Experience a unique conference for congregation members, nurses, healthcare personnel and other individuals in the healthcare field or who have an interest in senior and disability ministry.

Network with industry representatives at the educational sessions, panel discussions, exhibits and an evening celebration with entertainment.

Earn 4.5 continuing education units (CEUs) targeted for nurses and social workers. Health care administrators earn 3.5 CEUs.

The reasons.


Attend educational sessions and panel discussions to learn about senior and disability care.
Earn 4.5 CE credits.



Bring your experience and education to add to the discussions and sessions.



Network with industry representatives and other individuals in the healthcare field.

The agenda.

Friday, May 2, 2014

2 p.m. Registration
3 p.m. Session 1: Real Hope when Confronted
with Dementia
5 p.m. An evening of Hope and a Tribute to
Sophie Boessling
  Social Hour featuring a country/
blue-grass band
  Sophie Boessling Dinner
  Entertainment: C. Willi Myles
8:30 p.m. Adjourn

Saturday, May 3, 2014
7 a.m. Breakfast
8 a.m. Opening Devotion
  Worship at the Cross with SME Alumni
8:45 a.m. Session 2: Come Closer, Give me Hope, Malawi
10:15 a.m. Session 3: Offering Hope in Dealing with
Medical End of Life Issues
11:15 a.m. Session 4: Person-Centered Hope in the
World of Disabilities
12 p.m. Lunch/ Pondering Unlimited Possibilities -
Hope for us all
1:30 p.m. Adjourn

About the sessions

Real Hope when Confronted with Dementia

-Lori La Bey, founder Alzheimer's Speaks
-Rev. Curt Seefeldt, director of church relations, The Lutheran Home Association

This session will  change your perception of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementias. From personal experiences to God’s promises through Jesus, La Bey and Pastor Seefeldt will provide participants with understanding, resources and strategies that will provide hope and emotional and spiritual support.

Learning objectives

  • Learn to apply the promises of Jesus’ gospel in ways that provide comfort and give hope.
  • Develop a positive and objective mindset to the disease which will enable every caregiver to provide strong emotional support. 
  • Identify educational resources which will help provide understanding to others.
  • Learn how local and global activities are making a difference to those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, their family and caregivers.
  • Understand the importance of spreading awareness and education of Alzheimer’s.

Come Closer, Give me Hope, Malawi

Panel Discussion
-Moderator: Michael Klatt, president and chief executive officer, The Lutheran Home Association

Through this interactive panel discussion, you will learn about a unique outreach program that benefits people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Listen to people who have recently traveled to Malawi, Africa tell what the current situation is for these Malawians living with disabilities. Ask questions and get answers to how the partnership between The Lutheran Home Association, Jesus Cares Ministries and WELS Kingdom Workers will benefit people with disabilities.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the current state of Christian awareness and health care in Malawi
  • Understand how to use education and health care to bring the Gospel message to individuals
  • Discuss how to use leadership, skills, prayers and resources to be involved to help drive change

Offering Hope in Dealing with Medical End of Life Issues

-Michael Klatt, president and chief executive officer, The Lutheran Home Association
-Rev. Robert Fleischmann, national director, Christian Life Resources

During this session, Michael Klatt and Rev. Robert Fleischmann will discuss the Christian approach to end of life issues faced by the patient, relatives, caregivers and staff. They will examine the challenges encountered leading up to death, accepting death and the optimism through Christian faith.

Learning objectives

  • Understand current industry issues
  • Learn end of life faced by individuals
  • Identify challenges during end of life and accepting death
  • Understand God’s love during time of crisis

Person-Centered Hope in the World of Disabilities

-Dr. Amy S. Hewitt, University of Minnesota

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are given many promises to services that will support them to have good lives in their communities. Taking a person-centered approach and raising the expectations of community members is needed across the world so that the hopes, dreams and rights of people with disabilities can be fully realized. This session will explore what it means to live in the community and share perspectives about challenges and solutions.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the basic promises that are made to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in statute and policy that support community living.
  • Define community living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Identify indicators of effective services and supports that promote community living.
  • Understand issues related to inclusion and self-determination for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a world context.

Pondering Unlimited Possibilities - Hope for us all

-Mike Berkson, lead actor, Handicap This!
-Tim Wambach, lead actor and managing director, Handicap This!

In 2001 Mike Berkson met Tim Wambach. Mike has cerebral palsy and virtually no movement of his arms and legs, thus limiting his control and independence. Tim was a motivated young adult looking to find his way. It is said that everybody is looking for somebody and these two individuals were indirectly looking for each other. Mike and Tim created the Keep On Keeping On Foundation to help those living with severe physical disabilities, like cerebral palsy. The publicity that they received helped spawn a speaking career for Mike and Tim to tell their story to a wide range of groups. Their speaking success ultimately gave the pair the opportunity to spread their message of tolerance and inclusion thru their live two-man show called “Handicap This!” which premiered in 2010.

About the speakers

Lori La Bey

l_labeyLori La Bey, founder of Alzheimer's Speaks, is a passionate advocate who searches for ways to shift our dementia care culture from crisis to comfort. She was recognized by Sharecare and Dr. Oz. as the #1 Influencer Online for Alzheimer's.  As a professional speaker and daughter of a mother with dementia for over thirty years, Lori gets it! Change is needed on multiple levels. As host of Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio and the webinar series Dementia Chats™ Lori connects people to best practices and facilitates conversations regarding needs for dementia care worldwide. She addresses large and small groups as a recognized calming force with insights. She does this in a fun, enlightening way.  Audience members say, “Lori has changed my perspective and empowered me to care better.”

Rev. Curt Seefeldt

c_seefeldtPastor Seefeldt serves are a resource development counselor at The Lutheran Home Association (TLHA). He began serving the residents and tenants of The Lutheran Home Campus in River Falls, Wisconsin, in 2010. He came to The Lutheran Home Association in 2006. He has more than 30 years of pastoral experience, serving congregations in Kansas, South Dakota and Minnesota after receiving his Master of Divinity from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon. He has chaired the Dakota-Montana District Board for Parish Services, the Huron (South Dakota) Advocacy Program and Minnesota District Lutheran Institutional Ministries Association. He believes Christian ministry is about serving people and sharing the message of Jesus' love. In his free time, he enjoys fishing, working in his yard and garden, traveling with his wife and cheering for the Packers and Twins.

Michael Klatt

m_klattMichael Klatt has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Lutheran Home Association (TLHA) for the past 14 years. He began his career with the organization in direct care in 1988 and also has been the chief operating officer, assistant to the CEO and community services director for TLHA. As President and CEO, he advances TLHA's Christian mission, vision, services and programs. He also works extensively with the families of children with special needs to plan for their spiritual, financial and long-term care needs.He earned his Master's degree in organizational leadership and a bachelor's degree in organizational studies from Bethel University in St. Paul, and holds a certificate in long-term care administration from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He was appointed to Minnesota's Board of Aging by Governor Tim Pawlenty in 2006; he was re-appointed by the governor in 2010.

Rev. Robert Fleischmann

revfleischmann3Reverend Robert Fleischmann currently serves as the National Director of Christian Life Resources.  Pastor Fleischman became involved with life issues in 1976 while a student at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota. During his seminary years, he began working in the area of life issues within the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). Pastor Fleischmann marked his entrance into the pastoral ministry in 1983 upon his graduation from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wisconsin.  He was called to serve as the pastor of Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church in Plymouth, Wisconsin.  In 1988 Pastor Fleischmann was elected to the National Board of WELS Lutherans for Life and later that year was called to serve as the organization’s first National Director.

Amy Hewitt, PhD

amyhewittDr. Amy Hewitt has an extensive background and work history in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities and has worked to improve community inclusion and quality of life for children and adults with disabilities and their families. At the University of Minnesota she is the Director of the Research and Training Center on Community Living, Training Director of Institute on Community Integration and the Associate Director for the MN LEND. She directs several federal and state research, evaluation and demonstration projects in the area of community services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism. She currently has research projects that focus on community living, autism, direct support workforce development, person centered planning/thinking and positive behavior support. Dr. Hewitt is on the editorial board of Inclusion and a guest editor of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities both journals of the AAIDD. She is currently on the Board of Directors for Arc Greater Twin Cities, Arc Minnesota, and is the Vice President of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD).

Thank you to our sponsors.

Partial funding provided by Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities.