Presenter Bios

Bios of 2016 Presenters

Updated September 14. Additional presenter bios will be added as they become available.
Keynote speaker bios are listed on the Keynote Speaker page.

Josh Akers
Josh Akers, PharmD, BCACP, is the Pharmacy Manager and Residency Director, Kelley-Ross Clinical Pharmacy Institute.  Bold. Adaptive. Innovative.  The Kelley-Ross Clinical Pharmacy Institute is about attaining the future of pharmacy, and managing that division is Josh Akers.  Josh graduated from Washington State University in 2007, completed a residency at Virginia Mason Medical Center in 2008, and has been with Kelley-Ross ever since.  Josh oversees their in-home medication coaching and transitions of care programs, serves as Residency Director for the Community Pharmacy Residency Program, and is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Washington.

Pat Areán
Patricia A. Areán is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, and the director for Innovations in Behavioral Interventions Research at UW. Dr. Areán is an international expert on the effectiveness of behavioral interventions for mood disorders in special populations such as older adults and ethnic minorities. She leads a research and training group that known for developing, studying, increasing access to and implementing user friendly, high quality behavioral interventions for mood as it presents in chronic illness, aging, low income and ethnic minority populations, in a variety of service settings: mental health, primary care, senior services, and mobile platforms. Her team combines latest information from cognitive neuroscience, socio-economics and implementation science in their designs. Since 1994, Dr. Areán has published 120 peer-reviewed articles on these topics and she has been funded by SAMHSA, NIMH, NIA, NIDDK and the Hartford Foundation. She is currently funded by NIMH to study the effectiveness of “brain games” on mood and the effectiveness of mobile health apps on mood, and is currently conducting a large scale, fully remote RCT in English and in Spanish. Her work has won national recognition, resulting in an early career award from the American Psychological Association and The Award for Achievements in Diversity in Mental Health from the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry. Dr. Areán also provides training in evidence-based treatments to community mental health and health professionals, and is developing deployable and cost effective training models based on contemporary adult learning methods.

Jennifer Bacci
Jenny Bacci, PharmD, MPH, BCACP, is an Assistant Professor and Kelley-Ross Faculty Fellow, University of Washington School of Pharmacy.  Jenny is an Assistant Professor and the Kelley-Ross Faculty Fellow at the University of Washington School of Pharmacy where her works focuses on the implementation and evaluation of innovative patient care models in the community setting.  As part of her role, Jenny led the implementation efforts of this innovative community partnership to being pharmacists’ services to older adults in their homes.  She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with her PharmD in 2011 and MPH in 2015.  She also completed a community pharmacy practice residency and community pharmacy research fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh.

Allison Boll
Allison Boll is a Primary Care Liaison at Aging and Disability Services, the Area Agency on Aging for Seattle/King County. Her background includes social work in post-acute care, hospice and non-profit settings, as well as personal experience with family caregiving. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Cleveland State University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Washington.

Shirley Bondon
Shirley Bondon is the Manager of the Office of Guardianship and Elder Services at the Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). The Office is charged with developing policies, programs and services to mitigate the impact the age wave will have on the state court system. Shirley’s work contributed to developing the most comprehensive guardianship training program in the country at the University of Washington, Washington State’s first statewide training program for lay/family guardians and the policies and procedures that guide the Public Guardianship Program. Before becoming the manager of the Office, Shirley was a Senior Court Program Analyst with AOC. During her tenure at AOC, she served as staff liaison to the Interpreter Commission, Courthouse Facilitators, the Superior Court Judges’ Association Equality and Fairness Committee, and the Guardianship and Probate Committee. Shirley is licensed to practice in Washington State and received the Social Justice Award from the Loren Miller Bar Association and the Courage Award from the Washington State Bar Association. She earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas, William H. Bowen School of Law, a Master of Science in Business Administration from Texas A and M University and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas. Shirley completed the University of Washington, Evans School of Public Affairs Executive Management Program and the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Washington Equal Justice Community Leadership Academy. She is a John A. Hartford Foundation Change AGEnt and a Health and Aging Policy Fellow.

Raleigh Bowden
Raleigh Bowden MD was trained at the University of Washington School of Medicine and practiced in academics for 18 years in Seattle before becoming a community volunteer physician in 1998 working with patients who needed better access to quality health care, particularly the elderly. In 2009 she moved to the Methow Valley in Eastern Washington where she founded the Lookout Coalition, whose mission is to help people facing difficult health challenges, including aging and end of life.  This organization, now in its 6th year has become a program of Room One (health and social service agency) in Twisp Washington and has a staff of 5 volunteer health professionals and serves approximately 130 clients annually.

Sheila Brandenburg
Sheila Brandenburg, RN CHPN (Certified Hospice & Palliative Nurse) hails from Winthrop Washington with a nursing career spanning 30 years; with an overarching focus on person centered care, education, and end of life care.  Recently retired from her Executive Director/RN Case Manager position with Methow Valley Family Home Center Association following the development and building of two community based homes for elders in a rural setting for 10 years, Sheila is now focused on educational opportunities and supporting others in their transitions in life.  Previously Home Health & Hospice Team Leader, Nurse Consultant for LTC Pharmaceutical services @ Sunscript Pharmacy, IV therapy Home/Hospital Case Manager -Critical Care America/Overlake Hospital, Home Care Case Manager – Seattle.  Currently:  Instructor:  Wenatchee Valley College:  CNA Fast track program.  Owner:  Heartstone Life Coaching; emphasis on Care Givers, decision making in end of life care, Self-Care, and Life Stage transitions.

Lee Burnside
Dr. Lee Burnside is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Geriatrics at University of Washington. He is also a Medical Director at Providence Hospice and has worked with the Frye Art Museum for the past 4 years. He is currently working on a project with the 5th Avenue Theater for persons with dementia.

Lingtak-Neander Chan
Dr. Chan is a Professor of Pharmacy in the School of Pharmacy, an Interdisciplinary Faculty of the Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences, and a full faculty of the UW Graduate School. He was formerly a faculty member of the College of Pharmacy and College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  He is board certified in nutrition support pharmacy and an elected fellow of the American College of Nutrition.  His primary research focus is on the absorption kinetics of vitamins and drugs after bariatric surgery and other GI tract repairs.  Other key areas of interest include micronutrient deficiencies, intestinal failure, and general health and nutritional management after bariatric surgery and intestinal surgery. He has extensive practice experience in the critical care setting with expertise in clinical nutrition and obesity.  Dr. Chan is currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors for the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.).  He is also the Vice Chair of the Specialty Council in Nutrition Support Pharmacy for the Board of Pharmacy Specialties.  He served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition until 2016.  He is extensively involved in the didactic curriculum of the UW PharmD program. He also mentors graduate students in the Nutritional Sciences Program, School of Medicine, and School of Nursing.  He has published book chapters, review articles, original research papers and a number of invited editorials, and has been an invited speaker at numerous scientific and professional conferences throughout the United States, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and a recipient of numerous grants relating to his area of research.

Fai Coffin
Fai Coffin was a nominee and recipient of Sound Generations’ Inspire Positive Aging Awards in the category of Advocacy*Activism.  Fai is a lifelong activist devoted to promoting inclusiveness and connection, especially for women, elders, working people, lesbians, and communities of color.  She is an ardent support of Gullah Days in Columbia City, the Life Enrichment Bookstore and Community Alliance for Social Justice.  She also teaches art classes at Southeast Seattle Senior Center and has been instrumental in ALISS (Aging Lesbians in Southeast Seattle). Award nominator Patricia Downs said, “Fai is always fun, but as an outgrowth of her continued inspiration, we are discovering new ways of belonging, perhaps the essence of health and contentment.”

Susan Engels
Susan’s social service career started in the field with the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) in Bellingham working as a Senior Information & Assistance Specialist and then an AAA Case Manager for In-home Medicaid clients.  She has been at ALTSA HQ for the past 14 years holding positions in Quality Assurance, AAA Specialist, CARE Assessment and Service Planning, and AAA Unit Manager.  She is currently the Office Chief of the State Unit on Aging, which manages AAA contracts, Medicaid LTSS assessment & case management, the Home Care Referral Registry, and multiple Aging and Family Caregiver programs.

Melissa Ensey
Melissa Ensey is the Primary Care Liaison representing the Area Agency on Aging and Disabilities of Southwest Washington (AAADSW). Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Washington and her Master of Science in Education in Community Counseling and Student Affairs Leadership and Practice from Youngstown State University. Melissa has over 11 years of experience in health promotion and community mental health, family caregiver services and care transitions initiatives.

Thomas Grabowski
Dr. Grabowski is a Professor of Radiology and Neurology at the University of Washington.  He is neurologist and cognitive neuroscientist who came here from Iowa in 2009 and currently serves at the Director of the UW Medicine Memory and Brain Wellness Center, and its associated Alzheimer Disease Research Center.  His research focus has been on brain imaging to understand brain organization in health and disease.  His clinical work is focused on helping those living with memory loss to find effective treatment and a community of support.  Tom and his wife Diane live in Lake Forest Park.  If you’re quiet you might find him doing nature photography.

Jullie Gray
Jullie Gray is a trained and licensed as a clinical social worker. She combines over three decades of experience working in diverse healthcare settings with her passion for working with older adults and their families. Jullie is a principal at Aging Wisdom, a care management and consulting practice serving the Seattle Metro area. She is an award winning care manager who teaches at the University of Washington and is the current president of the National Academy of Certified Care Managers. Jullie serves on the King County Elder Abuse Council and participates in other local community advisory groups. She is the past president of the Aging Life Care association and holds the distinction of Fellow Certified Care Manager. 

Amy L. Harris
Amy Harris is nationally certified as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist with 13+ years of experience working in her field with older adults in various settings. She was born and raised in Seattle and received her BA degree from Washington State University. She is an accomplished artist and professional illustrator, bringing a unique sense of creativity to her work as a therapist. Amy is especially skilled in connecting with people who experience dementia. She has great passion and dedication to her work including her ongoing involvement in an independent project which she calls “The Creative Connections Project”. Amy currently provides Recreation Therapy services for individuals and in adult family homes in the Seattle area.  (

Linda Henry
Linda Henry has over thirty years of extensive experience in health care education, communication and   marketing.  She consults with healthcare organizations and is a freelance writer. She is the co-recipient of the 2001 Ida and Cecil Green Honors Lectureship, Texas Christian University and is the co-author of five books, including Transformational Eldercare from the Inside Out.  She presents nationally on aging and health care-related topics and is Vice-President of the Puyallup Area Aging in Community Committee board of directors.

Samantha Hill
Samantha Hill is the Resident Services Coordinator at Bellwether Housing.  Samantha Hill has her BA in Communication and minor in Social Welfare. After coordinating community service initiatives that benefited local seniors while in college, working as a Resident Services Coordinator with Bellwether Housing in a senior apartment building was a meaningful next step for Samantha. Now in her third year at Bellwether, she holds her Professional Service Coordinator certificate through the American Association of Service Coordinators. She has been an integral part of developing Bellwether’s service coordinator program through building community partnerships, training new employees and maintaining healthy relationships with residents.

Anne Hirsch
Dr. Anne Hirsch has been a nurse and a nurse educator for 38 years and a nurse practitioner for 18 years. She is currently the Associate Dean for Graduate Education at Seattle University. Previous positions include Associate Dean and Interim Dean at Washington State University and Pacific Lutheran University. Dr. Hirsch is a Family Nurse Practitioner for Seattle King County Health Department and enjoys traveling to developing countries to provide primary health care with colleagues and students. Her trips overseas have provided her with the opportunity to serve underserved populations and gain an appreciation for diverse cultures around the world. She has worked in Peru, Ecuador, Zambia, India, and in Tanzania with Dr. Miller.  Dr. Hirsch is a Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Jennifer Kapur
Jennifer received a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from Oregon State University and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Washington.  Following graduation, she completed residencies in pharmacy practice and primary care.  She has worked in various primary care clinics throughout her career and additionally has taught pharmacology to nursing students at Seattle Pacific University for the past sixteen years.  For the last 2 years she has been speaking about medical marijuana at continuing education conferences for nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and physicians.

David La Fazia
Dr. David La Fazia has over 25 years of experience working with older adults and their family caregivers. He is a clinical social worker at Providence Mount St. Vincent – serving the assisted living, nursing center, sub-acute rehab, adult day health, and most recently, the retired sisters at St. Joseph Residence.  He is also a research scientist with the Northwest Research Group on Aging in the Department of Psychosocial and Community Health, School of Nursing, University of Washington.  His research focuses on the development and translation of randomized controlled trials of cognitive-behavioral interventions for treating mood, behavioral problems, and sleep disturbances in older adults with dementia and their family caregivers.  Settings for these studies have included:  older adults’ homes, assisted-living and adult family homes.    Currently, he is the clinical supervisor on an NIH funded translational grant to train AAA case managers an exercise/behavioral problem solving protocol to implement with caregivers and persons with dementia.  He provides training to assisted-living residences, AAAs, adult family homes, and other agencies on implementation of evidenced-programs to improve the lives of persons with dementia and their family and non-family caregivers.  He teaches courses in the School of Social Work and the Gerontology program at the University of Washington.

Cara Lauer
Cara Lauer is the Executive Director of Elderwise, a community-supported leader in enrichment programming for people living with memory loss. In addition to outreach classes across the greater Seattle area, Elderwise offers a day program in Seattle’s First Hill and Maple Leaf neighborhoods. The Elderwise approach of “spirit-centered care” creates warmly inclusive space for those living with memory loss, delves into the present moment in a group setting, and emphasizes the creativity within all people.

Steve Lee
Steve Lee, a committed public servant, has more than 30 years as a facilitator, mediator, and collaboration specialist. He returned to the northwest to serve Seattle under the leadership of Mayor Ed Murray as a senior policy advisor in the mayor’s Office of Policy and Innovation. In the Mayor’s office he focuses on general government, immigrants and refugees, workforce, children’s environmental health, and seniors.  Educated as an urban and regional planner, his prior experience focused on the natural and built environment, land use, sustainability, environmental justice, transportation, climate change, negotiation, and conflict management. He has led civic engagement efforts on behalf of federal, state, and local governments throughout country and is a skilled facilitator, mediator and teacher.  Before consulting, he held positions at the White House, National Association of Counties, Oregon Legislature, Metro (Portland, OR), National Institute for Dispute Resolution and AARP. He recently completed his tenure as an adjunct professor of public administration at the New York University Wagner School. He also taught conflict resolution sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, NY.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of the District of Columbia and Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from The George Washington University. He is a Portland, Oregon native who for the past 25 years has lived in Washington, DC and New York City.

Bob LeRoy
Bob joined the Alzheimer’s Association in August 2008 and currently serves as executive director of the Washington State Chapter.  His non-profit career includes 14 years with the American Red Cross in a variety staff and volunteer leadership positions.  Bob has also served as board member or consultant on volunteer leadership, fund development, and strategic planning for a variety of community, health and human services, and environmental organizations.  His work in the private sector focused on investment banking and personal trust administration.  Bob and his wife, Pat, live in Lacey with two overweight cats and the world’s smartest Corgi.

David Lord
David Lord grew up in Yakima, Washington and graduated from the University of Washington in 1976, where he also earned a masters in social work. He has a juris doctorate from UCLA law school and is a member of the Washington State Bar Association.  David worked for programs providing advocacy and support to people with disabilities in the community for more than a decade. In 1994 he went to work for Washington Protection and Advocacy System, since renamed Disability Rights Washington.  As the Director of Public Policy for DRW, David provides information to legislators, state officials and others about issues concerning the rights of people with disabilities. David is a frequent speaker on guardianship and alternatives, accessibility of courts, and the rights of people with mental illness, developmental disabilities and other disabilities.

Mikaela Louie
Mikaela Louie is an incoming student at the UW School of Law, planning to focus on health, disability and civil rights law. She is a family caregiver for her mother, who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease five years ago. Mikaela serves on the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Association – Washington State Chapter.  Mikaela is the former Program Manager of Closing the Gap: Cultural Competency Training and Consulting at CCHCP. She worked with a wide variety of organizations including government health agencies, hospitals, health plans, and federally qualified health centers. Prior to joining CCHCP, Mikaela taught English in China and worked for CARE in India, an international NGO working to alleviate poverty through the empowerment of women and girls.  Mikaela has a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Loralee McDonnell-Williams
Loralee McDonell-Williams, CPG became a Certified Professional Guardian (CPG) in 2007 and formed South Sound Alternatives, LLC a Certified Professional Guardian Agency in 2011 with her partner Albert “Doc” Williams, CPG.  Loralee is a graduate of Central Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in Business with a Specialization in Marketing; a Certificated Paralegal and completed the University of Washington Guardianship Program.  Loralee’s life experience as daughter; mother; widow; wife; grandmother and cancer survivor has helped to shape her empathy and compassion for her clients.  Loralee was one of the first CPG’s to contract with the Office of Public Guardianship (OPG) to provide Guardianship Services to Incapacitated Persons the no other person was willing or able to be their Guardian. Loralee is currently working with one of her OPG clients to create a Supported Decision Making model to be a less restrictive option to his Full Guardianship of the Person and Estate. 

Benjamin Miller
Dr. Benjamin Miller has been a nurse for 26 years and an advanced practice nurse for 16 years. He is certified in family practice and acute care with specialties in cardiology and emergency medicine. He completed his undergraduate degree, Master’s degree, and PhD at Washington State University (Go Cougs!).  As an Assistant Professor at Seattle University, his research has been focused on chronic diseases in developing countries. Dr. Miller has examined the effects of globalization and the development of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity in rural Tanzania, as well as diabetes in Belize.  Dr. Miller has been a leader and innovator of health care services in rural Tanzania by helping to build and develop a clinic system in the AruMeru district of northern Tanzania. He has been guiding medical teams, including nurse practitioner students, to this region since 2007 and has a unique perspective on the health challenges in this rural community.

Patricia Narvaez-Wheeler
Patricia Narvaez-Wheeler is the Program Manager of Closing the Gap: Cultural Competency Training and Consulting for CCHCP. She develops and delivers customized cultural competency training for health and social service organizations around the nation. Patricia brings to CCHCP her experiences and perspectives as a social worker, popular educator, program manager, and Spanish/English interpreter who has lived and worked in the global North and South. Patricia identifies as Nicaraguan-American and is proudly the daughter of immigrants. She has worked with various communities, systems and clinicians to develop culturally and linguistically appropriate services and implement racial equity enhancing strategies. Patricia holds a Master of Social Work in Community Based Practice and a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies from Portland State University.

Pam Nolte
Pam Nolte is a co-founder of Seattle’s Taproot Theatre Company and has worked as a professional actor for 40 years, creating over 75 diverse roles to date with a variety of local stage companies. Taproot serves over 125,000 people a year through its Mainstage productions, touring programs and acting studio. In 2011, Taproot Theatre began partnering with the Greenwood Senior Center to provide theatre classes for individuals experiencing memory loss. Pam’s interest in teaching theatre to students experiencing memory loss came late in her career, following her journey with her mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and eventual death.  Once she learned of the pioneering work being done with theatre in the memory loss field she began educating herself through reading, lectures and conferences. Pam’s interest in this particular work has allowed the company to expand its offerings through the years to include improv classes as well as creative dramatics classes for the memory loss community.

Deborah O’Connor
Dr. Deborah O’Connor has been a social worker for over 35 years working in the field of aging and dementia care.  Her practice experience includes positions in long-term care, community support, and on specialized psychogeriiatric teams (both in-patient and community-based).  She is currently a Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of British Columbia and the Co-director of the Centre for Research on Personhood in Dementia (CRPD). Her research focuses on issues of personhood and social citizenship in dementia, family care and community support.   In addition to over 50 publications, she is the co-author (with R. Bartlett) of the internationally-acclaimed book, Broadening the Dementia Debate:  Toward Social Citizenship.    She maintains a small private practice focused on issues related to understanding and assessing capacity, especially within the context of abuse and neglect and/or complex family situations.

Mary Pat O’Leary
Mary Pat O’Leary, RN, BSN, is the Planner and Development Specialist, Aging and Disability Services, Seattle Human Services Department.  Mary Pat O’Leary is a nurse and planner with Aging & Disability Services.  Mary Pat is an advocate and leader for older adults in health promotion and evidence-based programs.  She is a Master Trainer with the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program and is trained in the Care Transition Intervention, PEARLS, and Motivational Interviewing.  Mary Pat has a rich history of community collaboration.  She regularly connects health care providers to housing and human services in topics such as falls prevention, oral health, and medication management. 

Kavan Peterson
Kavan Peterson is co-founder and editor of and an entrepreneur and long-term care reform advocate committed to promoting the equality, sustainability, health and well being of people of all ages. Kavan has worked with Fortune 500 companies, leading foundations and aging services providers to develop new products, services and campaigns. Clients include internationally renowned Dr. Bill Thomas, Amazon, AARP, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and The Green House Project, among others. Kavan currently directs Dr. Thomas’ annual Age of Disruption Tour and is president and owner of Montana-based Harvest Home Care.

Vaishali Phatak
Dr. Vaishali Phatak is the Co-Director of Harborview Neuropsychology Laboratory and UW Assistant Professor of Neurology.  She specializes in neuropsychological assessment of individuals with known or suspected neurological disorders. Dr. Phatak’s research interests include utilization of memory strategies for mild cognitive impairment and its effect on quality of life and brain training. She earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She completed an internship at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Glen Oaks, NY and post-doctoral fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist.

Elizabeth Phelan
Elizabeth A. Phelan, MD, MS, is associate professor, Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, and adjunct associate professor of Health Services, University of Washington Schools of Medicine and Public Health, and affiliate investigator, Group Health Research Institute. Dr. Phelan founded the Fall Prevention Clinic at the University of Washington in 2005. Her clinical work also involves medical management of older adults hospitalized with serious fall-related injuries. Her research focuses on improving the quality of care for geriatric syndromes, in particular falls.  Dr. Phelan received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College, her medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine, and a Master’s in Health Services from the University of Washington. She completed a residency and chief residency in internal medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and thereafter, the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and a fellowship in geriatric medicine at the University of Washington.

Gloria Roberts
Gloria Roberts retired from the VA Medical Center in November 2009. She was interviewed by Story Corps.  Her story is archived in the Library of Congress, was selected to be a part of Dave lsay’s book, ” All There Is”, and was also included in DIMENSIONS Spring 2012.  In addition, she was invited to join Dave lsay on the Today show to share her story as a caregiver.  She is a former member of the UW Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center’s African American Advisory Board and has been an advocate for Alzheimer’s disease research.  She is a member of the UW Medicine Memory and Brain Wellness Center Community Education and Impact Advisory Group.  She currently facilitates a caregiver support group.

Dolores Rossman
Born in Missoula, Montana (Mexican mother/German-Swedish father), Dolores has circled the globe to 26 countries since learning to walk as a precocious, one-year old girl in Mexico City.  Love of adventure has taken her to Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica (7 times), Ecuador, Brazil, with extensive trips to Europe and Asia.  Education:  Antioch University Seattle, Whole Systems Design/Aging Studies, M.A.  Certificate Graduate Program in Leadership and Change, Antioch University Seattle.  Communications Program (graduate studies currently attending) Antioch University Seattle.  University of Washington, Seattle, Integrated Marketing Communications Certificate Program; Certificate Program in Gerontology.  Western Washington University, Huxley College Environmental Studies/Nutrition, Bellingham, WA, B.S.  Global and local work experience:  U.S. Diplomatic Corps, Foreign Service, American Embassy, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Administrative Assistant; Nutrition Consultant for older adults and children VA Medical Centers and Seattle Public Schools; Small Business Owner of diverse companies from importing folk art of Bali, Indonesia, and Latin America, to the invention of ergonomic products for the hand; Educator Consultant Public Health – Seattle & King County.  Currently:  Consultant, Rossman-Guerrero y Asociados, Seattle; designing and facilitating homecare trainings in Spanish.

Juana Royster
Dr. Juana Royster was a nominee for Sound Generations’ Inspire Positive Aging Awards in the Health*Wellness category. Dr. Royster conducts classes at Seattle’s Central Area Senior Center.  In 1997, she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. In 1998, Dr. Royster determined, after spending nearly ten years in University administration, she would leave that line of work and devote her life to learning and teaching about diabetes. Her classes are always filled and greatly appreciated by members. She now works primarily with people of color and other underserved audiences.  Award nominator Joan Ervin said about Dr. Royster, “We are very happy that she is a part of our Central Are Senior Center. She taught me that you can always make a positive difference in people’s lives.”

Stephen Thielke
Stephen Thielke, MD, MSPH, is an Associate Professor, Psychiatry, in the VA Puget Sound Health Care System.  Dr. Thielke is a geriatric psychiatrist and health services researcher at the University of Washington and the VA Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC).  He is the GRECC Associate Director for Education and Evaluation.  He conducts research about dementia medications, depression and pain in older adults, and the use of monitoring technologies in healthcare.

Emily Tritschuh
Emily Trittschuh, PhD, is a Clinical Neuropsychologist with the VA Puget Sound Healthcare System’s Geriatric Research Education Clinical Center (GRECC) and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Washington. She has specialized in neurodegenerative disease and geriatrics throughout her career. Her clinical work and research has been focused on the full continuum of cognitive aging – from dementia to “super” aging. Since joining the VA, she has developed a complementary interest in the care of older Veterans with PTSD and memory concerns.

Oleg Zaslavsky
Oleg Zaslavsky, PhD, was recently appointed as an Assistant Professor in the department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems at the UW School of Nursing. He came to the UW from the University of Haifa in Israel where he worked as a junior lecturer for the last three years. As a Fulbright scholar he obtained his PhD with a concentration in Statistics from the UW School of Nursing, where he started his work on frailty and healthy aging. In 2012, he was awarded The American Association of Colleges of Nursing Excellence in Advancing Nursing Science Award for his outstanding dissertation project. As a junior faculty at the University of Haifa and as a graduate student at the University of Washington he has worked with longitudinal data including the Women’s Health Initiative and Adults Changes in Thoughts cohorts to investigate positive and frail aging phenomena using advanced statistical methodology. Currently, his focus is on preventing and improving clinical outcomes in older persons with frailty – more specifically, identifying factors that are associated with the transitions between levels of health in the continuum of positive-normative-frail aging. His future research plans are to identify in physically frail older adults the physiological markers related to good quality of life and function along with prolonged life expectancy into late adulthood.