Building Trust in LTC: A Strategy to Improve Vaccine Uptake, Patient Safety, & Staff Well Being



Staff trust leaders when they believe that they care about them (empathy), have faith in their judgment and competence (logic), and think they are acting with the real person (authenticity). When trust is absent between leaders and staff in long term care facilities, research shows that vaccination uptake, patient safety, quality of care, and staff well-being are negatively impacted.

AHCA is equipping leaders to use trust-building methods through Building Trust in LTC: A Strategy to Improve Patient Safety, Staff Wellbeing & Vaccine Uptake in Long Term Care.

Based on the science of trust building, this 4-lesson virtual program is full of tools and resources to help leaders build trust with staff.


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 David Gifford

David Gifford, MD, MPH, is a geriatrician who currently serves as Chief Medical Officer at the American Health Care Association (AHCA). He helped create the Quality Department at AHCA, which assists providers in their quality improvement efforts and works with administration officials on regulations and policies impacting the profession. He also established the Center for Health Policy and evaluation in LTC at AHCA. Dr. Gifford serves on the Board of the Baldrige Foundation and chairs the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs Geriatric and Gerontology Advisory Committee, a congressional chartered committee to advise the U.S. Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs on geriatric services for veterans. He is a former Director of the Rhode Island State Department of Health from 2005 to 2011, where he received the National Governor’s Distinguished Service Award for State Officials for his management of the H1N1 influenza outbreak. Prior to that, he served as Chief Medical Officer for Quality Partners of Rhode Island, where he directed the CMS national nursing home-based quality improvement effort.  He holds a faculty appointment at Brown University Medical School and School of Public Health and served as medical director in several nursing homes in Rhode Island. He received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University and conducted his geriatric fellowship at UCLA, where he also earned his Master’s in Public Health while a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar.

 Courtney Bishnoi

Courtney Bishnoi serves as Vice President of Quality and Programs at the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and National Center of Assisted Living (NCAL), where she has worked since 2008. She is a national expert in performance excellence with a passion for strategic planning and systems-based performance improvement. She oversees the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award program, which she has grown in scope and size, to become the largest Baldrige-based program in the country with over 1,200 applications each year.  She also guided the successful re-endorsement by the National Quality Forum of AHCA’s customer satisfaction measures, CoreQ, as well as their inclusion in several states’ payment and regulatory programs. Since the start of the pandemic, Courtney has led the associations efforts related to COVID-19 testing and vaccine distribution in long term care facilities, serving as primary liaison to CMS, HHS and CDC teams as well as academic partners to develop testing and vaccine guidance and resource for LTC providers. Courtney also oversees AHCA’s policy efforts around federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates, working with members to understand the policies and policy makers to understand the impact of these mandates on staffing and other issues.

 Kayla Stocks

Kayla Stocks is a Project Manager for Federal Grants at the American Health Care Association (AHCA) located in Washington, DC. She currently oversees two CDC cooperative agreements (CK20-2003) for Project Firstline: Improving Infection Control Capacity for Frontline Healthcare Workers in Long-Term-Care Settings and Building COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence. In this role, Kayla manages the activities of a team of internal and external stakeholders and consultants to meet grant outcomes and deliverables. This involves managing tight timelines in a fast-paced environment, understanding complex federal reporting requirements, anticipating the needs of various stakeholders, and managing multiple budgets. Prior to joining this initiative, she oversaw the AHCA infection preventionist certificate program that trained over 3,000 individuals. She also served as lead person collecting feedback from providers on a host of different issues and topics.

 Kate Hilton

Kate B. Hilton, JD, MTS teaches and coaches health professionals around the globe to build individual and organizational capability to address the adaptive, human side of change. As Faculty at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Kate advises IHI'sinternal teams, learning networks, and large-scale improvement efforts in the use of leadership, organizing, and change management methods to advance and sustain improvement, population health, health equity and joy in work. Kate served as an improvement coach in the Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network with Project ECHO and AHRQ, and she has contributed to the design of the Age-Friendly Health System effort since its initial pilot phase. She co-authored IHI’s Conversation Guide to Improve COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake and Conversation & Action Guide to Support Staff Wellbeing & Joy in Work During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic. She is lead faculty in IHI's Leadership & Organizing for Change and Psychology of Change online courses with coaching, and she authors peer-reviewed articles and white papers, including IHI's Psychology of Change Framework.

 Jerald Cosey

Jerald Cosey is a senior healthcare leader, patient advocate, consultant, and professional speaker. He is operational leadership development director for American Senior Communities (ASC), the largest senior living and senior healthcare company in Indiana. In this role, he is dedicated to developing leaders for over 90 skilled nursing and assisted living communities in Indiana and Kentucky. Jerald recently served as executive director of Greenwood Meadows, a skilled nursing facility operated by ASC. His facility earned the 2019 American Health Care Association’s Silver Quality Award. Jerald graduated from Kentucky State University in 1990 with a BA in Business Administration. He received his Certified Nurse Aide and Health Facility Administrator license in 2013. Jerald began his pharmaceutical career in sales, joining Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in 1996.  He quickly advanced to the leadership role of district sales manager. He was named District Sales Manager of the Year twice and a member of the Vice President’s Management Club four times. He is founder of Graceful Moments, an outreach ministry focused on minimizing isolation within the senior living community. Experiences he had during outreach stoked a desire in Jerald to serve others professionally, and in 2013, he resigned from his 18-year pharmaceutical sales leadership career to become an Administrator in Training, completing work for his Health Facility Administrator license and Nurse Aide certification. Jerald is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Indiana Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine and Brothers of Color in Pharma (BROCIP).Jerald considers himself a professional servant and is committed to advancing senior healthcare as a speaker, consultant, and patient advocate.

 Martha Hayward

Martha Hayward is an internationally recognized leader in Patient and Family Centered Care for over 15 years, Martha comes to this work as a patient herself. As the only patient staff member at IHI, Ms. Hayward lead the PFCC content development and thecreation of The Conversation Project. As a PFCC subject matter expert she has extensive participation in the American Hospital Association HRET HIIN, the AHRQ National Nursing Home COVID-19Action Network, University of Wyoming ECHO on Care Transitions, and sits on the Advisory Board for The Center for Shared Decision Making at Vejle Hospital, Denmark, and the American Academy For Communication in Healthcare. Martha speaks and teaches programs including Patient Safety Officer Training, Executive Development, Strategic Partners and Patient Experience Seminars.   Martha has offered keynote addresses on the subjects of Patient and Family Centered Care, Patient Engagement, and End of Life Care to audiences throughout the world.

 Lindsay Martin

Lindsay A. Martin, MSPH, is a healthcare improvement and innovation leader dedicated to system design, improvement, and innovation. She founded I-Squared Consulting Group and works with government entities, healthcare systems, and community organizations to advance the role of quality and safety. Ms. Martin is an Instructor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Ms. Martin is faculty for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement where she focuses on improvement, innovation, and system design in the United States and United Kingdom. In addition, Ms. Martin is on the Board of Trustees for New England Donor Services.

​Advisory Group

 Etan Bleichman

Etan Bleichman

Legacy Healthcare - Regional Director of Operations

What makes you passionate about building trust in LTC?
Trust is at the core building block of any successful relationship.  We need to continue to firm up our base in order to keep a stable ground from which our relationships cannot only grow, but flourish.

 Hanh Ta

Hanh Ta

Heritage on the Marina - Operations Director / NHA / Compliance Officer

What makes you passionate about building trust in LTC?
I am passionate about helping people whether or not I know them personally or professionally or not all.  I thrive to promote quality of care and life in the healthcare profession with emphasis on best practices. My service on the AHCA/NCAL advisory group allows me the biggest opportunity to fulfill my passion to help others, build trust in LTC on a national level and impact the health care profession for future generations. Serving on the AHCA/NCAL advisory group is an honor to further my passion as a public servant.

 Jane Martin

Jane Martin BSN, RN-BC, DNS, CT

Ethica/Treutlen County Health and Rehabilitation - Administrator in Training

What makes you passionate about building trust in LTC?
I am passionate about building trust in LTC because I value the lives of those I serve so very much. That includes my peers and patients, the families of both and our community. I am proud of our nursing facility and I see everyday firsthand how hard our associates work to create a loving home for our patients and those who share in all aspects of their lives. We as LTC practitioners have much to be proud of and I want the world to see the amazing work we do. We have devoted ourselves to quality care, and I long for the day when we earn the trust that we deserve from our communities and the country at large. I am grateful for every opportunity to share the successes of our profession to continue the trust building journey!!

 Jessica Dickson

Jessica Dickson

American Senior Communities - Regional Vice President of Operations

What makes you passionate about building trust in LTC?
What makes me passionate about building trust in LTC. It’s simple, without trust there is no foundation and without a stable foundation you have NO sustainable operation which equates to no quality product for your customer base. Trust is critical, my passion for developing working partnerships from infancy stage has always driven me in leadership. It’s a process. Building trust, requires a great deal of pressure & consistent communication. My focus on collaboration drives my passion for building trust; which if worked well, will foster unbreakable bonds rooted from trust. In short, trust is transactional and the main ingredient among any success team requires trust as the center stone.

 Kevin Christiano

Kevin Christiano

Community: Ashton Place Senior Living/Association: New York State Center for Assisted Living (NYSCAL) - Executive director

What makes you passionate about building trust in LTC?
Trust is one of the most important elements in delivering and receiving quality care. The more we work to build trust in long term care through honest reflection, transparency, and a strong commitment to raising standards, the experience for all will perpetually improve. I am privileged to work with providers of all different types and want to highlight the caregivers and support staff who work tirelessly to serve our residents beyond expectations.

 Maureen Brown

Maureen Brown, RN, MSN, MBA, NHA

Onyx Health, South Florida Division Citadel Care Centers - Chief Nursing Officer

What makes you passionate about building trust in LTC?
I am passionate about building trust in long term care  because as a leader in this  industry for the past twenty five years, I understand that I'm charged with the responsibility of  making a positive impact on the quality of care delivered to our most  vulnerable among us,  the elderly. With the recent devastating impact of COVID19 in our communities, establishing and building back a trusting relationship with our workforce and residents is paramount in implementing the solutions available to us, such a s vaccination . My passion  and drive comes from seeing the difference a trusting environment makes, in implementing these solutions and saving lives. 

 Melissa McCorquodale

Melissa McCorquodale

Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society - Licensed Assisted Living Director

What makes you passionate about building trust in LTC?
I am passionate about building trust in long-term care as it is integral to the advancement of healthcare for seniors and the overall patient experience. We must recognize that high levels of trust are associated with positive experiences and that is why it is important to make all interactions in long-term care meaningful. When we are able to do this, it directly benefits patient care outcomes, creates trusting relationships and increases awareness without spreading misinformation.

 Miles Lee

Miles Lee

Forest Hills of DC - Life Enrichment Aid

What makes you passionate about building trust in LTC?
The reasons I’m passionate about building trust in LTC facilities is because It would help with vaccine uptake which helps keep staff and residents safe. Also building trust in LTC would help create a better environment for everyone who lives and works in these facilities. Having or finding ways to build trust in leadership is essential for teamwork, problem solving and employee morale. All of these issues also can effect how staff works with clients and their quality of care, and we can use this built trust as a bridge to help improve LTC as a whole.

 Phillip Donnelly

Phillip Donnelly

Taylor Health Care Center - Grafton, West Virginia - Executive Director/ Nursing Home Administrator

What makes you passionate about building trust in LTC?
I have been blessed to have a career in a field that I love. Long term care has been my passion for over 20 years. My goal has been to mentor people and share my zeal for long term care. I see building trust within our chosen field as an important aspect to improving the overall quality in the services that we provide for our residents.

 Tanya Burris

Tanya Burris

Mission Health - Director of Nursing

What makes you passionate about building trust in LTC?
Being a better leader to my staff and building that relationship of trust, letting them know if I ask them to do something it’s nothing I wouldn’t do myself and a positive work environment almost like a family atmosphere.


AAPCN (American Association of Post-Acute Care Nursing)

The American Association of Post-Acute Care Nursing (AAPACN) represents more than 15,000 post-acute care nurses and professionals working in more than 5,125 facilities. Dedicated to supporting LTPAC nurses and healthcare professionals in providing quality care, AAPACN offers members best in-class education, certification, resources, and strong collaborative communities.
AAPACN exists to support the professional development, empowerment, and success of its members with resources optimizing return on members’ investment. Review AAPACN’s Treatment of Members policy.

AAPACN is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization that reinvests revenue into the creation of high quality resources, education, and certifications to benefit post-acute professionals and the residents they serve.

ACHCA (American College of Health Care Administrators)

Founded in 1962, ACHCA is a non-profit professional membership association that provides superior educational programming, networking, and career development opportunities for its members.

Guided by the vision that dynamic leadership fosters long term health care services that are meaningful, successful, and efficient, ACHCA identifies, recognizes, and supports post-acute and aging services leaders, advocating for their mission and promoting excellence in their profession.
The American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) is the catalyst for excellence in post-acute and aging services leadership.

AMDA (The Society For Post-Acute And Long-Term Care Medicine)

The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is the only medical specialty society representing the community of over 50,000 medical directors, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other practitioners working in the various post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) settings. The Society’s 5,500 members work in skilled nursing facilities, long-term care and assisted living communities, CCRCs, home care, hospice, PACE programs, and other settings.
We promote and enhance the development of competent, compassionate, and committed medical practitioners and leaders to provide goal-centered care across all post-acute and long-term care settings.

Dedicated to defining and improving quality, we advance our mission through timely professional development, evidence-based clinical guidance, and tireless advocacy on behalf of members, patients, families, and staff.

NADONA (The National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care)

Since 1986, the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care have been THE leading advocate and educational organization for DONs, ADONs and RNs (in management positions and/or serving as Director of Nursing Services, Nurse Administrator, VP of Clinical Services, Consultants, Nurse Educators, MDS Nurses, Staff Development, Transitional Care Nurse, Infection Prevention Nurses or any RN that has previously served in a role equivalent to DON or ADON) in Long Term Care (LTC). NADONA was founded by dedicated LTC professionals, and our board of trustees still consists of LTC professionals. We understand your daily challenges, and are here to provide you with the tools you need for professional success.

The mission of NADONA is to be the leading professional organization for current and aspiring nursing leaders through professional development, board certification, and clinical expertise related to the promotion of health and wellness of individuals in the long term care and post-acute care continuum.

NAHCA (The National Association of Health Care Assistants)

There are many benefits to being a member of the National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA). As the CNA Association, we stand together to demonstrate our professional pride and advocate for policies and practices that advance certified nursing assistants in their careers as well as their personal lives. NAHCA members represent nursing homes, assisted living, home care, hospice, and even hospital care. We have a large number of CNA members nationwide.

The National Association of Health Care Assistants mission is to elevate the professional standing and performance of a CNA and other caregivers through recognition, advocacy, education and empowerment while building a strong alliance with health care providers to maximize success and quality patient care.

HCA (Healthcentric Advisors)

Healthcentric Advisors is a nationally-recognized, nonprofit healthcare quality improvement organization delivering education, technical assistance, research, analytical and project management services.
Founded in 1994 to establish a quality improvement resource for Rhode Island healthcare providers, we quickly developed expertise in a range of subjects. This expertise has led to contracts and engagements that provide services beyond Rhode Island. Since 1994 we have expanded our portfolio of services, established offices in two other New England states and continued to serve clients and stakeholders nationwide.

Healthcentric Advisors develops and provides innovative and evidence-based consultation, education, tools and resources that measure and improve the quality, safety and value of person-centered healthcare.