Members Bios / Updated April. 2021
Community & Admissions Liaison, VITAS Healthcare
Lynda Anello is a Community Liaison for VITAS Healthcare in Cincinnati, where she is responsible for community outreach and marketing. This position combines her love of community outreach, which has been a central aspect of her professional roles throughout her career, with her passion for the mission- centered work of hospice, an industry that mirrors her values in holistic, self-determined living and dying. She believes that being mindful and aware in each moment that we could die at any time creates a more profound and richer experience of living, and she believes that the reluctance to contemplate and talk about death which is so common in our society is causing unnecessary suffering and missed opportunities for beautiful moments at the end of life. In efforts to address this problem, Lynda is involved in several initiatives to promote Advance Care Planning, and especially to facilitate conversations about death and dying. Toward this goal she has attended training to become a certified First Steps Advance Care Planning Facilitator through Respecting Choices®. In addition she has worked closely with Michael Hebb, founder of the Death over Dinner movement, to begin promoting and facilitating the Death over Dinner experience in Cincinnati. Since late 2018 Lynda has been helping patients and families most directly through a VITAS Cincinnati initiative called the Goals of Care Conversation. This in-depth conversation enables the patient and family to process thoughts and feelings about the benefits and burdens of treatment and empowers them to proactively make informed decisions about future care in advanced illness and at the end of life.
Senior Care Consultant, CarePatrol of Greater Cincinnati SW Ohio
Deana Barone is a certified rehabilitation counselor, case manager and dementia practitioner whose role with CarePatrol consists of educating, consulting and advocating for seniors looking into safer living options. She provides the necessary educational and emotional support allowing seniors to make informed decisions about their future care needs while maximizing their independence. She has over 25 years of case management experience working with individuals with various mental and physical illnesses and disabilities. Prior to coming to CarePatrol she was the Director of Case Management at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital, coordinating services and providing adjustment counseling for discharging patients and their families. She recently certified as an Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Trainer and a First Responder Dementia Trainer. Her goal is to reach as many people as possible, providing them with the resources and tools to understand and effectively engage with those diagnosed with these disorders. Deana received her Master of Rehabilitation Counseling degree from Wright State University and continues to be active there as an adjunct professor. She believes that trust, rapport, and integrity, peppered with a little “you aren’t alone / we got this” attitude is needed to be the best advocate for her clients.
Retired, Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati
Nancy Boss is a clinical social worker with more than 40 years of experience in both clinical and management positions. Although much of her employment experience has been in the medical field, she has also worked in adult and children protective services. Most recently she was with the Alzheimer’s Association, a position she left in February, 2020. Since that time she has come to appreciate the meaning behind the expression “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” She is interested in making a meaningful contribution to a worthwhile cause and has time, energy, interest, and experience to share. She is acutely aware of the serious void created by the Alzheimer’s Association’s mission to place fund raising over and above providing services.
Director Center for Memory Support & Inclusion, Episcopal Retirement
Shannon Braun, LISW-S is the Director of the Center for Memory Support and Inclusion with Episcopal Retirement Services. She provides education, support, and social engagement to individuals and families facing dementia, in addition to promoting dementia inclusivity to businesses and organizations in the Cincinnati area. She has over ten years of experience in aging and dementia care in a variety of settings, including hospice, long term care, and in the community. Shannon has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Saint Louis University and a Master of Social Work from University of Cincinnati with a concentration in Health Care and Gerontology. She is a Licensed Independent Social Worker with Supervision Designation in the state of Ohio.
Community Relations Liaison, Home Instead Senior Care
A graduate of Ohio University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Services Administration, Suzanne has had the privilege of working in the senior health care industry – skilled nursing, AL, IL and home care, for over 15 years in an administrative role of marketing and community relations. She loves being in a position to help people get aligned with the care they need to maintain independence and enhance their quality of life. Her passion is engaging with older adults through art, 1:1 or in a small group setting, providing positive energy in helping them to feel a sense of belonging in a safe pace. Creative expression through art is a gift of purpose that often is lost in the transitions of the aging process. It is also a gift that keeps on giving through physical and cognitive activity with new memories to be made. Suzanne also serves on the Walk to End Alzheimer’s committee for Butler and Warren counties.
Clinical Social Worker, NeuroPsych Center of Greater Cincinnati
Kristin Cooley is a clinical social worker who offers a hybrid of counseling, care planning and psycho-educational services for the NeuroPsych Center of Greater Cincinnati. She has more than 10 years of experience working with individuals with chronic and/or terminal illnesses (along with their care partners) in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Her professional journey includes 6+ years at the Alzheimer’s Association, where her eyes were really opened to the uniquely difficult challenges a dementia diagnosis can bring to an individual and their loved ones. Kristin’s areas of specialty include but are not limited to: caregivers and/or older adults (specifically impacted by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia) as well as grief work loss of independence, lifestyle & role transitions, isolation, anticipatory loss, and loss to death). Kristin obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Indiana University and her Master of Social Work from University of Illinois. Clients and community partners can expect Kristin to be friendly and engaging, striving to create a strong therapeutic bond in trust.
Director of Admissions & Marketing, Alois Alzheimer’s Center
Born and raised on the west side of Cincinnati! I didn’t stay there, however- I have lived in Miami/ Ft. Lauderdale, Dallas TX, Ft. Hood, TX, Minneapolis, MN, Southwest Michigan and now am back in Cincy. My Mom suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and I got involved with The Alzheimer’s Association as a public policy advocate in 3 districts between MI and OH, serving as ambassador in Michigan. My curiosity and passion for the toll that dementia takes on the patient and their family (including my own) steered me into long-term care, home health and hospice and now I have landed at The Alois Alzheimer Center as Director of Admissions & Marketing. I am also involved in The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, a non-profit started by Maria Shriver and contribute curated articles on occasion, and also serve as one of her ambassadors. I have a 20 year old son who gives me panic attacks every time he puts his skis on and I love to watch him pursue his dreams in Michigan and out west. I am an avid fan geek of all things “great white shark”, and go cage diving every year at Guadalupe Island which is 260 miles off the coast of Baja, Mexico to experience these creatures in their natural habitat. I now live with my partner and boyfriend Al in Eden Park and love to hike!
I am a registered nurse and have had many wonderful opportunities in my 40 plus years in the healthcare environment. I have worked as a clinician, educator and administrator most recently. I was working part time as a clinician for the Greater Cincinnati chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association until April 2020.
Clinical Liaison, Blueridge Vista Health & Wellness
I have been working in the mental health field for over 20 years and more recently with the geriatric population. I have combined these areas of passion and am doing outreach for a free-standing geriatric psychiatric unit. I enjoy being able to connect families and referral sources with appropriate referrals and ensuring their loved ones and patients are safe and getting the services they need.
Montessori Teacher, Pleasant Ridge Montessori
Jennifer is a connector and nurturer of people. Throughout her life she has followed her passions, which has led her to the most amazing opportunities and experiences. With a background in dance, yoga, movement, art and meditation, she has been able to serve many segments of our population in unique and focused ways. Her training at Cincinnati Ballet and Alvin Ailey the American Dance Theater in New York, as well as her professional dance career with Carolyn Lord and Dancers made her realize that movement and dance feeds the mind and spirit as well as the body. As a trained and Certified Montessori teacher, she has had the opportunity to share the gifts of Maria Montessori to both the very young and the very “seasoned”. Jennifer received her BS in Design from DAAP at the University of Cincinnati. This education opened another dimension of offerings to the people she serves. Jennifer has worked professionally as a Program Director for Seniors and Alzheimers and Dementia residents pulling from all of these skills and passions to create robust and meaningful programs. Currently, Jennifer is a Kindergarten Montessori teacher at Pleasant Ridge Montessori. She participates in the reciprocal giving and receiving of learning and loving everyday with her young friends. Jennifer hopes to continue serving these very different, yet curiously similar, populations for many years to come.
Director of Planning, Innovation & Quality, Hamilton Co DDS
I have had many roles at HCDDS starting as an SSA/Case Manager, several supervisory roles in SSA, Training, and Provider Quality/Compliance, and my current role where I oversee agency strategic planning, family and advocacy work, community relations, and provider support. I have been deeply engaged in cross system work with aging and DD services over the past five years in particular. Among other outcomes, we created a “Future is Now” series where aging caregivers of a loved one with DD capture their hopes for the future in a “Letter of Intent”. Collaboration with our aging partners has been invaluable and I look forward to continuing.
Christian Gausvik, MD
Physician, The Christ Hospital, President, Giving Voice Foundation
Dr. Christian Gausvik, MD is a local Cincinnati Family Medicine physician and completed his medical school training at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and residency at The Christ Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program before continuing on to complete an additional Geriatric Fellowship at The Christ Hospital as well. Throughout medical school and residency Dr. Gausvik has published research on older adults, social isolation and health outcomes, interdisciplinary medical care teams and improved communication. He has volunteered with the Alzheimer’s Association for over a decade, participated in global health trips to South America and received local and state awards for his leadership and advocacy activities. Locally, Christian and his husband Cody started the Giving Voice Foundation as an organization to house the two fundraisers they launched years earlier Mimosas for Memories and Brews for Brains) in an effort to support older adults in Cincinnati and their caregivers through the journey of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
55 North, Formerly The Hyde Park Center for Older Adults
As the Executive Director of 55 North, formerly Hyde Park Center for Older Adults, Shelley Goering oversees all operational and administrative duties of the independent, community-based non-profit, as well as its nine fulltime employees. In the role, she also manages the services and activities provided by 55 North—including transportation, meals, social work services, wellness and learning opportunities—provided annually to nearly 900 senior citizens, 76 percent of whom are considered economically disadvantaged. Prior to joining the 55 North/Hyde Park Center, Goering served on the executive team of The Kenwood by Senior Star, Cincinnati’s premier senior community. While there, she was responsible for increasing occupancy, boosting public awareness and developing relationships with local business, civic and religious organizations.
Manager, Senior Care Authority of Greater Cincinnati
Mark Healy is a Physical Therapist by trade with a passion of protecting and promoting life from the moment of conception to the last breath. As a Physical Therapist, Mark has worked with athletes from the age of 5 to 95 years old. The last 20 years Mark has worked in Skilled Nursing communities assisting patients in the development and realization of their goals and dreams as it pertains to their physical abilities. Recently Mark and his beautiful wife Rachel purchased Senior Care Authority. The focus is on assisting families with senior living placement, eldercare consulting, family coaching, and advocacy. To enhance the eldercare consulting, in June 2020 Mark passed the “Beyond Driving with Dignity” professional certification program. This program empowers the older driver to make quality decisions regarding the modification or retirement of their driving privileges’. In addition to his Physical Therapy degree, Mark has a Masters in Community Health Education and is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP).
Eldercare Consultant, Senior Care Authority of Greater Cincinnati
My background is in medical laboratory science. I started my professional career in the Chemistry department at Jewish Hospital doing testing. I moved from testing to customer service to provide troubleshooting and assist doctors in the challenges that they were facing related to the lab. I eventually moved into the role of medical insurance adjuster with United Medical Resources. In 2009, we moved my parents from Virginia and I began the role of caregiver to both of my aging parents. My father was in skilled nursing and my mother was living independently. She soon got the diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease and my care-giving role increased dramatically. Mark and I cared for her in our home for the last 6 years of her life. As we look back, we realize what a challenging and stressful time it was as we cared for my parents while raising a family. We learned many things about the role of caregiver and had many good and a few challenging experiences along the way. All of those experiences combined to bring us to where we are today as the owners of Senior Care Authority of Greater Cincinnati. We specialize in helping families find the best living options for their loved ones. Our goal is
to serve older adults and the families who love them by coming alongside them through some of the most challenging days they may face. As our loved ones age, there are many difficult decisions which must be made. Our hope is to relieve some of the burden and make the experience of caring for an aging loved one less stressful by connecting families to appropriate resources recognizing that every family is unique.
Caregiver Assistance Network Coordinator, Catholic Charities SW OH
Since 2016, I’ve worked at Catholic Charities as the coordinator of the Caregiver Assistance Network. Prior to that I volunteered for CAN, Pro Seniors and various Adult Day centers, visiting older adults, advocating on their behalf, or supporting caregivers in support groups. Over the years I also worked in home health for agencies and as private duty for people with disabilities and older adults. My educational background and very first job was in biomedical engineering, so it took a little while for me to figure out my calling, but I am blessed to have found it working with caregivers and older adults. I live on the west side of Cincinnati with my husband and two teenagers. We also have a college student and a post-graduate student trying to figure out their place. My passion is creating a supportive space for caregivers to share their stories and in doing so, help them find peace and hope during times that are often difficult and overwhelming, as they realize they are not alone.
Chief Operating Officer, Home Instead Senior Care
Cheryl Jeffers serves in the capacity of Chief Operating Officer for Home Instead Senior of Mason, Ohio. She leads by example in the development of team culture and operational efficiency of the franchise servicing Butler, Warren, and NW Hamilton Counties. Prior to accepting her role of COO, Cheryl was Director of Marketing and has been with the company for 3 years. She has an extensive background as a Community Liaison in the health care network, including home care, long term care and geriatric behavioral health. Having graduated from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 1989, Cheryl earned a Bachelors’ of Science in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Marketing, Management and Finance. Cheryl has a strong desire to assist senior citizens in our communities, along with their families, to assure that they have the resources in place to overcome and manage the challenges that are often associated with aging. Having experienced this with her own mother, who passed in April 2017 of ALS, she is determined to make a difference for others as they work through the emotions and process of aging in place. Discussing aging issues early and often can save families years of heartache, tension and even legal battles. Her passion has led her to initiate a panel of Aging Resource Experts and has created a non-profit, CARE (Cincinnati Aging Resource Experts).
Real Estate Consultant, Coldwell Banker West Shell
Many of my friends are at an age where they’re caring for and losing aging parents. When my family lost our father it was a fairly emotional & stressful time (as it is with anyone losing a loved one), which is one of the reasons caring for our aging population is a very important cause to me personally. Since earning my MBA, I strive to work for organizations with a strong mission in making a difference in people’s lives. Throughout my professional career, first in healthcare and now in real estate, I ensure my core values of personal accountability, respect for others, optimism and commitment are reflective of the organizations where I have had the opportunity to work. My career has included leading business development, project management, quality improvement, marketing and contracting initiatives with a keen ability to identify issues and develop resolutions while advancing business vision and goals.
Life Coach, Potere
A person of passion, presence, wonder, and awe – is a Social Worker by trade, with additional certifications in the Grief Recovery Method and Life Coaching. Krista’s career has offered opportunities in care companionship, mission integration in long term care communities, fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Association. She has been honored to speak at conferences and is also invested in community engagement. Through these experiences, Krista has developed as a professional who honors the human aspects of every situation. She has honed an ability to quickly assess each situation, connect and dive into an individual’s vulnerable and difficult moments, identify growth opportunities for individuals and businesses, and has routinely found herself positioned in organizational change management roles as well as informal coaching. Krista has been a primary caregiver for a partner as well as an integral part of care teams for many aging individuals. She has experienced being consumed and lost while caregiving and has learned how to grow in a way that has rekindled her mind, heart, and spirit. Krista is energized to align her gifts and passion to empower individuals, specifically caregivers, to ensure they are not lost in the process of important and transformational moments of life.
President & Founder, VistaLynk
I am a gerontologist and have worked with older adults and their families for over 25 years. On a personal note, I journeyed alongside my mother for 12 years, as a caregiver and daughter. I founded VistaLynk to promote awareness and develop solutions to reframe our vision of aging and caregiving. At VistaLynk, I produce programs that support older adults and caregivers in the development of psychosocial skills that enable them to tap into their resilience, purpose and self-awareness for a more meaningful experience. I provide trainings for professionals from various fields to better understand and address the unique needs of older adults and how to care for them. I also deliver workshops and seminars in the community to educate individuals and family caregivers on how to access supportive services for themselves and their loved ones. In 2017, I worked on a task force formed by the City of Cincinnati to help Cincinnati become an AARP Livable Community. I developed a 70-page plan to educate local officials and community leaders on the benefits of becoming an AARP Livable Community, as well provided a detailed analysis of the City’s resources and community assets available to support the initiative.
Regional Director, Assisting Homes Home Care
Kentucky born and bred with 20 years’ experience in care for seniors and their families. My grandfathers are my inspiration – when I was 17, I moved in with one of my grandfathers to be his caregiver while also supporting my family in managing care for my other grandfather with dementia. I currently work as the Regional Director with Assisting Hands Home Care. This job affords me the opportunity to help seniors in a variety of home settings. Dementia care and education are my personal passion. I ran memory care unit at a local assisted living for nearly 13 years and I got so much joy out of part of my career. I love working with caregivers and family members to help facilitate the best possible care plans. I happily volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association and work collectively in my current role to help provide dementia education and support to the professional community . My mornings begin with a Crossfit workout and they end with my husband and two boys.
Director of Care Management, Trinity Aging Life Advisors
I am resident of Hamilton Ohio, but originally hail from DeSoto, Illinois. I moved to the Cincinnati area in 1994 after graduating with her Bachelors of Social Work degree from Southern Illinois University. I have more than 28 years of experience working with seniors, families and children. I am licensed by the state of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. I am also a Certified Case Manager. One of the things that I love most about my current position with Trinity Aging Life Advisors is the ability to provide expert advice and guidance to clients and families who are trying to navigate current and future care needs.
Community Liaison, Assisting Hands Home Care
My background is in social work. The past 20 years have been in a sales and marketing capacity in Hamilton County in skilled home health care, assisted living, independent living, memory care, skilled nursing and now private duty home care with Assisting Hands. My forte is in being able to connect people and create relationships. Personally, my mom had dementia back when I knew nothing so my personal mission is to assist families through the turbulence of understanding the disease and finding resources.