Meeting with the Governor of Florida

It started with a sheet of paper comparing Kentucky’s potential future economy with Florida’s existing one—their triple-A credit rating, tax reform, a better tort climate, “business infrastructure” and ‘right to work.’ It read like a businessman or woman’s opportunity to thrive in a climate which wanted them there. Or, if not thrive, have a reasonable chance to survive.

Kentucky doesn’t have ‘right-to-work’ laws and its potential economic impact for workforce expansion recently became such a relevant component of discussion that twelve creative counties have taken it upon themselves to change the law. It is now in court being challenged by a coalition of unions that it preempts federal labor law, outcome yet to be determined.

Florida Governor Rick Scott came and met with local and national KY business leaders with decades of legacy in the Commonwealth. With ears, they listened. It was a poignant moment that – when the state government fails to offer viable economic policies to keep its current businesses, secure the ties of legacy industries or have a standard baseline of good economic policies to recruit new business – there is pause of understanding why Gov. Scott showed up like someone who could save the day.

Draconian healthcare laws and excessive litigation …. The landscape for our once-affluent healthcare realm, is it weakening with the recent acquisition of Humana and nursing home companies handing over their keys?

So, I attend a political event a week later and KY senatorial leadership is discussing the real need for good economic policy, including tort reform, ‘right to work’ and workforce development. I bring up the fact that the Governor of Florida met with my CEO and me just the week before. The room heightened in intensity; the words, bullets of consternation.

Could it really happen? Might it take the power of one bold new governor to jumpstart these initiatives in a challenged and often hamstrung legislature? Is it time for a shift where tangible and brisk economic policy is the new fruit to battle the legacy of poverty that eats away at our workforce buoyancy?

In the end, in leaving the event, a senior political leader pulled me aside and said, ‘are you guys thinking of leaving the state?’ And I said, ‘no, we love Kentucky. We moved here because of Midwestern workforce values and the scale of healthcare depth. We want to stay! Be a part of a new healthcare legacy!’

And then the Governor of Indiana showed up the next week, on this side of the Ohio…

Team, if we are ever going to change our future inside the present moment it is now. VOTE!

Dianne H. Timmering, MBA, MFA, CNA
Vice President of Spirituality and Legislative Affairs
Signature HealthCARE Consulting Services, LLC

 

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“6th International Conference on Ageing* and Spirituality” – October 6, 2015

On October 6, 2015 in Los Angeles, Dianne was a presenter at the “6th International Conference on Ageing* and Spirituality”, the first to be held in the United States. As described from the event’s website:

This International Conferences attract both those with academic interests and expertise in this discipline from around the world, as well as those with more practical experience through involvement in the aging services industry or as informal care partners.  The Conferences include a mixture of keynote speakers, workshops and papers of interest to those coming from a faith based approach and to those approaching spirituality from a secular viewpoint.

Dianne’s poster presentation for the event was entitled “The Deconstruction of Suffering: The New Elixir in the Care Continuum” and it’s theme as defined by the conference was to be “Paradox and Promise”. The program text of her presentation is below as well as a JPG of the poster she used for the event.

Dianne Timmering, MBA, MFA, CNA is the Vice President of Spirituality and Legislative Affairs for Signature HealthCARE,  a healthcare and rehabilitation company with 126 locations in ten states and nearly 19,000 employees.

The vision of Signature HealthCARE is To radically change the landscape of healthcare forever. Signature’s organizational culture is founded on three pillars: Learning, Spirituality, and Innovation.

The Spirituality Pillar, serving through bold listening, hope and humility, strives to meet residents, employees and family members where they are, at the point of their very need. The results are impacting emotional and other clinical outcomes as well as stakeholder purpose and family satisfaction, foundational elements for real culture change in resident-centered pursuits. The pillar is founded on the emotional and  spiritual healing well of unconditional love for diverse cultures and faiths.

Dianne’s poster for the event is below and a hi-res PDF of it (22 mb) is available HERE.

*A note about spelling.  The word “Ageing” in the title is not a typo.  Since the Conference comes to us from other parts of the world, in the title and logo of this 6th Conference, you will see aging spelled as “ageing.”  In all other references it will be spelled as we spell it here in the United States–aging.

 

National Day Of Prayer, May 1, 2014 – “In Defiance of Suffering” by Dianne H. Timmering

Today is a beginning, a new relentless pursuit in the deconstruction of suffering at every page of the healthcare continuum from the early signs and symptoms to the diagnosis of hopelessness, at the moment of collision of hurt and fear. We are a people who are afraid, who fear unknowns, who suffer blindly because of what might be or what has been.

What if we didn’t have to?

What if we could find that one elixir, a spiritual means for example at its cellular core and inject it, activate it into every condition, thought and situation, and then the element of its essence defies the mind from the negative place where untruths lie, and suffering roots.

But what’s in the design? How do we deconstruct the fear, the anxiety, the deleterious sounds of the symptoms of suffering from the honesty of bad news, or the realness of unrelenting pain?

What does deliberate intent to deconstruct hurt at every point of care look like? Maybe it looks like the peel of an orange, a plump section, a champagne toast to the tongue, joy in the juice of its sweetness, nourishment spreading throughout the working veins of the body where life is lived. The deconstruction of suffering at the cellular level like water puddled on a leaf seeping into skin, restoring what is parched, brandishing a new green, growing, living again.

As a people and a movement, do we have a responsibility of defiance because within our walls is a calibrated melody of the spiritual as an intervention of healing. Even early on as we created and built our spiritual model, we saw residents finishing their prescribed therapy not only because of a dedicated therapy team but because of a concentrated partnership with a spiritual quality, an essence of empowerment that reached into a patient’s state of loneliness, sickness, sorrow and came out with a resurgence of faith that wellness mattered and change of condition was possible. Depression around circumstance, we found, could circumvent healing. Remembrance and reminders of why they mattered, and prayer in the tangible of faith’s presence began to infuse the possible into the physical of the outcome.

Just imagine: Spiritual inputs for optimized outcome, such as the support of prayer, clinically spiritualized careplans, the hope in the Divine, the power of comfort in the belief and practice tradition of a particular faith, and integrating that within the overall episodic prescription of care. A brave new world.

With our amazing healthcare workforce (you see before you), physician and market alignment, a dedication to revolutionary fierceness, good gov’t policy, and an army of spiritual leaders with sword in hand and hope in word and deed, together on this day of national day of prayer, we are a movement in the defiance of suffering. This is not an isolated day of prayer but a launch pad, a spring board of deliberate intent to mine for your own joy, to listen for it, for there is always a way, there is always a solution. Grab it and impress it upon the molecules of your soul. This day is also about our clinical excellence, bundled with spiritual and medical inputs of best treatment and care—all packed into a capsule, like a pill, its own packaged elixir of fusion injected into the destructive pathway of suffering, blowing it up into a new each moment of heaven on earth, then we are the nuclear force that defies the anguish of fear and unleashes dunamis power and there will be calamity no more.

XX in Health Invite-Only Event – Decca Restaurant, Louisville, KY – November 11, 2013

XX in Health, powered by Rock Health, connects and empowers female visionaries to drive change in healthcare.

Dianne Timmering, Vice President of Spirituality for Signature HealthCARE and Alicia Heazlitt, Director of Innovate LTC, are pleased to host a XX in Health Retreat at Decca Restaurant at 812 E Market St, Louisville, KY on November 11, 2013.

This sold-out, invite-only event will bring together over 40 experienced and promising female leaders from across the healthcare community to spark innovation in healthcare.

The agenda for the evening will be as follows:
5:30 PM – Drinks and Fellowship
6:30 PM – Dinner
6:45 PM – Introduction and Welcome by Dianne Timmering, Vice President of Spirituality, Signature HealthCARE, and Alicia Heazlitt, Director, Innovate LTC
7:00 PM – Speaker, Lara Macgregor, Founder, Hope Scarves
7:15 PM – Speaker, Mary Zappone, President, RecoverCare LLC
7:30 PM – Speaker, Dr. Debra Gmelin, Corporate Director for the Leadership Institute at Humana Inc.
7:45 PM – Closing, Dianne Timmering and Alicia Heazlitt

We look forward to seeing all of our invitees at this intimate and transformative event. If you can no longer attend, please let us know right away at either dtimmering@signaturehealthcarellc.com or aheazlitt@innovateltc.com as we have a waitlist of women whom we would like to give the opportunity to attend.

#xxinhealthlouisville, #diannetimmering

 

“2013 Senior Olympics Opening Prayer” by Dianne H. Timmering

Drawing a crowd of more than 300, Signature HealthCARE’s third annual Central Kentucky Senior Olympics, held September 25, 2013 at Signature’s Louisville home office.
A total of 55 athlete-residents from 11 Signature homes competed in the games, with more residents in attendance to cheer on their facility teams. The following is the both the text and the audio recording of the Opening Prayer for the day by Signature HealthCARE’s Vice President of Spirituality Dianne Timmering:
Today we rejoice in God’s love for us, His joy in this moment of energy. For God is giddy, alongside us, holding each hand for He is a joyful God; a God of hopeful expectation; a fierce God, and therefore a protective and competitive God. He rejoices in this Olympian day.
This day of strength, of courage, of fighting through the quibbles of nerves for the empowerment of athletic spirit which never leaves us, only gets batted down when life seems delayed and hurting, but life never decays because breath is always in us. And with breath, a seed of faith practice and perseverance and that desire to pursue individual greatness and team achievement; we strive to win. To sit on the edge of our peak of what was, of what is, and of what can be still.
For purpose never leaves and competitive hope is healing in the continual pursuit of being. So let us be unencumbered; let us be; let us strive to have joy, competitiveness, be comrades-in-arms, in team and team spirit.
We pray for safety and an overflow of all good things. Let the games begin, Amen!

Dianne Timmering, MBA, MFA, CNA
Vice President of Spirituality

Howard Dean: Keynote Speaker CXO Healthcare Meeting July 2013

Howard Dean:  MD, initial frontrunner for 2004 election, former Democratic National Committee Chairman, former governor of Vermont, currently serves on board of Extendicare and considering run in 2016.

My first and earliest impressions of him…perhaps not good and lacking positivity, which I was able to share directly with him. He was generous with his conversation and willing to accept my impression, for I willingly shared it with him regardless of whether he wanted to hear it.

But transparency, for the most part, serves me well. And when someone identifies a shortcoming – and a long-ago press moment (the Dean Scream gaffe)  – one has no choice but to nod, to accept and own it. Which he did, and for which he was gracious.

I spent 20 years in Washington: 10 years living there, and another 10 years commuting as a fundraising expert and public relations consultant for not-for-profits, and political candidates; organizations hanging on a precipice of time when Washington was flush with money and time was supplementary, and one could control it by stepping on it and giving it pause. Fundraising was plentiful and time was everywhere; wasting a day meant no harm because you could get it back in the next one.

Washington… I went there because I was starry eyed, probably less about making change, but I liked the power and the adrenaline, the impact a politician could have with (or without) conviction. I went there because it had meaning, or I had meaning, inside the cupcake of the beltway where power collides with do-gooders. Where do-gooders can be considered progressives–outsiders who eventfully are swallowed into the funnel of the polarizing city and leak out the bottom. Mostly, a do-gooder doesn’t survive in Washington because they do not last.

Howard Dean, I would not tag as a do-gooder or any type of crusader. And, as we all do, we evolve into the maturity of regret over things we’ve said or done. But Dean was sharp, and crisp, and edgy at the recent CXO (healthcare) Summit where healthcare leaders come from across the country to understand the blight of an industry that goes ever-changing before us without warning, and when time runs over you if you haven’t budgeted the cuts or strategically figured how to overcome the demise of an industry which seems to have forgotten the baby boomers heading steam-engine right for us. And the sick get sicker, and the world gets smaller, and the need is often hard to fit into a DRG, an MCO or a care continuum because sickness is personal. And who takes care of the accompanying fear of the consumer-patient who does not control his or her destiny? The provider does, and the doctor tells them what to do and what they need. The question is, ultimately, who has control.

So Howard Dean is a doctor, a physician, and what he did at the conference was give us a critical insight into the interiors of a broken Washington. A Washington that doesn’t know it’s broken, with 65 percent thinking the overall climate is good while that number on the outside of the cupcake is a meager 35 percent.

I know. I lived there. I remember being on top of the world, and I recall the intellectual encounters where we knew what ‘should be’ and had all the answers if only this bill had this many votes, or that bill could just simply get out of committee, or that organization could impact global trade. And it’s not that things don’t happen over time – albeit too much time and with too much leniency of real issue discussion, or watered-down approval, so the collaborative process can take place. What’s so great about the collaborative process if it doesn’t amount to anything?

So Dean gave examples of a broken city and Obama Care with its thousand holes. He was funny and interesting, and even riveting, with an honesty for which I had grown skeptical in the political world I had fled so long ago because impact was slow and impossible.

But perhaps I was wrong because honesty in politics can happen. Relevancy can elicit change, and maybe it’s time for ardor and rigor again in the realm of standing up for what is not happening. Maybe it’s time for the emphasis of control to shift away from where CMS is king and we are trying to pick up its robe, and there are too many corners, and it drags across a continent with self-imposed rule. Maybe it’s time for a few great leaders, and a vision, and strategy. And then, collaborative people will follow.

So now, as a Signature HealthCARE change agent, I am/we are back in the game. A game we will return to because it’s time. And revolution is a fight for good. Not in an altruistic sense, or even a progressive sense, but in the realm of what is best for the person, intersected with the corporate sector as its care giver, trying to create care where care is supposed to be value driven, but where care may paradoxically wane because even the government isn’t willing to pay for the lost and old, or their legacy.

Last thought…

So I had judged Howard Dean with the satisfaction of knowing him as he was depicted long ago in the press and for his stint as governor of Vermont. For I believe in the industry and corporate side of socialization, for the creativity of idea operationalized into a business, and the power of a profit. I am for this, for job creation, and the employment of hope which is edifying to the man or woman who works while seeking purpose within.

But Howard Dean had much to add to the conversation regardless of my impeded judgments. So we clipped them off and Joe and I spoke to him, and we learned from him, and chose to listen – and it felt like the Washington I went to, not the one I had left. And I became relevant again, and got back in the game.

A revolution of thought and of actions, for without both, there is no visionary change.

Dianne H. Timmering, MBA, MFA, CAN

“Our 2nd Annual Interfaith National Day Of Prayer After Almost A Decade From Our Earliest Beginnings: What We Have Learned” by Dianne H. Timmering

Our 2nd annual Interfaith National Day of Prayer after almost a decade from our earliest beginnings: What we have learned

by Dianne Timmering

The National Day of Prayer on May 2, 2013, our 2nd annual Inter-faith prayer day, was about the faith of a mustard seed; like the tight center of a wheel, we were the spokes of faith.

As we built the Spirituality Pillar, we began to uncover the power of the listening ear, the lending of compassion toward the empathy of the ailment and the simpleness of time to mend a suffering heart.

Prayer or a good game of checkers could heal we discovered; after all it was about time and the bravery of kindness. Prayer and the Spirit were about the essence of unconditional love we found even in the unavoidable imperfections of our existence.

We have learned it is about celebrating the dignity and beauty of faith traditions long established, the abolition of assumption; it is about the ancient roots of “crying out” like David in the Psalms for something bigger than the self; it is about the breaking off of caged conceptions and the pressing into new wisdom; it is about the outpouring of love . . . just love because that is what God is.

We found that the sanctity of respect could bring different faith traditions together – not watered down or diminished, but thriving in who we are as peoples, with boldness and a shine for the world; a world with no need for strife, but for dialogue, collaboration and a willingness to hear one another. It is in this secret beauty of one voice that is perhaps the best language of love.

And finally, maybe this national day of prayer, a government ordained moment, a heritage of our nation almost 240 years old saw the merging of public/government works, business innovation and spiritual pursuits, not just in service and works but as three points of integration to establish thriving communities in our city, prolific job opportunities, and domestic tranquility and justice for all.

And we welcomed our honored guests from numerous faith traditions—Baptist, Jewish, Muslim, Quaker, Catholic, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Bahai, Unitarian, and Native American-Sioux.

And we were one voice crying out for many in need of hope. A theme began to emerge as the power of the divine sang love and healing in magnificent harmony. Tradition made us beautifully different. Love made us the same.

We were souls praying with one voice. And we shared moments of faith and the culture of the beautiful and all were welcome.

Dianne Timmering, EMBA, MFA, CNA
Vice President of Spirituality
Signature Consulting Services, LLC

“Compassion in the Workplace” Session, November 16, 2012 – Festival of Faiths, Louisville, KY

“Compassion in the Workplace” session on November 16, 2012 dream from the Festival of Faiths in Downtown Louisville, KY

by E. Joseph Steier and Dianne Timmering

Our move back to Louisville two years ago seemed perfectly timed with a city-wide charge to create and launch a “lifelong wellness and aging” movement that we could play a major role in. At the same time, the expanding Festival of Faiths International conference was growing and the launching of the compassionate city charter by our new mayor that we were blessed to sign-on early, made it a divine exodus from south Florida seem like a dream come true.

Last week, as Dianne and I sat in a packed room with standing room only, we are surrounded by business leaders, top researchers, spiritual leaders, and just really engaged people getting ready to dig into a panel discussion on “compassion in the workplace” and hear about our spirituality model and other models which link the spiritual and compassion to human well-being. Dr. James Doty, a Stanford neuro-surgeon, and leader in altruism and compassion, started off our panel with the thought on what is compassion, what is non-compassion where one feels no part of anything. Does the lack of compassion in the workplace lead to bad stress and issues with productivity? And what is the cost of bad stress in biased decision making, weakened performance?

There were more deserving leaders than Dianne and me, like Paul Thompson with Bridgeman Foods, Tori Murden McClure, the famed president of Spalding University, and Phil Marshall, CEO and president of Hosparus, the panel sponsor.

But here are the takeaways, we really want to dig into-

People are starting to notice Louisville and the Compassionate City charter -this can be a framework and healing ideology to unify our divided culture and heritage in the same way Merton’s epiphany manifested; a rebirth and transcendence a foot in the stream of our city’s people.

Conference attendees came from everywhere in the U.S. included several delegations from Canada to experience this event. And so is the Dali Lama next May coming to our fair town to embrace this soulful city, to expand this compassionate city charter and contemplative partnership so the vision that Thomas Merton delivered in Bangkok the day he died (Dec. 10th, 1968) visualizing an east-west spiritual balance between western self-directed personal empowerment and eastern selfless reflection can merge to capture what are both mankind’s greatest attributes.

Remember, I did not like the previous workplace environment that I worked in very much either but we may be at the end of the western highly directive command center business model that gave corporate a bad name in the workplace anyway. This will be the next industry leadership cycle requiring embracing the concept of shared leadership, collaborative external partnerships, real transparency, embracing servant leadership where we all must know the work . . . So . . . why not try being a compassionate workplace by being an early adopter if it’s going to happen.

Is compassion rooted in ancient religion? All compassion really means is that to be human is to embrace suffering–knowing it is an intersection to fellow man. If we share and reflect upon it, that everyone’s journey is equal in divine purpose, then we can drive toward the attempt at being present while possessing a non-judgmental awareness. God knows in me, that to feel deep personal suffering made me embrace forgiveness as the only way to heal and stay close to God. And knowing that we were on a parallel track of convergence with everyone in this room make us just feel more connected.

During the panel we learned a ton. One key learning jewel: Dr. Doty made an important point about the compassionate workplace state of mind . . . we must be totally self-aware, if there is a problem that you as a leader are the reason it exists, the critical party that must accept fault for it not being in optimal state, only then can you can help lead the real solution and create the condition around you so everyone owns the collective win . . . something we need to continue to embrace.

Then the magic happens . . . the science of Happiness occurs–your stakeholders have freedom from fear, a new sense of control, relationships with building trust, and they can contribute to something bigger than you and them for the opportunity of transcendence and purpose because you have given them the compassion to be.

Dianne H. Timmering
Vice President of Spirituality
Signature Consulting Services, LLC