General Sessions

2018 AHCA/NCAL Annual Convention

GS-1 - Opening General Session and Keynote Speaker

Monday, October 8
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
CE: NAB: 0 | Nurses 0

Learning Objectives:

Mark Parkinson

President & CEO

Mark Parkinson is the President and CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA), which represents over 13,000 skilled nursing facilities and assisted living centers.
Parkinson served as the 45th Governor of the State of Kansas. Prior to that, he was the owner and operator of long term care facilities in Kansas and Missouri. Under Parkinson’s leadership, AHCA focuses on delivering policy solutions to the Hill and CMS, with a special emphasis on quality care. AHCA is now the largest Association in long term care and is at record membership.
His vision has brought Parkinson recognition. He has been named a Top Association CEO by CEO Update and a top lobbyist for 2013, 2014 and 2015 by The Hill, a leading Capitol Hill newspaper. Parkinson also has the distinction of being selected as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare in 2015.


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Michael Wylie

Vice President, Development
Genesis HealthCare


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Scott Tittle, JD

Executive Director

Scott Tittle was named the Executive Director of the National Center for Assisted Living in May 2015. He joined the Center from the Indiana Health Care Association - a state affiliate of AHCA - where he served as president for both the skilled nursing profession in the state as well as assisted living since 2010.

Previously, Tittle served former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels as the health care policy director. In this capacity, Tittle was responsible for executing Gov. Daniels' health care initiatives through the legislative process as well as the state's health-related agencies, including the Family and Social Services Administration, the State Department of Health, the Department of Child Services, and the Department of Insurance.

An attorney by background, Tittle is a former member of the Indianapolis law firm of Krieg DeVault, where he practiced in the firm's Health Care, Governmental Affairs, and Business Practices groups. Tittle received his law degree from Indiana University - Bloomington in 2001, and his undergraduate degrees from Vanderbilt University in 1995. He was awarded a Distinguished Hoosier Award by Gov. Daniels in 2007, has been listed as an Indiana Super Lawyers Rising Star by The Indiana Lawyer from 2010-2012, and was named a Forty Under 40 honoree by the Indianapolis Business Journal in 2010.


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Ashley Blankenship, BBA

Director of Assisted Living Services
StoneBridge Senior Living

Ashley Blankenship, director of assisted living services for StoneBridge Senior Living, is Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Center for Assisted Living.
Blankenship oversees StoneBridge Senior Living’s six assisted living communities in Arkansas. The company offers assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care, and rehabilitation services in Arkansas and Missouri.
Previously, she was the vice president of operations for Southridge Village Assisted Living. The company was nationally recognized, as three of its assisted living communities earned the Bronze – Commitment to Quality award through the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program in recent years.
Blankenship has served at the national level for nearly a decade, previously as the secretary/treasurer and vice chair of the NCAL Board, as well as co-chair of the Assisted Living Independent Owner Council and chair of the NCAL Risk Management Workgroup. For eight years, she sat on the NCAL Finance and Policy and the NCAL Workforce Committees. Blankenship also chaired and served on the Facility Guidelines Institute Workgroup, to help develop minimum standards for design and construction of assisted living communities.
Additionally, Blankenship volunteers in her home state of Arkansas. As a member of the Arkansas Assisted Living Association, the assisted living arm of the Arkansas Health Care Association, Blankenship serves on their Medicaid taskforce and government relations committee. She previously served on the Leadership Committee for the Arkansas Alzheimer’s Association and currently works with local senior organizations to educate seniors, family members, physicians and public about assisted living.
Blankenship has a Bachelor of Science in marketing with a health care minor from The University of Central Arkansas.


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Scott Kelly

Engineer, Retired American Astronaut, Captain, US Navy (ret.)

Captain Scott Kelly’s epic Year In Space, now a New York Times best-selling book, solidified his status as one of the greatest pioneers in history. In his acclaimed speech appearances, he now brings audiences to the edge of their seats with transcendent insights that inspire and challenge them to dream big, test the status quo, and “choose to do the hard things.” One of a select group of Americans who embody a defining moment in the nation’s history, he captivated the world and seized the imagination of millions during his record-breaking voyage—proving that the sky is not the limit when it comes to the potential of the human spirit. On his trip, Scott, together with his identical twin brother Mark on Earth, paved the way for the future of space travel and exploration as the subjects of an unprecedented NASA study on how space affects the human body. Released in October 2017, Scott’s New York Times best-selling memoir, “Endurance: My Year In Space and Our Journey to Mars,” is now available everywhere and has been optioned as a Hollywood film by Sony Pictures. With awe-inspiring stories from space and personal reflections on leadership, teamwork and testing limits, Scott inspires others to believe that they can reach any goal, no matter how ambitious or audacious. As he looks back on the expedition that shuttled him into history books, audiences revel in the presence of a true American hero and gather unique takeaways on persistence, resilience and self-determination that transform the way they view their own journey through life.


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GS-1 - Opening General Session and Keynote Speaker

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