breakout Session

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.

Option A: The Complex Journey toward Customer Driven Culture

Mary Kay McMahon, RN, MHA, NHA, Senior Vice President, Health Care Services, Phoebe Ministries

Using Phoebe Ministries’ journey toward customer driven culture as a case study, this presentation will explore why organizations must move in this direction, how to identify who the customers are and what they value, and how to set organizational expectations. The challenges of systemic resistance, and how to educate all employees to understand customer driven culture in a way that propels them to change their habits and routines, and provide customer centric service, will also be addressed.

Option B: When Life Gets Tough, Put on Your Boxing Gloves

Dori Billowitch, PTA, RSB Certified Coach, Rock Steady Boxing of the Lehigh Valley

Nicole Weaknecht, DPT, Inpatient Neurorehabilitation Therapist, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital

Rock Steady Boxing gives hope to people with Parkinson’s disease through a non-contact boxing-based fitness curriculum. By using boxing drills, participants condition themselves for optimal agility, muscular endurance, and overall strength to defend against the limitations of the disease. This session will outline the physical and emotional effects of living with Parkinson’s disease and how fitness programs like Rock Steady can improve the physical health and quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s.

Third Breakout Session

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Option A: Fostering Innovative Ideas and Thinking for Senior Care

Hope Horowitz, MSW, LSW, Professor of Social Work/Sociology, Northampton Community College

As our population continues to age, models for senior care must change to meet new demands. What can we learn from other countries? What is happening in the United States? Designing and developing new approaches to senior care challenges us to be creative, innovative, and daring.

Option B: Caregiving Fitness: How Capturing Important Information Helps to Personalize Care for Clients and Loved Ones

Dee Marrella, author of “Everything About ME: A Guide for My Future Caregivers” (DC Press, 2011)

“Everything About ME: A Guide for My Future Caregivers” is a valuable resource for professional and family caregivers, as well as for older adults who want to specify their care wishes. The information captured in this workbook gives caregivers a clearer picture of each individual’s wants and needs, thus encouraging personalized care. This session will review the information most necessary to understand about the client or loved one, and will inform attendees how best to make use of this tool.

Continuing Education (CEU) Unit Hours

Six total hours are available for the day.

Three credit hours are available for the morning and three for the afternoon. Please visit the designated CEU tables during registration to receive your paperwork.

Nursing CEUs

Phoebe has applied to the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing for six CEUs for the full day. If approved, they will be available for $10.

Nursing Home Administrator CEUs

Phoebe has applied to the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing Home Administrators for six CEUs for the full day. If approved, they will be available for $10.

Personal Care Home Administrator CEUs

Phoebe has applied to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare for six CEUs for the full day. If approved, they will be available for $10.

Social Work CEUs*

Six CEUs will be awarded for completion of the full-day course or three for the morning program. Bring a check payable to NASW the day of the event: $15 for NASW members; $50 for non-members.

Community Life Professional CEUs

Phoebe has applied to the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals for six CEUs for the full day. If approved, they will be available for $10.

Pastoral Care CEUs

Six units are available at no cost for the full day.

Certificate of Attendance

Phoebe Ministries offers a certificate of attendance at no cost.

*NASW has been designated as a pre-approved provider of professional continuing education for social workers (Section 47.36), Marriage and Family Therapists (Section 48.36), and Professional Counselors (Section 49.36) by the Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage & Family Therapists and Professional Counselors.

Speaker Biographies

Anna Ortigara, RN, MS, FAAN
Organizational Change Consultant
PHI Consulting Services

Ortigara joined the Coaching and Consulting Services team at PHI after working in the fields of gerontology and long term care for more than three decades. Since beginning her career as a registered nurse, Ortigara has gone on to work with elders in a variety of settings, including skilled nursing communities, adult day care, and home care. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and the primary author of “LEAP for the 21st Century LTC Workforce.” Ortigara has served as the vice president of culture change for the Life Services Network of Illinois, the director of residential care services for the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago, and the associate director of long term care accreditation at the Joint Commission.

Ortigara spent six years at The Green House Project®, where she worked closely with PHI, adapting the PHI Coaching Approach to fit The Green House® model. She presents frequently at national and international conferences, speaking about culture change, quality jobs, recruitment and retention, and person centered dementia care, as well as other long term care issues. She was named a Leader of Tomorrow by Long Term Living in 2014.

Ortigara received a Master of Science in Nursing at Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Saint Xavier University in Chicago.

Breakout Session Speaker Biographies

Dori Billowitch, PTA, has been employed in Outpatient Neurology Therapy at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital for 14 years. She specializes in working with patients who present neurological conditions, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, spinal cord injury (SCI), and Parkinson’s disease. Billowitch is certified in Interactive Metronome®, Lee Silverman voice treatment (LSVT), Rock Steady Boxing, and Neuro-IFRAH treatment.

Hope Horowitz, MSW, LSW, began her career in social services as a VISTA volunteer. She received a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan, and has enjoyed a distinguished career as a practitioner, administrator, trainer, and educator for 35 years. She is an instructor of social work/sociology at Northampton Community College and proudly serves on the advisory board of the Phoebe Institute on Aging.

Dee Marrella spent more than 20 years in the field of education, both in Europe and the United States. Experiencing different cultures allowed her to observe the vast differences in the way caregivers interact with both young and old individuals in a variety of communities. When her mother was living in a skilled nursing center, Marrella observed other families dealing with pain, love, and even guilt, which inspired her to write Everything About ME: A Guide for My Future Caregivers, a book that compiles a decade of sharing and learning to provide an entirely fresh approach to the future of caregiving.

Mary Kay McMahon, RN, MHA, NHA, is the Senior Vice President of Health Care Services for Phoebe Ministries. She has 40 years of clinical and leadership experience in a variety of positions in both acute and long term care. McMahon graduated from Pittston Hospital School of Nursing and received both a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science from the University of St. Francis. She has been a featured speaker at several regional, state, and national conferences, and was honored with the LeadingAge PA Leader of the Year Award in 2012.

Susan Shifrin, Ph.D., is the director of ARTZ Philadelphia, which she founded in 2013. She is an art historian, curator, educator, and arts accessibility advocate. She received her doctorate from Bryn Mawr College and has worked at museums up and down the East Coast. She was inspired to launch ARTZ Philadelphia after hosting programs for visitors with dementia at her museum. She was profoundly affected as she watched them come to life in the galleries, talking about art with each other, their caregivers, and museum staff. She says art became their vehicle for self-expression, interaction, creativity, mutual respect, and joy.

Nicole Weaknecht, PT, DPT, graduated from Thomas Jefferson University with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She works primarily in the brain injury unit at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Weaknecht also volunteers with Good Shepherd’s Rock Steady Boxing classes for people with Parkinson’s disease.

Directions and Parking

University Center at DeSales University
2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034Phoebe property layout

From Route 309 Traveling South

Take state Route 309 South to Route 378 North.

Turn LEFT and follow Route 378 North to Preston Lane (next to the Copperhead Grille).

Turn RIGHT on Preston Lane.

Turn RIGHT on Landis Mill Road to enter the DeSales University campus.

Turn LEFT on Station Avenue. The University Center parking lot is the first left. Additional parking and a shuttle are located across Landis Mill Road in front of Billera Hall.

From Route 309 Traveling North

At the intersection of Route 309 and Route 378, bear right.

Follow Route 378 North to Preston Lane (next to the Copperhead Grille).

Turn RIGHT on Preston Lane.

Turn RIGHT on Landis Mill Road to enter the DeSales University campus.

Turn LEFT on Station Avenue. The University Center parking lot is the first left. Additional parking and a shuttle are located across Landis Mill Road in front of Billera Hall.


Parking is available in the lot in front of University Center. Overflow parking will be available across the street in front of Billera Hall. Carpooling is encouraged.

A shuttle and a walking path to the nearby University Center are both available.

Please note in your registration if you need a reserved spot close to the building due to a physical limitation.

About the Phoebe Institute on Aging

The Phoebe Institute on Aging promotes improved quality of life and care for the aging and their families. The Institute is well-known for its innovative educational programs, cooperative ventures, and outreach activities.

Phoebe Ministries is able to provide this educational conference at a low cost thanks to the continued support of our donors.

Save the date for the Phoebe Institute on Aging Fall Conference! Thursday, October 11, 2018 at DeSales University.

PLEASE NOTE: The conference room tends to be cool, so please be mindful of your own comfort as you dress for the day. We recommend layers that can be easily added or removed throughout the day. The temperature in the conference rooms cannot be changed.

*Please call 610-794-5150 with questions.


Return to Top


Newsletter Signup
@2017 Phoebe Ministries All Rights Reserved. | Online Privacy Policy | Login
1.800.453.8814 | General Phone 610.435.9037 | 1925 W Turner St., Allentown, PA 18104

Phoebe does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender identity, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation or military status in any of its activities or operations.
Amazon Smile