Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging Conference to Highlight
Award-Winning Nurse Retention Program 

EVANSTON , IL– July 28, 2005 – Mather LifeWays, a 50+-year-old not-for-profit organization committed to creating Ways to Age Well, announced its 2005 LEAP Conference, to be held on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2005 . LEAP (Learn. Empower. Achieve. Produce.) is a nationally recognized, award-winning program designed by Mather LifeWays to educate, empower and retain nurses and certified nurse assistants by using a resident-centered approach. The event, hosted by Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging, is themed ‘Leadership, Decision-Making, Empowerment: Keys to Quality in Long-Term Care,’ and will take place at the North Shore Senior Center in Northfield , IL .

Mather LifeWays also announced that LEAP has been awarded another year of funding through a state Grant from the Illinois Department of Public Health to Life Services Network of Illinois, Mather’s LEAP partner. This grant provides $137,000 to continue expansion of LEAP to all licensed skilled care centers throughout Illinois .

LEAP has been successfully implemented in nearly 200 long-term care organizations across 26 states and Washington D.C. impacting more than 5,000 staff members. LEAP has resulted in significant improvements in job satisfaction, work empowerment and staff’s perceptions about their organization, and reductions in nursing staff turnover rates ranging from 20-50% in the organizations that have implemented the program.

About LEAP Conference

The 2005 LEAP Conference is targeted at nursing leaders, clinical nurses, administrators and others supporting quality long-term care (LTC). Its objectives include:

•  Challenging nurses to expand and enhance their roles in creating a culture of person-centered care for older adults

•  Exploring creative strategies to empower nursing leaders and staff in building and nurturing care teams

•  Identifying the important contributions of nurses in organizational decision-making processes to create and support culture change in LTC

•  Discussing the impact of LEAP on building relationships among nursing staff, residents and families

Speakers at the day-long event include a keynote by Mary Tellis-Nayak, RN, MSN, MPH who recently joined the Aging Services Customer Care Unit of the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities along with presentations by noted educators and researchers including Anna Ortigara, MS, RN, FAAN, Vice President of Cultural Transformations, Life Services Network of Illinois, Mary Zwygart-Stauffacher, PhD, RN, GNP, FAAN, Associate Dean, University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, and Bill Keane, MS, MBA, LNHA, Director of Special Programs, Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging.

Registration, which is $30 per person, is due by Sept. 10 and includes food, conference materials and CEUs. Those who register before Sept.1 will receive a refund of 50%. For more information or to register, please visit www.matherlifeways.com/leap or contact Joni Gatz-Bauman, LEAP Project Coordinator, at (847) 492-6812 or jgatz@matherlifeways.com.

About the LEAP Program

LEAP , a long-term care nursing development and retention program, was developed in collaboration with Life Services Network of Illinois, the state affiliate of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA), to equip nursing managers and staff with essential tools to enhance teamwork, communication, care quality, and satisfaction among staff, residents, and families.

LEAP utilizes interactive teaching methods and integrates live workshops and web resources, and is designed to complement the process of culture change and a movement towards relationship-based and individualized care. The program’s train-the-trainer course prepares staff to affect and sustain change in their own organizations.

LEAP has been awarded several national awards since its inception, including most recently the Excellence in Practice Award from AAHSA in 2004. LEAP also took home the 2004 Healthcare and Aging Award, which is sponsored by the Healthcare and Aging Network (HAN) and American Society on Aging (ASA) to recognize outstanding programs and services in healthcare and aging.

LEAP was first piloted at Mather Pavilion, a skilled nursing community in Evanston , IL in 1999, and has reduced the turnover rates for both nurses and CNAs to 16.7%. “Additional training definitely affects job satisfaction, and Mather provides more training than any other skilled nursing communities I have worked at,” says Cheryl Henry, a CNA at Mather Pavilion. “Since we have started using LEAP, the change in positive workplace communication and teamwork has been amazing.”

Who is Mather LifeWays?

Evanston , Illinois-based Mather LifeWays is a 50+-year-old, unique not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of older adults through lifestyle and residential alternatives that create Ways to Age Well. SM  From independent living to memory support and skilled care, Mather LifeWays’ senior residences comprise a continuum of living and choices. Through community initiatives, including the successful Mather’s—More Than a Café concept, neighborhoods become better places for older adults to live, work, learn, contribute, and play.  The Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging plays a leading role in enhancing the lives of older adults through numerous collaborative and applied research and education projects. To learn more about Mather LifeWays, find your Way to www.matherlifeways.com .

The 2005 LEAP Conference is part of a project partially supported under the Nurse Education, Practice, and Retention Grant Program with funds from the Division of Nursing, Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services. The information, content, and conclusions of this conference are those of the project faculty and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by the Division of Nursing, Bureau of Health Professions, Department of Health and Human Services, or the U.S. Government.



Press Inquiries

Paula Ledbetter
(847) 868.5930

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