Free 'House Calls' webinars for family caregivers

Series aims to help keep loved ones out of hospitals

Mountain-Pacific Quality Health and AARP state offices in Alaska, Hawaii, Montana and Wyoming invite family caregivers across the west region to a free public webinar series called, “House Calls,” which will demonstrate infection protection and other ways to keep loved ones out of the hospital.

The webinar series is free, but participants are asked to register by visiting or

The webinar series comes from the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Project Firstline, which offers interactive infection prevention and control curriculum for healthcare and public health workforces and family caregivers across the United States. The “House Calls” series aims to help caregivers take better care of their loved ones residing both at home and in skilled nursing facilities.

During this series, you will learn the latest news from leading health experts from AARP and Mountain-Pacific Quality Health about COVID-19 vaccination and how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and protected.

The series kicked off on May 14 with a free presentation titled, “I’m Vaccinated Against COVID-19. Now What? Are We Back to Normal?” with Stevi Sy of Mountain-Pacific Quality Health. Sessions are monthly through September 2021. The session was recorded and archived and is posted on the AARP Wyoming Facebook page at The other webinars in this series will be posted to this page as well.

The webinar schedule

All webinars start at 11 a.m. Alaska time.

The next event in the series will take place June 11, featuring Dr. Aida Wen on “Infection Control:  Slowing the Spread of COVID-19.” Dr. Wen is an Associate Professor, Department of Geriatric Medicine, at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). Dr. Wen serves as the medical director at a nursing facility and is the president and founder of the Hawaii Medical Directors Association since 2008. Dr. Wen will explain the difference between infection control and source control.

The July 9 webinar will feature Jill Hult of Mountain-Pacific Quality Health leading a session on “Protecting Yourself and Loved Ones - The New Norm.” Hult is a Registered Nurse, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, and holds a Certificate of Nursing Home Infection Prevention Training from the Centers for Disease Control. Hult will use this time to offer simple and cost-effective strategies that can mitigate infections from spreading.

The subject of the August 13 webinar will be “Cleaning and Disinfecting Even If COVID Isn’t In Your House.” Learn About the different cleaning products and their proper uses, presented by Kelley O’Leary, Registered Nurse and infection control specialist with the Hawaii Department of Health who holds a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing and has been certified in infection control since 2005. O’Leary’s presentation will discuss how to use disinfectant products already on the market to maximize their effectiveness.

The final webinar in the series takes place Sept. 10, as Jill Hult of Mountain-Pacific Quality Health and Wyoming Long Term Care Ombudsman Patty Hall offer a joint presentation titled, “Is It Safe To Socialize and Travel?” Hall is Wyoming’s Long Term Care Ombudsman, and works to resolve problems related to the health, safety, welfare, and rights of individuals who live in long term care facilities, such as nursing homes, board and care and assisted living facilities, and other residential care communities. This presentation will center around how to socialize and travel, while balancing risks and expectations with safety and quality of life.

If you do not pre-register for these events you can still participate at the times and dates listed above by joining the Zoom at or calling 301-715-8592. The webinars will feature 20- to 40-minute demonstrations on subject matter, while allowing for questions from the live audience. For those who want to watch the presentations, but don’t plan to ask questions, check out the livestream on AARP Wyoming’s Facebook page at


About Project Firstline

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed gaps in infection prevention and control knowledge and practice in healthcare settings nationwide. The Project Firstline program includes room for townhall discussions, and tele-mentoring to ensure all workers in healthcare are empowered with knowledge and reasoning behind today’s infection control practices. 

CDC has teamed up with a coalition of more than a dozen healthcare, public health, and academic partners, as well as 64 state, territorial, and local health departments through the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity cooperative agreement to support development and dissemination of Project Firstline’s information. The series objectives include slowing and stopping the spread of infectious disease, by helping family caregivers understand how to keep their loved ones protected in order to reduce healthcare costs and hospital readmissions.

“We all need to know infection control basics and understand how to prevent infection during day-to-day activities and individual interactions. Infection prevention (IP) processes, procedures and tools can be used to empower all individuals within our communities to take necessary IP precautions,” says Crystal Morse of Mountain-Pacific Quality Health.

Learn more by exploring CDC’s Project Firstline factsheet, Facebook page, Twitter – or read the full Project Firstline press release. For more information, including how to participate in Project Firstline, contact Crystal Morse at

Katie Dougherty is the Associate State Director of Communications for AARP Alaska.