Fallon Health to lead discussion on family caregiving at Worcester symposium

Worcester, Mass., October 30, 2019―How society can support the quickly growing phenomenon of family caregiving will be the topic of a panel discussion in November among policymakers and national experts convened by Fallon Health. “The Costs of Caregiving Symposium” will take place from 8 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Nov, 7, at the AC Hotels by Marriott, located at 125 Front St., Worcester.

The event is directed toward business leaders, legislators, government/non-profit groups, human resources and employee assistance professionals, health care providers, community resources and caregivers. For the first time, nurses and social workers who attend will be eligible for continuing education credits.

“Caregivers play a crucial role in our families and in society, but it’s not an easy assignment,” said Richard Burke, President and CEO of Fallon Health. “With Fallon’s experience caring for older adults with diverse backgrounds and needs, we think it’s important to convene this group of experts to examine what we can do at all levels of society to take care of the people who take care of their loved ones.”

The keynote address will be delivered by Lisa Winstel, Chief Operating Officer of the Caregiver Action Network (CAN), who brings her own experiences as a “sandwich generation” caregiver to her role at CAN, having been her mother’s caregiver during a battle with a rare cancer.

“Family caregivers are the backbone of our nation’s long-term care system. Organizations like Fallon Health are asking the right questions about what it means to take on this important role, what caregivers are going through and how they can take care of themselves, too. I’m honored to be a part of this forum and look forward to bringing attention to the many costs of caregiving and giving voice to those who, too often, struggle in silence,” said Winstel.

Winstel’s keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion featuring:

  • Amanda Bernardo, Chief of Staff and Director of Policy, Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs.
  • Kenneth Bates, President and CEO, Open Sky Community Services.
  • Laura Black-Silver, LICSW, Caregiver Specialist, Tri Valley, Inc.
  • Heather Dobbert, LICSW, CDP, Behavioral Health Case Manager and Memory Specialist, Fallon Health.
  • Linda Pellegrini, N.P., Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, UMass Memorial Medical Center.

Janet Sweeney Rico, N.P., Assistant Dean, Nursing Graduate Programs, Northeastern University, and Chair of the Arc of Massachusetts Steering Committee will serve as the caregiver experience speaker.

Nurses and social workers who attend the symposium will be eligible for 2.5 continuing education credits that will help them fulfill state requirements toward keeping their license current. The credits will be offered at no cost to those in attendance.

The conference schedule is as follows:

  • 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. Registration and Networking
  • 8:00 to 8:15 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks
  • 8:15 to 8:30 a.m. State of Elder Affairs in Massachusetts
  • 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Keynote Address
  • 9:30 to 10 a.m. Networking Break
  • 10:00 to 11:15 a.m. Panel Discussion, “The Costs of Caregiving”
  • 11:15 to 11:45 a.m. Caregiver
  • 11:45 a.m. to noon Closing remarks

The event is free and open to the public, but registration for the Costs of Caregiving Symposium is required. Those interested in attending should visit http://bit.ly/FHcaregiving19 to learn more.

Melissa Randall
Corporate Communications Manager, Fallon Health

About Fallon Health
Founded in 1977, Fallon Health is a leading health care services organization that supports the diverse and changing needs of those we serve. In addition to offering innovative health insurance solutions and a variety of Medicaid and Medicare products, we excel in creating unique health care programs and services that provide coordinated, integrated care for seniors and individuals with complex health needs. Fallon has consistently ranked among the nation’s top health plans and is accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for its HMO, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid products.