Summer Conference Series

National PACE Association (NPA) announces an exciting new format change for this year’s virtual event. Our summer conference will be offered as a combination of half-day workshops and interactive webinars geared to providing a platform for greater engagement and networking opportunities among attendees.

NPA and the leadership of our Primary Care and Quality committees decided to offer a new flexible, innovative format for this year’s summer conference. The virtual event will be offered as a Summer Conference Series, featuring a combination of 2.5-hour workshops and 90-minute, interactive webinars. These live events will be presented over a period of several months, beginning with the first sessions in August. The first quality webinar will be held on Aug. 10, and the first clinical workshop is scheduled for Aug. 26. The new format will provide a platform for greater engagement and networking opportunities among attendees. The Summer Conference Series will offer CME credit for physicians and CNE credit for nurses.

Health Care Disparities and Social Determinants of Health

The theme of the 2021 NPA Summer Conference Series is "Health Care Disparities and Social Determinants of Health." Sessions will focus on topics that are pertinent to quality improvement, medical leadership and clinical issues impacting PACE.

The COVID-19 pandemic and new efforts to confront racism and inequality in the many forms it takes in our society have brought to light the disparities that many groups face in our country. One of the most notable inequalities is in health care, which was brought to the forefront during the pandemic. Poor and ethnic communities have borne the brunt of the pandemic, second only to the elderly population, with some of the highest rates of hospitalizations and deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines health disparities as a “preventable difference in the burden of disease, injury, violence or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations.” It is important to note that disparities are not limited to race and ethnicity; they are much more broadly defined. Health disparities most often stem from broader inequities and adversely affect groups that experience significant obstacles to health due to ethnicity, religion, socio-economic issues, gender, age, disability and sexual/gender identities

While PACE, by its nature, addresses the problems of access to care, it is not immune to implicit bias, mistrust of the health care system, and issues of cultural competence. A lack of health literacy can add to the disparities. The need to address cultural differences around chronic disease management, hospitalization, nursing home care, medications and end-of-life care is vital to the successful well-being of participants.

By consciously working to educate others and narrow these disparities across the country, we can strengthen the quality of care provided to PACE participants and begin the process of improving our nation’s overall health.

We hope that this NPA Summer Conference Series will bring together cross-sectional PACE leaders and provide an opportunity to discuss actionable, tactical and scalable solutions to health care disparities and social determinants of health challenges in order to achieve better outcomes for those served by PACE.

The Series

In addition to the quality and clinical live webinars that are scheduled, NPA will make available on-demand presentations from last year's Medical Director Essentials (MDE) Course beginning Sept. 7. The course is geared toward new PACE medical directors, associate medical directors and potential medical directors with a core knowledge set. PACE medical directors present on issues in PACE. The self-study course utilizes the resources of the NPA Medical Directors Handbook. The course offers CMEs for physicians, CNEs for nurses, and CMD credit.

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