NYACHCA 2019 Convention Survey Results

The March 2018 Convention was to be our last convention to be held at the Villa Roma. Since the new hotel/casino in the Catskills is proving not to be an option, the Convention Committee has been given the authority by the Executive Committee to seek out other venue options.
For our 50th Year Anniversary Convention in 2019, we would like to have a great event and a great turnout. Therefore, we have location alternatives as follows:
  • ​We can attempt to partner with New York State Health Facilities Association (NYSHFA) at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY (April of 2019)
  • ​We can hold the convention in New York City, where the costs would be similar to those at Turning Stone (March 2019)
  • ​We can hold our convention in Albany, NY (March 2019)
  • ​We can return to Villa Roma
To this end, we have devised this survey to get input from our members and exhibitors. Before beginning the quick survey, please keep in mind:
  • ​The registration cost, which was traditionally between $149.00 and $199.00 will now be in the $400.00 – $500.00 range. Costs that had formerly been included such as coffee breaks, continental breakfast, etc. will need to be figured into the registration fee.
  • ​Hotel room cost will be around $150.00 – $300.00 per night
  • ​There will be no nightly entertainment provided by the Chapter.


The results of our last survey indicated that New York City was the site chosen by our membership as the preferred location for our annual convention.
The Events Planning Committee has been following up on the survey results by researching the feasibility of holding the convention in NYC.


Thank you to all who participated in our surveys. Your opinion matters and our decisions regarding the conference were based on YOUR preferences!

Looking forward to the 2019 NYACHCA Convention. See you there!

Keith Chambery, FACHCA, NY Chapter President

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 efforts 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 effort to increase their involvement and active participation in ACHCA. Cultural Diversity involves including new administrators and individuals of diverse backgrounds, particularly minorites who are under- represented in long term care administration. The fund has the following specific objectives:

1. To recruit new members to ACHCA from a broad range of culturally diverse groups
2. To support the education and professional development of new members in the College and the health care administration profession
3. To promote increased attendance at the annual conventions/convocations 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 after a long and courageous battle 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 world. She embodied the highest moral qualities and brought a level of professionalism and ethics to ACHCA on both a state and national level.

Michael Cuseo was instrumental in establishing Chem Rx as the premiere Long-Term Care pharmacy in New York. He generously devoted his time, talents and professional efforts as Chem Rx’s Supervising Pharmacist for over thirty years. Michael took a deep interest in the pharmaceutical aspects of the nursing home industry, but more importantly, will be remembered for his warm personality and infectious 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 first 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 prestigious 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 defined by Sr. Joan Cassidy and Michael Cuseo through their leadership and dedication 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 presentation to Sr.Audrey Harsen of Our Lady of Consola on Nursing and Rehabilitative Care Center who will receive the Chapter’s Distinguished Service Award for over forty years of service to the New York Membership. Her dedication 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.


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