I found myself thinking “I want to go to that.”

By Steve Moran

My friend Kimberly Green, the COO of Diakonos Group, is the first one who told me about NAHCA, the National Association of Nursing Home Assistants. She is a huge supporter and sends a large number of Diakonos CNAs every year. From time to time, Denise Boudreau-Scott, the founder of Drive, would also talk to me about the great work they are doing.

I sort of paid attention and sort of didn’t until Angela York posted this little 10-second video to promote their annual conference at our Senior Living Professional Facebook Group:

I found myself thinking “I want to go to that.”

It inspired me to reach out to Angela to get the scoop on NAHCA and CNA Fest. A few days ago I interviewed her and Matt Cantrell, their Chief Operating Officer. You can watch the entire interview at the bottom of this article.

Why You Should Care

There are two powerful things that NAHCA and CNA Fest do. The first is that they bring to life and honor the professionalism of being a CNA. Too often, if we are honest, they are seen as “just CNAs” or “Just Caregivers.” Yet they do the heavy lifting and know the residents better than anyone else in the community.  

The second thing they do is provide serious education, which means that the CNAs who attend the conference, who are members of the organization, gain knowledge and skills, which allows them to better care for residents and makes them better team members.

What is Crazy Cool . . .

Conferences are expensive. Once in a while, I will see a one-day conference for under $500 and multi-day conferences can run from $1,000 to $3,500 dollars. And that is just the conference fee. Then there is food, lodging, and transportation.

This conference for members is just, drum roll, please . . . $425 with a $30 membership. It includes:

  • The conference content

  • Lots of fun stuff

  • 3-nights lodging

  • 8 meals

  • Soft drinks 

It does not include transportation but there is no better senior living conference bargain than this.  

Send Someone

If it would work, I would beg you to send at least one frontline caregiver to this event. The cost is low, the culture building value is through the roof.

  • Use it as a way to say thanks to your most dedicated CNA at each community.

  • Have your CNAs vote on the person most worthy of going.

  • Provide it as an incentive for high performance going into the 2020 event.

  • Do some fundraisers to defray the costs.

  • Ask your residents and their families to provide a scholarship.

This could be the most powerful thing you could do for your whole organization.

Here is the interview: