Key Dates

None at this time.

Keynote Speakers

Cordt Kassner, Healthcare Industry Analyst

Pre-Conference Keynote- Tuesday, November 4


Cordt Kassner, PhDDr. Kassner is a hospice and end-of-life healthcare industry analyst.  He incorporated Hospice Analytics in 2008 to merge Medicare datasets in unique ways, and with other national databases, to better understand and explain how healthcare is delivered to those near the end of life. 

He earned degrees in Social Work (BS, Illinois State University), Counseling (MA, Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary), and Health & Behavioral Sciences (PhD, University of Colorado - Denver).  His prior work experience includes serving as CEO of the Colorado Center for Hospice & Palliative Care, and clinical and research responsibilities at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center. 

While co-chairing the University of Colorado Hospital Ethics Committee, Cordt founded the Colorado Healthcare Ethics Forum, serving as President for 5 years and a Board member for 11 years.  He has served as a "translator" of information between administration/clinical healthcare professionals and researchers/statisticians for over 20 years. 

Cordt serves and has served on numerous local, state, and national Boards and committees, and has facilitated over 150 workshops and presentations.  Cordt has served on the faculty of the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center since 1992, and more recently has been invited to serve on the faculty at Duke University.

Dr. Harry Feliciano, Palmetto Medical Director

Pre-Conference Keynote- Tuesday, November 4


Dr. Harry Feliciano

Dr. Feliciano is a specialist in internal medicine, geriatrics, preventive medicine and public health.  He received his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and his Masters of Public Health degree from the Columbia University School of Public Health. 

Feliciano joined Palmetto GBA in 1997.  Palmetto GBA's principal business is providing administrative services for the Medicare health benefit program throughout the continuum of care from inpatient rehabilitation to home health and hospice services. 

Dr. Feliciano serves as the Contractor Medical Director (CMD) for Palmetto GBA's Regional Home Health Intermediary overseeing health policy development in 16 states from Home Health and Hospice services.

Don Schumacher, President/CEO, NHPCO

Wednesday Afternoon Keynote- November 5

Dr. Schumacher has more than 30 years experience in hospice and palliative care administration.  Since 2002, he has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), which is the largest nonprofit leadership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the world.  In 2003, he was appointed as the President and CEO of NHPCO’s subsidiary organization, the National Hospice Foundation.  He became the President of FHSSA (originally the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa) in 2004. He also became the President of The Hospice Action Network in 2007.

From 1989 until he joined NHPCO in 2002, Dr. Schumacher served as the President and CEO of The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care, Buffalo, New York.  During his tenure, he led the development of an integrated hospice campus in the Buffalo, New York area, launching a variety of hospice-related organizations including nursing homes and mental health and pediatric care facilities, as well as a stellar bereavement education program.  Among his other notable professional endeavors, Dr. Schumacher was the President and Founder of The Hospice of Mission Hill, Boston, Massachusetts, which was established as one of the first HIV/AIDS hospices in the U.S.

Dr. Schumacher is a licensed clinical psychologist in New York and Massachusetts and holds a doctorate degree in psychology from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, Boston, Massachusetts.  In 2005, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he earned his M.S. degree in counseling psychology.

Ron Culberson, Speaker/Author/Humorist

Thursday Morning Keynote- November 6

Ron CulbersonAs a speaker, humorist, and author of three books, including his most recent called Do it Well. Make it Fun: The Key to Success in Life, Work and Almost Everything in Between, Ron Culberson’s mission is to change the workplace culture so that organizations are more productive
and staff are more content.

 By combining excellence with humor, he helps organizations attract and retain great employees, develop excellent leaders, and deliver extraordinary products and services!

For ten years, Ron worked in a large hospice organization as a social worker, Counseling Manager, and Senior Director of Quality Services. Through these roles, he gained experience on the front line, in middle management, and ultimately in senior management. He has a proven track record as a successful member of a multidisciplinary team and as an effective senior leader.

Since 1996, he has delivered over 1,000 presentations to over 140,000 people in the U.S. and abroad. In 2001 Ron received the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, the highest earned designation from the National Speakers Association.

Keynote Presentation: Do it Well. Make it Fun. The Key to Success in Healthcare     

If you’ve ever had a boss who was really good at what he or she did but was also fun to be around, you didn’t mind arriving early or working late. In fact, you probably loved your job. That’s the power of Do it Well, Make it Fun. It’s about seeking excellence but making the process of life and work more fun.

This presentation shows staff and leaders how to create a less stressful work environment where people want to work. It also helps them understand that excellence combined with fun and humor can improve productivity, create better working relationships, enhance creativity, change the workplace culture, and lead to the delivery of better patient care

Presentation Objectives:

  • Discuss how to manage stress more effectively by changing perspective.
  • Explain how to communicate with others more effectively by using empathy,clarity,and humor.
  • Describe how to manage a more effective work environment.
 CME Dot  CME  Social Work Dot  Social Work  Home Care Dot  Home Care


Patti Hathaway, "The Change Agent"

 Wednesday Morning Keynote- November 5


Patti Hathaway...Change Agent Patti Hathaway, CSP is one of fewer than 7% of speakers worldwide who has earned the coveted Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation from the National Speakers Association for her proven track record of speaking excellence. Patti’s 5 books have collectively sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide and have been translated into more than six languages. Patti’s book, Untying the ‘Nots’ of Change Before You’re Fit to be Tied (Destination Publications, 2000), is based on surveying thousands of people across the country. Her change strategies have been proven to help employees at all levels in many different industries. Patti’s company solves your people challenges. She is asked back repeatedly because of her ability to change people's perspective through the use of her strong content and compelling personal stories delivered with visuals, humor, and high energy.

Keynote Presentation: Untying the ‘Nots’ of Nonstop Change

Healthcare is going through radical changes due to the Affordable Care Act, changes in payment (Medicare, Medicaid); value based purchasing, and numerous other change initiatives that are overwhelming most people in healthcare. The ability to effectively deal with change is one of the most important skills a person in healthcare will need to learn. This program is practical, proactive, real-life based and will positively impact and empower participants.

Session Objectives:

  • Discuss reasons for resistance to change.
  • Identify four phases of resistance to organizational change.
  • Explore coping strategies in professional nonstop change situations.
 CME Dot  CME  Social Work Dot  Social Work  Home Care Dot  Home Care