by Tim Rowan, Editor

Following a stirring video tribute to its late founding president, Val Halamandaris, the new interim president, Bill Dombi, declared — with passion and in no uncertain terms — that the National Association for Home Care and Hospice is entering a new era that will be marked by transparency and listening.

By introducing the term “Servant Leader,” Mr. Dombi made it clear that, though he admired his predecessor, he will not guide the association in the same way it has been led for the last 35 years. “The kind of leadership an organization needs during its early years is not necessarily the same kind of leadership it needs once it has matured,” he told us.

“The transformation process has already begun,” he told us after his speech launching the 2017 Annual Meeting at the Long Beach Convention Center. The NAHC board authorized a formal strategic planning project, dubbed “NAHC 2.0.” Industry veterans are being gathered to form an ad hoc advisory panel for the duration of the project. In contrast to past strategy efforts, Dombi has asked the board to make sure the panel includes NAHC members and non-members from across the post-acute spectrum.

Meetings of the ad hoc panel will be guided by a professional meeting facilitator from outside the industry, Dombi told HCTR. Asked why it shouldn’t be someone intimately familiar with home care and hospice, he explained that everyone has an agenda, even if they are not aware of it, even if they honestly believe they can put it aside for the duration of the project. Bringing in an outsider will assure that the new era will be the pure work product of the panelists, not influenced by the facilitator.

As a servant leader, Dombi emphasized, he will be one member of the strategic planning panel. He will follow the reorganization plan approved by the NAHC board. If that plan includes a position that fits his skills and plans, he will accept it. In the meantime, call him Interim Servant Leader.

©2017 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Tim Rowan’s Home Care Technology Report. One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only.

by Audrey Kinsella

The first-time joint healthcare innovation presentation of the Alliance of Personal Health and Partners Connected Health will combine its findings to ignite many presentations at Partners’ Health “Connected Health Symposium” which will take place in Boston October 24-28. Once again this year, HCTR is sending this reporter to the symposium to find new ideas and technologies for improving care of patients living at home.  This year’s symposium is expected to provide more of the same high level of enlightenment.

This year’s event, titled “The Connected Health Journey: Shaping Health and Wellness for Every Generation,” promises to offer a broader focus. Program chair Joe Kvedar, MD, will open the conference with a keynote titled “The New Mobile Age.“ In it, he will focus on clinicians’ and patients’ use of new connected health technologies that will help us to re-imagine how we think about health as we age.  At Partners, Dr. Kvedar is creating a new model of healthcare delivery, developing innovative strategies to move care from the hospital or doctor’s office into the day-to-day lives of patients — at home and on the move.
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To “re-imagine” how we think about health as we age, we need to actively use healthcare technologies to “enable older adults to better maintain their chronic conditions and remain vital, engaged, and independent contributors to their worlds. [A view is presented on different focuses of this year’s and last year’s symposium speakers on their views about “disrupting aging” and this year’s focus on using healthcare technologies to help make them be vital and engaged contributors to their worlds.]

Last year’s conference keynoter, then CEO of AARP JoAnn Jenkins, presented a rousing call to “disrupt aging” by thinking much differently about aging seniors as being much more vital than “old folks planted in rocking chairs.” This year, Kvedar will go a step further by discussing how to engage elders in new healthcare technologies. Other conference presentations will focus on placing at center stage patients’ health activities and responses to their care. Several talks indicating this patient-centered focus will be:

“Patient Wisdom: improving health and care by listening;” “Transforming Healthcare Through Patient Engagement;”  and “Creating an Innovation Ecosystem to Disrupt Healthcare from Within” (Partners Connected Health Innovation Challenge, CHIC)  Clearly, attendees will be learning what needs to done to improve today’s patient care and, in the Partners Connected Health example, finding out which tools and responses “work.”

A very long first day of back-to-back presentations may seem overwhelming and it usually is. To provide some personal comfort, I attend many of these talks thinking I already know something of their focuses–elder healthcare and telehealth or new technologies’ use with tracking and managing burgeoning cases of chronic diseases, and so after attending 10 straight hours of talks. I will not have to concentrate as intently.  But I’m always surprised at the new and telling takes of each presenter at each year’s Partners Health symposium and I fully expect experiencing  the same reaction to this year’s talks, findings of which I will share with HCTR readers in the next few months.

One talk that I have my eye on and have great expectations about is this, near the end of the first very full day, which is part of the block of talks titled: “Next Generation Patient & Provider Engagement.”  This keynote talk presented by Jonathan Ballon–Intel VP  and GM of Internet of Things (IoT)  at Intel and is titled, “Remote Care, Right Now: In Pursuit of a New Standard of Care.”  I can only guess what comfort zone goals we’ll be expected to disrupt and change for the better in healthcare services delivery as a result of learning new ideas to implement from this talk.

Audrey Kinsella, MA, MS, is HCTR’s telemedicine reporter. She has written on home telehealthcare and new technologies for home care service delivery for 20 years, in 6 books, multiple web sites, and more than 150 published articles. Audrey can be reached at or 828-348-5308.

©2017 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Tim Rowan’s Home Care Technology One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only.