Pre-conference image

Courage Ignited: Preparing Yourself, Your Organization & Your Community for the Unthinkable

March 12, 2024, 1:00 - 5:30 pm

Kearney Holiday Inn, Kearney, Nebraska

Prepare yourself, your organization and your community-at-large for future emergencies and crises. Expert speakers with hands-on experience will help you to formulate the answers to questions like, How would we care for ourselves, staff and residents in a crisis situation? What would we do if our building was damaged or destroyed by a weather event? How would we as an organization react if a horrible news story was written about our organization?

The Pre-Conference is open to all those serving in or connected to aging services. Sessions begin at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 at the Holiday Inn Kearney in Kearney, Nebraska.

CONTINUING EDUCATION 4 hours of continuing education from Nebraska DHHS Regulation and Licensure, Board of of NHA has been approved for the Pre-conference sessions. Appropriate records will be maintained for other disciplines to receive credit from their credentialing organizations. 4 nursing contact hours provided by IWCC, Iowa’s Board of Nursing Provider #6. Approval pending.

The Pre-Conference and PAC events take place the day before the LeadingAge Nebraska Annual Conference & Expo on March 13-14, 2024. CLICK HERE for conference information and registration.


Tuesday, March 12, 2024 - Holiday Inn Kearney
Time Title Speaker & Details
1:00-2:30pm Leading in Times of Crisis: A Decompression Session (Crisis Management for Individuals) Claudia Blumenstock, LNHA, Founder & CEO of Copernicus, Inc.
2:45-3:45pm I Know a Guy (Crisis Management for your Organization) Chris Blomgren, Healthcare & Public Safety Planner, Katmai Solutions
4:00-5:30pm Crisis Management in Your Community + Round Table discussions Janine Finck-Boyle, LeadingAge VP of Health Policy and Regulatory Affairs
6:30-8:30pm Friends of LeadingAge NE Political Action Committee (PAC) Dinner & Casino Night Paid for by Friends of LeadingAge Nebraska PAC


2023 LeadingAge Nebraska Pre-conference Member Non-member
Pre-Conference Program $150 $200


Session Descriptions: 

1:00 - 2:30 pm, Leading in Times of Crisis: A Decompression Session (Crisis Management for Individuals), Claudia Blumenstock

This gathering offers the opportunity to acknowledge the overwhelming responsibility that has fallen to long-term care leaders since the beginning of COVID-19 and the devastating shortage of staff. Crises can provoke feelings of powerlessness, frustration, fear and anger. These hardships take a mental toll, which can affect the ways in which leaders and staff respond to one another.

This interactive session provides a setting to discuss how leaders have felt about carrying the responsibility for the health and safety of residents and staff during the pandemic and the subsequent staffing shortage. Collective discussion will focus on coping mechanisms and problem-solving techniques that have been used throughout these crises. Workforce engagement strategies will be explored, which are designed to help staff process this experience in a way that supports their resilience.

2:45 - 3:45 pm, I Know a Guy (Crisis Management for your Organization), Christopher Blomgren
This presentation will look in the creation of pre-disaster, collaborative relationships to form partnerships that provide a higher quality disaster response and recovery efforts. We will discuss real-world anecdotes of collaborative efforts and their response on real world events. These anecdotes will include volunteer and emergency response examples, but will focus on Healthcare/Long-Term Care examples in recent emergency plan activations. The presentation will culminate in an interactive, moderated discussion for participants to discuss ideas and actions to take home with them.

4:00 - 5:30 pm, Crisis Management in Your Community + Round Table discussions, Janine Finck-Boyle
Janine Finck-Boyle from LeadingAge will wrap up the Crisis Management theme with a look at how to deal with crises from a community-at-large level. Opportunities for attendees to share stories, compare notes and develop crises mitigation plans will be provided in the round-table time.

Speaker bios:

Claudia Blumenstock is the Founder and CEO of Copernicus and has been a nursing home administrator and a nationally recognized speaker and consultant in long-term care for over 30 years. Her primary focus is to help leaders cultivate organizational cultures that attract and retain quality staff.

Prior to starting Copernicus, Inc. Claudia led a nursing home start-up, overseeing the hiring of all staff and resident occupancy of specialized units. As Vice President of a senior housing development company, she created the niche, “college connections” product, an initiative linking active adults to university life, which defined the company and its specialized offerings. Claudia was a trainer on two New York State Department of Health grant projects. The first called the Advanced Training Initiative, offered her relationship focused staff retention and resident engagement programs to facilities across the state. The second funded a first of its kind project in which she was one of nine coaches working to improve resident satisfaction in state long term care facilities.

Christopher Blomgren retired from the Missouri Fire Service and public sector Emergency Management in 2022 after 30 years of fire service. During his tenure with the Kahoka & Clark County Fire Departments and Kahoka & Clark County Emergency Management Agencies, Chris created interagency training and exercise plans incorporating hundreds of participants from rural Missouri annually. Additionally, as a volunteer leader with Team Rubicon, Chris designed the organization’s first full-scale Mobilization Exercise, incorporating dozens of municipal, state, and volunteer agencies and over 150 volunteers, creating the framework for long-term recovery and pre-planned disaster camps. Chris currently consults on healthcare emergency preparedness and speaks on rural and healthcare emergency management. Chris holds an Associate Degree in Nursing (RN), a Bachelor Degree in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Emergency Preparedness. He is an alum of FEMA’s Emergency Management Advanced Academy, the Master Exercise Practitioner Program, and is currently attending FEMA’s Executive Academy. Chris is a perpetual student with continued studies in a wide variety of topics, including nursing, long-term care, and emergency preparedness.

Janine Finck-Boyle is Vice President of Health Policy and Regulatory Affairs with LeadingAge national. Janine is a licensed nursing home administrator and currently oversees the LeadingAge public policy team that specializes in the regulations and operations for members. From IT to Director of Special Projects and Operations to CEO, her diverse background in aging services gives her a unique view of crisis management.

HOTEL: LeadingAge Nebraska has reserved a room block that is guaranteed through February 12, 2024. The Holiday Inn Kearney phone number is 308-237-5971. *You must call to reserve your room to get the room block rate.

Click the link below to register for the Pre-Conference. A link to information and registration for the PAC Dinner & Casino Night is below.


The Friends of LeadingAge Nebraska PAC Dinner and Casino Night from 6:30 - 8:30 pm on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 is a special event benefiting the Friends of LeadingAge Nebraska Political Action Committee. For more information and registration for the PAC Dinner and Casino Night, click the button below.

PAC Dinner & Casino Night LINK