Long-Term Care Conference 2021 (Save the Date)

by Avila Institute Staff

June 10, 2021


Fr. Myles Sheehan, SJ, MD

Fr. Myles Sheehan, SJ, MD

Assistant to the Provincial for Senior Jesuits, USA Northeast Province of Jesuits

Dr. Sheehan is a Jesuit priest, physician, and, since December 2020, the Director of the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University, where he also serves as Professor of Medicine and the David Lauler Chair of Catholic Health Care Ethics. 

Trained in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, he practiced in these fields and served until 2009 as the Senior Associate Dean at Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and the Ralph P. Leischner Professor and Chair of the Leuschner Institute for Medical Education. From 2009 to 2014, Fr. Sheehan was the Provincial for the New England Province of the Society of Jesus, and from 2015 to 2021, he served as the Provincial Delegate for Senior Jesuits for the Maryland and USA Northeast Provinces of the Society of Jesus. His interests in ethics include end of life care, care of older persons, spirituality in healthcare, and medical education.

Dr. Gregg Vandekieft, MD

Medical Director for Palliative Care, Providence Institute for Human Caring 

Gregg VandeKieft is Medical Director of the Palliative Practice Group for the Providence Institute for Human Caring, supporting palliative care programs throughout the seven western states served by the Providence Health System. He practiced full-spectrum family medicine for nearly 20 years, initially in rural private practice and later in academic settings. For the last 10 years, his clinical practice has been exclusively in hospice and palliative medicine.

Dr. VandeKieft is Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Washington. He completed the University of Washington’s Certificate Program in Health Care Ethics, Michigan State University’s master’s program in Health and Humanities and Harvard Medical School’s Program in Palliative Care Education and Practice. He received the 2018 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award in the Senior Physician category and the 2017 Stuart J. Farber Award for Excellence in Hospice and Palliative Care from the Washington State Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Betty FerrellPhD, MA, FAAN, FPCN, CHPN

Director and Professor, Nursing Research & Education; Associate Director, Cancer Center, City of Hope National Medical Center 

Betty Ferrell has been in nursing for 44 years and has focused her clinical expertise and research in pain management, quality of life, and palliative care. Dr. Ferrell is the Director of Nursing Research & Education and a professor at the City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, California. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and she has over 480 publications in peer-reviewed journals and texts. She is Principal Investigator of the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) project. She directs several other funded projects related to palliative care in cancer centers and QOL issues.

Dr. Ferrell was Co-Chairperson of the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care. Dr. Ferrell completed a master’s degree in Theology, Ethics and Culture from Claremont Graduate University in 2007. She has authored eleven books, including the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Nursing (5th Edition, 2019) published by Oxford University Press. She is also co-author of The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Nursing (Oxford University Press, 2008) published in 2008 by Oxford University Press and Making Health Care Whole: Integrating Spirituality into Patient Care (Templeton Press, 2010). In 2013, Dr. Ferrell was named one of the “30 Visionaries in the Field” by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. In 2019, she was elected a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Janet FeldkampRN, BSN, LNHA, CHC, JD

Partner, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff, LLP

Janet Feldkamp is a nurse attorney with more than 25 years of legal experience representing long-term care providers. During her first nine years practicing as a Registered Nurse, Feldkamp worked in intensive care and then with long-term care providers. She gained experience as a Facility Surveyor, Director of Nursing, Administrator and Nurse Consultant for a multi-state long-term care management firm, but she always yearned for an advanced degree. Feldkamp now specializes in health law with an emphasis on long-term care regulatory matters, such as survey certification and informal review requests, compliance and fraud and abuse. She also counsels clients about handling family conflicts and end-of-life decisions, as well as a variety of challenging issues for post-acute care providers.

Julie TrocchioRN, BSN, MS

Senior Director, Community Benefit and Senior Care, Catholic Health Association 

Julie Trocchio is Senior Director of Community Benefit and Continuing Care for the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA). She coordinates CHA activities related to planning and reporting community benefits and leads CHA advocacy on the charitable purpose of not-for-profit health care. She also coordinates CHA programs and advocacy related to the well-being of aged and chronically ill persons in need of long-term care and home and community-based services. Prior to joining CHA, Julie was Director of Standards and Quality for the American Health Care Association. She has held nursing positions in acute care and long-term care, as well as in public health and school health programs. She earned a bachelor's degree in Nursing from Georgetown University and a master's degree in Community Health Nursing from the University of Maryland.

Francis BattistiPh.D.

Principal, Battisti Management Affiliates 

Noted educator, speaker, psychotherapist, consultant, and author, Dr. Francis L. Battisti, offers individuals and organizations a pathway to explore their potential and move toward desired transformation. His national reputation in the fields of healthy aging, motivation, health enhancement, and conflict disposition is manifest in his work with numerous corporations, major healthcare organizations, and governmental committees. His presentations have been offered throughout the United States, South America, Europe, Canada and the Caribbean.

Dr. Battisti was the Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer and Full Professor of Psychology at the State University of New York at Broome Community College, where he was the 2011 recipient of the State University of New York Distinguished Professorship for Service and a 1989 recipient of the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is a member of the State University of New York Distinguished Teaching Academy. As a full professor, he taught courses such as Abnormal Psychology, Counseling Theory and Practice, and Introduction to Social Work and Welfare, which motivated many of his students to continue their studies as Social Workers and Psychologists.

Dr. Battisti maintained a private psychotherapy practice for over thirty years, treating individuals and couples. He also has consulted to long-term care communities throughout the United States. His emphasis now is in community responses to mental health needs and how to address them.

Francis has been recognized by “The Morning Knights Toastmasters Award” for Excellence in Communication and Leadership and the Alzheimer’s Association Central New York Chapter as the honoree of the “Memory Makers Award” for his efforts to make the Southern Tier a better place to live and work. He is also the recipient of “The David Malcom Award” in recognition of his exemplary service to the homeless. Francis is the author of Checchino: A Father & Son Journey Toward Dusk and co-author of Tomorrow’s Weigh…The No-Diet Way to Lose Weight. His articles include “Leveraging Workforce Research to Attract, Manage, and Retain High-Performance Employees,” “Harnessing the Diversity and Power of Your Team! Developing and Sustaining Highly Effective Teams Ensures Your Competitive Edge,” and “Advancing the Bottom Line and Service Quality via a Culture of Employee Retention.”

Dr. Battisti received his PhD in Human Development from Marywood University. He lives with his wife, Dr. Helen Battisti, in Upstate New York and is an avid believer in pursing one’s passion.

Helen Battisti, Ph.D., RN, CDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Endwell Family Physicians

Dr. Battisti is a Health Promotion Specialist, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a former Assistant Professor and the Director of the Coordinated Program in Nutrition and Dietetics in the department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Marywood University, Scranton, Pennsylvania. She maintains a practice at Endwell Family Physicians in Endwell, New York, as a Registered Dietitian. Her areas of research include both childhood and geriatric health and obesity.

Alfred Norwood, Faculty

Alfred NorwoodBS, MBA

Faculty, Avila Institute of Gerontology, Inc. 

Alfred has been developing curriculum and teaching for the Avila Institute of Gerontology for the last 15 years. He has created and presented workshops and in-services on a number of topics associated with aging. He is a great believer in the integration of biological and behavioral research for dementia treatment. He has years of experience working as a consultant for long-term care systems and facilities and training staff in the use of non-pharmaceutical, individualized care plans for residents with moderate to severe dementia.

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