Unlimited Clinical Opportunities Await Practitioners in Atlanta
There are so many good clinical sessions planned for the Society’s 2019 annual conference that Michele Bellantoni, MD, CMD, is challenged to choose the best or even her favorites; so, she starts at the beginning. “It’s very exciting to have ‘The Year in Review’ as our opening keynote, the kick-off for the meeting. We will all be able to dive into the conference with a clear picture of how our field is evolving,” she says.
As chair of the Annual Conference Program Planning Subcommittee, Dr. Bellantoni is always talking and listening to Society members about what issues and kinds of education they want and need. For instance, the AMDA/CDC/SHEA Infection Prevention in PALTC Certificate Course was so popular last year, it’s back again in 2019. “We’ve heard from attendees that they want real ‘bread and butter’ medicine, and we have focused on that with our programming on topics ranging from advance care planning, antibiotic stewardship, and younger adult care to chronic disease management, dementia, and delirium,” says Dr. Bellantoni. “If there is a demand for a specific topic, we will reach out to experts on that issue. We’ve brought several new speakers to the Society who bring expertise from the perspective of those practicing in settings other than PALTC.”
The clinical topics addressed in program run the gamut. However, whatever the subject, Dr. Bellantoni says, “Our programs delve 360 degrees into practical clinical topics. We also will address non-clinical concerns related to these topics, such as payment and policy issues.”
Dr. Bellantoni is pleased about the interactive nature of the programs, something Society members have requested. For instance, in Thursday’s session, Hands-on Approach to Develop a Quality Improvement Project in Your Health Care Facilities, participants will work together in mentored small groups on real-world quality assurance performance improvement (QAPI) projects.
The opportunities for one-on-one interactions take the learning beyond the meeting rooms. Dr. Bellantoni challenges annual conference attendees to engage, connect, and interact during their time in Atlanta, both in and out of the meeting rooms. She says, “I’d like everyone to commit to leaving with a new friend, a colleague in the field, and have contact information they can use to follow up.” Dr. Bellantoni also urges her colleagues to participate in Saturday’s In-the-Trenches roundtable program, with small group discussions on a wide array of topics. “Society members have so much experience and knowledge, and we can learn a great deal from each other in these conversations,” she says.
Ultimately, Dr. Bellantoni observes, “We want people to leave the conference excited, proud, and prepared.” That, she suggests, starts even before you get to Atlanta. She says, “Review the program ahead of time, and have some objectives of your own for the meeting. What do you want to get out of the conference? Are there life skills you want to learn? Is there a problem you want to solve?” She is confident that practitioners will go home with new ideas and an opportunity to contribute to significant positive change in their communities.