NAHCA Plays Major Role at IHCA/ICAL Conference

(12/6/2012) NAHCA Plays Major Role at IHCA/ICAL Conference NAHCA was center stage at the 2012 Iowa Health Care Association/Iowa Center for Assisted Living (IHCA/ICAL) Winter Conference held in Des Moines, Iowa on December 5th, 2012. Lori Porter, NAHCA CEO, and Lisa Cantrell, NAHCA Chief Clinical Officer, both presented programs at the conference. The event was well received and well attended with 102 CNAs and 108 administrators and nurses in attendance. Lori’s program was titled: “How the Frontline Impacts the Bottom Line”. Lisa presented “We’ve Got One… Three Little Words that Changed My Life” a program about lessons learned from the Joplin, Missouri tornado. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad also attended and spoke at the conference.

IHCA/ICAL Executive Director, Steve Ackerson announced that 2013 would be the “Year of the CNA” and that NAHCA will play a major role in making that a reality during his update. Steve had high praise for the partnership IHCA/ICAL has with NAHCA and recognized NAHCA staff and CNAs in attendance, while speaking briefly.

Several NAHCA members were in attendance including NAHCA National Steering Commission member Julie Kennedy. Julie is from Heritage Manor in Dubuque, Iowa and serves as the Chair of the NAHCA Iowa Steering Committee as well as serving on the National Steering Commission. While at the conference, Julie gave an update on the work of the Iowa Steering Committee over the course of the past year. Julie commented that “a lot of CNAs who know of NAHCA respect what Lori and Lisa’s (Lori porter, NAHCA CEO and Lisa Cantrell, NAHCA Chief Clinical Officer) mission is. To hear from Lori first hand about how our actions and the things we say and repeat affect our jobs every day, made quite a few stop and think. You don’t realize how, until it’s put in your face”. Julie went on to discuss Lisa’s presentation about the 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado (Joplin is where NAHCA calls home): “Lisa did an amazing job speaking about the tragedy that befell Joplin last year in May. I am honored to have been with the group of people who got to hear it from her first. Her message made a huge impact on everyone.”

The event produced a particularly exciting moment when each CNA at the conference was given an envelope containing a crisp $100 bill. The CNAs received this Christmas gift out of a donation of $10,000 to IHCA/ICAL from an anonymous donor. The donor insisted part of the money go to the CNAs at the conference.

Other NAHCA staff attending the conference were: Dane Henning, Jared Wilkinson, and Gary Ohmart. Dane is the marketing coordinator at NAHCA and Jared serves as the Director of Education. Both were on hand to promote the NAHCA mission and NVCC.

Lloyd Luapula joins the NAHCA Staff

(12/1/2012) Lloyd Luapula has joined NAHCA as the newest Professional Development Coach (PDC). Lloyd will work closely with NAHCA members who use the NAHCA Virtual Campus of Care (NVCC), particularly preceptor students.

Lloyd was born and raised in Lusaka, Zambia and graduated from high school there in 1999. After high school, Lloyd studied accounting at an accounting college in Zambia. He worked as an accounting technician before deciding to move to the United States where he attended Crowder College in Neosho, Missouri. Lloyd studied nursing while at Crowder and received an Associate of Arts Degree in General Studies. Lloyd received his CNA certification from Joplin Health and Rehab and has worked in that capacity for the past five years, most recently at Spring River Christian Village in Joplin, Missouri.

NAHCA feels Lloyd will be a valuable asset to the team and to the members of the association.

Andrea Haner Joins the NAHCA Team

(11/1/2012) NAHCA is pleased to announce that Andrea “Andi” Haner has joined the NAHCA staff as the Executive Assistant to the CEO. Andrea is originally from South Coffeyville, Oklahoma and is a 1999 Oklahoma State University graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications. She is a staunch OSU Cowboys football fan which poses problems during the “Bedlam” series against the University of Oklahoma (her husband, Jeremy, is an OU fan). Prior to joining the NAHCA team Andrea was the staffing coordinator for Restore Therapy, a company providing rehabilitative services for long term care facilities. She was responsible for scheduling therapy staffing and visits for ten nursing homes the company serviced in Missouri and Arkansas. Andrea feels that the fast paced work environment she experienced at Restore Therapy will serve her well in her new role. She will be coordinating NAHCA CEO Lori Porter’s busy office, travel, and appearance schedule. Lori Porter stated, “I feel that Andi will be a tremendous asset to me and the rest of the NAHCA team. NAHCA has experienced such growth over the past year that having someone who can facilitate my scheduling and duties will be invaluable to me.”

NAHCA Member Attends AHFSA Conference

(10/3/2012) NAHCA member Pam Conder from the Good Samaritan Society in Ottumwa, Iowa (a Skilled Nursing Facility) recently attended the Association of Health Facility Survey Agencies (AHFSA) 2012 Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. She represented NAHCA at the NAHCA trade booth. Pam passed out information about NAHCA and promoted the NAHCA mission. She also attended educational sessions. Pam felt that it was a great networking opportunity with every state and the District of Columbia being represented. Pam is another excellent example of how a NAHCA member can become engaged in our association and help to promote the mission of NAHCA. The event was held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Cincinnati on October 1 - 3, 2012. The Association of Health Facility Survey Agencies is a not-for profit organization that provides a forum for health care regulatory agency directors and managers to address common interests, concerns, and health care program issues. The state licensing and certification agencies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are members of the association. Pam Conder is a member of the Iowa State Steering Committee for NAHCA and serves as Vice Chair.

Donna Adair To Serve As Secretary For Advancing Excellence

(9-19-2012) Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA) is pleased to announce that NAHCA member Donna Adair has been chosen to represent NAHCA as an office holding board member for the Advancing Excellence in Long Term Care Collaborative (AELTCC). Donna will serve as the Secretary for 2013-2015. The major initiative of the Collaborative is the Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes Campaign. The Mission of the Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes Campaign is to help nursing homes achieve excellence in the quality of care and quality of life for the more than 1.5 million residents of America’s nursing homes. The campaign is based in Washington, D.C and NAHCA is a founding member. Donna is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) from the Missouri Veteran’s Home in Warrensburg, Missouri. Donna has also served as a member of NAHCAs Steering Commission for several years and is very active in NAHCA events. She has represented NAHCA on the Advancing Excellence Board for the past year. The National Association of Health Care Assistants is an association with a membership of nearly 40,000 caregivers representing over 800 nursing homes in 29 states and the District of Columbia. For more information about the Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes Campaign please visit:

Director of Education Announced

9/19/2012 - We are pleased to announce that Jared Wilkinson has joined NAHCA as the new Director of Education. Jared was a math and physics teacher at a Joplin area high school and worked in IT prior to joining NAHCA. Jared is a graduate of Missouri Southern State University with a 3.7 GPA and received acknowledgement as the Outstanding Math Education Graduate. Jared was also honored with the Spencer Bartlett Respect Award for his accomplishments as a student. Jared will be able to use his background in Education and IT ( He holds an Associate of Science degree in Computer-Aided-Drafting/Design) to expand on NAHCAs already impressive Virtual Campus of Care. Jared will be responsible for developing educational content, primarily for the NAHCA Virtual Campus of Care. He will work closely with the NAHCA team to implement and promote those educational programs. “NAHCA feels that Jared will be a tremendous asset to the team with his experience in education and computer systems and we believe that his addition to the team will help NAHCA in its’ efforts to provide outstanding programs for our members”, said NAHCA CEO Lori Porter.

The NAHCA Virtual Campus of Care (NVCC) is unmatched in depth and scope by any other distance learning program for nursing assistants in long term care. It is a vital part of the overall mission of NAHCA which is to elevate the professional standing and performance of caregivers through recognition, advocacy, education and empowerment; while building a strong alliance with health care providers to maximize success and quality care. Jared should be a vital cog in the process and the entire NAHCA staff welcomes him to the team.

Advocacy Update

9/5/2012 - NAHCA is pleased that our members are becoming engaged in the advocacy process as evidenced by member attendance at the Iowa town hall meetings. We encourage you to attend events like this on your own when they are held in your area. The local newspaper or the website for your Senator/Representative are good resources for finding out when and where their respective town hall meetings will be held. If you attend and are able to engage with your member of Congress here are some talking points that you can bring up with them:

1. Discuss the services and care that you provide for your residents.
2. The long term care profession is the 10th largest employer in the nation.
3. 1.7 million people rely on Medicare for their care in nursing facilities each year.
4. 1.6 million people rely on Medicaid for services in nursing facilities.
5. Medicaid underfunded nursing facility care by an average of $20 per patient per day nationally (for a total of $6.3 billion) in 2011.
6. Oppose any further cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

You can help your residents by becoming a voice for them with your elected officials. As a primary caregiver you can lend a perspective that others can't. Your voice is very important!


8/21/2012 - Jason Porter, NAHCA Director of Public Affairs, had the pleasure of attending two town hall meetings with three NAHCA members recently. The town Halls were held by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa. The first town hall was held in Harlan, Iowa. NAHCA NLT member Lori Copenhaver from Avoca Nursing and Rehab attended the meeting with Mr. Porter. Jason and Lori were able to meet briefly with Senator Grassley. They said that they would appreciate his support of long term care and issues that affect the industry. Jason Porter also expressed to the Senator that our residents could not afford further cuts in Medicare. The next morning Jason Porter, Rachel Bendixen, and Pam Porter attended another Grassley town hall in Carroll, Iowa. Rachel and Pam are from Odebolt Nursing and Rehab in Odebolt, Iowa. Both are very active in NAHCA, Pam as a Preceptor and Rachel as an In-House Coach. The group was able to chat briefly with Senator Grassley prior to the town hall. This event was better attended than the town hall the previous evening, around 80 people jammed into the small meeting room. The NAHCA group was positioned right up front with their NAHCA Careforce buttons visible. This meeting was covered by local television and print media. Pam, Rachel, and Jason were all shown on the television broadcast and pictured on the front page of the local newspaper in Carroll. Although the group did not have extended time with the Senator they were able to get the NAHCA mission spread and it was an excellent opportunity for the NAHCA members to get "their feet wet" in the advocacy arena. NAHCA will be attending more town halls in other states in the preceding weeks. We will keep you updated.

Professional Development Coach Announced

8/1/2012 - We are pleased to announce that Jerry Reinke has come back home to NAHCA as Professional Development Coach (PDC). Prior to joining the NAHCA team, Jerry worked as a CNA and CMT in the state of Missouri. He received his certification as a Nursing Assistant in 1985, and was certified as a Medication Technician later that same year. Throughout his career Jerry was certified as a rehabilitation assistant, certified in insulin therapy administration, and worked in a supervisory capacity. During his last 2 years of employment as a front line caregiver, he served as purchasing agent for a one hundred fifty-two bed skilled nursing facility. Jerry originally joined the NAHCA team in 2000, and worked with NAHCA until 2009 when he took a three year hiatus to reconnect with the front line. Jerry excitedly rejoins the NAHCA team with a fresh perspective eager to serve our members as a Professional Development Coach. During his employment with NAHCA, Jerry presented in twenty-eight states to thousands of CNAs, administrators, DONs, SDCs and other professionals in long term care. He has also spoken for the Montana, New Mexico, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas and Ohio State Health Care Associations. Jerry has logged thousands of hours speaking and teaching on topics such as team building, communications, and mentoring. He smartly weaves humor and experiences from his past to motivate and educate his audience. During his experience as a long term care professional, he has had the opportunity to work with some of the greatest people of our nation... the elderly. Jerry is proud to have dedicated the past 27 years of his life to long term care.

NAHCA Announces Director of Education

7/31/2012 - We are pleased to announce that Jared Wilkinson has joined NAHCA as the new Director of Education. Prior to joining NAHCA, Jared was a Field Engineer for a Joplin information technology company.
Jared was previously a Math and Physics Teacher for a local high school and developed his passion for education while earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics Education. Jared graduated with a 3.7 GPA from Missouri Southern State University, receiving acknowledgement as the Outstanding Math Education Graduate. Upon graduating, Jared was honored with the Spencer Bartlett Respect Award for his accomplishments as a student. Jared also earned an Associate of Science degree in Computer-Aided-Drafting/Design in the 90's. Jared enjoys helping people build confidence and knowledge while they pursue educational goals. Jared decided to become an educator after spending nearly 10 years in a Research & Development division, serving most recently as a Project Engineer. Jared is most proud of being a father to his 4 year-old son, Hayden. Hayden has inspired Jared to pursue endeavors that promote continuous learning, pride, and achievement. Hayden is a busy little man, and together they find adventure in every experience.

Increase in Medicare Payments for Skilled Nursing Facilities

7/30/2012 - There is good news out of Washington, D.C. for Skilled Nursing Facilities. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a notice on Friday July 27,2012 that updated the SNF Prospective Payment System (PPS) for fiscal year 2013. It calls for an overall increase in Medicare payments of 1.8%. It is estimated by CMS that net Medicare Part A payments to Skilled Nursing Facilities will increase by about $670 million over the year. The update is to take effect on October 1st. NAHCA Director of Communications and Public Affairs Jason Porter said, “ this is great news. The industry has been devastated by cuts in the past and we need something like this so that our facilities can keep on providing the quality care that the residents deserve. We still need to continue the fight by advocating for the profession and our residents, and we vow to that at NAHCA.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 9-10, 2012) ― Ten members of the National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA) recently attended the American Health Care Association’s (AHCA) Congressional Briefing held in Washington, D.C. NAHCA staff also attended the briefing. The event offered several expert speakers (including several members of Congress) who spoke about long term care and how it is affected by the political process and what can be done to fight for the industry. The second day the members went on Congressional visits where they were able to have their voices heard and fight for the resources that their beloved residents need so much.

NAHCA member Shelley Owens of State Center Nursing and Rehab Center, State Center, Iowa, pictured alongside Iowa Congressman Tom Latham (R-4th)

The ten NAHCA Member CNAs who attended were:
Shelley Owens from State Center Nursing & Rehab in State Center, Iowa
Wendell Anderson from Maravilla Care Center in Phoenix, Arizona
Tonya Smith from Heritage Healthcare of Swainsoro in Swainsboro, Georgia
Bailey Goodman and Mary McGrew from Edmonson Care & Rehab in Brownsville, Kentucky
Cindy Rush from Plaza West Regional Health Center in Topeka, Kansas
Crystal Norton from the Oaks of Brevard in Brevard, North Carolina
Christina Dixon from Grace Living Center-Jenks in Jenks, Oklahoma
Dawn Thompson from Glenville Care & Rehab in Glenville, West Virginia
Tara Tyler from UPAC-Bamberg in Bamberg, South Carolina

NAHCA is so proud of the members who offered their time and made a commitment to this very important cause.

NAHCA is a professional association representing caregivers and long term care facilities in the United States. The association has over 500 member facilities and over 36,000 individual members.

Media Contact:
Jason Porter (417) 623-6049


Medline to help reduce turnover rate, promote the benefits of NAHCA

Joplin, MO, July 5, 2012 — They are the unsung heroes of the nursing home industry - caring, feeding, bathing and clothing millions of our nation's elderly. Yet, certified nursing assistants (CNAs), the group that will be most in demand as the population continues to age, is beset with high turnover and in need of greater recognition and educational opportunities. To address these issues, Medline announced today that it has formed an exclusive partnership with the National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA) to reduce the turnover rate and improve job satisfaction amongst CNAs in an effort to improve the quality of patient care.

In the partnership, Medline and NAHCA will collaborate on several initiatives, including a new education series for CNAs to increase their skills and competencies, an outreach program to elevate the professional standing and importance of CNAs in the care and treatment of nursing home residents, and a marketing and communications campaign to raise the awareness of the Association and its benefits.

"If you've ever had a loved one in a nursing home, you know how critically important nursing assistants are to the care of your mom or dad," said Tim Dundon, president of long-term care sales for Medline. "Like any profession, CNAs require the resources, education and encouragement to do their job at a consistently high level. That is why we are partnering with the NAHCA to support CNAs and recognize the important role they play in caring for the elderly and sick."

Current research indicates that job satisfaction directly correlates to personal and professional satisfaction. Through advocacy, education and recognition, nursing assistants would possess higher job satisfaction and self esteem, which results in less turnover and enhanced quality of life among nursing home residents. It is for these reasons that Medline is forming this new partnership with NAHCA, according to Dundon.

"CNAs are the backbone of our nation's elderly care and this new partnership with Medline will help spread the word among health care providers and industry leaders of the importance of our Association not only to the professional development of CNAs but to the quality of care of the residents," said Lori Porter, co-founder and chief executive officer of NAHCA. "Medline is much more than the leading supplier to the long-term care industry. They do a lot in the way of educating and motivating caregivers to provide quality care. With their help, we can guarantee quality of care is being provided by ensuring that administration and frontline caregivers are working together in a mutually supportive and respectful culture."

Research has shown that members of NAHCA have greater job retention and professional satisfaction, which leads to greater care for the resident. Today, the Association has a membership of more than 36,000 caregivers representing over 800 nursing homes in 29 states and the District of Columbia. Based in Joplin, MO, NAHCA provides recognition for outstanding achievements, development training for caregivers, mentoring programs to reduce CNA turnover, and advocacy for issues important to long term care and caregivers. The organization also has entered the legislative arena, providing testimony on staffing in long term care before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. NAHCA’s Virtual Campus of Care (NVCC) offers a wide array of coursework that helps the student to meet their compliance education but also offers many development courses like the Certified Preceptor Course. This course helps to develop CNA mentors in facilities who work with other CNAs to assist in their performance and job satisfaction. Studies have shown that this has helped with retention and overall job performance within member facilities.

About Medline
As the nation's largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of health care products, Medline manufactures and distributes more than 125,000 products to hospitals, extended care facilities, surgery centers, physician offices, home care dealers and retailers. Headquartered in Mundelein, Ill., Medline has more than 1,100 dedicated sales representatives to support its broad product line and cost management services.

Supreme Court Ruling Won't Slow Us Down
America's skilled health care assistants remind nation that providing medical care is a 24/7 profession

June 28, 2012

Oklahoma City, OK – As the nation awaits the Supreme Court’s decision on health reform, hundreds of caregivers gathered today to remind the country that regardless of the final decision, the need to provide high quality care for the elderly and individuals with disabilities never ceases.

“While many are waiting with bated breath for the final vote on health reform, our caregivers are out in facilities, providing nursing care to millions of people,” said Lori Porter, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of NAHCA. “This decision doesn’t stop or delay disease, aging, or accidents. Our work goes on.”

The National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA) this week is hosting its annual national conference for nursing assistants and care providers in the long term care profession.

Over 400 caregivers from 20 states are attending the conference, which features education sessions and keynote presentations from long term care professionals.

The conference occurs in the midst of the Supreme Court’s examination of the Affordable Care Act. The final decision will impact nearly all corners of health care. Of particular concern to the long term care profession is the expansion of the Medicaid program as outlined in the Affordable Care Act, which would provide coverage for nearly 16 million more Americans. Currently, 63 percent of skilled nursing facility residents rely on Medicaid to pay for their care. However, Medicaid is an underfunded program that fails to reimburse long term care facilities for such services, resulting in a loss of $20 per resident, per day—or $6.3 billion annually, according to a recently published report. NAHCA’s conference will address changes resulting from the Supreme Court’s decision, as well as other issues such as quality, reducing rehospitalization rates, and more.

“The long term care profession has experienced a lot of financial instability in prior years,” said conference keynote speaker Len Russ, Vice Chair of the American Health Care Association, the nation’s largest trade group representing skilled nursing and post-acute care facilities. “This sector now needs to see national leaders provide a stable source of funding in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling.”

NAHCA Appoints CNA to Advancing Excellence Campaign


Joplin, MO - As one of the 12 founding members of the Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes, NAHCA holds a seat on the Campaign's Steering Committee. This week Lori Porter, NAHCA Co-Founder and CEO, announced the appointment of Donna Adair as NAHCA's representative on the Advancing Excellence Campaign. Donna will be focusing on improving the nation's Long Term Care profession by providing the frontline caregiver perspective.

The Advancing Excellence Campaign helps nursing homes achieve excellence in quality of care and quality of life for more than 1.5 million residents of America's nursing homes.

Donna is a CNA II/Medical Technician/Lead CNA from Missouri Veteran's Home in Warrensburg, Missouri. Through her 19 years of experience Donna has received many accolades for her leadership and dedication to Long Term Care such as CNA of the Year, CMT of the Year, and Team Leader.

"It is an honor to appoint a CNA, and more importantly, a NAHCA member to staff NAHCA's seat on the Advancing Excellence Steering Committee," says Lori Porter, Co-Founder and CEO of NAHCA. "Donna will be a great asset to the Campaign."

In response to being named NAHCA's representative for the Advancing Excellence Campaign's Steering Committee, Donna said, "I consider myself so very blessed to have been given this amazing opportunity. I recognize what an honor and privilege it will be to serve our nation's seniors, as well as represent my fellow CNA's in assuring our seniors have the care that is continually Advancing in Excellence."

"Mrs. Adair tirelessly and joyfully promotes the great works of compassion. It is a rare privilege to work with someone of Donna's caliber and I know she will immediately make positive and lasting contributions to the important work of Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes," says Eric Endsley, Missouri Veteran's Home - Warrensburg Administrator.

Donna is Chairman of the NAHCA Leadership Team at Warrensburg and serves as Vice-Chairman of NAHCA's National Steering Commission. She plans to use this experience to represent CNAs all over the nation and work to Advance Excellence in Long Term Care.

NAHCA Launches Two New Programs


Washington, DC - The National Association of Health Care Assistants, NAHCA, has launched two new frontline development programs: CareForce Educator and CareForce Developer. NAHCA has long recognized the importance of developing the frontline caregivers, presenting in-person instructor lead training for the past 15 years. NAHCA has expanded upon this time tested training and created the NAHCA Virtual Campus of Care, NVCC, an online virtual campus to meet the needs of the long term care community, accessible twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Utilizing NAHCA Professional Development Coaches, NVCC provides frequent and ongoing feedback and support, which is the key to successful and effective online education and training.

Lori Porter, NAHCA CEO said, "CareForce positively impacts the bottom-line and enriches the lives of the whole staff, ultimately ensuring the highest quality of care for our nation's frail and elderly." The CareForce programs have been added as a part of NAHCA's membership benefits. Each community will be assigned a Professional Development Coach, a career ladder tracking system, and a complete learning management system.

Lee Larimore, SVP, Business Development said, "We are extremely excited to introduce CareForce! CareForce Educator and CareForce Developer create a paradigm shift in the long term care industry, improving employee retention, reducing costs, and providing our frontline caregivers the opportunity to achieve both personal and professional goals."

NVCC's CareForce Educator and Developer courses were created to teach skills and applications for incorporation in daily practice by nursing assistants working in long term care as they serve the nation's frail and elderly. The positive outcomes of the programs include a more satisfied CareForce, reduced turnover and enhanced quality of care.

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