Hear the Voice, Honor the Choice

Pioneer Network’s 13th Annual Conference is coming up—August 11th through August 15th in Bellevue, Washington—and registration is now open. This is the nation’s largest annual conference dedicated solely to culture change.

This year’s theme is, “Hear the Voice, Honor the Choice.”

Pioneer Network is on a mission to make person-centered living the norm and it’s no secret that an industry-wide culture shift is in progress. But how do we “hear the voice” on a daily basis in our communities? What needs to be done to “honor the choice”?

I have found there are four key management initiatives that communities need to focus on:

  • Set organizational standards that reflect the preferences of residents living in each unique community.
  • Hire staff who demonstrate empathy and an excellence reflex
  • Provide high-quality, on-going staff training, starting in the dining environment—the heart of the community
  • Coach and reinforce training, leading by example

But the first step is for leadership to embrace and commit to providing resident-centered care. Change is always challenging, but as Quint Studer wrote in Hardwiring Excellence, “Leaders are comfortable with not being comfortable.”

The good news is, service that empowers residents, inspires feelings of belonging, and supports socialization, leads directly to better clinical outcomes and a stronger bottom line.


Learn more about how to improve your community’s competitive edge. Watch How to Meet the Demanding Dining Needs of Boomers Webinar.

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy is the founder and owner of Kind Dining®, which she began in 2006. She’s traveled across the country and Canada working with and training senior living communities that want to create an exceptional dining experience for their residents and staff. In addition, she certifies select professionals in her Kind Dining® philosophy and provides tools, now in an eLearning format, that make learning stick and help people put insights into action. As a result of her work, clients often share their staff has a new sense of purpose, get along better and keep their focus and energy on what matters most. In fact, she wrote a book, Hospitality for Boomers on how to attract residents and keep good team members. In her free time, she enjoys walking Oregon trails and cheering on her favorite soccer teams, the Portland Thorns and Timbers.

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