Certified nurse aides to be recognized at free April 19 seminar sponsored by Healthy Aging Coalition, UTHCT

Thursday, April 13, 2006

On Wednesday, April 19, the Healthy Aging Coalition of East Texas and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler will sponsor a free seminar at UTHSCT designed to recognize and appreciate certified nurse aides.

“Coalition members believe it is time to recognize and uplift those who work directly with the elderly and to fully include them on the health care team. Certified nurse aides are often overworked, under-appreciated, and underpaid. Our seminar is designed to recognize their importance and show appreciation for all they do. We are proud to sponsor this seminar,” said Susan Bessonett, president of the coalition and a licensed nursing facility administrator. The coalition is a network of health professionals who work in a variety of settings serving older adults in this region. It was organized in June 2005.

“It Takes You: A Certified Nurse Aide Recognition and Appreciation Seminar” will provide participants with motivational ideas to increase their effectiveness on the job. Speakers include Kent Davis, MD, medical director of UTHSCT’s Center for Healthy Aging, and Royal Becker, MD, a hospitalist at Mother Frances Hospital. Both Dr. Davis and Dr. Becker also serve as medical directors for local nursing homes. They will talk about the important role certified nurse aides have in long-term care.

Dr. Charles Blair, director of UTHSCT’s Gerontology and Behavioral Health Sciences Research Department, said, “In East Texas, we cherish, respect, and honor our elderly. Similarly, we ought to cherish, respect, and honor those who provide the elderly with the highest quality of care to help ensure that the elderly enjoy the highest quality of life.

“This is the first of many organized collaborative efforts by the Healthy Aging Coalition and UTHSCT to pursue these shared values,” Dr. Blair said.

Other speakers are: Hue Adams, senior consultant for Diamond Decisions, a professional and personal development resource firm; Kristi Blackwell, a licensed nursing facility administrator who is with Santa Fe Health & Rehabilitation for P&M Healthcare; and Audray Landrum, an advocate for the rights of nursing home residents. Adams will provide tips on how to manage day-to-day stress calmly. Blackwell will discuss how she started her career as a certified nurse aide and is now a licensed nursing home administrator. Landrum will offer insight from her perspective as an advocate.

The seminar will be offered twice on Wednesday, April 19: from 8 a.m. until noon and then again from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. It will be held in the Center for Biomedical Research Auditorium on the UTHSCT campus, 11937 U.S. Highway 271. Onsite registration begins at 7:30 a.m. for the morning session and at 11:30 a.m. for the afternoon session.

Lunch will be provided from noon to 1 p.m., courtesy of Senior Connections, but preregistration is required. This is the first in a series of educational seminars for long-term care professionals sponsored by the Healthy Aging Coalition and UTHSCT.

NOTICE: Protected health information is subject to electronic disclosure.