Keynote: Innovation & Servant Leadership "Delivering With Dignity, A Case In Point" - Punam Mather
Keynote: Innovation & Servant Leadership "Delivering With Dignity, A Case In Point" - Punam Mather

Keynote: Innovation & Servant Leadership "Delivering With Dignity, A Case In Point"
- Punam Mathur [Zoom Recording]

Punam Mathur currently operates her own business as a speaker, trainer and writer in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Punam also serves as Executive Director of the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation and Board Member of The Moonridge Foundation.

Punam will inspire the Engaging with Aging 2021 audience with the remarkable story of Delivering with Dignity - an innovative program to bring prepared meals directly to the homes of our most vulnerable individuals keeping them and the community safe by reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Plenary Address: COVID-19, Washington, Nevada & Future of Aging Services - Robert Blancato
Plenary Address: COVID-19, Washington, Nevada & Future of Aging Services - Robert Blancato

Plenary Address: COVID-19, Washington, Nevada & Future of Aging Services - Robert Blancato [Zoom Recording] [Slides]

Robert “Bob” Blancato is President of Matz, Blancato and Associates, a public and government relations firm. Bob spent 17 years on the staff of the U.S. House Select Committee on Aging and has participated in four White House Conferences on Aging, including as the Executive Director of the 1995 White House Conference on Aging. Bob resides in Virginia.

With over 30 years of deep experience in the field of aging and public service, Bob is Executive Director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs, and the National Coordinator of the Elder Justice Coalition.

Dina Titus

Special Announcement:
Congresswoman Dina Titus [Video]

Serving the First Congressional District of Nevada, Congresswoman Dina Titus has built a strong record of achievement as both an educator and a public servant. As a professor, Dr. Titus taught American and Nevada government classes from 1979 through June 2011 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she has professor emeritus status. A noted non-fiction writer, she is internationally known for her expertise in the history and policies related to nuclear power, weaponry, and waste as well as for her knowledge of the popular lore of "Atomic Culture."

Currently in her sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Dina is the dean of Nevada’s Congressional delegation. She is a proud member of the House Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, Foreign Affairs, and Homeland Security. In 2018, Dina was elected to become the Chair of a key Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, where she works to help Nevada’s communities better respond to natural disasters, address the devastating impacts of climate change, and fight for infrastructure projects that will benefit the most vulnerable.

Senator Jacky Rosen

Special Announcement:
Senator Jacky Rosen  [Video]

Before being elected to the Senate, Rosen represented Nevada’s Third District in the 115th Congress. Rosen served on the House Armed Services Committee, where she successfully worked to secure a pay increase for our men and women in uniform and introduced bills to help servicemembers find good-paying jobs after leaving the military. Rosen also served on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, where she passed bipartisan legislation through the House to improve early childhood STEM education.

Rosen was ranked as the fifth-most bipartisan freshman member of the House of Representatives in the 115th Congress.

Rosen has lived in Nevada for nearly 40 years. As the first member of her family to graduate from college, Rosen worked two jobs and took out student loans to make ends meet. She worked as a waitress, including at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and was a proud member of Culinary Workers Union Local 226.

Jeff Klein

Conference Host: Jeffrey Klein

Jeffrey B. Klein, FACHE is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Nevada Senior Services.

Mr. Klein has extensive experience in health care management, consulting, and strategic planning for hospitals, community-based services and aging networks.

Mr. Klein holds an MBA from Temple University, Philadelphia. He is Board Certified in Healthcare Management as a Fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives. Mr. Klein is the recipient of Professional Achievement Awards from the National Association of Medical Directors and Coordinators and the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. He Chairs the Nevada Commission on aging Legislative Subcommittee and is an active member of the public policy committees of the American Society on Aging and the National Adult Day Services Association.

Jane Gruner

Conference Host: Jane Gruner

Jane Gruner is the Director of Special Projects for Nevada Senior Services, a non-profit organization providing care and services to adults and their caregivers, facing the challenges of chronic disease, disability and aging.

Ms. Gruner’s professional career has focused largely on supporting special populations through the development of person directed community programs. Jane worked for the State of Nevada for over 33 years in many roles – counselor, agency director, deputy director and administrator for Aging and Disability Services Division.

Known for her leadership in building collaborative relationships, she looks forward to sharing the innovative practices developed across Nevada during the pandemic.

Breakout Sessions One : 10:00 - 10:45am (PST)

Dena Schmidt

Breakout Session 1A: Sustaining Aging Services In Nevada - Dena Schmidt, Administrator Aging and Disability Services Division (ADSD), Nevada Department of Health and Human Services [Zoom Recording]

Dena Schmidt serves as the Administrator for ADSD and is responsible for oversight of Lifespan Services to ensure the provision of effective supports and services to meet the needs of individuals and families.

Dena began her career with the state in 2001.She has held various positions within the Department including Medicaid Program Specialist, during the implementation of the Health Care reform, Chief of Supportive Services for the Division of Aging and Disability Services, and Deputy Director where she was responsible for managing the Director’s office programs, Department legislative coordination and oversight of health policy and program coordination across the Department’s five divisions.

Dena is a fourth generation Nevadan and graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations. Dena serves as a member of Governor Sandoval’s Interagency Council on Homelessness, Council on Developmental Disabilities, and has been actively involved in creating the Health Information Technology and Data Analytics team to improve data driven decision making across the Department.

Phil Mitchell

Breakout Session 1B: Pandemic Safety : Best Practices - Dr. Phil Mitchell, MD, Chief Medical Officer for DispatchHealth [Zoom Recording]

Dr. Mitchell is a board certified emergency physician who has practiced in the Denver metro area after completing his residency at Denver Health Medical Center where he was chief resident.

He initially attended Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey and was appointed to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society in his third year. Dr. Mitchell served as the medical director at Parker Adventist Hospital for over a decade and recently completed a term as Medical Staff President.

As the Chief Medical Officer for DispatchHealth, he has devoted his time to developing clinical treatment guidelines, designing and implementing the organization’s risk stratification program for onboarding patients, creating mechanisms to provide high level, acute care in the home in an evidence-based and compliant manner. Other primary areas of focus are Quality, Patient Safety and Experience, Compliance, and working with our partners to develop clinical integration pathways for our in home-based acute care medicine.

In July of 2017, Dr. Mitchell delivered a TED talk at TEDx Mile High titled, “The ER Housecall for the 21st Century”.

Laura Urban and Winter Tucker

Breakout Session 1C: Responding to Nevada's Food Insecurity in the COVID-19 Era - Laura Urban and Winter Tucker [Zoom Recording]

Laura Urban is the Food Security and Wellness Manager for the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Food Security (OFS). In her role, Ms. Urban coordinates and supports the Nevada Council on Food Security and implementation of their guiding plan, Food Security in Nevada: Nevada’s Plan for Action; oversees the Fund for a Healthy Nevada Wellness/Hunger Services monies; and acts as a liaison among statewide partners and initiatives addressing food insecurity. Prior to working at DHHS, Ms. Urban led Nutrition Education efforts at the FBNN and worked within FBNN’s Child Nutrition Program.

Winter Tucker joined the CDC Foundation in June as the Community Health Program Manager for Bureau of Child, Family, and Community Wellness (CFCW) in the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH). MS. Tucker received her Master of Public Health with an emphasis in Epidemiology from University of Nevada, Reno May 2020. Winter works across the Bureau on COVID-19 response and recovery projects with their Chronic Disease program, Maternal Child Health Program, Immunization Program, and Nutrition Unit programs.

Jennifer Carson

Breakout Session 1D: Innovation: Responding to Social Isolation & Loneliness - Dr. Jennifer Carson, PhD [Zoom Recording] [Handouts]

Dr. Jennifer Carson, PhD, works to envision and develop opportunities for individual and collective growth to combat ageism and ableism, and improve the inclusion and well-being of elders, with a particular interest in persons living with dementia.

Jennifer is Director of the Dementia Engagement, Education and Research (DEER) Program in the School of Community Health Sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR).

Recently, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jennifer has played a leadership role in the development, implementation and evaluation of the Nevada COVID-19 Aging Network rapid response, or Nevada CAN, led by ADSD.

In addition to serving as a co-lead for the overall initiative, she also leads Nevada CAN’s NEST Collaborative (NEST = Nevada Ensures Support Together), which provides volunteer-hosted virtual social support to homebound elders and adults living with disabilities who are sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Break & Sponsor Session 2 (Top Sponsors): 10:45 -11:00am [Zoom Recording]

Breakout Sessions Two : 11:00 - 11:45am (PST)

Mary Tabor Griswold

Breakout Session 2A: Meeting the COVID-19 Workforce Challenge: Solving the Resource Gap - Dr. Mary Tabor Griswold, PhD [Zoom Recording]

From a background in developing information systems for medical insurance and other sectors of industry, Dr. Mary Tabor Griswold, PhD, Director at University of Nevada, Reno, Office of Statewide Initiative, brings a variety of skills aiding in the analysis, modeling, and data collection processes to the field of population health and its associated workforce.

These projects have resulted in many publications and the identification of gaps and areas for evaluation in population health and health workforce research.

Tabor has built access to data for multiple people with database collections, paper publications, and online visualization of population health data and associated indicators using geographical mapping.

Her experiences with validating processes and systematic flow determining the accuracy of data have proven vital to the success of consortiums regarding population health endeavors.

Accountability and the realization of successful outcomes is crucial to external organizations and to all the tasks and goals associated with grant planning.


Monica Moradkhan

Breakout Session 2B: Philanthropy and Aging in the COVID-19 Era - Monica Moradkhan
[Zoom Recording]

Monica Moradkhan joined Wynn Resorts in November, 2017 as Vice President of Community Relations. In this role, she is responsible for the company’s long-term community engagement strategy and objectives. Initiatives that Moradkhan has helped drive include the Shade Tree Revitalization Project which has developed into a partnership with more than 90 businesses, engaged in renovating the Shade Tree and Noah’s Animal House. The company also raised more than $120,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at an employee-conceived benefit performance, and assembled a panel of Wynn Executives to participate in roundtable discussions advising nonprofits and identifying collaboration opportunities.

Prior to her role at Wynn, Monica was Director of Development and External Relations for UNLV’s Division of Student Affairs, and previously served as Executive Director of a state legislative caucus shepherding legislation on public safety, housing, economic development and taxation throughout three Nevada Legislative sessions.

In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for Opportunity 180, she also serves on the Las Vegas Leadership Foundation, participates in the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality student mentor program, co-chairs The Shade Tree’s Development Committee and is an active member of St. Joseph Husband of Mary Roman Catholic Church.

Stephanie Woodard

Breakout Session 2C: Behavioral Health in Nevada’s Aging Populations in the COVID-19 Era -  Dr. Stephanie Woodard, PsyD [Zoom Recording]

Dr. Stephanie Woodard is the State Mental Health Authority and the Single State Authority for Substance Abuse.

She provides oversight and quality assurance to behavioral health providers statewide; designs, plans, funds, and implements systems of care, including behavioral health prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery support services; establishes funding priorities for behavioral health services and supports through close collaboration with communities and stakeholders; evaluates outcomes of behavioral health interventions; and guides policy and financing options across the Department of Health and Human Services.

Amy Dewitt Smith

Breakout Session 2D: More than Mobility: A Framework for Public Engagement and Effective Collaboration to Improve Transportation in Nevada - Amy Dewitt-Smith [Zoom Recording] [Slides] [Handouts]

Amy Dewitt-Smith grew up in Gardnerville, Nevada, before moving to Reno to attend the University of Nevada, where she received a bachelor's degree in Psychology. During her undergraduate career, she studied applied behavior analysis and worked with children with autism and elders with dementia. Amy earned a master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from the University of Colorado, Denver. She enjoys teaching as well as learning, designing effective program evaluation strategies, and collaborating with local community organizations.

Amy co-chairs the Nevada Lifespan Respite Care Coalition member meetings and enthusiastically participates in many other state and local initiatives. She has over 20 years of experience working in state aging and disability services and Medicaid Waiver programs. Amy is the founder and executive director of a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Neighbor Network of Northern Nevada (also referred to as “N4”); where she enjoys using a human-centered design approach to program planning and community building.

N4 connects Northern Nevadans for inclusive, community-based services, volunteer opportunities, and affordable transportation, and is committed to a person-centered approach by planning services with community members (not just for them). People’s preferences, perspectives, and priorities are respected throughout the work of N4. From the board of directors to N4 team members, the organizational culture is one that supports the belief that everyone has talents to share with their community.


Session One (10:00 AM-10:45 AM PT)
• A - Sustaining Aging Services In Nevada, Dena Schmidt
• B - Pandemic Safety: Best Practices, Dr. Phil Mitchell, MD
• C - Responding to Nevada's Food Insecurity in the COVID-19 Era, Laura Urban and Winter Tucker
• D - Innovation: Responding to Social Isolation & Loneliness, Dr. Jennifer Carson, PhD

Session Two (11:00 AM-11:45 AM PT)
• A - Meeting the COVID-19 Workforce Challenge: Solving the Resource Gap, Dr. Mary Tabor Griswold, PhD
• B - Philanthropy & Aging in the COVID-19 Era, Monica Moradkhan
• C - Behavioral Health in Nevada’s Aging Populations in the COVID-19 Era, Dr. Stephanie Woodard, PsyD
• D - More than Mobility: A Framework for Public Engagement and Effective Collaboration to Improve Transportation in Nevada, Amy Dewitt-Smith