|8th Annual Retirement Conference
Dominicans Directors Consider HIPAA regulations,
Ill. – Representatives of 13 Dominican congregations discussed
the impact of laws regulating health information and privacy procedures
in community nursing facilities during the 8th annual Visioning
Dominican Retirement conference, held at Sacred Heart Convent, The
meeting took pplace at he motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of
Springfield, Ill., Sept. 16-18, 2006.
Mary Hopkins, OP (Sinsinawa) led a discussion about the responsibility
of religious congregations to safeguard retired members’ health
privacy in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act, or HIPAA, which became federal law in 2003.
“It is essential that our congregations institute procedures
to keep sisters’ health information private,” said Sister
Regina Marie Bernet, OP, (Springfield).
The annual gatherings are an opportunity for those in ministry with
retired community members to share their wisdom and learn new strategies
for improving the quality of life for their senior sisters.
One highlight of the meeting was a demonstration by the Springfield
Dominican Sisters of the exercise program called “Body Recall.”
This series of stretching and range-of-motion exercises is performed
sitting down and has contributed to significant improvement in the
health and stamina of those who participate. Sister Margaret Rose
Aultz, OP (Springfield),who leads the exercises for a group of about
30 sisters at the Springfield motherhouse twice a week, uses a recording
of familiar religious hymns that sets a rhythmic tempo for the exercises
and contributes to a prayerful experience.
Other discussions centered around determining the right time for
sisters to stop driving, easing the transition from active ministry
to retirement, and addressing the concerns of senior community members
of congregations involved in reconfiguration processes.
The 2007 Visioning Dominican Retirement conference is already scheduled
for September 15-17 at the motherhouse of the Mission San Jose Dominicans
in Freemont, Calif.