Florida's Advocate for Long Term Care Providers and the Elders They Serve

Education | Events

AHCA Joint Training for Skilled Nursing Facilities

Ft. Lauderdale | Tampa | Tallahassee

October 28, 29 and 30

Click here to access the AHCA ALF Joint Training web page.

The 2024 AHCA Joint Training for Skilled Nursing Facilities offers the unique opportunity for long term care providers and state surveyors to hear from Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) leadership and other valued partners and providers. Attendees will learn the latest regulatory requirements and best practices for compliance and operations in the complex environment of a skilled nursing facility. Featured speakers include representatives from the AHCA Division of Health Quality Assurance, RB Health Partners, Inc., Alliant Health Solutions, and other experienced healthcare professionals.

New this year, providers can submit anonymous questions to AHCA related to survey trends, compliance issues and other areas of interest. Please click here to submit our questions for the Ask the Agency session.

Make plans to attend this exciting and valuable training!

Topics Include:

  • Reducing Rehospitalization Rates
  • Reducing Elopement Risks, Fall Risks, and Unnecessary Antipsychotics
  • Infection Prevention
  • Past Non-Compliance: Adverse Incidents vs. Immediate Jeopardies (IJs)
  • Top 10 Deficiencies

In-person Program: How It Works

  • Delivered over 6, in-person sessions.
  • Training Dates: October 28 (Fort Lauderdale), October 29 (Tampa) and October 30 (Tallahassee), 2024.  
  • Training Materials: Speaker presentations and handout materials will be made available.
  • Continuing Education Credits: This program offers a total of 6 live contact hours. FHCA will post contact hours to CE Broker by November 20, 2024.

Virtual Live Broadcast Program: How It Works

  • Delivered over 6, virtual live broadcast sessions.
  • Training Dates: The virtual live broadcast sessions will take place October 30. All registered attendees will access these sessions through Zoom. These sessions will also be recorded and available to watch between November 1 - November 15.
  • Training Materials: 6 video sessions; post-quiz; handout materials.
  • Continuing Education Credits: This program offers a total of 6 computer-based contact hours. FHCA will post contact hours to CE Broker by November 20, 2024. Participants must have completed the session videos and passed the post-quiz by November 15 at 4:00 p.m. EST to receive CEUs.

Continuing Education

FHCA will seek approval for 6 hours of live continuing education for the in-person program and 6 hours of computer-based continuing education for the virtual live broadcast. Provider Number 50-720: Florida Board of Nursing Home Administrators, Florida Board of Nursing, Florida Board of Clinical Social Work and the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy. Contact the FHCA Event Team at (850) 224-3907 or with any questions.

Event Agenda

7:00 to 8:00 a.m.


8:00 to 8:30 a.m.

Welcome Remarks

8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Session #1

Top 10 Deficiencies 

Speakers: Donah Heiberg, Chief of Field Operations, Agency for Health Care Administration, and Jen Lawrence, Chief Nursing Officer, Aston Health

Be ready and prepared to ensure your skilled nursing facility does not have a challenge with the top 10 deficiencies cited in Florida’s skilled nursing centers. This session will outline the latest top 10 deficiencies and provide guidance on how to identify strategies to take the steps needed to ensure quality.  

9:30 to 9:45 a.m.



9:45 to 10:45 a.m.

Session #2

Past Non-Compliance Immediate Jeopardy vs. Removed Immediate Jeopardy: What is the Difference?

Speakers: Robin Bleier, resident/CEO, RB Health Partners, Inc., and Mary Mahoney, Government Analyst II, Agency for Health Care Administration

If your center receives an Immediate Jeopardy citation, especially if it is the first time, it is vital that your staff understands how to respond and provide the required documentation and information as quickly as possible. This session will breakdown the series of events and causes and offer insights into how centers can be prepared to respond and document appropriately.

10:45 to 11:45 a.m.

Session #3

Infection Prevention in the 2024 Regulatory Landscape

Speaker: Argentina Charles, Health Care-Associated Infection Prevention Program Manager, Florida Department of Health

It can be challenging to keep up with all the evidenced-based, nationally recognized guidelines and to generate meaningful data to support infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship programs in nursing centers.  This session will address commonly misunderstood guidelines, provide an overview of recently updated guidelines and how to respond to increasingly complex infections such as C. Auris. Attendees will also learn about the guiding principles of epidemiologic surveillance to generate data that supports data-driven decision making.  

11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Networking Lunch

12:45 to 2:15 p.m.

Session #4

Strategies for Success: Reducing Elopement Hazards, Unnecessary Antipsychotics, and Fall Risks

Speakers: Robin A. Bleier, President/CEO, RB Health Partners, Inc., Jay Berelowitz, Program Director, Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health in Nursing Facilities (Ft. Lauderdale) & Sherri Creel, Regional Behavioral Specialist, Center of Excellence for Behavioral  (Tampa & Tallahassee), and Karen Lerner,RN, Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare

This session targets some of the heaviest hitting issues in the skilled nursing profession, including reducing antipsychotic medication usage, mitigating falls, and preventing resident elopements. Panelists will offer insights, strategies and tools for providing alternatives to unnecessary antipsychotics, identifying elopement risks and preventing exit seeking, along with implementing resident specific interventions to minimize falls.  

2:15 to 2:30 p.m.


2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Session #5

Reducing Rehospitalizations 

Speakers: Renee DelMonico, State Quality Manager-Florida, Alliant Health (Ft. Lauderdale & Tampa) and Melinda Jones, Florida Quality Advisor, Alliant Health (Tallahassee)

Reducing resident rehospitalizations is a daunting task and one that consistently challenges skilled nursing providers across the state. Rehospitalizations rates per 1000 stays of long term care residents in Florida are consistently higher than the national average. Alliant Health Solutions will share the current rehospitalization rates in Florida’s skilled nursing centers and offer tangible strategies for providers to improve their averages and keep residents from unnecessary hospital readmissions.

3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Session #6

Updates from Florida’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

Speaker: Terri Cantrell, State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Florida Department of Elder Affairs

The role of an ombudsman is to advocate for residents. The ombudsman program ensures that residents and their families have a mediator and advocate in their corner. In this session, attendees will be introduced to Terri Cantrell, the new State LTC Ombudsman in Florida, who will share her mission and vision for the ombudsman program and the type of partnership that can be fostered between local ombudsmen and their long term care facilities to create better care outcomes for Florida’s residents in long term care.

4:00 to 4:30 p.m.

Session #7

Updates from AHCA’s Background Screening Unit

Speaker: Taylor Haddock, Assistant Deputy Secretary/Division of Health Care Policy and Oversight, Agency for Health Care Administration

This session will provide an overview of upcoming updates to the Background Screening Clearinghouse and how to navigate the updated system. Additionally, attendees will hear an overview of daily operations in the Background Screening Unit to offer insight into the process of eligibility, application review and evaluation, notable updates from the field, and best practices for providers to consider.

4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Session #8

Ask the Agency

Speakers: Kim Smoak, Deputy Secretary/State Survey Agency Director, Donah Heiberg, Chief of Field Operations, and Mary Mahoney, Government Analyst II, all with the Agency for Health Care Administration

This Q&A session with the Agency for Health Care Administration is designed for attendees to have their anonymous questions and concerns answered by AHCA representatives. Registered attendees will be provided with a survey link in advance of the program to submit their questions anonymously to AHCA representatives who will review the questions and respond live during the session.

Please click here to submit your questions for the Ask the Agency session.