Poster Presentations Pre-Conference April 28, 2021

Download List of 18 Poster Presentations (Alphabetical Order)


Ageism in Healthcare 72 is not a Diagnosis
Lead Presenter: Phyllis A Greenberg, PhD, St. Cloud State University
Additional Presenter:
Tarynn Johnson, MS, St. Cloud State University

Objectives: After attending this poster session participants:

  • Can explore their own potential age biases
  • Can determine the value of age as predictor of health issues, diagnosis and treatments.
  • Can advocate for patients, clients, residents, family and themselves to ensure that a holistic health care approach beyond age is employed by practitioners

This poster aims to explore what value if any there is in using age as a predictor or impetus for testing, examining and diagnosing older adults. In a cross-sectional survey (Davis et al. (2011) used the Expectations Regarding Aging scale to assess primary care clinicians’ perceptions of aging in the domains of physical and mental health and cognitive functioning. Sixty-four percent of respondents agreed with the statement “Having more aches and pains is an accepted part of aging while 61% agreed that the “Human body is like a car when it gets old it gets worn out and 51% agreed that one should expect to become more forgetful with age and 17% agreed that mental slowness is impossible to escape.
How helpful then is the use of age and are there other factors that should and can take precedence? What do we know and what don’t we know if we know someone’s age? This is a review of literature that includes recommendations, scenarios and strategies that will assist in recognizing age bias as well as ways to prevent it.

All Teach, All Learn, COVID ECHO Education for Nursing Homes
Lead Presenter: Teresa McCarthy, MD, MS, University of Minnesota
Additional Presenters:
Roberta Meyers, MD, Hennepin Health Care
Rajean Moone, PhD, University of Minnesota
Greg Leierwood, CNP, Hennepin Healthcare


  • Describe the National Nursing Home COVID Action Network (NNCAN) model of education
  • Explain the process of establishing a faculty team for the Upper Midwest Nursing Home ECHO
  • Collaborative Identify the NNCAN core content

The AHRQ Echo National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network recruited academic training centers across the country to facilitate delivery of an ECHO-model curriculum on managing COVID-19 to every US nursing home. We describe an innovative joint effort by the University of Minnesota and Hennepin HealthCare to form the Upper Midwest Nursing Home ECHO Collaborative. Each partner assembled a faculty team, recruited participants and delivered 16 weeks of coordinated content to regional nursing homes

Amyloid Precursor Protein Proteolysis Detection Using Dual Luciferase Reporter Assay
Lead Presenter: Michael Anderson, MD, PhD,  Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics Programs, University of Minnesota


  • Determine how disease associated mutations affect APP proteolysis
  • Determine modulators (such as ligand binding or tension) that alter APP proteolysis

Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) proteolysis is an important player in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology as it can create neurotoxic beta-amyloid (Abeta). Many clinical efforts have focused on reduction of Abeta, though success has been limited. Even though APP metabolism is central to AD, the modulators of this process have not been fully identified, partially due to lack of a high throughput assay to detect APP breakdown. Here I present the creation of a dual luciferase reporter assay, which is able to control for transfection and expression efficiency, allowing use of exogenous DNA encoding APP-Gal4 chimeras. This assay is higher throughput than previously described assays which require mutations to the cell genome to study AD pathology. I plan to use this assay to study the effects of AD associated APP mutations and other possible modulators of proteolysis including ligand binding.

Barriers to Accessing Resources for the Dementia Caregiver
Lead Presenter: Rebecca Shanafelt LNHA, Minnesota State University, Mankato


  • Research addresses the question of why caregivers do not use (participation rates are very low) community resources when the reality is that they are beneficial to both the caregiver and care-receiver.
  • Research addresses the gap in knowledge on barriers specific to caregivers of persons with dementia.

The family caregiver of a person with dementia (PwD) provides valuable care and experiences negative health outcomes as a result. These negative health outcomes can be mitigated utilizing resources; however, utilization rates remain low. While there is some research on barriers to accessing resources there is almost none focused on caregivers of PwD. This study through semi-structured interviews with caregivers of PwD takes a deep look into the experience of first signs, diagnosis, and utilization of resources to better understand what those barriers might be. This study found that because of the healthcare structure caregivers do not learn about resources until much later in their journey and in hindsight agree that using them early on would be beneficial, especially caregiver support group. Agencies and institutions that seek to support caregivers can take this information and make changes in their approach to increase utilization that will improve the health of both the caregiver and the PwD.

Caregiving in the Somali American Community During COVID 19
Lead Presenter: Kamal Suleiman, Undergraduate Student, University of Pennsylvania
Additional Presenters:
Elizabeth Lightfoot, PhD, Distinguished Global Professor, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota
Rajean Moone, PhD, Faculty Director – LTC Administration | College of Continuing & Professional Studies; Associate Director of Education – Center for Healthy Aging & Innovation, School of Public Health; Adjunct Faculty | School of Social Work, University of Minnesota


  • Attendees will learn about the unique challenges of family caregiving during the COVID-19 pandemic of Somali family caregivers
  • Attendees will learn about the unique strengths related to family caregiving in the Somali

This poster describes a study of Somali family caregiving during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically investigating the unique caregiving challenges faced by Somali caregivers during COVID 19. The findings from this study, which was part of a larger study related to family caregiving during COVID-19, were drawn from in-depth interviews of ten Somali family caregivers in Minnesota. All the interviews were conducted in Somali during the summer of 2020 and translated and transcribed by a certified translator and research assistant. The major themes that emerged from this study related to Visitation, Hospital Accompaniment, and Self Sacrifice. As Somali culture is centered around extended family connections, isolation places particular strain. Second, family members typically serve as advocates, translators, and guides during hospital visits. The restrictions on hospital accompaniment due to COVID 19 caused increased stress and poorer care of family caregivers and their loved ones. Third, in the Somali community, facility placement is a last resort. Caregivers reported great sacrifices in time, comfort, and opportunities to care for family members during COVID-19.
Most of the caregivers described their coping with these sacrifices in terms of radical acceptance, and God consciousness. These findings have important implications for providing supports for Somali family caregivers.

Empowering Older Adults to Plan for Diminished Financial Capacity Barriers and Facilitators
Lead Presenter: Mingyang Zheng, PhD Candidate, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota
Additional Presenter:
Marguerite (Marti) DeLiema, PhD, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities


  • After the poster presentation, participants will identify the five steps involved in the advance financial planning process, including identifying a surrogate decision-maker, getting their finances in order, communicating their advance planning wishes, and appointing their selected person as an agent under Power of
  • After the poster presentation, participants will identify at least 3 barriers and facilitators for older adults to make their financial plan.
  • After this session, participants will elaborate at least two effective strategies to motivate older adults to engage in planning and to initiate conversations about future money management with people they

One of the smartest ways to prepare for declines in financial decision-making capacity is to appoint an agent under power of attorney for finances and to share important financial information and preferences with trusted family or friends. However, rates of planning for declines in financial capacity and communicating preferences are low, with nearly half of US older adults (46%) making no arrangements whatsoever for their future financial care. We conducted four focus group interviews and four in-depth interviews with older adults to understand the barriers and facilitators to effective planning and communication about financial incapacity. Findings suggest that significant education is needed to empower older adults to engage in the financial planning process. Findings also inform practitioners on effective strategies to simplify and promote advance planning with older adult clients.

Establishing and Age Friendly Univeristy of Minnesota
Lead Presenter: Rajean Moone, PhD, LNHA, FGSA, University of Minnesota


  • Understand the principles of an age-friendly university
  • Explore the process by which the University of Minnesota enrolled in the Global Network

Institutions of higher learning have unprecedented opportunity to engage older adults, retirees and lifelong learners in campus life. This purposeful engagement not only benefits older adults, but also students who are presented with multi-generational classrooms. This poster will explore the principles of the age-friendly university movement and provide a case example of how the University of Minnesota enrolled in the Global Network of Age-Friendly Universities.

Exploring Assisted Living Older Adults’ Experience and Perceived Psychosocial Benefits of Compassionate Presence Sessions During the COVID19 Pandemic
Lead Presenter: Angela Ekwonye, PhD, CPH, St. Catherine University
Additional Presenters:
Alvina Brueggemann, PhD, M Health Fairview
Sarah Gerdes, MAOL, St. Catherine University
Safia Md Sidek, St. Catherine University
Vanessa Kloepfer, St. Catherine University
Vy Phung, BS, St. Catherine University
Kieu My Phi, BS, St. Catherine University
Nina Truong, St. Catherine University


  • Discuss older adults’ thoughts and feelings about the compassionate presence experience with college students.
  • Discuss older adults’ perceptions of compassionate presence sessions’ effectiveness in improving their psychosocial health.

The prevalence of severe loneliness among older people living in care homes is about 22% to 42% compared to 10% for the community population. The social distancing measure instituted to lower COVID-19 spread fuels the loneliness epidemic among older adults in care settings. This study explored assisted-living older adults’ experience and perceived psychosocial benefits of compassionate presence sessions facilitated by college students during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study is an exploratory qualitative study that took place in two assisted-living facilities in the Twin Cities. Twenty-four older adults participated in 10-week virtual compassionate presence sessions. Participants were interviewed at the end of the intervention. Results show that participants benefitted emotionally, socially, mentally, and spiritually from the CP sessions. Participants reported a decreased feeling of loneliness, improved mood, and increased feeling of self-worth. The deep connection between student facilitators and older adults seemed to enhance older adults’ sense of meaning in life, easing their feeling of loneliness and isolation during this pandemic. The CP program created opportunities for participants to interact with people other than their fellow residents. A few participants reported improved memory. This study’s findings may inform administrators of assisted-living facilities of the need to support and promote programs that allow older adults to empty their hearts. Such an opportunity can help them dig deeper into their inner resources and discover the meaning beneath their life experiences or suffering. The study also highlights the need to offer compassionate presence training sessions to people entrusted with older adults’ care in long-term care facilities.

From Minnesota and Beyond International Experience for Nursing Stduents to Discover Expanded Approaches to Elder Care
Lead Presenter: Renee Kumpula, Assistant Professor, EdD, MA, RN, PHN, Minnesota State University, Mankato, School of Nursing
Additional Presenters:
Hilary Erih, SN; Sarah Gunderson, SN; Megan Kurtz, SN; Morgan Metcalfe, SN; Oluwapelumi Solomon, SN; Grace Willaby, SN; (all Minnesota State University, Mankato);
Kelly Krumwiede, PhD, MA, RN, PHN, Associate Professor, Minnesota State University, Mankato


  • Describe the nursing student experience in a virtual international
  • Discuss person-centered elder care approaches for Minnesota and around the

Nursing students from Minnesota State University participated in a virtual international program on evidence-based dementia care and planning for elder care transitions. The week-long program featured international guest lecturers and peer interactive activities that provided opportunity to explore elder care and public health models from the US, Austria, Chile, and the United Kingdom. Students developed and presented a holistic nursing care plan for an elderly patient diagnosed with chronic illnesses involving analysis of healthcare services, interdisciplinary teams, reimbursement/ economic models, social supports, and community resources. This expanded student perspectives to compare and contrast care alternatives in Minnesota, from urban to outstate, with other countries. Students established new relationships for collaboration and networking. This opportunity afforded accessible learning without traveling abroad during a pandemic. Student evaluations and reflections indicated positive learning from experts and peers that will help students provide inclusive, relevant, culturally sensitive care in future practice; student testimonials and insights will be highlighted.

Intergenerational Learning as Nursing Intervention Social Isolation in Older Adults During COVID 19
Lead Presenter: Laura N. Kirk, PhD, RN, University of Minnesota School of Nursing
Additional Presenters:
Penny Kessler, DNP, RN, University of Minnesota School of Nursing
Stephanie Gingerich, DNP, RN, CPN University of Minnesota School of Nursing
Jessica Drecktrah, MHA, MN, RN Vice President, Life Enrichment Presbyterian Homes & Services


  • To describe the development and implementation of an innovative communication clinical for nursing students working with older adults in senior
  • To highlight the significance of intergenerational learning and the importance of
  • To discuss the significant implications of the project for both older adults and nursing

Social isolation and loneliness are prevalent and impactful in the lives of older adults in senior living, and the emergence of a global pandemic requiring social distancing and quarantining compounded these experiences significantly in 2020. A semester-long communication-focused clinical experience was developed in partnership with Presbyterian Homes and Services for sophomore-level bachelor of nursing students. Affording preclinical nursing students, the opportunity to develop therapeutic communication skills early in their program of study holds potential and learning the story of older adults appears to be mutually beneficial; older adults serve as mentors and have the opportunity to share their story, and preclinical nursing students learn about their mentor’s life and experiences, challenging some prevalent stereotypes about older adults. A pre- post- survey of student attitudes toward older adults suggests a dramatic positive shift in perspective: “…it helped me feel much more open to working with older adults in the future”; “This conversation taught me that my assumptions about the older generation are not always correct”. Of resident participants, 96% reported the experience enriched and enhanced their social connectedness, with 88% requesting to participate in the program again. Narrative comments from residents indicated that their involvement enabled them to feel engaged and purposeful: “I was a mentor”; “Conversations were so alive. Connections with curious young people fill my heart and soul.” Facilitating intergenerational sharing of life stories has the potential for both healing and growth and may provide an antidote to ageism.

Interprofessional Honors Course Women, Aging and Poetry Building Bridges Between Science and Art Youth and Age
Lead Presenter: Josie Benzie, St. Catherine University
Additional Presenters:
Lisa Rovick, MHSc, CO, COMT St. Catherine University
Emily Ernst, St. Catherine University


  • Discuss how students pursuing healthcare professions and other disciplines can be introduced to the lives and experiences of older women.
  • Explain the integration of skills and knowledge from the classroom into personal relationships with Sisters of Joseph.
  • Describe the process of blending poetry written by older women with learning the science of

This poster describes a unique interprofessional honors course offered at St. Catherine University that blends women’s literature and the science of aging. The course, taught by two professors, one a poet, the other a healthcare professional, was taken by honors students pursuing a variety of majors in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences, and the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health. Students participated in both classroom and community engaged service-learning activities, beginning each class session with a poem written by an older woman on a topic related to the material addressed in the text. During seven weeks of the semester students were paired with women from the Sisters of St. Joseph community. Goals of this engagement were to: build relationships with older women, increase awareness of the Sisters of St. Joseph’s teachings, understand the aging process through the eyes of an active older woman, and discover the power of poetry to express both the positive and negative experiences of aging. At the end of the semester students created a three-part paper: 1. summary of the science of aging, 2. the narrative story of their older partner, 3. a reflection of the student’s experience. Student evaluation and feedback from the Sisters of St. Joseph indicated an overall positive experience.

Occupational Therapy Resources for Caregivers of People with Dementia
Lead Presenter: Kate Turner, OTR/L, Doctor of Occupational Therapy Student, St. Catherine University


  • Define occupational therapy in the field of geriatrics
  • Describe occupational therapy’s role in community-based education for caregivers of people with dementia
  • Point out evidence-based resources available for caregivers of people with dementia that utilize occupational therapy techniques or address areas that are commonly assessed and analyzed within the field of occupational therapy

Occupational therapy is a health profession dedicated to helping people thrive in life. Caregivers of people with dementia are in need of training opportunities and support to maintain caregiver quality of life. Occupational therapists are uniquely suited to educate caregivers with the knowledge and skills to improve their confidence in their role as caregiver. Evidence-based resources with an occupational therapy perspective can address caregiver needs in many areas including communication, activities of daily living, and health maintenance. This poster will describe occupational therapy resources available to address the education and training of caregivers of people living with dementia.

Patient Handling Injuries in Minnesota Nursing Homes An Equity Perspective
Lead Presenter: Christina Rosebush, PhD, MPH, University of Minnesota, Division of Health Policy & Management
Additional Presenters:
Elma Johnson
Robbin Frazier


  • Summarize the inequitable injury experience of CNAs in Minnesota nursing homes with a focus on patient handling injuries
  • Engage managers and direct care workers in education to improve injury response and worker outcomes
  • Identify future training and information-sharing opportunities to prevent and respond to patient handling injuries

Our recent evaluation of patient handling injuries among direct care workers in Minnesota nursing homes identified important disparities. Though certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are 2-times more likely than registered nurses (RNs) to experience a patient handling injury, they are only 1/2 as likely to receive traditional workers’ compensation benefits. Instead, they often receive a lump- sum settlement. Minnesota CNAs are a diverse population; they are 19% Black or African American, 5% Hispanic, 18% foreign-born, and 18% speak language other than English at home (American Community Survey, 2015-2019). As such, many CNAs may benefit from culturally adapted resources to help them recover from their injuries and successfully return to work. At the Center for Healthy Aging and Innovation, we’re working to engage nursing homeowners, managers, and direct care workers to identify, develop, and distribute these resources. This session will identify potential strategies for outreach to these groups and seek input from MGS conference participants.

Perspectives of Stakeholders & State Policymakers on The Fiver Star Quality Rating System for Nursing Homes
Lead Presenter: Mary Walters, Public Health Administration & Policy – Master’s Degree, University of Minnesota


  • After listening to the presentation, the participant will be able to describe who utilizes the CMS Five Star Quality Rating System and why.
  • After listening to the presentation, the participant will be able to itemize three areas of the CMS Five Star Quality Rating System that could use improvement, based on Stakeholder & Policymaker feedback.
  • After listening to the presentation, the learner will be able to recognize one way to improve the CMS Five Star Quality Rating System

In this presentation, a Master’s student at the University of Minnesota will be discussing her secondary qualitative research study on the Perspectives of Stakeholders & State Policymakers on the Five Star Quality Rating System for Nursing Homes. Since 2010, the population of individuals aged 65-and-older has grown by one third. With the need for quality elder care rapidly growing, it is vital to determine what aspects of measuring high quality care in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Five Star Quality Rating System work well and which ones need further consideration. Mary utilized 18 transcribed interviews with 32 respondents from P.I. Dr. Tetyana Shippee to summarize key themes on thoughts about the Five Star Quality Rating System along with ways to improve its use among targeted consumers.
This study was approved by the University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board.

Serious Mental Illness Assessment and Care in Nursing Homes Stakeholder Perspectives
Lead Presenter: Kelly Moeller, MPH Administration and Policy program, University of Minnesota
Additional Presenter:
Taylor Bucy MPH, PhD student in Health Services Research, Policy & Administration, University of Minnesota


  • Outline what is currently known about screening for people with serious mental illness for potential nursing home admission.
  • Describe stakeholder perspectives on how screening for serious mental illness impacts quality of care and quality of life for nursing home residents.
  • Identify areas for possible improvement for both the screening process and service provision for nursing home residents with serious mental

The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1987 was passed by the federal government to ensure people with serious mental illness (SMI) were not inappropriately admitted to nursing homes (NH) when their needs could be met in the community. Included in this Act was the development of the Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR) program, the tool intended to assist with the process of making a NH level of care determination for people with SMI. However, the prevalence of SMI in NHs is increasing, and little is known about the effectiveness of the PASRR policy intervention. Our project aimed to fill this gap in the literature by gaining key stakeholder perspectives regarding how the PASRR program is working, and its impacts on quality of care and quality of life for NH residents with SMI. We conducted more than a dozen stakeholder interviews via Zoom in 2020-2021 with stakeholders both in Minnesota and nationally. The relevance of mental health training for nursing home staff was a common theme. While stakeholders agree that the original PASRR legislation was well-intentioned, they collectively identified room for improvement. Overall, there is a need for increased coordination of the efforts of the many stakeholders involved in the PASRR process, as well as a need for evaluation of the federally mandated program that was first enacted roughly 30-years ago.

Short Term Multicomponent Exercise in the Water Effective for Addressing Major Variablers that Influence Fall Risk in Older Adults
Lead Presenter: Brett D. Bruininks, PhD, University of St. Thomas
Additional Presenters:
Starr K. Sage, PhD, Faculty, University of St. Thomas
Adam Korak, PhD, Faculty, University of St. Thomas
Cynthia P. Connor, MA, Independent
Allissa J. Felmlee, Student, University of St. Thomas
Kealy Johnson, Student, University of St. Thomas
Nathan D. Stevens, Student, University of St. Thomas


  • At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to discuss the use of short-term high intensity dynamic exercise as a safe and effective way to improve muscle performance, gait speed, and balance in older adults at risk for
  • At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to compare and discuss the benefits of adapting short-term high intensity dynamic exercise to the pool environment to improve muscle performance, gait speed, and balance in older adults at risk for falling.

A growing number of older adults’ fear falling and, as a result of anxieties over instability, often seek to prevent falls by limiting their activities. This choice may lead to further negative consequences such as physical decline, social isolation, feelings of helplessness, and depression. Falls are commonly linked to gait and balance inconsistencies; highly influenced by a combination of variables including reduced vision and somatosensory function and physiological changes such as sarcopenia (e.g., resulting in a loss of strength and power). It is well established that weight-bearing physical activity can be an effective method to improve muscle strength and function. Multi-component dynamic training methods have been used extensively in sports settings to improve athletic performance. “Athlete models” oftentimes use short-term progressive programming that incorporates bouts of high intensity challenging activities (e.g., balance, agility, and change of direction training) that target specific muscle groups applicable to that sport. Although this training method has been shown to significantly improve strength, power, speed, and balance in younger populations, until recently, very few models or variations of the athlete model have been used to specifically target fall prevention in older populations.
Over the past two years, our group has conducted research to examine the efficacy of using short-term high intensity exercise to address the major variables that influence fall risk in older adults (ages 55-90). The University of St. Thomas’s Mindful Movement Program is a comprehensive research-informed exercise program that targets fall prevention using education and skill appropriate performance-related exercise and promotes health and wellness and community by creating a safe, inclusive, supportive environment. In two phases of the program, the community-based model has been shown to greatly improve physical health (e.g., strength, power, balance, and mobility) as well as confidence and connectedness in older adults. Our most recent phase examined the efficacy of using the short-term multicomponent training in an aquatic environment. The program was adapted with the aim of increasing accessibility due its supportive nature. Our data suggests that multi-component aquatic training does provide beneficial effects on muscle strength and power, balance, and gait and thus can be a safe and effective alternative training method to improve major variables that influence falls risk.

Technologies in Seating and Wheeled Mobility
Lead Presenter: Caroline Portoghese, OTR/L, ATP/SMS, MSCS, LNHA, MBA, Handi Medical, U of M, St. Catherine faculty
Additional Presenters:
Jake Gau, OTR/L, ATP, Handi Medical
Dillon Herman, Handi Medical


  • Discuss benefits and limitations of new technologies in seating and wheeled mobility
  • Identify common coverage criteria for different technologies
  • Share resources for additional information

Advances in seating and wheeled mobility technology should benefit the aging population, facilitating more independence with mobility for daily activities, at home and in the community. Learn about the benefits and limitations of these technologies, common coverage criteria, and additional resources.

Virtual Bridges An Innovative Program to Engage Isolated Older Adults in the Time of COVID 19
Lead Presenter: Makenzie Olson, Bachelor of Social Work Undergraduate Student, Winona State University
Additional Presenter:
Maddie Molohan, Bachelor of Social Work Undergraduate Student, Winona State University


  • Participants will learn about two outreach efforts of Virtual Bridges, which is a virtual outreach program that was developed in response to the pandemic in March
  • Participants will learn about social work student participation in Caring Calls, and evidence-based model of telehealth outreach targeted to older adults who may be isolated and remaining in their homes.
  • Participants will also learn about a second virtual outreach effort called Empower Hour, an evidence-based model of group outreach, where interprofessional students – nursing, social work, public health – have partnered with several area nursing homes to facilitate psychoeducational groups for

This poster presentation will describe two innovative programs for older adults developed by an interprofessional group of students and faculty at Winona State University that grew out of the need to provide outreach and supports to isolated older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Founded in evidence-based practices, the presenters – undergraduate social work students – will introduce the participants to these two programs – Caring Calls and Empower Hour. Presenters will discuss applications of these models for other settings, anecdotal results thus far, and implications for future work.