Thank you to our amazing RCCSW19 speakers!
Learn more about our presenters, and access session materials below:
Bruce McIntyre – Keynote Speaker
Bruce McIntyre serves as the Executive Director of the Parkinson Foundation of Oklahoma. He is the author of four books: Thrive Anyway, Parkinson Positive, Graceful Transitions, and Resilient Life. Bruce shares his expert guidance and warm humor with thousands of people each year. He has keynoted such events as the 2016 National Caregiving Conference in Chicago as well as over 100 disease conferences, caregiving gatherings, and church events.
As a caregiver for his wife for the past 14 years, Bruce understands the world of chronic illness and caregiving. He has led the Caregiver Fundamentals Project in Oklahoma City and served family caregivers as a church, business, and nonprofit leader. You can learn more about him at BruceMcIntyre.com.
During his keynote presentation, Bruce will share insights about how to “Thrive Anyway: 12 Lessons After 12 Years of Chronic Illness and Caregiving.”
MaryAnne Sterling, CEA – Presenter
MaryAnne Sterling was a caregiver and healthcare advocate for her parents for over 20 years. She is a renowned speaker and educator on Alzheimer’s/dementia, as she and her husband have 3-out-of-4 parents impacted by the disease. She serves as Ambassador and Patient Research Partner for PCORI and Advisor for the National Alzheimer’s & Dementia Patient & Caregiver-Powered Research Network, bringing the voices of patients and family caregivers to medical research. She works tirelessly to advocate for other family caregivers and you will often find her on Capitol Hill.
Summary of MaryAnne’s session “Turning Caregiving into Activism: Getting Started”:
Family caregivers acquire extensive knowledge of specific diseases, medications, the healthcare and social services systems, health insurance, care delivery, and beyond, during their caregiving journey. In this session, attendees will learn how to take their caregiving experience and use it to shape healthcare policy, participate in medical research, change healthcare delivery, and influence new technology. We will look at national, state, and local examples and empower each attendee with actionable information to jump-start their new journeys as empowered advocates who are making a difference.
Roxana Delgado, PhD, MS – Presenter
Dr. Roxana Delgado is a health scientist, and co-founder of TBI Warrior Foundation. Her husband and Founder of TBI Warrior Foundation, is US Army retired sergeant first class (SFC) Victor L. Medina, MRC, CRC, a combat wounded veteran. SFC(Ret.) Medina is a Purple Heart Recipient, wounded in Iraq on June 29, 2009, sustaining a moderate traumatic brain injury that resulted in long lasting physical and cognitive disabilities. Dr. Delgado assumed the caregiving role, something that later inspired her personal and career path.
Dr. Delgado is an assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, School of Medicine, General and Hospital Medicine Division. She is also the Elizabeth Dole Foundation research advisor for the Campaign of Inclusive Care and one of the investigators at the Elizabeth Dole Center of Excellence for Veteran and Caregiver Research. Dr. Delgado is developing the “Military and Veteran Caregiver Portfolio,” a platform that addresses the short and long-term health-related outcomes of caregivers of wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans. Her research focuses on predictors and health outcomes in military caregivers, with emphasis in long-term trajectory of disease and illness. Dr. Delgado’s professional experienced was inspired by her firsthand caregiving experience. She is an avid advocate for traumatic brain injury and caregiving, serving in various advisory boards. A 2015-16 Elizabeth Dole Foundation Fellow representing the State of Texas, she is actively engaged in the Hidden Heroes City campaign in San Antonio, TX. Dr. Delgado is a public speaker, co-author of “The Caregivers Companion” book and along with her husband, the co-founder of the TBI Warrior Foundation (www.tbiwarriorfoundation.org). She is passionate in what she does and continues to dedicate her life and profession to helping wounded, ill and injured veterans and their caregivers discover ways to thrive.
Dr. Delgado will share insights in her presentation How a Military Caregiver Redefined Life and Career: The Ambiguous Loss of Caring for Those with Traumatic Brain Injury.
Martha Fiddes, PT, GCS, CQM – Presenter
Martha Fiddes is a Physical Therapist and a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatrics. She is also a Certified Qigong Master, and is passionate about utilizing holistic practices and complementary medicine to help people and animals enjoy the best possible health.
She is the Executive Director of Rehabilitation and Wellness Services for Christian Care Communities and Services, Inc. In this capacity, she directs the rehabilitation and wellness programs for the corporation, and the post-acute care provided.
Through North Texas Qigong, Martha brings Qigong to the community through classes and private sessions. In conjunction with HIS Cornerstone, she offers over 50 different courses for continuing education for nurses, social workers, and case managers.
In her session Martha presents how turning our compassion inward shapes our well being. Sharing her passion for holistic practices, Martha offers actionable ways to help caregivers enjoy the best possible health in a caregiving situation.
Virginia Sampson – Presenter
Virginia Sampson‘s youngest child was two weeks old when her husband was diagnosed with ALS. She stopped working as an attorney and became a full-time caregiver to her husband for three years. She is also a caregiver to her 93-year-old mother with dementia.
Virginia has been a victim of domestic violence, a divorcee, a step-mother, single mother to four children for most of their lives and a parent to two children who turned to alcohol and drugs to deal with their pain and grief. These experiences left her bitter and angry because she discovered the world is not a particularly compassionate place.
Eventually she began to heal and forgive through the power of compassion. She was able to rejoin the world with a desire to learn more about the power of compassion.
She has studied extensively about the new science of compassion including the psychological and physical health benefits of compassion and how it helps us heal and thrive in every area of our lives.
Virginia is an author, a consultant and coach helping businesses and individuals harness the power of compassion to heal, succeed and thrive. She also practices elder law practice in Austin.
Virginia will be speaking about the power of compassion – especially self-compassion – to help us survive and manage our time as a caregiver. She offers valuable information along with some simple strategies for developing self-compassion. Self-compassion has been proven to alleviate and prevent burnout and make us more resilient to stress. Developing compassion and self-compassion can help you heal and thrive even in the face of the difficult caregiving experience.
Banton Dyer – Presenter
Banton Dyer is a yoga coach known for helping you find healthy ways of expressing your compassion and focus.
Relying on his background in yoga therapy, physical training, and martial arts, Banton supports you to transform your life as you become the healthy vibrant individual you know you can become.
Over the past 35 years Banton has worked with people with different backgrounds, from people on their last dollar all the way to billionaires. His strength lies in having overcome life’s most challenging situations himself and the ability to empathetically help others to overcome overwhelming trials in their lives. He has a deep passion for helping people to find their own way to physical and emotional restoration, no matter how busy or difficult their life, so that they can experience the joy of being supported in what they love or desire to do most.
Banton will lead a centering, revitalizing course “Your Amazing Balance: A Yoga Therapy Session”.
Jim Blythe – Presenter
Jim Blythe is a listener, educator, reverse mortgage professional, and leader of the DFW CSA Leadership Network. He has authored 3 books, including his most recent 2017 release Challenges of Change. He works with seniors, veterans, and their families to help educate and plan for the future to improve their lives and build strong, lasting relationships.
As a U.S. Navy Veteran, advocate, and radio talk show host for Alliance 4 the Brave, Jim shares his experience and expertise in issues affecting veteran families. You can learn more about him here.
Jim will share his insights with perspective as military veteran in his presentation “The Difference Planning Can Make: Keep Flying the Plane”.
Nancy Crowe, PT, MS – Presenter
Nancy Crowe is a Physical Therapist with over 30 years of experience in the healthcare field including management of home health, hospice, and rehabilitation services. Most recently she served as Chief Operating Officer of the Visiting Nurse Association of Texas where she oversaw home health, hospice, long-term care, rehabilitation, quality and outcomes, for 5 offices, serving 9 counties.
Nurses, therapists, and home health aides have benefited from Nancy’s numerous CEU presentations on dementia, Parkinson’s disease, professional boundaries, and avoiding caregiver burnout. A licensed physical therapist, she has served as adjunct faculty for university physical therapy programs in Texas, delivering guest lectures there and to community groups.
Nancy received her Master of Science degree from Texas Woman’s University where she also graduated Summa Cum Laude in Physical Therapy. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives.
For the past eight years, Nancy has chosen to be full time caregiver for her mother who has cognitive impairment. Drawing on her professional and personal experience, she will share her insights in her presentation, “Cognitive Impairment & Innovative Physical Activities at Home.”
Andrew Koch – Presenter
Andrew Koch, He/Him, is a Caregiving Educator and Psychotherapist who brings a Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal approach to family caregiver education and therapy. Andrew has been caregiving professional for eight years and a long-distance family caregiver for three. He specializes in helping families thrive while they navigate neurocognitive and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Motor Neuron Disease. Andrew Koch believes that if we bring “Our Best Self” to the caregiving role, “Our Amazing Difference,” will shine brightly during the long dark nights. In 2017, he founded Contemplative Caregiver LLC and you can learn more at contemplativecaregiver.com #bethechange
Andrew will present “Male-Identified Differences in Family Caregiving Systems” addressing the cultural shift towards acknowledging how rigid ‘traditional” gender norms can reinforce male-identified stereotypes that promote violence and normalize sexual and other forms of harassment in the healthcare industry. #metoo
Deborah Harlow – Presenter
A month after Deborah Harlow’s 12th birthday, just after the family had recently relocated to a new town, hundreds of miles away from any family, her father had a massive stroke. Her father lived for another 12 years needing constant care.
Deborah learned to become very self-sufficient and a master problem solver. She also learned to suppress her voice as there were no adults who could listen to her needs in such a state of constant crisis. From this experience, she would dedicate her future to being an advocate for those whose voices were not heard … becoming an advocate for children, especially young adult caregivers.
After her father passed, Deborah struggled with what to do with her life as everything had been on hold for so many years. She spent time traveling, studying Sociology, Psychology and Pediatric Nursing. She explored concepts of wellness, self-care, spiritual entrepreneurship and feminine leadership.
Along the journey, she realized that her joy factor comes from connecting with people and helping them better understand who they are so they can navigate life in the most nurturing and joyful way. She launched a business, The Joyful Leader, where she coaches and guides women entrepreneurs, girls, and family caregivers to find joy in the journey. Her clients and community lovingly nicknamed her Heart Sherpa as she guides them on this beautiful journey we call life.
Deborah has navigated family caregiving in all its many facets, including today being in the sandwich phase of caregiving while raising her 7-year-old daughter and caring for her mother and brother.
Contact Deborah for session information
Denise M. Brown – Presenter, Host
Denise M. Brown operates Tad Publishing Co., based in Park Ridge, Ill. Through her organization, Denise helps persons who care for a family member with a chronic illness or disability. Denise gives presentations and seminars about the caregiving experience; created and maintains the Caregiving.com web site; and coaches family caregivers and professionals interested in working with family caregivers.
Denise is a certified caregiving coach, working with family members, professionals and organizations. As a coach, Denise helps individuals and organizations achieve goals, gain insights and plan for the future.
In addition, she is Executive Director and Founder, The Center for Family Caregivers. The Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping persons who care for chronically ill or disabled family members.
Denise hosted the first Annual National Caregiving Conference in December 2016. A tweet from Denise landed the conference’s keynote speaker: Richard Lui, MSNBC weekend anchor who cares for his dad. Click here For more about Denise and her work.
In her Caregiving Sensitivity Workshop presented on Friday April 5th, Denise will address consequential issues of caregiving in the workplace. Consider the following scenarios:
*An employee calls from the hospital, unable to get to work because of a parent’s midnight fall at home.
*An employee shares an incredibly personal experience – she’s caring for her mother and her brother, both of whom are dying.
*An employee requests flexibility in his work schedule because his partner has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Our work life now includes our life’s work – caring for a family member with a chronic illness or disease or injury. As managers, how do you make room for both in the workplace? How do you find the words to console an employee in a heartbreaking and heart-wrenching experience that can last years?
Our training helps managers respond appropriately so that employees receive support at their home-away-from-home (the workplace) and so that the workplace continues.
Denise will also share the latest results from the 2018 “4th Annual Working and Caregiving” research study during Friday April 5th’s workshop.
Her host session for RCCSW19 on Saturday, April 6th is entitled: Celebrating Our Amazing Difference.
Christian Wells – Presenter
Christian Wells is the Executive Director of Alzheimer’s Texas. Christian has worked with for the organization for 14 years, performing a variety of program, administrative and development tasks. Christian came to Alzheimer’s Texas shortly after obtaining a degree of Bachelor of Arts in Government from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a native Austinite and actively serves the community through her volunteer work with several local non-profits. She and her husband, Robert, have an 11-year-old son named Colton.
Alzheimer’s Texas is the only Texas-based Alzheimer’s and related disorders organization in continuous operation for 37 years. Alzheimer’s Texas works to advance research while enhancing care and support for individuals, their families, and caregivers. This is done through a variety of support programs and services, all of which are free of charge. Alzheimer’s Texas has in-person programs in 19 counties in Central Texas and helps families through the Helpline from across the United States and beyond.
In Christian’s co-presentation with Linda Germain “Making a Difference in Our Communities”, attendees will learn about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, including:
- Different types of dementia
- Warning signs, stages of Alzheimer’s
- Risk factors
- Available treatments
- How to prepare for what’s ahead, from making the initial appointment to gathering a supportive care team.
Linda Germain – Presenter
Linda Germain is currently a Realtor in Wimberley, Texas. Linda and her husband, Gene, relocated to the Texas Hill Country some 15 years ago. Born and raised in San Francisco, CA, Linda attended San Francisco State College, majored in Business, and then spent more than 25 years in retail management for major retailers.
Linda began her caregiving journey in California, back in the late 1990’s, when her first husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, a very unfamiliar term, at the time. Linda then spent the next 5 years as her first husband’s caregiver, while navigating the world of Dementia.
Following her caregiving journey, Linda wanted to find a way to help other caregivers navigate through the confusing world of Alzheimer’s Disease. Linda has been a long-time volunteer for Alzheimer’s Texas. She facilitates the Wimberley Alzheimer’s Support Group, teaches caregiver classes for Alzheimer’s Texas and has been a partner in establishing and volunteering for ‘Circle of Friends,’a weekly Respite Program established through the Wimberley Senior Center that is in its fourth year of operation. “It is a joy to live here in Wimberley and an honor to serve and ‘give back’ to the Wimberley community.”
In Linda’s co-presentation with Christian Wells “Making a Difference in Our Communities”, she shares how the caregiving role increases our knowledge, challenges us, provides life lessons, and often inspires us to help others in similar situations. This session will share information about dementia caregivers and Alzheimer’s Texas program and services. You will hear Linda’s caregiving story and how she has translated her caregiving experience into being a leader in the community for other dementia caregivers.
Dannelle LeBlanc – Presenter, Co-Host
Dannelle LeBlanc merges personal experience as a caregiver for her father-in-law with Parkinson’s disease with 20+ years experience in health care, patient support services, and corporate training.
While caring for her father-in-law with Parkinson’s disease, her beloved mother died unexpectedly in 2015. Keeping grief at bay, she continued to care for her father-in-law. When he passed away in 2017, she was finally still enough to experience the loss of both. She found support from others who care(d) for a family member, and gained new insight to move forward with renewed purpose.
Dannelle is a Certified Senior Advisor and Caregiving Consultant. She works with individuals, senior service agencies, and others concerned with the impact of caregiving to provide support, training, and resources.
Dannelle’s session “Caregiving Challenges in Diverse Families: Improving the Care Team Experience”, includes her insights as an African American caregiver for her Caucasian father-in-law, as well as findings in related academic studies. She will address issues affecting caregiver well-being, quality of care, and less commonly recognized care teams.
Twitter: @caregivestry ; @youdeservecare