What is the Cultural Diversity Endowment Fund?

On behalf of the New York Chapter of the American College of Health Care Administrators Academy of Long Term Care Leadership and Development, we are asking you to join us in our fundraising e orts for the Sister Joan Cassidy and Michael Cuseo Cultural Diversity Endowment.

The Cultural Diversity Endowment Fund (CDEF) is a perpetual endowment instrument of the ACHCA-NY Chapter. This endowment fund will reach out to culturally diverse groups in an e ort to increase their involvement and ac ve par cipa on in ACHCA. Cultural Diversity is de ned to include new administrators and individuals of diverse backgrounds, par cularly minori es who ore under- represented in long term care administra on. The fund has the following speci c objec ves:

1. To recruit new members to ACHCA from a broad range of culturally diverse groups
2. To support the educa on and professional development of new members in the College and the health care administra on profession
3. To promote increased a endance at the annual conven ons/convoca ons of ACHCA.

The fund endeavors to commemorate the loss of our beloved member, Sister Joan Cassidy, CNHA, FACHCA, who passed away on October 15, 1998 a er a long and courageous ba le with cancer. She was a member of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Halifax. Loved by all who knew her, she was well respected in the long-term care eld. She embodied the highest moral quali es and brought a level of professionalism and ethics to ACHCA on both a state and na onal level.

Michael Cuseo was instrumental in establishing Chem Rx as the premiere Long-Term Care pharmacy in New York. He generously devoted his me, talents and professional e orts as Chem Rx’s Supervising Pharmacist for over thirty years. Michael took a deep interest in the pharmaceu cal aspects of the nursing home industry, but more importantly, will be remembered for his warm personality and infec ous sense of humor. All who were fortunate enough to make his acquaintance, will fondly remember Michael.

In 1998, the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) granted the rst award from the Sister Joan Cassidy Endowment Fund. In 2007, the New York Chapter of ACHCA proposed to honor Michael Cuseo of Chem Rx and to change the name of the fund to the Sister Joan Cassidy and Michael Cuseo Cultural Endowment Fund.

The President’s Award, presented annually at this event, is the most pres gious honor that the New York Chapter of the American College of Health Care Administrators bestows to individuals who represent the ideals and mission of the College, and the integrity, and cultural diversity as de ned by Sr. Joan Cassidy and Michael Cuseo through their leadership and dedica on to the College. It is with that in mind that we will be honoring Joseph Peixoto of Procare LTC Pharmacy.

There will also be a special presenta on to Sr.Audrey Harsen of Our Lady of Consola on Nursing and Rehabilita ve Care Center who will receive the Chapter’s Dis nguished Service Award for over forty years of service to the New York Membership. Her dedica on and sincerity to our mission and ideals has created a path for all to follow.

We look forward to seeing all of our friends and associates at this worthwhile event.

Living in Retrograde


By Barbara Speedling, Quality of Life Specialist

A friend and I were having dinner at a rather expensive steakhouse recently.  We were both celebrating an event, so we decided to splurge. As we were enjoying our pricey steaks, I said, “You know, Judy, twenty years ago we thought the steaks at the diner were really good.  Today, we would never order a steak in the diner!” We agreed that what would have passed for satisfying two or three decades ago, will no longer be satisfying since we’ve experienced something we enjoy more.

How easy is it to go backwards in your life?  I can remember having no furniture beyond a mattress on the floor, some milk crates borrowed from the local grocery store that I used creatively as seats and book shelves, and eating macaroni and cheese several nights a week because it sold for 25¢ a box.  I could return to that time in my life when I had nothing, if I had to, but I wouldn’t be happy or satisfied.

One of the first things I want to understand about someone I’m asked to interview is how far back he’s had to go.  How he’s lived and worked, what he’s accomplished, and how strong his ego is are just the first of many things I want to know about him and his lifestyle.  Understanding the level of success and independence he’s achieved will provide great insight into how he might respond now in the face of dependency.

During a recent conference for social workers in Maine, I asked my audience if they thought giving up everything you’ve worked for and everything that defines you to move into a nursing home is a traumatic experience?  Many said they would consider it a difficult experience, but had not identified it as traumatic. I offered that it is likely one of the most traumatic things a person could experience – equal, perhaps, to having to declare bankruptcy or becoming homeless.  Assessing behavioral health from this perspective puts an entirely different spin on person-centered care.

As a member of the Baby Boomer generation, I can speak personally about living in retrograde.  Having worked in long-term care for the better part of my adult life, I am already acutely aware of what I will have to give up to live in a nursing home. I currently answer to no one.  Without a doubt, I will not respond well to being directed. I love time alone and having privacy. I will not want a roommate. I am obsessive about order and symmetry. I will not want you to rearrange my things. I like variety and thrive on change and new experiences.  I will not tolerate the same routine day in and day out without agitation. I have trouble sitting still and that will be the biggest adjustment.

I believe that person-centered care means that you must explore ego, lifestyle, occupation, and achievement closely as the first step to understanding someone’s behavior.  How disease and disability impact the person now has to come next. Considering the move to a long-term care environment to be a traumatic event is the final step in developing an improved awareness and anticipation of where to begin a realistic plan for this person’s care.


NYACHCA: An Award-Winning Chapter

At the ACHCA National Convention in Orlando, the New York Chapter was recognized for it’s work with the Sister Joan Cassidy and Michael Cuseo fundraising to support cultural diversity and membership. On April 24th, the Chapter was presented with the pictured award at the annual Awards Celebration luncheon. Keith Chambery, President of the New York Chapter accepted the award on behalf of the Chapter. It was especially fitting that Christina Lagurre, AIT at Northern Manhattan Rehabilitation and Nursing Center was able to attend the convention because of the Sister Joan and Michael Cuseo fund.


This year The Sister Joan Cassidy and Michael Cuseo event will be held on June 14, 2018 at Leonard’s of Great Neck. We will be honoring Joseph Peixoto, Procare LTC and Sister Audry Harsen of Catholic Health Services. Joe has been a great supporter of the College throughout his career. Sister Audry was a peer and one of Sister Joan’s closest friends. We hope you will contribute to help keep the tradition of the Chapter alive and support the diversity fund.


The success of the New York Chapter is very much linked to the support that the Chapter receives from the vendor community. Support for the annual convention assists the Chapter with it’s day to day mission and expenses of conducting the business of the Chapter. Support for the Sister Joan and Michael Cuseo diversity fund are specifically for that purpose and physically segregated from anything else that the Chapter does. It is for that reason, and reflecting on that great support that the Chapter wanted to use the advertising space it had purchased from the National Association to once again recognize those companies to the National audiance as a key ingredient to our success.


New York Chapter Receives ACHCA Chapter Achievement Award

Washington, D. C. – April 25, 2018  – The American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) is proud to recognize the New York Chapter of ACHCA as a 2018 recipient of the ACHCA Chapter Achievement Award.  The award was presented during the awards ceremony at ACHCA’s Annual Convocation and Exposition in Orlando Florida on April 24, 2018.

The prestigious Chapter Achievement Award recognizes a project developed by an ACHCA Chapter to address a member need or chapter objective.  Each year, the New York Chapter works to raise funds for the Sister Joan Cassidy and Michael Cuseo Ethnic Diversity Fund. The ACHCA New York Chapter designed this fund to increase the involvement and participation of culturally diverse groups across the nation in ACHCA – and to assist students.  ACHCA was pleased to present them with the Chapter Achievement Award in recognition of their accomplishment of hosting fund raising events to maintain an ongoing scholarship dedicated to increasing diversity within geriatrics and long-term care.


Founded in 1962 the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) is the only professional association devoted solely to meeting the professional needs of today’s post-acute and aging services leaders. Focused on advancing leadership excellence, ACHCA provides professional education and certification to administrators from across the spectrum of long term care. For more information about ACHCA, contact the national office at (800) 561-3148 or visit www.achca.org.

Read James V. Donofrio’s “Administrator of the Year” Acceptance Speech

James Donofrio accepting the award from Caroline Rich, our VP and Awards Committee Chair.

“My name is James V. Donofrio and I am the Administrator of Record for The Avon Nursing Home located in Avon, NY. I firstly wanted to take a moment to thank Keith Chambery and the entire NY Chapters Executive Committee. I am truly thankful for this recognition and will keep this special award with me for a very long time. I also wanted to take a moment to congratulate Jay and Mark on their achievement awards.

So, a little background of my career. In high school I was in need of volunteer hours for high school graduation. I received the opportunity to fulfill my hours at a local nursing home. I completed my hours at The Highlands Living Center in Pittsford, NY.

After graduation and completing my hours, I was offered a part time position as a frontline staff member within the same department, in which I volunteered in. It was a wonderful opportunity for me, as I was able to work in the field I quickly grew to love in the very short time and knew this was the career for me.

I worked at The Highlands throughout all my four years of my undergraduate years and shortly after graduating with my Bachelors in Healthcare Administration I took a position as an Assistant Administrator at The Hurlbut Nursing Home in Brighton, NY. Shortly after the new position, I enrolled in a Master’s Program for Healthcare Administration. I completed this program during my time as Assistant Administrator.

Two years later, I completed my program, sat for my Nursing Home Administrator test, passed and was offered a Nursing Home Administrator position for both Avon Nursing Home and Wedgewood Nursing Home, with the same Corporation, Hurlbut Care Communities.

In my one year as a Nursing Home Administrator, I have had the pleasure of going through two New York State Surveys and one federal look behind survey. I have learned a great deal within the last year and I look forward to all the endeavors to come.

The College has been a wonderful resource thus far in my career and I look forward to a bonding relationship for the future to come.”

– James Donofrio, MSHA, LNHA

ACHCA NY Chapter Stays in Touch

March 2018What’s going on with the American College of Health Care Administrators New York Chapter (ACHCA-NYC)? It’s a question that the current executive committee gave some serious thought to over the last several months. During the Annual Convention held March 11 through 14, 2018 and immediately following, the Executive Committee answered that question. The answer was simpler than you might think. It was staring everyone in the face all along and no one recognized it. The answer is that, ‘What’s going on with the ACHCA-NYC’ should be a question that you can answer for yourself easily with commonly used online tools and social media. With that in mind, the Executive Committee has set out to give anyone those tools.

For example, when things are happening now – at the annual convention or National, an education session, a Board or committee meeting – we have a Twitter account at @ACHCA_NY. We will use this social media platform to communicate things that are happening as they happen. If you use Twitter we encourage you to follow us. When the information is a bit more static, for example an event planned for the Chapter for the future, a news story that has already been published, or an event that a member has shared as a source of pride or triumph, ACHCA-NYC has a Facebook account at @ACHCANYC (or search for American College of Health Care Administrators and all the Chapters will pop-up). Finally, the Chapter has the old tried and true, old school website, NYCACHCA.com.

That all sounds great, anyone can check in, but what good does it do if the content isn’t interesting to the membership? Enter the idea of the Town Hall Meeting. At the Town Hall meeting there will be information shared with the membership from the Executive Committee prospective but the real emphasis will be to hear from the members. ACHCA is a volunteer organization and, yes, it needs volunteers. what interests you, what do you have a passion to work on with others who share your interest? Maybe it is an existing committee, a dormant committee, or something that ACHCA-NYC is even currently doing. More than anything else, this format is constructed to hear from you.

The target date for the meeting is the first week in May 2018 so that we can share any information from the National convention that may be pertinent.  

The intangibles of professional association membership for new long-term care leaders

By: Christin Delahay, CDP, LNHA

As a blossoming leader in long-term care with a specific mission, vision and value for what I want to create for the consumers I serve, my support system is an integral part of developing and enhancing those values and that vision.

The American College of Healthcare Administrators (ACHCA) has been instrumental in the development of my mission and vision for long term care. As a student of St. Joseph’s College of Maine’s Long Term Care Administration program, I was introduced to ACHCA at the beginning of my capstone project. One of my professors had strongly encouraged my membership as a not merely important part of my education, but a mission critical step in developing myself as a leader within a network of other administrators that share my values and pursuit of excellence in this particular field.  

My investment in ACHCA goes deeper than the superficial and tangible benefits of membership, the CE opportunities I draw education from, and the miscellany of discounts I happily take advantage of. The real benefits of College membership begin for me in the immersion of the culture of the College and its constituency. It is here where I find the realization of my dreams for long term care, and the hope that I need to withstand a challenging and oft assaulted healthcare environment, known for its ability to chew up and spit out even the most well-intentioned leaders. I believe that most of us share this sentiment and take a great deal of inspiration from surrounding ourselves with the other excellence-motivated and compassionate leaders that make up the large population of College members.

I am a “millennial”. That’s right, I’m a member of that often-maligned group of incoming workforce leaders that we spend so much time analyzing how to engage. While I do not identify with many of the stereotypes that accompany the group of individuals born in this particular generational group, I just happen to fall right in there, and so it is. I am a “second life” administrator. This means I bring with me nearly 15 years of existing workforce experience in labor, human resource management, sales and marketing, business management and ownership. I came to long term care because I experienced the shortcomings of the industry in my own family with my own loved ones. I came to long term care because I truly felt I could help improve it. I chose long term care as the place where I would bring my unique skills, my experience, and my dedication, to help make the world a better place for the people I serve.

Through the College, I have found and thrived in a network of like-minded individuals who truly care about the future of long term care and evolving and enhancing the culture of person-centered wellness for consumers. I benefit from mentorship formally and informally, and I never feel that I have a shortage of experts I can call on to receive experiential advice in most any situation. I have developed meaningful relationships with people like me, who can share with me the joys and the challenges of caring for our chosen population. Through the College, I have received the recognition of my value and the affirmation that my work will make a difference. Through the College, I have found the strength and support I need to focus, create, innovate and continuously improve. I have said before that AHCA recognizes the excellence I learn from ACHCA.

The exceptional leaders existing and active within our great organization are our foundation, and on that foundation, we must cement the stones of the next generation to ensure the continuation of this legacy. We must draw new leaders to us and give them the support that they need to succeed and rise. When we take part in active membership of a professional association, we surround ourselves with our own. We fortify our numbers with more exceptional individuals whom we can teach, and from whom we receive the gifts of leadership.

I invite and encourage other leaders in my beloved field of post-acute and long-term care to consider the fellowship and support, the passion and the purpose, the intangibles of professional association membership.  

There’s Still Time to Register for the NYC-ACHCA Annual Convention

But don’t miss out! We’re less than a week away from the start of our Annual Convention and there are still a few spots available.

The program is going to be top notch; you can preview it here. And, check out an overview of Clint Maun’s Keynote Presentation: Methods to Mobilize, Market and Leverage Your Quality Initiative.

You won’t want to miss it! So, what are you waiting for? Join us …

Register Now & Get Your $100 Discount! 

If you attend only one show in 2017, make it this one. We look forward to seeing you there, make your convention and room reservations today!

Don’t Miss Out! Join Us at the NYC-ACHCA Annual Convention

What are you doing next over the next week or so? Specifically, from March 5-8? Here’s what your colleagues are doing…
  1. Earning CEUs.
  2. Hearing about imminent changes in long-term care.
  3. Sharpening key skills for 2017.
  4. Enjoying each other’s friendship and insights.
So, what are you doing?!? Join us …

The program is going to be top notch and you can preview it here. Save $100 on your registration for the NYC-ACHCA Annual Convention.

If you attend only one show in 2017, make it this one.
We look forward to seeing you there, make your convention and room reservations today!

What’s Not to Love? $100 Off Registration for NYC-ACHCA Annual Convention

We hope that you had a lovely Valentine’s Day with your loved ones! Now is the time show yourself some love and save $100 on your registration for the NYC-ACHCA Annual Convention from March 5th through March 8th at the Villa Roma Resort.
We’ve got a great program planned, which you can preview here, set in the fine educational setting offered at the Villa Roma. In addition, the venue offers a spacious, yet intimate exhibit space that accommodates all of our 70 corporate sponsors, providing a great opportunity to network and connect with your colleagues.