National conference teaches and inspires

Karen and Ed are back from the annual conference of the Omega Home Network. The conference brought together more than 90 representatives of this energized and expanding network of end-of-life care homes. The network now includes 24 existing homes and 20 homes-in-development, located in 15 states (from Alaska to Florida and California to Massachusetts).

Karen Hlavaty-Pearson, our resident care manager, led a panel titled The Top 10 Challenges of the First 3 Months. Ed Long, our volunteer executive director, presented Nonprofit 101: Charter, By-Laws and Tax Exemption, Oh My!

Conference Attendees Together
Conference Attendees Gather

Held in Lansing, MI, the conference educated through formal programs and through substantial one-on-one networking. It’s wonderful what you can learn from others who are doing similar work.

Formal programs included volunteer recruiting and recognition, revenue approaches, admission policies, fundraising, dealing with family challenges, collaborating with medical hospice providers, dealing with losses and grief, and symptom management. Wide-open “Ask the Experts” panels focused on operational and start-up questions. And tours of three network member homes in and near Lansing brought more insights.

We’re excited by the California presence at the conference. Three existing homes (Caring House in Torrance, Our Community House of Hope in Thousand Oaks and Sarah House in Santa Barbara) were joined by five homes under development (for San Diego, Palm Springs, Camarillo, Burbank and Visalia). Our growing CA presences urges us to start gathering as a subset of the network, helping each other with the special issues of our special State.

CA conference attendees
California Attendees

At the conference the name of this growing collaboration was changed from Social Hospice Network to Omega Home Network. However named, the mission is to support and foster end-of-life care homes across the U.S. The conference in Lansing with the fourth annual national meeting of the group.