Speakers Bureau

Members of the Michigan Dementia Coalition have expertise in many different areas, and some of us offer public presentations in our individual professional capacities. The Coalition members on this page have volunteered to serve as a Speakers Bureau regarding dementia-related topics in Michigan.

If you would like to invite a member of our Speakers Bureau to make a presentation to your organization, please contact the speaker directly to find out their availability and make arrangements. Their email addresses are listed underneath their names. Please include "MDC Speaker Request" in the subject line of the email you send.

Please note that these presentations are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. No products or services are permitted to be offered for sale during these presentations.

Also please note: Due to COVID-19, presentations are currently virtual only.

SPEAKERS BUREAU

Issue areas are color-coded below:

Science & Research

Dementia 101

Caregiving

Diverse Audiences & Populations

Advance Care Planning

Provider Education

Dementia Friendly Communities

Elder Abuse

Jennifer Lepard

Jennifer Lepard is CEO/President of the Alzheimer's Association Michigan Chapter and Co-Chair of the Michigan Dementia Coalition.


Topics:

Alzheimer's Disease and related dementias; Support services for people living with dementia and their families; Legislative advocacy; How to get involved with the Alzheimer's Association's work in Michigan


Issue Areas: Dementia 101, Caregiving

Scott Roberts, PhD

Contact: jscottr@umich.edu


Dr. Scott Roberts is a Professor of Health Behavior & Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Director of the Outreach, Recruitment & Engagement Core of the Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center, and Co-Chair of the Michigan Dementia Coalition.


Topics:

Public health impact of Alzheimer’s disease (AD); Genetic and biomarker testing for individuals at risk for AD; Risk and protective factors for AD; Ethical issues in dementia research and practice


Issue Areas: Dementia 101, Science & Research, Provider Education

Lisa Dedden Cooper, JD

Lisa Dedden Cooper is Manager of Advocacy for AARP Michigan and Co-Chair of the Michigan Dementia Coalition.

Topics:

  • Demystifying Dementia & Brain Health

  • The Six Pillars of Brain Health

  • The Michigan Dementia Coalition's 2019-2022 Roadmap for Creating a Dementia Capable Michigan

Issue Areas: Dementia 101, Caregiving

Scott Counts, PhD

Dr. Scott Counts is an Associate Professor of Translational Neuroscience at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and a member of the MDC Steering Committee.


Topics:

The science behind Alzheimer's disease and related dementias; Diagnosis and therapy; Understanding the biological mechanisms


Issue Areas: Dementia 101, Science & Research

Irving E. Vega, PhD

Dr. Irving Vega is an Associate Professor of Translational Neuroscience at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, on the faculty of the Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Research Core and Michigan Center for Contextual Factors in Alzheimer’s Disease, and a member of the MDC Steering Committee. Dr. Vega gives seminars in English and Spanish.


Topics:

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias research; Health disparities (Latinos and African Americans) associated with AD, Risk factors associated with AD & related dementias


Issue Areas: Dementia 101, Science & Research, Diverse Audiences & Populations, Health Disparities

Fei Sun, PhD, MSW

Dr. Fei Sun is a Professor at the School of Social Work at Michigan State University, a National Health & Policy Aging Fellow, and a member of the MDC Steering Committee.


Topics:

Psychosocial interventions for persons with dementia and family caregivers; Dementia care in Asian Americans with a focus on Chinese Americans; Elder abuse; Cognitive and emotional well-being in aging populations


Issue Areas: Diverse Audiences & Populations, Caregiving, Elder Abuse, Dementia Friendly Communities

Edna Rose, PhD, MSW, RN-BC

Dr. Edna Rose is a Nurse, Researcher and Social Worker with the University of Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, and Adjunct Professor at Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College in the School of Nursing.


Topics:

Alzheimer’s disease, movement disorders and other memory related diagnoses; Social factors associated with the higher incidence of Alzheimer's disease in the African American population; Caregiver support; Community and church responsibilities


Issue Areas: Dementia 101, Science & Research, Caregiving, Diverse Audiences & Populations

Kristine J. Ajrouch, PhD

Contact: kajrouch@umich.edu

Dr. Kristine Ajrouch is Co-Director of the Michigan Center for Contextual Factors in Alzheimer’s Disease at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, and Professor of Sociology at Eastern Michigan University.


Topics:

Dementia care in Middle Eastern/Arab American communities; Social determinants of ADRD, Psychosocial interventions for persons with dementia and family caregivers


Issue Areas: Diverse Audiences & Populations, Caregiving, Science & Research

Sheria G. Robinson-Lane, PhD, MSN, MHA, RN

Contact: grices@med.umich.edu

Dr. Sheria Robinson-Lane is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing in the Department of Systems, Populations, and Leadership.


Topics:

  • Older adult pain management

  • Culturally responsive care practices

  • Coping with dementia family caregiving

  • Managing challenging geriatric behaviors


Issue Areas: Diverse Audiences & Populations, Caregiving, Provider Education, Science & Research

Leslie Dubin, LMSW, ACSW

Leslie Dubin is a Geriatric Social Worker with the University of Michigan Health System, Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, and a member of the MDC Steering Committee.


Topics:

Dementia and Delirium; Hospitalization issues; Caregiving concerns; Resources for Aging in Place; Elder abuse


Issue Areas: Provider Education, Caregiving, Elder Abuse

Beth Nolan, PhD

Dr. Beth Nolan is Director of Research and Policy for Positive Approach to Care.


Topics:

  • Progression of dementia /Understanding brain change;

  • A Positive Approach to Care: Understanding and working with what is retained in dementia

  • Challenging situations  

  • End of life

  • Successful eating and other activities of daily living in dementia  


Issue Areas: Dementia 101, Caregiving, Provider Education

Martha York, LBSW

Martha York is the Community Education Coordinator for Region 2 Area Agency on Aging.


Topics:

Advance care planning; Anxiety management; Chronic Pain management; Dementia basics; Designing meaningful activities for people with dementia; Dealing with difficult behaviors when caring for someone with dementia; Fall prevention; Living well with chronic conditions; Trauma recovery & resiliency


Issue Areas: Dementia 101, Caregiving, Provider Education, Advance Care Planning


James Mangi, PhD

James Mangi is a retired scientist, care partner for his wife, and Co-Chair of Dementia Friendly Saline.


Topics:

  • Alzheimer’s: It’s a Disease Not A Disgrace

  • Envisioning a Dementia Friendly Community

  • Staying Connected While Apart

  • Learning From The Journey

  • Dementia Friends & Dementia Friendly Businesses


Issue Areas: Dementia Friendly Communities, Caregiving

Courtney A. Polenick, PhD

Contact: cpolenic@med.umich.edu

Dr. Courtney Polenick is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School and Faculty Associate in the Aging & Biopsychosocial Innovations Program of the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.


Topics:

Dementia caregiving; Couples living with early-stage dementia; How care partners influence each other's health and well-being  


Issue Areas: Science & Research, Caregiving

Lynn Breuer, LMSW, CHC, CDP

Lynn Breuer is the Director of Community Outreach & Wellness for Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit.


Topics:

  • Put your Best Brain Forward…Lifestyle Factors that Impact Brain Health

  • Normal Cognitive Aging vs. When to Worry

  • Dementia Education for Caregivers

  • Managing Stress in Uncertain Times

  • Managing the Transition from Hospital to Home

  • The Impact of Social Isolation


Issue Areas: Dementia 101, Caregiving

Brenda Roberts, MA

Brenda Roberts is Director of Quality Assurance and Education for the Michigan Assisted Living Association, care partner for her husband, and a member of the MDC Steering Committee.


Topic:

Sharing the "Lived Experience" with other people living with dementia and their care partners.


Issue Area: Lived Experience

Barry Kaufman

Barry Kaufman has been living with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) for the past 9 years. He retired from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and is an active participant in LBD research and support groups.

Topics:

  • What is LBD?

  • Understanding the Differences Between Diseases and Types of Dementia

Issue Areas: Dementia 101, Science & Research, Lived Experience

National Council of Dementia Minds

The National Council of Dementia Minds is a Michigan-based nonprofit led by persons living with dementia. Members are available to speak with audiences of persons living with dementia, health care professionals, researchers, families and care partners, policymakers, and communities at large.


Topics:

Strategies for living well with neurocognitive disorders; Overcoming stigma; Accommodations; Equity & inclusion; Person-centered support.


Issue Areas: Lived Experience, Diverse Audiences & Populations, Caregiving

Karla Fales

Karla Fales is CEO of CareWell Services Southwest.


Topics:

Caregiver support; Community needs assessments; Dementia Friendly Communities; Supportive services; Preventing elder abuse and exploitation; Health care integration and community health implementation programs


Issue Areas: Caregiving, Dementia Friendly Communities, Elder Abuse

David Soltis, MPA

David Soltis is Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Madison Heights and a member of the AAA1B Advisory Board and Silver Key Coalition.


Topics:

Public policy and advocacy at state, county and local levels; Community resources; Meals-on-Wheels; Aging in place; Respite; End of life issues


Issue Areas: Dementia Friendly Communities, Caregiving

Sherii Sherban

Sherii Sherban is the Steering Committee Chair for Miles for Memories in Calhoun County and Publisher of the Senior Times of Southwest Michigan.


Topics:

Community partnerships with emergency responders and law enforcement; Tools to help people living with dementia stay safe in their homes and communities, including safe return if someone wanders and gets lost; Dementia-friendly first aid


Issue Areas: Dementia Friendly Communities, Caregiving

Alice Frame, MA

Alice Frame is the Program Coordinator for the Disability Health Unit at the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services.


Topics:

Disability cultural competency; Hosting accessible meetings; Creating accessible documents; Emergency preparedness for special populations


Issue Area: Diverse Audiences & Populations

Candice Lee, MSA

Candice Lee is a Public Health Consultant for the Diabetes & Other Chronic Diseases Section at the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services.


Topics:

Disability cultural competence; Accessible meetings


Issue Area: Diverse Audiences & Populations

Sandy Adams, CFP

Sandy Adams is a Partner and Certified Financial Planner at the Center for Financial Planning, Inc. in Southfield.


Topics:

How to serve as a fiduciary to handle someone else’s finances; Helping families plan for aging both financially and emotionally; Family meetings; Money and incapacity issues for families, advisors or professionals of any kind


Issue Areas: Financial Planning, Advance Care Planning

Carol F. Robinson, DNP, RN, CHPN

Dr. Carol Robinson is a Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (CHPN), serves on the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan's Caregiver Resource Network, and owns So We May Know, LLC


Topics:

The importance of Advance Care Planning in early to moderate stages of dementia; Goals of Care conversations


Issue Areas: Advance Care Planning, Caregiving

Merilynne Rush, MHSP, RN, BSN

Merilynne Rush owns The Dying Year Consulting and is vice-chair of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) End of Life Doula Council.


Topics:

Advance Care Planning facilitation; Training end-of-life doulas and the integration of end-of-life doulas in hospice and research; Natural death care; Death Cafes


Issue Areas: Advance Care Planning, Caregiving

Christina Wall

Christina Wall is an End of Life Doula, hospice volunteer, and professor at Eastern Michigan University.


Topics: Advance Care Planning; The role of end-of-life doulas; Caregiving


Issue Areas: Advance Care Planning, Caregiving

Sara Feldman, MPH

Sara Feldman is a Research Associate/Doctoral Student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.


Topics:

Dementia caregiving; Early diagnosis; Preclinical biomarkers and APOE genetics; Getting involved in clinical research


Issue Areas: Science & Research, Caregiving

If you would like to invite a member of our Speakers Bureau make a presentation to your organization, please contact the speaker directly to find out their availability and make arrangements. Their email addresses are listed underneath their names. Please include "MDC Speaker Request" in the subject line of the email you send. Due to COVID-19, presentations are currently virtual only.

For more information about the MDC Speakers Bureau, contact Lisa Dedden Cooper (lcooper@aarp.org) or Scott Counts (countssc@msu.edu), Co-Chairs of the MDC Communications & Public Awareness Committee.