Illinois Pioneer Coalition Board Members

Sarah Watson, MSW, President

Director Resident Services
Vi at The Glen
Co-Founder
The Senior SPACE

Sarah Watson's Bio

Co-Founder, The Senior SPACE

Email: swatson@seniorlifestyle.com

Sarah’s mission is to celebrate Seniors by using out of the box thinking and innovative interventions that promote independence and quality of life. This has allowed her to build a foundation of Person – Directed Care. Sarah has worked across all of the continuums of care in Senior Living.

In 2020, Sarah Co-Founded The Senior SPACE, which was founded to support and empower Seniors and their Families to foster independence, maintain quality of life and assist in life transitions. The mission of The Senior SPACE is to celebrate Seniors and work to create a new story.

Sarah received her Bachelors of Arts in Gerontology from the University of South Florida and her Masters in Social Work with a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology from Dominican University.

Lee Moriarty

Lee Moriarty, B.S./CTRS

Long Term Care Consultant and Educator
Moriarty Consultation
Palos Heights, IL
Moriartyconsultation@outlook.com

Lee Moriarty's Bio

Director of Consultation for Quality Therapy & Consultation

Email:  LMoriarty@QTC Therapy.com

Available:  Northern IL, Chicago and potential for other areas in the State

Lee is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and works with the State of Illinois as the Deputy Long-Term Care Ombudsman. In her role as the Deputy Ombudsman, Lee works with the Regional Ombudsman throughout the state to promote the mission of advocacy for those who live in long-term care communities.  Lee’s past roles include working as a consultant for Nursing Homes, Assisted Livings and Continuing Care Communities where she promoted person centered/directed care by focusing on quality of life, dementia care and life enrichment.  As an educator, Lee has provided continuing education programs and seminars both statewide and nationally on a variety of timely topics.  Lee is a founding member and past president of the Illinois Pioneer Coalition.

Lee Moriarty's Speaker's Bureau Topics

Director of Consultation for Quality Therapy & Consultation

Email:  LMoriarty@QTC Therapy.com

Available:  Statewide

Speaker’s Bureau Topics:

  • The Need for Change in Long Term Care – How to Find Dignity and Choice in a Nursing Home
  • Providing person-centered care and services for the Short Stay Rehab Elder
  • Dementia Care and understanding how “behaviors” communicate needs and wants
  • Understanding what Culture Change means and how to start the Journey.
  • Ability Centered Care for the Dementia Elder
  • Person Centered Discharge Planning

 

Fee: Please contact to discuss

Leslie Pedtke

Leslie Pedtke, MHA, LNHA

Owner
Trenton Village Assisted Living Memory Care
Trenton, IL

Founder/CEO
Dignity Quotient

Leslie.pedtke@kingmgt.com

Leslie Pedtke's Bio

King Management, Educator for Quality Improvement

Email: Leslie.pedtke@kingmgt.com

Available: Statewide

Leslie is a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator with a degree from Southern Illinois University in Speech Communication. In 1994, she became the Administrator at Aviston Countryside Manor where she developed a passion for long term care culture change and became one of the leading advocates in the nation for the culture change movement.

Initiatives she launched as an Administrator have been featured in Long-Term Care Today, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, HCCI’s Members Only Newsletter. Leslie presents throughout the United States on her program “ Through the Looking Glass” which outlines the best hiring practices, how to eliminate personal body alarms and decrease falls.

Leslie holds Certificates in Non-physicians in Geriatrics and Person-Centered Care Dementia and is a member of numerous professional organizations including the Illinois Nursing Home Administrators Association, Illinois Health Care Association, the Southwestern Illinois Pioneer Coalition Leadership Team and is the current President of the Illinois Pioneer Coalition.

In 2017, Leslie left her position at Aviston Countryside Manor and became the Educator for Quality Improvement for King Management Company where she helps other nursing communities improve resident quality of life and care.

Leslie Pedtke's Speakers Bureau Topics

King Management, Educator for Quality Improvement

Email: Leslie.pedtke@kingmgt.com

Available: Statewide

Speaker’s Bureau Topics:

  • Eliminating Personal Body Alarms and Reducing Falls
  • “Through the Looking Glass” – A Lesson In Empathy
  • Behavior in Dementia or Symptoms of Just Being Human – The Power of Language
  • Person Centered Care – For Professionals and the Community

 

Fee: Travel Expenses for far distance travel

Natalie Mueller

Accounts Receivable Manager, Medicare and Insurance
Palladian Management
O’Fallon, IL
natalie.mueller@palladianmgt.com

Natalie Mueller's Bio

King Management, Accounts Receivable & Medical Biller

Email: natalie.mueller@kingmgt.com

Natalie Mueller has been with Palladian Management; formerly King Management; since 2001. She is currently working as Accounts Receivable Manager overseeing Medicare and Insurance. Palladian management currently handles all accounts receivable for nineteen nursing homes and two assisted living homes. She started her LTC career in 2001 at the Aviston Countryside Manor location.  She was the housekeeping supervisor then the office manager at Aviston Countryside Manor. Natalie has a true commitment and passion for culture change and person-centered care. She has participated in Aviston’s “Through the Looking Glass” experience, which is a challenge to move into a nursing facility and live as a resident. This experience opened her eyes and her heart, to some of the challenges residents in long-term care experience every day. After this experience she committed to helping as many elders as possible to have a better today and tomorrow. Culture change is now her passion, and she is an advocate for person-centered care. She has been involved with the Illinois Pioneer Coalition Summit planning committee since 2009 and Board Member since 2017.

Joyce A. Steber

Joyce Steber, BSN, RN

Manager, Educator
Steber Training, LLC
Marian, IL
stebertraining78@yahoo.com

Joyce A. Steber's Bio

Steber Training, LLC, Manager

Email: stebertraining78@yahoo.com

Available: Statewide

Joyce Steber’s introduction into LTC began with her first summer job – working as a nursing assistant in a rural nursing home before certification was required. The LTC world & training methods have changed in many ways since then. Following a stint in acute care nursing, her focus shifted to educating long-term care providers. After teaching for 20+ years in the nursing and CNA programs at John A. Logan College, she fulfilled the duties of monitoring CNA training programs and providing educational programs statewide as the first Education Coordinator with SIUC Nurse Aide Testing Project. Sharing methods of teaching and encouraging person-directed care was bolstered by her involvement with IPC. Currently, Joyce enjoys being the primary educator and consultant with Steber Training, LLC which she opened in 2014. Providing lab and clinical instruction to CNA students through a local Basic Nursing Assistant Training Program (BNATP) and conducting Train the Trainer Programs for RNs seeking approval as BNATP instructors are her main responsibilities.

Through a collaborative effort in 2016, she teaches an IDPH approved independent
Resident Assistant Training Program to long-term care communities. She also provides consultation services for new and established BNATPs, including facility-based programs. Her passion for elder care led to her involvement on the regional Southern Illinois Pioneer Coalition Planning Team (Carterville, IL) in the early 2000’s; she continues to be an active member of this team. One highlight of her involvement has been as a member of the Think Tank for the Consumer Education Project, Your Way! How to Find Dignity and Choice in a Nursing Home. Since 2017, she feels honored to serve as a board member on the Illinois Pioneer Coalition. She is currently the Treasurer for this amazing board.

Joyce A. Steber's Speakers Bureau Topics

Steber Training, LLC, Manager

Email: stebertraining78@yahoo.com

Available: Statewide

Speaker’s Bureau Topics:

  • Resident Assistant Program
  • Variety of In-service Topics for CNA’s
  • Culture Change
  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia

Fee: Training Fees for TTT and RA Programs; Travel Expenses

Cindy DeGroot, RN, BSN

Education Coordinator
Riverside Senior Life Communities
Bourbonnais, IL
cdegroot@rhc.net

Cindy DeGroot's Bio

Riverside Senior Life Communities

Email: cdegroot@rhc.net

Available: Statewide

Cindy currently serves as the Education Coordinator for Riverside Senior Life Communities in Bourbonnais, IL. She is an experienced presenter on topics focused on the basics of dementia, successful communication strategies for those living with dementia, employee engagement, and intergenerational programs.

Cindy DeGroot's Speakers Bureau Topics

Riverside Senior Life Communities, Education Coordinator

Email: cdegroot@rhc.net

Available: Statewide

Speaker’s Bureau Topics:

  • Culture Change
  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia
  • Recruitment/Onboarding/Retention
  • Teambuilding
  • Intergenerational Programs

Angela Simmons, LNHA

Administrator
Anna Veterans Home
Angela.Simmons@illinois.gov

Angela Simmon's Bio

Anna Veterans Home, Administrator

Email: Angela.simmons@illinois.gov

Available: Statewide

Angela was born and raised in Southern Illinois.  She graduated nursing school in 1997 earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business in 2009.  In 2006 she became the Administrator of an 83-bed skilled nursing facility and began her Culture Change/Pioneering journey. In 2013 she was appointed as a Senior Public Service Administrator with the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and assigned to the Anna Veterans Home.  In 2015 she won the Illinois Pioneer Culture Change Champion of the Year.

In 2017, through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners, she received her Certified Dementia Practitioner certification.  Angela is a member of the Illinois Nursing Home Administrators Association, Southern Illinois Pioneer Coalition Board, and a member of the Illinois Pioneer Coalition Board of Directors since March 2017.

Amanda Spade, BS
Certified Dementia Practitioner

Regional Marketing Director
Petersen Health Care
aspade@petersenhealthcare.net
www.petersenhealthcare.net

Amanda Spade's Bio

Amanda Spade, Regional Marketing Director

Email: aspade@petersenhealthcare.net

Carrie Leljedal Headshot

Carrie Leljedal

Illinois Caregivers for Compromise State Spokesperson
Family Advocate Essential Caregivers Coalition Illinois State Representative
217-520-3254

Carrie.leljedal@me.com
https://ILC4C.org
https://www.facebook.com/groups/illinoiscaregiversforcompromise

Carrie Leljedal's Bio

Carrie Leljedal

Email: Carrie.leljedal@me.com

Carrie Leljedal is the mother to a 33-year-old son who resides in an Intermediate Care Facility for adults with Developmental Disabilities. Due to her son’s special needs and her desire to help others, Carrie has been advocating for over thirty years. She is also the Illinois Caregivers for Compromise State Spokesperson and Family Advocate and is the Illinois representative of the Essential Caregiver Movement, a national group of state advocacy leaders. 

Carrie, along with her team of volunteers, has created an active online support network for families and residents in long term care. While working with various state and federal agencies, elected officials and a variety of non-profits, crafting upcoming legislation and meaningful changes for all long-term care residents. As part of this work, Carrie and her team worked with Illinois AARP to get a resolution passed in the IL House and Senate unanimously.

Carrie co-led the national efforts for the recognition of the year anniversary of the long-term care lockdown. She assisted in the creation of the language for the Essential Caregivers Act (H.R. 3733) and presented on the panel discussion in favor of the (H.R.3733) before staff and members of the US House of Representatives. Carrie co-led the creation of the book “Protecting Them to Death, The Impact of Isolation In Long-Term Care”. The book features stories from families and residents of long-term care in all 50 states. 

Carrie has worked with various media outlets around the US to help, residents and families of long-term care have their voices heard, as they share their stories of what they have endured during the pandemic and in hopes of preventing it from ever happening again. Using her personal connections around the country she has assisted in connecting as many people as possible, to share their stories. 

She has been featured on multiple podcasts over the last twenty-one months. Gray Panthers NYC, “Transformation Tuesdays”. Skilled Nursing News,” RETHINK The future of Skilled Nursing”, The Green House Project, “Elevate Elder Care”, “Your Care, Your Rights, Your Voice” with Mairead Painter. 

Karma Lynn Carpenter

LCSW, NCG, LMT

Milikin University

KCShea7@gmail.com

Rindi Reeves

rindireeves@gmail.com