Solutions for Today’s Changing Market in Long Term Care






Kathleen Collins Pagels

Kathleen thought aging was “all academic" but now that she qualifies for Medicare it all seems pretty real. Like many other Americans, Kathleen is a card carrying baby boomer. She fell in love with the study of gerontology in college and was one of the first post graduates of the University Of Michigan School Of Gerontology in 1981, following the award of her Masters in Social Work Degree.  She soon moved west where aging services were being pioneered. She and her husband Don have happily lived in Scottsdale, Arizona for the past 35 years and there they raised three daughters, Shannon, Bridget and Meagan. Kathleen has been a radio talk show host, a college professor, a published author, a national presenter, a program evaluator, and a director of public policy. She has been a member, and often chair, of countless national boards, commissions, task forces, work groups, and committees- you can check out a partial list below. Kathleen was especially proud to be appointed to represent Arizona in three White House Conferences on Aging. Over the path of her career she worked for the Isabella County Commission on Aging, the Midland County Commission on Aging, the Foundation for Senior Living, the Area Agency on Aging Region I, the Desert Southwest Alzheimer’s Association, and has served as a registered lobbyist and advocate in Arizona for more than two decades. A highlight of Kathleen’s career was the honor of being the Executive Director of the Arizona Health Care Association, a state affiliate of the American Health Care Association,  leading the ranks of dedicated owners, operators and care providers serving Arizona’s long term care and senior living population from 2002- 2018. She is also grateful to currently be a daily caregiver for her 91 year old mother, Pat, who lives independently with her support and assistance right next door. Kathleen’s hobbies are reading, Amazon shopping, and collecting the latest technology.



Boards and Commissions

·     State Medicaid Advisory Council, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System

·     Skilled Nursing Facility Assisted Living Workgroup, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System

·     Arizona Health E-Connection Board of Directors/

      Health Current, Board of Directors and  Executive Committee

·     Governors Roadmap to E Health Technology Taskforce

·     National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA) Board of Advisors.

·     Coyote Crisis  Coalition Board of Directors

·     National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) Board of Directors

·     Bridgeway Health Solutions, Centene Corporation, Community Board of Advisors

·     Governor’s Advisory Council Legislative Coordinating Committee

·     Maricopa Elder Abuse Alliance

·     American State Health Care Executive Association

·     Behavioral Health and Aging Coalition

·     Governor’s Ad Hoc Committee on Long Term Care Workforce Development


  • Managed care coaching for skilled nursing facility administrators and assisted living managers

  • Strategic dialogue with managed care owners and operators to assess market opportunities for managed care partnerships and payment reform opportunities​

  • Managed care leadership development programs for long term care administrators in training

  • Evaluation of your company’s clinical, quality and managed care IQ- an ongoing platform for engaging your nurse leadership in understanding the linkage between reimbursement and quality


  • Preparation and implementation of Value Based Purchasing models- on-going consulting to assess your company’s readiness for payment reform opportunities

  • Leadership mentoring, guidance and support


  • State association redesign for best practices in managed care service development


  • Education for vendor partners working in long term care managed care states- understanding the marketplace to better serve your client


  • Crisis communication- how to thrive and  survive training... on-going and emergent consulting


  • Media relations, promotion and development of marketing materials and  customer service resources


  • CMS Requirements of Participation training, education and implementation

  • Dementia Program Development

  • Dementia Care Training programs for Assisted Living, Memory Care and Skilled Nursing Staff

  • Dementia Friendly Design and Wayfinding Consultation

  • Family Support Programming


  • Advocacy consulting and public policy coordination


  • Support in design of application for national quality awards and quality management programs


  • Consultation on designing services to meet market needs,  with a focus on high acuity and  specialty care


  • Support in RFP development and grant writing

  • Workforce development support and redesign

  • Support to states in development of managed care, long term care, service delivery models


  • Consultation with managed care organizations and health plans to enhance long term care partnerships and expertise in the long term care management space


  • Association state executive mentoring


  • Support in new purchases and ownership changes



"The long term care arena is a dynamic marketplace serving a compelling demographic segment of our population. Over the past several decades I have had the opportunity to work with elders, consumers, public policy leaders, visionaries, advocates and stakeholders of all kinds in designing and shaping services to serve the changing needs of America’s aging population. It has been beyond rewarding.  

KC Pagels & Associates is my way of paying it forward, working with some of my most talented colleagues to serve you in new and creative ways. In the last twenty years of my career, my professional focus has been association leadership. During that time, I developed a special talent in adapting long term care services to the culture of managed care, finding the sweet spot of aligned incentives to ensure both high caliber care for residents and successful partnerships between managed care organizations and long term care companies. Having seen the value of that, I now look forward to helping companies across the country forge such strategic partnerships, and developing the next generation of long term care managed care leaders.

KC Pagels & Associates is available to offer diverse subject matter expertise and consult on public policy and managed care on the national level. Our team will work with state associations on implementation of managed care service membership portfolios, and will work with managed care organizations to provide skilled nursing and assisted living expertise.


Because managed care does not exist in a vacuum, but rather in a highly regulated, competitive and crisis-oriented environment, KC Pagels & Associates will bring to you a ‘bench’ of experts that will also provide you with top notch support and assistance in a range of scenarios-  a one stop shop across the senior living continuum…"

-Kathleen Collins Pagels


Sylvia Balistreri, RN, BSN
Jan Dougherty, MS, RN, FAAN

Sylvia Balistreri, RN, BSN

Sylvia Balistreri brings the full package of clinical, regulatory and managed care expertise to the KC Pagels & Associates team, with over 40 years of nurse leadership. She is an experienced clinician who has practiced in a managed care state for decades and also served as the Bureau Chief for the Arizona Department of Health, overseeing the regulatory model of skilled nursing. To top that off, for the last eight years, Sylvia was the Director of Quality and Regulatory Services at the Arizona Health Care Association.  In that role she provided critical technical assistance in the complex, high acuity Arizona skilled nursing and assisted living managed care environment. The trifecta of experience! Sylvia truly understands the role of nurse leaders in successful managed care partnerships, and is especially passionate about the value of case management collaboration and the path to value based care. She is a senior examiner of the national quality awards program for the American Health Care Association and CMS speak is her second language. Sylvia’s hobbies are all things Swedish, and needlepoint.

Jan Dougherty, MS, RN, FAAN



Jan is passionate about ensuring that people living with dementia and their care partners can have a good quality of life no matter where they live – at home or in residential settings. This passion has driven her vision and leadership in crafting some of the most innovative and award-winning dementia care programs being used in Arizona, nationally and internationally. Her 25+ years of work spans the continuum of dementia care from community based to long term care programs. Described by colleagues as a “nurse’s nurse,” Jan is sensitive to the demands put on professionals in the field with a changing and shrinking workforce. Her programs reflect “can do” methods that can be adopted as professionals learn and practice skills that she brings to each of her programs. If innovation and training in dementia care is needed, Jan is the go to girl! Beyond her work, Jan loves her family, trying new recipes, enjoying a glass of Chardonnay and planning her next travel adventure.




KC Pagels & Associates

Telephone:  602-920-9035


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