Learning Matters in 2011

December 2011

Organizational Advancement staff takes in topics and tips (the informational kind)

Challenges and Issues Dealing with Elderly Clients was the topic of a continuing legal education seminar (co-sponsored by the San Francisco Estate Planning Council and Golden Gate University School of Law) attended by senior development & gift planning officer Daniel Hoebeke. Of particular interest was the section entitled Understanding Cognitive Changes in the Elderly, which looked at the effects cognitive impairments have on estate planning decision-making. The Brooke Astor Trial, a Cautionary Tale discussed ethical issues pertaining to money management for the elderly and provided a checklist for signs that financial elder abuse are present. Insights gained by these seminars will be incorporated into future in-service programs at the Home and presentations for the benefit of the outside professional community.

Daniel joined chief advancement officer Sherie Koshover and leadership gifts officer Sharon Fried at Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund’s “Day of Philanthropy” in November. In addition to seeking out opportunities to collaborate with other local organizations, workshops on subjects such as Latest Philanthropic & Estate Planning Tips, Engaging the Next Generation in Philanthropy, and Financial Literacy for Philanthropists provided data and ideas that will enable the Home to more effectively communicate philanthropic principles to the San Francisco community.

Development officers Ellen Berger, Sharon Fried and Lynn Sagramoso, along with chief advancement officer Sherie Koshover, attended a three-hour fundraising workshop with Jerold Panas at the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund offices in San Francisco. Panas is an executive partner of one of the nation’s most highly regarded firms in the field of campaign services and financial resource development. The focus of his presentation was Everything Presidents, Executive Directors and Development Staff Must Know to Secure the Gift.

National leader in geriatrics and gerontology to make initial visit to the Home prior to March relocation

Dr. Christine Ritchie, professor of Medicine, University of Alabama, will visit the Jewish Home on January 24, 2012 and meet with various people throughout our organization. This is in preparation for her relocation to UCSF and the Jewish Home in March. Dr. Ritchie has a rich background in gerontology, geriatrics and palliative care, and we look forward to her creating positive change in our senior community.

November 2011

Visitors from Down Under make it up to the Jewish Home

Representatives from the Sir Moses Montefiore Jewish Home in Randwick, New South Wales, Australia, visited our Jewish Home on October 4, 2011. Fleur Hannen, Rhonda Joiner and Chris Westacott met with Sandra Simon, chief administrative officer, and other members of staff who could speak to our visitors’ expressed areas of interest, namely: models of aged care; funding; innovation in aged care; IT systems; human resources models; operational service models; and the Jewish Home’s approach to the cultural and religious aspects of providing quality elder care.

GASPing for guidance: Development officer tapped as panelist for recent grant writers’ workshop

Navigating the complex field of philanthropic grant writing can be intimidating, especially for those new to development. Fortunately, there are organizations such as Development Executive Roundtable that can help, by offering frequent workshops under the aptly named Grantwriters Anxiety Support Program (GASP). The GASP program focuses on helping new and intermediate grant writers (0–3 years’ experience) build confidence and skill in their work to secure private institutional grant monies for their worthy nonprofits.

On October 17, development officer Lynn Sagramoso lent her 11 years’ fundraising expertise to serving on a three-person panel/workshop called Proposals & Progress Reports: The Art of Conquering Both. Structured as an informal mentoring discussion, attendees were able to network, ask the panelists tough questions about the grant-seeking process, and leave the session armed with useful tips, strategies, and professional contacts.

Rabbi attends AIPAC’s National Summit

Rabbi Sheldon Marder participated in AIPAC’s (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) National Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz., October 30 – 31. This annual gathering offers AIPAC members unique access to members of Congress, American and Israeli policy makers, and leading Middle East experts.

Rabbi Marder heard talks by prominent American and Israeli scholars, diplomats and politicians, and attended study sessions on topics covering the economic and security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian authority, and the implications of the ‘Arab Spring’ for Israel-Arab relations. He also gathered ideas and insights for the Jewish Home program he facilitates for residents, This Week in Israel.

October 2011

CEO and CFO attend “Exploring Possibilities” conference

President & CEO Daniel Ruth and CFO Kevin Potter were in attendance at the 2011 Ziegler Senior Living Finance + Strategy Conference held in Colorado Springs, Co., September 21-23.

This invitation-only event is the industry’s leading conference, focusing on cutting-edge finance and strategic positioning trends affecting today’s senior living providers. It is designed for, amongst others, CEOs, CFOs, key board members, institutional investors and industry professionals. With presentations such as Leading change in senior care: Building a viable organization for today and tomorrow (providing guidance for boards and executive leaders on where to effectively focus during the rapidly changing healthcare landscape) and From concept to community: Tailoring practice to emerging trends, the conference was an excellent opportunity to listen, learn, and contribute.

September 2011

Appreciating the benefits of healthspan as contrasted with longevity

An internationally renowned leader in the field of immunology, Dr. Edward Goetzl, UCSF professor emeritus, joined the Jewish Home’s Center for Research on Aging in 2011 to devote his time to translating laboratory findings into therapies to correct the age-related deficits in immune function in older people. Dr. Goetzl’s editorial Is Aging a Drug Target? appeared in the August 2011 issue of The FASEB Journal. Recognized as the policy voice of biological and biomedical researchers, FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) is the nation’s largest coalition of biomedical researchers, representing 24 scientific societies and over 100,000 researchers from around the world.

Notes Dr. Goetzl in his editorial: “Results of ongoing studies of human aging suggest that the primary pharmacological research strategy should be identification of abnormalities distinctive for aging and where remediation will minimize morbidity and optimize healthspan.”

To read the full article, go to http://www.fasebj.org/content/25/8/2509.full

Gift planning officer to discuss innovative charitable giving opportunities at East Coast conference

Daniel Hoebeke, senior development and gift planning officer, believes that gift planning as we knew it is at an end – and it is about time, too!

When he addresses attendees at the 45th annual international conference of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (taking place in Boston, Mass., in October 2011), he will explain that fundraisers need to rethink what donors truly want, to help them accomplish more than they ever thought possible. He will discuss innovative giving opportunities and then, by interviewing three audience members from different age groups, will illustrate how their planning needs and goals can be enhanced through various charitable giving techniques.

July 2011

Singaporean health agency tours the Home

Getting the breadth and depth of the Jewish Home as they learned about our organization and toured our campus in June 2011 was a delegation from the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), a Singapore-based entity that works toward meeting their country’s future healthcare needs, including the growing needs of its aging population. As a patient-centric, national care integrator that partners across the healthcare continuum, AIC advises and guide patients, their families and caregivers about healthcare services; helps with the navigation and access to the various areas of health care; and coordinates, manages and monitors post-hospitalization patient referrals from the public hospital system to a greater range of long-term care services, including home care.

Members of AIC’s senior management team brought an international perspective (several have trained in other countries) and their interest in implementing innovative programs in Singapore.

June 2011

Updates from Research

In May, Dr. Janice Schwartz, director of Research, addressed the Women’s Interagency Health Study on vitamin D, while June 12–14 has her attending and participating in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Aging Systems and Geriatrics review section in Chicago, Ill. This is when research proposals submitted from across the nation for potential funding by the NIH will be evaluated.

Medical student Hana Lim joins Research in the last week of June. With funding from the UCSF School of Medicine Dean’s Office, Hana will study immunosenescence (aging-associated changes in immunity) with Drs. Schwartz and Edward Goetzl. Attention will focus on changes in effects of T-cell function in women, and particularly women with HIV, to compare with healthy controls and healthy men, as well as men with HIV.

Making a showing at the American Geriatrics Society meeting in May in Washington, D.C., was a poster presentation by Dr. Schwartz’s co-investigator Dr. Michael Steinman on the work they and Research assistant Kelly Moore, Ph.D. are doing on polypharmacy (the use of multiple medications) in the elderly. Entitled Patterns of multimorbidity in older adults, the abstract concludes that “Understanding the most common patterns of multimorbidity [the co-existence of two or more chronic conditions] in older adults can guide development of practice guidelines and policy efforts that account for the presence of multiple coexisting comorbidities.”

Making it to the top level of the Healing Touch class

After going through one and a half years’ training as a Healing Touch apprentice, director of Activities Mediatrix Valera can appreciate the results of her diligence and perseverance. She completed the level 5 Healing Touch class last month and is now a Healing Touch practitioner. This noninvasive touch and energy technique is used as a therapeutic complement to our residents’ and patients’ traditional medical care.

May 2011

CEO speaks at Aging in America conference

Daniel Ruth, president & CEO, was invited to speak at the American Society on Aging 2011 Conference, Aging in America, which took place last month in San Francisco. He joined a panel of presenters as they discussed long-term care policy, which included how Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program, the new Medicaid provisions, transition benefits, and several demonstration projects will improve, change, and/or create opportunities for aging services’ providers.

This week-long conference is the largest gathering of a diverse, multidisciplinary community of professionals from the fields of aging, health care and education, and was therefore an excellent opportunity for the Jewish Home to be highlighted.

Parenting Your Parents panel discussion

Catherine Reid, director of Social Services and Admissions, has a place on a panel convening at Congregation Emanu-El on Thursday evening, June 9 to discuss Parenting Your Parents, part 2. Moderated by Rabbi Stephen Pearce, Congregation Emanu-El’s senior rabbi, the forum will cover the “red flags” to watch for relating to the aging process (our loved ones as well as ourselves); the emotional impact on the caregiver and recipient; having “the conversation” regarding driving and mobility; managing finances; resources for palliative care; strategies and resources for managing issues when family members live far away; and available local and national resources.

CAO takes part in Thought Leader Learning Circles

Chief administrative officer Sandra Simon recently attended a meeting of Aging Services of California’s Policy Committee, on which she is a serving member. She will also be participating in an Aging Services’ “learning circle” covering Accountable Care Organizations. (ACOs are a group of healthcare providers that work together to manage and coordinate care for a distinct population.) Aging Services has convened this series of telephonic Thought Leader Learning Circles to assist members learn about new opportunities surrounding health care reform and discuss how they might play leadership roles in relevant new initiatives.

Flow with Fagan

In attendance at last month’s gathering in Philadelphia of the American Occupational Therapy Association was Brenda Fagan, occupational therapist and assistant director of rehabilitation. On display was her poster presentation of the flow arts program she instituted at the Home last year. For those who wish to be in the know, flow blends meditation, dance, exercise, and play into a fun and healthful activity. Think of yoga, tai chi, and dance all rolled into one. Flow arts improves self-image, dexterity, focus, coordination, body awareness, self-confidence and spatial skills, and promotes brain plasticity. Brenda engages our residents in this dance-art form through the use of flow instruments such as a poi, a ball (or balls) suspended from a length of flexible material, usually a plaited cord that is held in the hand and swung in circular patterns, or the spinning of sticks that light up, known as flowstaffs.

April 2011

Educational meeting hosted by the Home; attendees learn what makes a workplace exceptional

The Extraordinary Workplace: Replacing Fear with Trust and Compassion was the title of the address international speaker and author Danna Beal, M.Ed., delivered at the Case Management Society of America (CMSA) San Francisco/East Bay Chapter’s educational dinner meeting on March 9, hosted by the Jewish Home. A nonprofit professional association founded in 1990, CMSA is dedicated to the support and development of the profession of case management through educational forums, networking opportunities, legislative advocacy, and the establishment of standards to advance the profession. Attendees at March’s event at the Home gained insight into the following objectives that can be applied across the board, no matter one’s professional field: discovering the path to enlightened leadership; building teamwork, cooperation, and enthusiasm; leading with respect, honor, and authenticity; engaging, energizing, and inspiring your entire organization to success; expanding productivity, creativity, and loyalty.

In the name of science, for the benefit of society

Dr. Janice Schwartz, director of Research, was in attendance at March’s annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ASCPT) in Dallas, Texas, when she presented the William Abrams Award in Geriatric Clinical Pharmacology. The largest scientific and professional organization serving the discipline of clinical pharmacology, ASCPT is committed to promoting and advancing the science and practice of human pharmacology and therapeutics for the benefit of patients and society, by focusing on improving the understanding and use of existing drug therapies, and developing safer and more effective treatments for the future.

Early in April, Dr. Schwartz was in New Orleans, La., for the American College of Cardiology’s annual scientific session and expo. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines, and is a staunch supporter of cardiovascular research.

In June she makes her way to Chicago, Ill., to take part in a National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging study section reviewing grants for funding.

And finally, Dr. Schwartz tells us that she is serving as a faculty member and consultant to the Greater NY Consortium for the training of cardiologists in geriatric principles.

Contingents from CPMC and St. Mary’s Hospital take the tour route

Led by community liaison director William Foster, a cohort of members from the case management and discharge planning departments of CPMC (Davies campus) were treated to a tour of the Home on March 17. The following week, case managers and discharge planners from St. Mary’s Hospital were on site to get the low down on our services and programs.

Planned giving and the rise of the phoenix

On March 10, senior development and gift planning officer Daniel Hoebeke presented a two-hour seminar entitled The Buck Stops. Hear? Planned Giving and the Rise of the Phoenix for the Northern California Planned Giving Council. Not only did the 35 planned giving and allied professionals in attendance receive continuing professional educational credits, but they had the good fortune of hearing Dan discuss recent changes in the tax laws pertaining to charitable giving and how best to advise donors and clients in this changing environment.

March 2011

A medical doctor, a doctorate, and now an award-winner; Theresa Allison adds to her achievements

Jewish Home physician Dr. Theresa Allison continues to prove that the Home attracts the brightest and the best! In addition to recently completing her Ph.D., she has been awarded a Merck/AGS 2011 New Investigator Award. Recognizing individuals who are committed to a career in research on aging, these awards are presented to individuals whose original research – as presented in a submitted abstract to the annual national meeting of the American Geriatrics Society – reflects new and relevant research in geriatrics. Dr. Allison will receive her award in May, at AGS’s national meeting in Washington, D.C.

Notes Dr. Jay Luxenberg, chief medical officer: “It’s a real compliment to the Home that one of our medical staff is recognized in this manner on a national stage. I’m very proud of Dr. Allison. I think this is just the first of what I anticipate will be many honors in her career.”

Dr. Luxenberg goes Dutch

Chief medical officer Dr. Jay Luxenberg is off to Maastricht, the Netherlands, in April, where he will be giving two lectures at a meeting of Dutch physicians. One of his lectures focuses on the American healthcare reform, the other on the differences between for profit and not-for-profit nursing homes.

EMERGE leadership development program gets Angela Lazarich’s involvement

Angela Lazarich (executive assistant to Sandra Simon, chief administrative officer, and Operations manager) has been selected to participate in this year’s EMERGE leadership development program, run under the auspices of Aging Services of California. EMERGE is a year-long growth and development experience for high potential leaders seeking to transform themselves and their organizations. Designed to “prepare future generations of individuals to successfully lead highly engaged and innovative organizations,” some of the program’s objectives include creating a shared meaning of leadership and its fundamental principles; promoting self-awareness and authenticity; exploring various dimensions of transformational leadership, with a focus on relationship building.

February 2011

Attendees at AMDA’s annual meeting learn from the Home’s experts

Dr. Jay Luxenberg, chief medical officer, will coordinate and teach at a day-long intensive course, titled Mental Health in the Nursing Home, at the annual meeting of the American Medical Directors Association in Tampa, Fla., in March 2011.

This is also when a team will unveil their poster on the Home’s new edema clinic. Svetlana Greenberg, physician’s assistant, with expertise in circulation monitoring, Jennifer Serafin, nurse practitioner, RN and wound specialist Barbara Newman, and podiatrist Dr. Gail Grandinetti identified the need for a well-defined, effective, economically sound solution to manage edema, a common and chronic problem in geriatric patients. And so the monthly edema clinic came into being, an innovation that is being enthusiastically utilized by our physicians who are referring residents for treatment and management of this condition.

The edema team reports that they created a comprehensive assessment tool, documenting a thorough edema history for each patient, a vascular assessment, and a treatment plan. In addition, licensed nursing staff received lectures and a hands-on educational skills lab that demonstrated proper wrap and stocking techniques. Plans are afoot to run similar in-services for CNAs.

UCSF students “blown away” by the Home’s training session

As part of their essential core curriculum, a group of second-year UCSF medical students being trained in the care of the seriously ill came on-site for an extensive session on end-of-life care. The Jewish Home’s efforts to further the students’ education addressed multiple areas on this subject: A presentation on the resident, the family, and the interdisciplinary team was given by director of Social Services Catherine Reid. Chief medical officer Dr. Jay Luxenberg and Dr. Kate Skinner (with contributions from Dr. Lynn Flint) discussed how to ask the hard questions about end of life. Director of Education Joan Accarino spoke about pain management, which also covered monitoring pain in those with advanced dementia. Pharmacy director Tom Bookwalter addressed the pharmacology of narcotics and the debunking of pharmacological myths. Unit manager Jean Santo talked about the essential role of activities, and complementary and alternative therapeutic approaches such as Healing Touch. Recreation therapist Lisa Dale O’Donnell and Tom, with input from Rabbi Shelly Marder, held forth on Kol Haneshama: Jewish End-of-Life/Hospice Volunteer Program and the role of spiritual care partners.

The group was then given a tour of our facility. According to the students’ feedback, they were “blown away” by their training session. They were extremely impressed by the Home’s commitment to end-of-life care, and by how invested we are in providing comprehensive educational opportunities that draw upon the knowledge and expertise of Jewish Home staff from a range of disciplines and departments. (On the subject of education, the Home’s Palliative Care Committee is looking at doing a series of educational programs over the next year. These will be multitiered and geared for professional and nonprofessional staff and residents.)

The final word about the training session goes to resident Rudy Hooremans, who advised the students, “Study hard. The world needs bright doctors.”

Tablet-taking gets discussed on television

Where ignorance is not bliss! Managing your medications is the title of the topic chief medical officer Dr. Jay Luxenberg discusses when he appears on a Sacramento-based television program in April 2011. Geriatrician Moira Fordyce hosts this 16-episode series that addresses areas associated with aging, caregiver issues, and advances in assistive technology. In his discussion, Dr. Luxenberg draws upon studies undertaken by Dr. Janice Schwartz, director of Research, such as decreasing adverse multidrug interactions and establishing safer medication dosage levels.

This program can be viewed on RCCTV, Sacramento (broadcast on channel 20 Comcast and channel 19 Surewest), the station for the Sacramento Interfaith Service Bureau, which brings together different religions, atheists, beliefs and philosophies to work for the good of the whole local community.

Research identifies a drug that could reverse the immunological decline in aging

Findings of a research paper – the culmination of years of research by Dr. Edward Goetzl, director of University of California, San Francisco Allergy and Immunology Research, and which lists Dr. Janice Schwartz, the Jewish Home’s Research director, as one of the co-authors – received extensive coverage, ranging from University of California, San Francisco’s print and online sources, to Science Blog and newspapers in Canada and the United Kingdom. The research team’s findings – that extremely low doses of the drug lenalidomide can stimulate the body’s immune-cell protein factories (which decrease production during aging) – could lead to a daily pill to boost immunity in the elderly. Read about this “fountain of youth” pill at scienceblog.com

Chinese contingent hosted by the Home

We once again had an opportunity to share staff’s expertise and showcase our Jewish Home when we played host in December to a group of Chinese delegates and government officials from Chaoyang, the central business district of Beijing.

Taking care of the tour part of the visit was Edwin Cabigao, chief nursing executive, who called upon the following staff to talk about their departments or disciplines. Director of Rehabilitation Services Jim Weslow went through the motions of rehab; director of Pharmacy Tom Bookwalter dispensed pharmacology. Rabbi Shelly Marder covered spiritual life at the Home, then Galina Korsunsky got clinical about our on-site clinics. Director of Creative Arts Gary Tanner portrayed this program, followed by director of Nutritional Services Mike Abreu and clinical nutrition manager Laura Nieberding, who whet our guests’ appetites with the variety of menu options. Director of Activities Mediatrix Valera and recreation therapist Lisa Dale O’Donnell brought their respective areas into play. Our visitors were most impressed by the depth and breadth of activities offered to residents. Finally, gift planning officer Daniel Hoebeke raised the bar when he spoke about the role of fundraising and the various ways in which people and organizations can help support the Home.

Director of Volunteer Services serves on board of N. California Assoc. of Directors of Volunteer Services

Jennifer Vellutini, director of Volunteer Services, adds another role to her activities: she is serving on the 2011 board of the Northern California Association of Directors of Volunteer Services (NCADVS), with the portfolio of Communications. NCADVS is made up of professional volunteer leaders from Northern California and Northern Nevada who are responsible for the administration of volunteer programs in their healthcare organizations. The organization offers a forum for the exchange of information and ideas, and provides a medium for the development of professional skills through educational meetings, conferences, workshops, and an interactive website. Its mission is to facilitate the development and advancement of effective volunteer services administration in healthcare facilities.

Fusion of the Maturing Mind: Jewish Home staff and a volunteer to share their knowledge in educational series

A six-part series, entitled Fusion of the Maturing Mind, co-sponsored by the Home and AgeSong Institute, a program of Pacific Institute, will be enriched through presentations by three Jewish Home staff and one of our volunteers. On February 23, Dr. Janice Schwartz, director of Research, discusses HIV and Aging. Volunteer and lay leader Nina Weil, who offers Healing Touch to our residents, co-presents with Kaylah Sterling, our director of Integrative Medicine, on April 27. Medical Factors that Contribute to Making the Difficult Client Difficult is the title of chief medical officer Dr. Jay Luxenberg ’s discussion on May 25.

Two elders reading in the galleria at the Jewish Home
Golf Tournament, Dinner and Auction
Support the Home. As a non-profit, the Home relies on the community to maintain its high levels of care and services.
Jewish Senior Living Magazine


Independent Charities of America (ICA) represents charities that meet the highest standards of public accountability and program effectiveness, and facilitates gifts to those charities from contributors. Independent Charities Seal of Excellence is awarded to the members of ICA and Local Independent Charities of America that have, upon rigorous independent review, been able to certify, document, and demonstrate on an annual basis that they meet the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness, and cost effectiveness.

GuideStar is one of the most prominent national organizations that offers current, comprehensive information about nonprofits. GuideStar Exchange connects nonprofits with current and potential supporters, and allows nonprofits to share a wealth of up-to-date information with GuideStar's on-line audience of grant makers and individual donors.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' agency that ensures effective, up-to-date healthcare coverage and promotes quality care for beneficiaries. Star ratings are achieved by CMS combining data from the most recent annual survey by the Department of Public Health, from nursing home staffing, and from quality measures.