2019 Conference Speakers

Select the speaker’s name to view their complete biography.

 Speaker information

Carolyn Aldwin, PhD


Director, Gerontology Program; Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, School of Social & Behavioral Social Sciences
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Session(s): Wednesday


Carolyn M. Aldwin is the Jo Anne Leonard Endowed Director for the Center for Healthy Aging Research, Director of the Gerontology Program, and a professor of Human Development and Family Sciences at Oregon State University.

Elise Anderson, MD


Neurologist, Medical Co-Director, Providence Brain & Spine Institute, Portland, OR

Session(s): Wednesday


Elise Anderson is a board certified neurologist specializing in movement disorders.

Joyce Beedle, RN BSN


Author and Publisher, Alzheimer’s Consultant, President, Alzheimer’s Consulting Services
Portland, OR

Session(s): Wednesday & Thursday


Joyce Beedle is one of the pioneers of compassionate Alzheimer's care and has over 35 years of professional “hands-on” experience as well as more than a decade of personal caregiving experience.

Melissa Cannon, PhD


Assistant Professor of Gerontology at Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR

Session(s): Wednesday


Melissa Cannon earned her Ph.D. at Portland State University and specializes in environmental gerontology. Her research interests include age-friendly places, community partnerships, and policies that create healthy, inclusive communities for people across the life course.

Erin Parrish Chourey


Owner, Sky Heart Aging, Portland, OR

Session(s): Wednesday


Erin considers herself an empathic professional who strives to reframe our societal tragedy narrative about aging, dementia and death to viewing these aspects of life as natural and beautiful processes.

Aaron Crawford


Safety Coordinator, Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, Corvallis, OR

Session(s): Thursday


Aaron Crawford is the Safety Coordinator for the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, Oregon. Prior to this position, he served as an Emergency Management Program Specialist for Samaritan Health Services.

Melanie Crites-Bachert, DO, FACOS, FACS

Center for Men's and Women's Urology, Gresham, OR

Session(s): Thursday


Melanie Crites-Bachert received her medical degree from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in 2003 and completed residency in Urologic surgery at University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey in 2009.

Kevin Cuccaro, DO


Consultant and Physician, Pain Medicine, Independent Practice, Corvallis & Philomath, OR


Session(s): Wednesday Keynote

Kevin Cuccaro is a pain specialist on a mission to transform society’s understanding of pain and improve pain treatment outcomes.

Shelly Edwards, MLS


Positive Approach to Dementia Care (PAC) Certified Trainer, Newberg, OR

Session(s): Wednesday

Shelly Edwards is an accomplished professional trainer and educator.

Naomi Feil, MSW, ACSW


Founder of the Validation Training Institute

Session(s): Thursday Keynote

Naomi Feil practices Validation with residents in nursing homes and day care centers throughout the world, and leads workshops on Validation throughout Europe, Australia and North America. She has authored three books on Validation, numerous articles and 10 award winning film scripts.

Ellen Garcia, MPH


Executive Director of Providence ElderPlace, Portland, OR

Session(s): Thursday


As the Executive Director of Providence ElderPlace Oregon
Ellen Garcia has leadership responsibilities for the only PACE Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly in Oregon.

Barak Gaster, MD



Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Session(s): Wednesday

Barak Gaster has 20 years’ experience as a primary care doctor and now leads a program to educate health professionals about dementia.

Barbara Cohen Grant, MSW, LCSW

Licensed Social Worker

Session(s): Thursday


Barbara Cohen Grant is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a private practice specializing in clinical gerontology. She received her MSW from U of Maryland, with a concentration in Aging.

David Grube, MD


National Medical Director, Compassion and Choices.

Session(s): Wednesday

Dr. David Grube, a raconteur, was born in Eugene and raised in rural Oregon and Alaska. He graduated cum laude from Lewis and Clark College and received his MD from the University of Oregon Medical School (now OHSU). He founded Philomath Family Medicine in 1977 and practiced there for 35 years before retiring in 2012. He is the National Medical Director for Compassion and Choices.

Barbara Hansen, MA, RN


CEO of Oregon Hospice & Palliative Care Association, Corvallis, OR

Session(s): Thursday

Barbara Hansen has an extensive background in end-of-life care. She has served in many roles, including Home Health and Hospice Nurse Case Manager, Clinical Coordinator, Home Care Surveyor for the Joint Commission; Wound, Ostomy, Continence RN, and Director of a Hospice, a Hospice Inpatient Unit and a Home Health program.

Kimberly Herrmann

Public Affairs Specialist
Social Security Administration, Oregon, Alaska, and Idaho

Session(s): Wednesday and Thursday

Kimberly Herrmann is a Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Katharine Hunter-Zaworski, PhD, P.E


Associate Professor, College of Engineering Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Session(s): Thursday
Katherine Hunter-Zaworski is both a Rehabilitation and Transportation Engineer. Her main research work is related to safe and dignified transportation for all.

Paul Iarrobino



Founding Director, True Path Consulting NW

session(s): Thursday


Paul Iarrobino is the founding director of True Path Consulting NW. He is a community activist, speaker, and producer with a strong interest in storytelling and preserving LGBTQ history.

Heidi Igarashi, PhD

Affiliate Faculty, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Session(s): Wednesday


Heidi Igarashi recently received her doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies from Oregon State University, Corvallis. Her work focuses on the intersection of resilience, optimal aging, and wisdom.

Helen Kao, MD



Medical Director of Clinical Innovations at Lumina Hospice and Palliative Care in Corvallis, OR, and Associate Professor with the University of California San Francisco

Session(s): Wednesday and Thursday



Helen Kao is Medical Director of Clinical Innovations at Lumina Hospice and Palliative Care in Corvallis, OR, and Associate Professor with the University of California San Francisco. She is board certified in internal medicine, geriatrics, and hospice & palliative medicine.

Jordan P Lewis, PhD, MSW, CPG, FGSA


Director of the National Resource Center for Alaska Native Elders, Associate Professor, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK

Session(s): Thursday


Jordan P. Lewis (Aleut from the Native Village of Naknek) is the Director of the National Resource Center for Alaska Native Elders is an Associate Professor with the University of Alaska Anchorage, WWAMI School of Medical Education.

Margaret Manoogian, PhD


Professor and Department Head of Gerontology at Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR

Session(s): Thursday


Margaret Manoogian, Professor of Gerontology, received her PhD. from Oregon State University in Human Development and Family Studies. She has worked in higher education for 30 years in both student affairs and academic units, most recently serving as Professor and Department Head of Gerontology at Western Oregon University.

Jenna McGoldrick, MD


Oregon Health & Science University
Portland, OR

Session(s): Wednesday


Jenna McGoldrick is a second year rheumatology fellow at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon.

Carolyn Mendez-Luck, PhD


Associate Professor, Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR

Session(s): Thursday

Carolyn Mendez-Luck Associate Professor of Health Management and Policy / Human Development and Family Sciences at Oregon State University. She completed her Ph.D. and M.P.H. degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Sara Phillips, Psy.D


Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Oregon State Hospital, Salem, OR

Session(s): Wednesday

Sara Phillips is a licensed clinical psychologist in the geropsychiatric/neurobehavioral "Springs" program at the Oregon State Hospital, specializing in working with older adults who experience severe and persistent mental illness, cognitive decline, neurological impairment (including traumatic brain injury), and co-occurring disorders.

Sara Honn Qualls, PhD


Professor of Aging Studies and Psychology, Director of UCCS Gerontology Center, University of Colorado
Colorado Springs, CO

Session(s): Thursday


Sara Qualls is Kraemer Family Professor of Aging Studies and Professor of Psychology at the University of Colorado Springs where she serves as Director of the UCCS Gerontology Center.

Vicki Schmall, PhD



Executive Director, Gerontology and Training Specialist Aging Concerns; Professor Emeritus, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Session(s): Wednesday and Thursday


Vicki Schmall is President and Gerontology & Training Specialist with Aging Concerns in West Linn, Oregon. She is also Professor Emeritus of Oregon State University, where she served as the Director of the Program on Gerontology and the Gerontology Specialist in the OSU Extension Service for over 20 years.

Ann Stearns, PhD


Professor, Behavioral Science, Baltimore County Community College. Author, Redefining Aging: A Caregiver’s Guide to Living Your Best Life, Baltimore, MD


Session(s): Wednesday Keynote and Thursday

Ann Stearns is the author of four books, including the national bestseller Living Through Personal Crisis.

Erwin Tan, MD


Director of Thought Leadership - Health at AARP


Session(s): Thursday Keynote


Erwin Tan is a board certified internist and geriatrician.

Tamina Toray, PhD


Professor in the Behavioral Sciences Division at Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR

Session(s): Wednesday


Tamina Toray teaches courses in both the Psychological Sciences and Gerontology Departments.

Russell Turner, PhD


Professor and Director of Skeletal Biology, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Session(s): Wednesday


Russell Turner is the Director of Skeletal Biology in the School of Biological and Population Health Sciences at OSU. His research focuses on gravitational physiology, etiology and treatment of osteoporosis, osteoimmunology, and renal osteodystrophy.

Sunita Vasdev, ABDO


Gerontology Outreach Coordinator, Extension Family and Community Health, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Session(s): Thursday

Sunita Vasdev graduated from London University and has always worked with older adults as an Optician, Medical Office Manager and at present, as the Gerontology Outreach Coordinator at OSU.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email