Foothold Expo 2017

Thoughts from our Keynote Speakers

Foothold Expo 2017

June 22, 2017 marked Foothold Technology’s tenth annual user’s conference–EXPO TEN. Foothold clients from across the country headed to NYU’s Kimmel Center in lower Manhattan for a day rich with thought, learning, networking, and even a few games. Foothold experts and partners presented on a wide range of issues relevant to today’s human services providers. Attendees received tips about new AWARDS functionality in sessions like “Leveraging AWARDS Builders to Build Your Own Outcomes” and “Waiting List: How to Use AWARDS to Streamline Access to Your Programming” and previewed upcoming AWARDS functionality in sessions such as “Peer Into the AWARDS Crystal Ball: Development Roundtable” We also covered classic, helpful topics through sessions like “Becoming an AWARDS Encyclopedia: Certification” and “Countdown to an Invoice: BillingBuilder”.

Outside of the nuts and bolts of AWARDS, attendees learned about trends in the industry and how best to confront the endless changes providers see on an almost daily basis. This was especially true in the session “Healthcare in a New Era: How the Changing Landscape Impacts the Provider Community.” As one attendee put it, “I learned a lot about what is going on in the healthcare community and what my agency can do to stay ahead of the curve. It was great to hear how AWARDS can assist us with the ongoing changes.” Attendees also learned how to strengthen agency operations and maintain cyber security in a session called “Data Privacy & Security – It’s a Team Effort” and received some important tips on how staff can avoid burnout in “Breathe Out or Burnout: Lessons in Self-Care for Nonprofit Workers.” You can view slides from all our sessions here.

David Simon InterviewOur Keynote Speaker David Simon, creator of The Wire, Show Me a Hero, and Treme, among other shows, provided a blunt and thought-provoking talk on the current state of the world as it pertains to many of the individuals receiving services and supports from our client agencies. He called for providers to use the stories they witness on a daily basis as a weapon against institutional corruption. We love the reaction we received from one attendee about how David Simon’s speech resonated with her work when she shared, “Telling client stories respectfully is so important to combat stereotypes. Foothold is a very customer oriented company that cares about its clients.”

Perhaps one of the most important benefits of attending Expo is the opportunity to network with peers. We heard some great conversations in sessions, and we loved seeing attendees having some fun during our Lunchtime Trivia. Folks also had the opportunity to learn about our exhibitors, a select group of companies whose products and/or services are complimentary to those of Foothold and AWARDS. This year’s exhibitors included Accreditation Guru, Annese, Complete Compliance Solutions, GreyCastle Security, and Healthix. And for the third year in a row, we announced the winners of our Impact Prize, which awards clients who are using AWARDS to support out of the box thinking.

We were pleased to see so many new and familiar faces at EXPO TEN. Were you or one of your colleagues at EXPO? Be sure to check out our photo album on Facebook and tag yourself and your colleagues. Many thanks to all who helped make it a true success. We look forward to seeing everyone at future Foothold events.

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Keynote Speaker

David Simon

David Simon is a Baltimore-based journalist, author and television producer. Born in Washington, he came to Baltimore in 1983 to work as a crime reporter at The Baltimore Sun. While at the paper, he reported and wrote two works of narrative non-fiction, Homicide: A Year On The Killing Streets and The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood, the former an account of a year spent with the city homicide squad and the latter, a year spent on a West Baltimore drug corner.

Homicide became the basis for the NBC drama, which aired from 1993 to 1999 and for which Simon worked as a writer and producer after leaving The Sun in 1995. The Corner became an HBO miniseries and won three Emmy Awards in 2000. The Wire, a subsequent HBO drama, aired from 2002 to 2008 and depicted a dystopic American city contending with a fraudulent drug war, the loss of its industrial base, political and educational systems incapable of reform and a media culture oblivious to all of the above.

Simon served as a writer and executive producer of HBO’s Generation Kill, a miniseries depicting U.S. Marines in the early days of the Iraq conflict. Simon also co-created the HBO series Treme, following life in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Treme was nominated for two Emmys, Outstanding Writing in a Miniseries and Outstanding Miniseries. Simon’s most recent project, the HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero, tells the story of Yonkers Mayor Nick Wasicsko who finds himself thrust into racial controversy when a federal court orders to build a small number of low-income housing units in the white neighborhoods. Simon also does prose work for The New Yorker, Esquire and The Washington Post, among other publications.


AM Session (10:45AM – 12:00PM)

Count Down to an Invoice

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Is maximizing your revenue by invoicing all billable services rendered important to your agency? If so, this session is a must!

To successfully bill for all services, there are multiple factors involved. In this session, we will review all data necessary to bill and demonstrate tricks used by Foothold staff to uncover missing or invalid data, which causes billable services to not generate an invoice. Additionally, we will discuss how to reconcile billable services provided to invoices generated.

Learn How to Be the Best in the Pack

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Worried your HMIS data is not accurate? Struggling with bad data quality reports from your CoC? Finding that your HMIS exports are full of errors that you don’t know how to resolve? If you answered yes to any of these questions – this session is for you! HMIS data quality is so critical to your agency – allowing you to ensure you are providing appropriate and effective services to your participants, and helping you to remain competitive in the challenging world of obtaining and maintaining HMIS funding. Join us as we walk you through various data quality reports in AWARDS, teach you how to troubleshoot common CSV export errors, and highlight a new data quality report that gives you more access and flexibility to address unique data element errors than ever before in AWARDS!

Navigating the Road to National Accreditation

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This interactive session will focus on a thorough review of the major phases of the accreditation process and highlight the benefits of becoming accredited, including enhanced revenue opportunities. Learn about the fundamental organizational requirements necessary for accreditation, key participants to include throughout the process, and how to avoid common pitfalls. The benefits of using an EHR, such as chart record reviews, tracking outcomes, and administrative reports, will be discussed. There will also be a review of the three main accrediting bodies for human service agencies: CARF, Council on Accreditation (COA), and The Joint Commission.

Peer into the AWARDS Crystal Ball

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Join a panel discussion with our application developers for a wide ranging discussion about how Foothold develops and maintains AWARDS. We’ll go into depth on topics including the architecture of AWARDS, our development decision-making process, how we investigate and resolve issues, and our vision for the future. This is an opportunity to converse directly with the team at Foothold responsible for the development of and technical support for AWARDS, so please bring your ideas and questions to share.

How Deep Can You Dive in AWARDS?

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Do you know how deeply your agency is using AWARDS and whether you’re really maximizing its impact? Our implementation team has designed a utilization analysis assessment, so that agencies can discover how they can better use AWARDS. Come learn about the tool, how we designed it, and how other agencies have used it. You’ll leave this session with a better understanding of how a more thorough implementation of AWARDS can benefit your agency.

PM Session I (1:00PM – 2:15PM)

Leveraging AWARDS Builders to Build Your Own Outcomes

This session will focus on how to use PlanBuilder to configure service/treatment plans for your agency, and how to add any elements you need for plans and reviews. The PlanBuilder ReportBuilder will be reviewed to demonstrate how you can examine the elements and configuration choices your agency has set up for Plans & Reviews. And finally, we will examine the new Plans and Reviews ReportBuilder, and how to create reports about client outcomes. This session will also give attendees the opportunity for some hands-on practice using the new Plans & Reviews function.

Steady Data in a World of Change

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Join us to learn about all the changes that are coming for HMIS projects. We will discuss the new 2017 Data Standards changes and how they affect data entry and reporting. We will also talk about all the Coordinated Entry changes that have been released this past year.

Data Privacy & Security – It’s a Team Effort

From the receptionist to the executive director, everyone has a role in making sure the protected health information we gather stays safe and secure. This session will provide some tips and insights into how to approach privacy and data security in social service and healthcare environments. Foothold Technology, together with its security consultant, will give an overview of how we keep AWARDS and your data safe and what you can be doing to make sure a data security culture takes root at your organization.

Counting What Counts

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Before an agency can achieve “true outcomes reporting,” they need to walk before they can fly. Foothold partnered with the NYU-McSilver Institute to create an innovative way for AWARDS agencies to assess their census, payer mix, and service delivery strategies so they can start to define and demonstrate performance as part of a process called Output to Outcomes. Boris Vilgorin and Ashley Fuss of the McSilver Institute will join us to discuss this approach and the importance of building your agency’s capacity to measure fundamentals today, so you are prepared to measure outcomes in a future value based environment.

Breathe Out or Burnout: Lessons in Self-Care for Nonprofit Workers

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Whether you are an administrator or delivering services, workers in the nonprofit world are at the top of the list of professions at risk for burnout. Most easily identified by high turnover rates, burnout and vicarious trauma have deleterious effects on individual employees, the agencies they work for, and the populations receiving services.

Self-care is the key to longevity, wellness, and effectiveness in the human services field. As a participant in this session, you will learn what conditions induce burnout and vicarious trauma; understand how to self-identify their characteristics, and incorporate different individual and organizational-level interventions to safeguard against their negative outcomes.

PM Session II (2:30PM – 3:45PM)

Becoming an AWARDS Encyclopedia: Certification

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Are you an advanced user of AWARDS? Do you want to become a certified AWARDS expert? If so, this is the session for you! In this session, you’re going to get a taste for Certification – see how to qualify for the course, learn what to expect in the courses, get a refresher on some of the recent big enhancements, and get a chance to ask questions to a recent certification graduate.

Healthcare in a New Era: How the Changing Landscape Impacts the Provider Community

Join Foothold Senior Advisor David Buccifero for an interactive conversation about how current and future federal policies are likely to impact your agency. Learn more about how Medicaid reform is playing out around the country, share your perspective on preparing for an uncertain future, and come away with a plan to survive and thrive in a new reality.

Waiting List: How to Use AWARDS to Streamline Access to Your Programming

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In this session, we will explore how to best utilize the enhanced waiting list functionality. We’ll begin with a demonstration of how to create and manage a wait list. Then we will show how waiting lists can be used beyond a single agency to help coordinate activities in multi-agency HMIS databases. Next, we’ll have a discussion on best practices for using the wait list functionality for a variety of different intake structures. Within this discussion, we will focus on how AWARDS can streamline wait list processes and increase the ease of program accessibility to your clients. You’ll leave the session with a solid understanding of both the overall functionality and how to implement it within your current intake processes.

Functionality to Funding: Selling Your Agency as an AWARDS-Using Agency

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This session will explore the common hurdles to writing successful grants and proposals and provide tips for marketing your agency’s use of AWARDS. The presenters will address best practices to consider, inspire ideas for more meaningful writing, and, most importantly, highlight how AWARDS can assist agencies in providing the reporting and metrics needed to represent the work they are doing. Additionally, the session will speak to the differences between marketing your agency and selling your agency, and how the two are mutually important.

Take Ten: Vendor Showcase

Each year, Foothold invites a select group of vendors to exhibit their products at the Expo. The services they provide can complement your use of AWARDS and give you additional tools to help strengthen your agency, develop your staff, and streamline your processes. Join this year’s exhibitors for an interactive “expo” session where you’ll hear ten-minute demonstrations from each vendor in a round robin style.


How can I contact the organizer if I have questions?

Please email us at with any questions.

Is my registration/ticket transferrable?

Yes. To transfer your ticket to another person, email us at with your order number, your name, and the name, job title and email address of the person to whom the ticket should be transferred. Please allow 1-2 business days for us to process your request.

What if I forget to bring my printed ticket to the event?

Bringing your printed ticket will speed up your check-in on the morning of the User’s Conference, but it’s not necessary. As long as you’re registered, we can look up your name.

The name on the registration/ticket doesn’t match the attendee. Is that okay?

Yes, it’s okay if you are attending in place of another person. When you check in at the User’s Conference, we’ll need your name, job title, agency and email address.

Can I update my registration information?

Yes. Just send us an email at with your order number, your name and the information you would like updated. Please allow 1-2 business days for us to process your request.

What is the refund policy?

You may receive a full refund through June 20, 2018. No refunds will be issued after that date. To request a refund, email us at with your order number and the name(s) of the attendees for whom you’d like a refund. Please allow 1-2 business days for us to process your request.

Are there payment options other than by credit card?

No, unfortunately we only accept payments via credit card.

Can I pay for my ticket(s) at the event?

Unfortunately, we will not be able to accept payment at the User’s Conference.

What are my transportation/parking options getting to the event?

For transportation information and directions to the NYU Kimmel Center, click here. For information on parking near NYU in the Greenwich Village area, click here. Foothold Technology is not affiliated with these parking companies and cannot vouch for pricing or quality of service they provide.

Is there a dress code?

Business casual is the preferred attire at Foothold User’s Conference.

What should I bring to the event?

In addition to lots of energy and excitement for AWARDS, we encourage attendees to bring a photo ID for checking in at the NYU Kimmel Center security desk, and business cards, since there will be plenty of opportunities for networking. We also suggest a sweater or jacket since the session rooms can be a bit chilly.

Will lunch be provided?

Yes! We also provide a continental breakfast in the morning and a dessert and beverage reception after the User’s Conference. If you have a meal preference for lunch (kosher or vegetarian), you may indicate that when you register.

Thoughts from our Keynote Speakers

Our Expo began in 2008 as a user’s conference with about 150 attendees. Since then, as Foothold Technology has grown, so has the Expo. Attendees hear from leaders in the field, members of the Foothold team, and fellow AWARDS users from across the country.

Here are a few highlights representing the company we keep and the inspirational thought leaders we’ve met along the way:

David Simon, Author, Journalist, Writer, and Producer

Daniel Kish, President of WAFTB

Dr. Rishi Manchanda, HealthBegins

Sarah Kay, Poet

Brene Brown, Ph. D., LMSW

John Francis, Ph. D., Author and Environmentalist

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