CALTCM Gets A Facelift: Updated Board Of Directors & Advisory Council Bring New Life To Organization!

by Deb Bakerjian PhD, APRN, FAAN, FAANP, FGSA

In the last few years as President, I led the small Executive Board through a restructuring process to update and bring new energy to the leadership of the organization. This was a 2-year long effort that sought to answer the question, “How can CALTCM become a more effective force in improving the quality of older adults receiving any type of long term care in California?”

This effort was started with a strategic planning meeting in November 2015, led by physician, Alfredo Czerwinski, during which board members met for a brainstorming session at UC Davis in Sacramento.  During that 3-hour long meeting, board members grappled with CALTCM’s mission, growth, our position within the state, and the future of the organization. From the work completed by the board that night came a recognition that CALTCM had begun to stall, without growing or innovating in the previous few years.  Through the facilitated and often lively discussion, the board realized that all organizations must evolve to survive, and the board made a commitment to make changes so that CALTCM could grow.

That evening the board developed several actionable strategies.  Some of those strategies involved changes in the structure and processes of the organization. There were also important overarching concepts that were foundational to board members including CALTCM’s continued growth as an interprofessional organization, focusing the work of the organization on education that would improve the quality of care and quality of life of older adults across the long-term care continuum. Finally, board members strongly supported that the organization show leadership in building collaborations with other state healthcare organizations and stakeholders.

To that end, over the 2015/2016 year, I conducted a series of interviews with current and past board of director (BOD) members.  During the 1:1 telephonic and in-person interviews, I asked board members about their vision for CALTCM’s future, their expectations of board members in terms of meetings and commitments, what works well for the board, and what they would like to see revised. Based on the interview data and the report from the strategy meeting, it became clear that to accomplish the goals of the board, CALTCM needed a board structure that was leaner but more active; one that convened the entire board more frequently, but with an Advisory Council of longstanding and dedicated members that met with the board twice a year.  The Advisory Council’s purpose would be to advise the board on key strategic issues and provide guidance on key decisions of the organization. Subsequently, with the support of the Executive Board, I designed a structure to meet the goal of an expanded and more active board.

At last year’s board meeting, after almost two years of listening and discussing, the new plan for the board structure was rolled out at the annual conference and this year, the new board is being enacted.  The revised board consists of 16 members. The Executive Board consists of six elected officers; and the remainder of the Board of Directors consists of committee chairs and Advisory Council chairs.  To build capacity in the committees and provide a natural pipeline to leadership, each committee has been assigned a Vice-Chair who presumably will become the chair of the committee at the end of the chair’s term.  Committee chairs and vice chairs were selected based on their stated interest and/or expertise.  An Executive Board liaison has been assigned to each committee to ensure provide support and ensure high level communication.  New committee chairs and vice chairs were provided specific job descriptions and presidential charges for their committee.  Committees are currently working on those activities.

There are two new committees, Clinical Practice and Quality & Safety.  Both of these committees are looking for members, so please let Barbara Hulz know ( if you are interested in one of the committees. Below is the list of the board and committee members with a brief description of their purposes:


  • Mike Wasserman- President: leads the overall Board of Directors, presides over all board meetings and sets the meeting agenda; liaison to the Advisory Council
  • Karl Steinberg - President Elect: Leads the board meetings in the absence of the President; liaison to Public Policy
  • Rajneet Sekhon - Vice President: Assists the Immediate Past President with Nominations; liaison to the Education Committee
  • Albert Lam – Secretary: Responsible for board communications; liaison to the Clinical Practice Committee
  • Tim Gieseke – Treasurer: Responsible for providing oversight of the organization’s finances; liaison to the Finance Committee and Marketing and Membership Committee
  • Deb Bakerjian - Immediate Past President: Responsible for nominations; liaison to Quality and Safety Committee 


Education – Responsible for developing at least one annual meeting and additional meetings as directed by the BOD.  The annual meeting must conform to IMQ standards.  Ensures that speakers are of high caliber, that content is current and evidence based.

  • Chair – Heather Adamo
  • Vice Chair – Janice Hoffman

Membership and Marketing – Responsible for developing and implementing methods to ensure the growth and vitality of the organization.  Works with the full-time staff to ensure the BOD can track membership numbers, suggests ways to improve the membership process and to grow membership as needed.  Specific areas of desired growth are in nursing, advanced practice nurses, pharmacy, psychology and social workers, and therapists

  • Chair - Deborah Wolff-Baker
  • Vice Chair – Patricia Bach

Public Policy – Tracks national and statewide policies that impact older adults and geriatric practitioners from key professions (physicians, nursing, advanced practice, pharmacy, and allied health practitioners).  Notifies the BOD and CALTCM members and makes recommendations to BOD on the organizational response.

  • Chair – Bruce Silver
  • Vice Chair – TBD

Clinical Practice – This new committee will ensure that materials developed by CALTCM are aligned with evidence-based care, clinical practice guidelines and best practices in the care of older adults and ensures that information promoted by the organization is consistent with these practices.  Suggested activities - responsible for the Best Practices award and preconference.  Assists with the development and maintenance of the clinician competencies.

  • Chair – David Berman
  • Vice Chair – Ashkan Javaheri

Quality and Safety – This new committee will work on developing their role and activities.  In general, this committee will contribute to the QI training as part of the annual conferences. This committee will also begin to address the challenges that exist in the lack of safety culture in NHs.  This group could also begin to work on ways to better integrate QAPI into the NH.

  • Chair – Parag Agnihotri
  • Vice Chair – Mary Gessay

The CALTCM Wave – Twice monthly electronic newsletter

  • Coordinator: Flora Bessey
  • Editor in Chief:  Jay Luxenberg

Advisory Council – This council is responsible for helping the CALTCM BOD to set the strategic agenda for the organization.  They are there to provide feedback related to the organization’s activities and to serve as a source of members and Vice Chairs for committees and members of a short-term task force.  The Advisory Council will meet with the BOD at least twice each year in association with the two conferences.  At least one of the Advisory Council co-chairs will sit in on the general BOD meetings.  The Advisory Council members will assist in the areas of membership growth and fundraising throughout the year through their regular contacts and referrals to CALTCM.

  • Co-Chairs – Terry Hill and Frank Randolph

Finally, the board could not do the work of the organization without the exceptional leadership of CEO, Dan Osterweil and Executive Manager, Barbara Hulz!

The Board urges members to sign up for the committees by contacting Barbara. if you are interested in becoming an officer, please let Deb Bakerjian or Rajneet Sekhon know.