AHCA/NCAL 72nd Convention and Expo Kicks Off Near Nation’s Capital

Convention honors frontline caregivers, public health officials for their contributions during the pandemic

AHCA/NCAL Updates; AHCA/NCAL Convention; Events

National Harbor, MD — Today, the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) kicked off its 72nd Convention and Expo outside of Washington, D.C., at the National Harbor in Maryland.

The conference begins with the LED Talks – designed to Lead, Engage, and Discover – during the opening general session, focusing on powerful stories related to COVID-19 from different perspectives. Each speaker will share their unique, yet relatable experiences dealing with the pandemic, lessons learned, and much more. The LED Talks will continue at Wednesday’s closing general session. 

“The long term care community has been through so much this past year and a half. This year’s general session themes are ‘Honor, Inspire, and Resilience’ and that is exactly what will be portrayed,” said Debbie Meade, AHCA Board Chair. “Through sharing our stories and supporting one another, Convention offers the chance to start a journey of healing and demonstrate the resilience that keeps the long term care profession strong – no matter what the future holds.” 

Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL, will also give remarks during Monday’s opening general session. He will discuss the battle long term care providers have endured and how the sector can navigate this ongoing crisis. 

“This year’s Convention means so much more than previous years. It presents an opportunity to be back together – to grieve, laugh, cry, remember, honor, and celebrate,” said Parkinson. “The dedication exhibited by our nation’s caregivers has been unparalleled and extraordinary, and I am honored to be alongside these heroes.” 

Additionally, Monday’s opening general session will pay tribute to the long term care workforce for their efforts during the pandemic. The CDC Foundation will present the 2021 McKnight Prize for Healthcare Outbreak Heroes to all frontline long term care staff, and the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living will specifically recognize the contributions of assisted living workers with its Award for Excellence in Care and Support. 

On Tuesday, the Association will honor long term and post-acute care providers who have been changing lives and making a difference through the National Quality Award Program. This year, AHCA/NCAL will recognize 2020 and 2021 recipients, which will encompass more than 1,000 member centers and communities, including an elite group of six facilities at the Gold level. 

At the closing general session on Wednesday, the Mary K. Ousley Champion of Quality Award and the Jan Thayer Pioneer Award will be bestowed to CDC professionals Nimalie Stone, MD and Ruth Link-Gelles, PhD, respectively. AHCA/NCAL named the two public health officials as the 2021 recipients of these prestigious awards due to the critical roles they played in helping long term care residents and staff through the pandemic. 

The 72nd AHCA/NCAL Convention and Expo, which runs through Wednesday, October 13, offers more than 60 education sessions and nearly 250 exhibitors. To ensure the health, safety, and well-being of participants and those they serve, AHCA/NCAL is requiring that attendees provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19, conduct daily screenings, and wear a mask in designated areas. Visit ahcaconvention.org for more details. 

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represents more than 14,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit www.ahcancal.org.​​​