Tuesday, July 5, 2016

2016 Care Management Annual conference/Addiction at Conifer Park

Care Management Conference
The Desmond Hotel
Albany, NY 
May 18-May 20th
Addiction conference at Conifer Park
May 25th, 2016

This was my second Care Management Conference. Several of us, a total of 17 from our office went down to Albany on a Wednesday evening for an education on the trends and changes happening with NY state care management. I have to admit, I learned much more last year. Perhaps because I have been doing this position for longer then I had been last year, perhaps it is because NY state moves at about a year behind in change, and there was not much new news to be heard. At any rate, it was still an interesting three days and I got to enjoy the event with some wonderful co-workers.  

We arrived, checked in and decided to explore the area for some dinner. Di Bella's subs won out after arriving at another establishment that could not split the orders. (They lost over a 100 in dinner sales because they could not divide the bill.)
I cant complain. These SUBS were delicious,
The view from our room. The Desmond hotel is set up like a colonial town. If you'd like to see more pictures of the hotel, check my previous trip where I took a ton of pictures of everything.
After dinner we held a relaxed get together in our room. I shared my space with Stacey.

as well as some others not pictured.
That Thursday morning we had a nice breakfast before the event began,
Brittany, Annemarie and Jason,
I just love the Koi pond.

The morning session included a guest speaker. This amazing women who presented shared her life story and spoke about her life. Tonier Cain spoke about her journey, her formative years in and out of foster care and relatives houses, her drug addiction, prostitution, incarcerations, rapes and having her own children removed from her care. Her turning point was when she was given care for her trauma. She reported multiple years sober, a successful business and speaker, wealth and happiness as well as raising her own youngest child who is unaware of the experience she had as a child. She emphasized breaking the cycle and never giving up on those people we serve. It was a tear jerking inspiration. Above is a clip I took from youtube.

The rest of the morning included a lot of discussion around business changes; Medicaid dollars, DISRIP, and stuff that is not all that interesting. I attended a session on Coordination with Medical which was helpful, but something I ready do anyways. We all anticipated LUNCH. Last years meal was yummy....

There is quite a few of us.

We were all surprised to see this arrive at our placement...Below my co-workers put on a silly WHAT? pic.

After lunch I hit up a session on Housing, Housing is above all the biggest challenge I have in my  job. People are not to interested in taking care of themselves when they are living on the streets. I paid attention to the changes that potentially are happening with NY State around the issue of housing. It doesn't look that good. There are a few perks coming our way, but truth is housing will continue to be a concern.
Cocktail Hour made up for the sad lunch. I got myself some fun tropical number and some snacks

We all seemed to be enjoying the FREE happy hour.

After cocktails and discussion about dinner; several people went to one location while a bunch of us decided to head to Maxies.

We certainly enjoyed our meal.
Day two, there was no breakfast offered so we headed to Denny's for some pancakes and eggs before the opening session. Changes are going to be made we are told. I attended a session on Dual Disorders; which I could have presented and perhaps a poor choice for me to attend, and one of time management although the speaker was witty and kept the session going, I surprisingly found I do all of the recommended suggestions. I'll admit I am not always so good about keeping my work space de-cluttered.  We headed back and made a stop in Herkimer, NY
It was about 1/2 home on our way. The waterfront Grill was right off the thruway,

The decor was interesting.

And it was right along the old Erie Canal.

These guys reminded me of lions.

My meal was yummy.

These characters were featured at the store, Chittenango isn't to far I guess.
We all made it home safe, but tired and ready for the rest of the weeks normal. BUT it was only a few days later and several of us were heading to yet another conference. This one outside of Albany at an inpatient facility called Conifer Park.

 I didn't get to many pictures.
 This conference was speaking to the epidemic sweeping our Nation. Opiates!
To being our learning; a women shared her personal story of her son's battle and loss over his heroin addiction. So so sad. This and other drugs are killing so many. We were told an estimate 136 people die to overdose a day in the United States. Its an absolute tragedy, The speaker even brings her son with her in a Tupperware container. I thought this was odd, but she is making her message known.
Another women shared her own personal experience beginning with pain medications which eventually lead to heroin use. She is in recovery now and letting people know it can happen, you can have a life free of the chains binding one to their substance.
Along with the personal stories we did get some education, but the stories were what stood out the most. Thinking I must get trained on the Narcan so if my own clients are in need I can help,

WOW!!!  Lots of conference these last few weeks. Now on to some FUN!!!