Michael Splaine, CEO of Cognitive Solutions LLC, is also the principal of a government affairs and advocacy consulting firm based in Washington DC. Clients are corporate and nonprofit entities and include the Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Disease International. He has been working with people with Alzheimer’s and their families in a professional role since 1998. Prior to consulting and founding Cognitive Solutions, Mike directed state government affairs within the Alzheimer’s Association.
Kate Gordon is a skilled health policy analyst and grassroots advocacy strategist with more than 13 years of experience working in the fields of health and long term care. She has expertise in a diverse range of health and long term care issues topics, including federal and state policies affecting persons with dementia, caregiver interventions, and direct care worker training. Her previous work includes assisting in the development of the first US National Alzheimer’s Plan and 18 state government Alzheimer’s disease plans. Kate is sought after for her high energy, results-driven advocacy planning skills.
Nancy Schier Anzelmo is a renowned Alzheimer’s/ dementia care specialist, gerontologist, consultant, presenter, and educator. Nancy is founder and principal of Alzheimer’s Care Associates (ACA). Her career spans nearly 25 years and has garnered national recognition as well as awards as a speaker, teacher and innovator in the field of Alzheimer’s/dementia care and brain health programming. In 2012, she was invited to help define person-centered dementia care as part of the prestigious, Washington, DC National Dementia Initiative (now Dementia Action Alliance) and helped set standards for the practice of person-centered care. She serves on the board of the California Culture Change Coalition, a collaboration that seeks to transform institutional culture to person-/resident-directed care in organizations across the State. Nancy also coordinates the California Forum Workgroups for the state’s Alzheimer’s Association.
Sonya Barsness is a Masters-prepared Gerontologist with over 20 years of professional experience in aging, primarily in dementia and care and long-term care. She is currently a consultant and principal of Sonya Barsness Consulting LLC. As a consultant she works with organizations to operationalize person-centered values through education, evaluation, and practice. Her mission is to help organizations better support people in growing older and growing with dementia. Her work is grounded in person-centered philosophy that honors the unique needs, preferences, and goals of elders through core values of choice, dignity, respect, self-determination, and purposeful living. Sonya has served elders and their care partners in assisted living, nursing homes, and home- and community-based settings. She recently co-developed CMS’ Hand in Hand toolkit, a series of training modules for nurse aides on person-centered demential care and the prevention of abuse. She is also adjunct faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Gerontology. Sonya’s passion and vocation is changing the culture of aging so that we can all age meaningfully wherever we live and with whatever physical and cognitive challenges we face. Her website is http://www.sbcgerontology.com.
Samantha Opachan is a Policy Research and Advocacy Associate at Splaine Consulting. Her previous work includes research and policy analysis concerning elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. She led an initiative to guide a qualitative study on state issues reported in the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at the Administration for Community Living. She has direct practice experience with people with disabilities and individuals who are homeless. Samantha holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from The Catholic University of America, and is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker in the District of Columbia.
Carol Wynne is a graduate of Duke University School of Nursing with BSN – 1973 Graduate of Towson University with an MS in Health Science in Administration, 1990 Graduate of University of Maryland with an MS CRNP and a specialty in geriatrics – 2001. She has specialized in caring for people with dementia and their families, with a strong background in identifying persons with cognitive impairment and diagnosing people with dementia and evaluating behavioral interventions for people with dementia experiencing difficult behaviors.
Over her career Carol has run adult day health and Alzheimer care units in facilities as well as creating many sustainable innovative services for persons in early stages of dementing illnesses.
Cordula Dick-Muehlke Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and consultant, has dedicated her 30-plus-year career to bettering the lives of people with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. Principal of Cordula Cares, Dr. Dick-Muehlke is also affiliated with the University of California and New Theological Seminary of the West. Committed to advancing person-centered approaches to dementia care in adult day and senior living settings, Dr. Dick-Muehlke brings a special interest in spirituality and aging to her work. A widely recognized educator and public speaker, Dr. Dick-Muehlke recently published Psychosocial Studies of the Individual’s Changing Perspectives in Alzheimer’s Disease, a compilation of studies exploring the experiences of people with dementia. Recognized as the 2011 Dementia Care Professional of the Year by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, Dr. Dick-Muehlke developed innovative, person-centered programs and a state-of-the-art facility during her 17-year tenure as executive director at Alzheimer’s Family Services Center in Huntington Beach, CA, and has served in multiple local, state, and national leadership capacities
Michael S. Marcus is Principal of Consultants for Community Resources which provides strategic planning and asset based community development training for residents, public officials, businesses, health providers, hospitals and others on on issues related to aging in community and dementia. Between 2007 and 2016 Michael led the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation’s work serving older adults and caregivers. The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation is the largest funder in the field of aging in the United States. Michael has an MSW from the University of Maryland, and has served on the Boards of the American Society on Aging and Grantmakers In Aging.
Jennifer Carson, Ph.D. is a professional whose mission is to continually envision and develop opportunities for personal, cultural and systemic growth to improve the well-being of persons living with dementia and their care partners across all settings. Jennifer brings a commitment to service, collaboration and innovation built upon nearly 30 years of experience in the fields of long-term care and aging services, bridging direct care and support, organizational leadership, research, innovation, and education. With a strong commitment to partnerships and participatory approaches to both research and practice, Jennifer is on the faculty of the University of Nevada Reno, School of Community Health Sciences; the Chief Learning Officer at the Alzheimer’s Resource Center; and a researcher, published author, and international speaker regarding dementia, long-term care, culture change, and leisure and aging. Her educational background includes a BA in Therapeutic Recreation from Eastern Washington University (1998); a MS in Therapeutic Recreation from Clemson University (2003); and a PhD in Aging, Health and Well-Being from the University of Waterloo (2015).
Michelle Seitzer has worked in elder care for 20 years, but her compassion for elders started even earlier—through a foundational relationship with her maternal grandparents. She has served as an activities coordinator, arts & entertainment director, and communications coordinator—with a special emphasis on memory care—for several assisted living communities and CCRCs in Pennsylvania and Maryland. During her tenure as the Public Policy Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association, Michelle served on a stakeholder group convened by the Department of Public Welfare to formulate language and provisions for the state’s new assisted living regulations. In 2008, she started blogging for SeniorsforLiving.com, a senior living search site, and still works as a social media consultant for the same client, now OurParents.com, today. In 2010, as a full-time freelancer in the elder care space, she co-founded #ElderCareChat, one of the first Twitter chats for caregivers and senior living professionals. The chat still runs on a bi-monthly basis, and as moderator, Michelle has recruited guest panelists from IBM’s Accessibility Division and the National Center on Elder Abuse; representatives from the National Council on Aging and the National Library of Medicine’s caregiving division currently attend the chat on a regular basis. Michelle has written thousands of articles on health care policy, technology, aging, caregiving, finance, Alzheimer’s, and more, with bylines on Chase.com, ReadersDigest.com, AARP.org, GreatCall.com, and McKnight’s Long Term Care News, among others. As a research assistant for Splaine Consulting, she has compiled numerous annotated bibliographies and policy papers, and was the lead writer on the March 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease International report on Dementia Friendly Communities. Michelle is also on the Master Reviewer list for the Administration on Aging’s ACL (Administration for Community Living) division and has reviewed applications for the Alzheimer’s Disease Supportive Services Program for two years.