Caregiving and the Workplace Presenters


Caregiving and the Workplace Presenters

Caregiving and the Workplace, will happen on June 2 at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare, 8535 W. Higgins. We’ll look closer at these questions: How does a caregiving situation impact the workplace? How does a workplace impact a caregiving situation? How can we create best practices for both employers and the working family caregiver?

Joining us to share their perspectives and stories are:

Denise M. Brown
Denise launched in 1996. was the first website to add online caregiving support groups, daily caregiving chats and blogs written by family caregivers. Through its blogs posts, podcasts and video chats, holds one of the largest online libraries of caregiving stories. Denise also hosts a Twitter chat for family caregivers (#carechat) every Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET. In March 2011, Denise launched CareGifters, an initiative which funds caregiving solutions, one family caregiver at a time. Through CareGifters, Denise raises money to send money to family caregivers in need. Denise began working with family caregivers in 1990 and regularly speaks about the family caregiver experience. Her insights have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, US News & World Report, USA Today,, Time magazine and Chicago Tribune. Her books, including The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey and Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers, provide insights, inspirations and information to those who care for family members. She currently cares for her parents.

Matthew Brown, J.D.
Matthew is an Associate in the Chicago, Illinois office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He focuses his legal practice in the area of labor and employment. He represents clients in a variety of litigation and counseling matters, including class and collective action litigation. He regularly works with clients on a variety of day-to-day labor and employment law matters. As part of his practice, he represents clients in federal and state court as well as federal and state agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, and the Illinois Human Rights Commission. He also is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois, where he teaches a course on employment arbitration.

Geri Lynn Baumblatt, MA
Geri is the Executive Director of Patient Engagement at Emmi Solutions, which produces interactive programs and calls to empower, engage and educate patients and family caregivers. She regularly speaks at patient experience, health literacy, shared decision making, and patient advocate conferences and panels for organizations like AHRQ, The Institute for Healthcare Advancement, Stanford Medicine X, the Society for Medical Decision Making, the Cleveland Clinic, the Beryl Institute, Duke, the Brookings Institute, the ONC, and the Center for Plain Language. She is on the editorial board for the Journal of Patient Experience, a regular contributor to the Association for Patient Experience, hosts an annual Health Literacy blog series, and is an advisor for Roobrik and Helpsy Health.

Pat O’Dea-Evans MS, RN, LCPC, CCM IL
Pat has over 30 years of clinical, leadership, and case management experience. She started her career in behavioral health over thirty years ago. In 2013, Pat moved to Advocate Healthcare in the Post Acute Network division. Currently she is the Director of Operations for the Advocate Post Acute Network SNF Program. The SNF program has APN/Physician teams and Clinical Operations Managers working with each Advocate Hospital, Physician Organization as well as 40 Sub-Acute settings to manage patients care and transitions. The goals are to improve quality, reduce readmissions, reduce cost, and improve the patient's experience. The program covers the entire Advocate system of care and has the largest census of this type in the Nation.

Recognized for her expertise in the areas of Care Management, quality and regulatory compliance she has served as a Project Leader for a variety of program initiatives. Pat has initiated operation and process improvement teams that reduced cost, maintained quality and reduced in Length of Stay. Herself a family caregiver she started a not-for-profit association that assists with caregiver resource and referral as well as education for healthcare professionals.

Pat has a Masters in TR Healthcare Administration from Aurora University, Bachelors in Behavioral Sciences/Management from National-Louis University, and Bachelors in Science Nursing Degree from Western Governors University. In addition to her RN, Pat is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a Certified Case Manager. She is active on several boards including the Certificate of Need Long Term Care subcommittee for the State of Illinois, the Older Adult Services advisory Board for the Department of Aging State of Illinois and immediate past President of the Illinois Continuity of Care Organization.

Diane Glittenberg
Diane has more than 10 years of experience with caregiving. She took care of her father who had dementia and currently cares of her mother who has Lewy Body Dementia. After losing her position as a manager for a jewelry store, she decided to take a different direction for her career. She started working for Comfort Keepers in 2013. She is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and am now a Certified Caregiving Consultant. She studied vocal music at the University of Illinois and continues to sing in her church choir and at other events. She wants to use her experience as a musician and as a working family caregiver to help other family caregivers. She hopes to bring a little comfort to them and their carees through music by creating Personalized Music Playlists.

Amy Goyer
Amy Goyer, author of Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving, is a writer, speaker and consultant specializing in caregiving and family issues. She is a recognized media authority, including interviews for ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, People Magazine, The Doctors and numerous other media outlets. Amy serves as AARP's Family and Caregiving expert ( and is a columnist on, has a “Taking Care” YouTube web series with actionable tips for caregivers and she also vlogs (video blogs) about her personal caregiving experiences. Amy has been an advocate for older adults, children and families for more than 35 years at the local, state, national and international levels. She started her career as a music therapist and adult day services administrator, and later worked at the Ohio Dept. of Aging before joining AARP, where she headed up their intergenerational program and Grandparent Information Center for caregiving grandparents. She now writes and consults for a wide range of clients, including AARP, Sam’s Club, MetLife, Lifework Strategies, and GRAND Magazine. A passionate champion for all types of caregivers, Amy has been one her entire adult life. She was a long-distance caregiver for her grandparents and sister, Karen, and has been primary caregiver for her parents, Patricia, before she passed on in 2013, and Robert for many years. She is based in Arizona where she lives with her Dad, who is 93 and has Alzheimer’s disease, along with Mr. Jackson, his service dog. She commutes to Washington, DC regularly.

Darien Hallagan
Darien, son of a business man and telemetry nurse professional, grandson of a lifelong engineer, musician and Romanian high ranking army general, graduated from University of Florida with a degree in Decision Information Sciences. From there he entered the Healthcare Information Technology space and performed a variety jobs including implementations, project management, sales and creation a sales processes within McKesson and 3M for nine years. Understanding the importance of services, Darien moved to a Business Development Director role with Innovative Consulting Group and Health Data Specialists for 10+ years, two small healthcare informatics consulting firms where he attempted to move them from staff augmentation to clinical, financial and operational optimization services. Congruently, wanting to help his Chicago community be better tomorrow than it is today, Darien also chaired the Board of Directors of Oracle Theatre, Chicago’s first and only Public Access Theatre for six-plus years. During this time his never smoker father was diagnosed with stage IV, non-small cell lung cancer. Darien had to make the tough decision to quit his job twice in efforts to support his fathers’ worldwide search for cure. Now, Darien is leveraging his cancer and caregiving knowledge in pursuit of starting a cancer analytics company. On a more personal note, Darien is enjoying fatherhood of a 14 month old while living with his immigrant Russian wife and immigrant Russian mother-in-law, he’s ecstatic about his Cubbies first World Series win in over 100 years, and is wondering if the Florida Gators will ever regain a place at the top of the BCS.

John Mills
John is senior director, product innovation for UPMC Health Plan. He directs the company’s product strategy and development for Individual, Employer Group, Self Funded and Strategic Account markets. He is responsible for P&L on business representing over 500,000 lives and $2 billion in annual revenue. He develops the company’s strategy for participating on private Health Insurance Exchanges and manages product life cycle and establish mufti-year strategic direction for commercial business. John also cared for his father who had Parkinson's.

Linda Kunicki
Linda is community liaison for BrightStar Care® of Chicago and La Grange. She has had numerous positions that have allowed her to service others from children to seniors. These positions have been with health care, senior residences, schools, and other business with progressively increased career responsibilities that have encompassed management, sales, marketing, human resources, training and development. She had done numerous public trainings on health like Fall Prevention, Safety, Dementia and Pet assisted activities and other general topics. On a personal level, Kunicki, was also a family caregiver through her mother’s aging process from 1999 to 2015. Kunicki has been an instrumental member of several business associations and chambers. She has shared her healthcare and event planning skills so that educational events for families, seniors or special needs groups may learn about resources. Kunicki is an active member of professional groups including Case Management Society of America (CMSA) Chicago Chapter, , Continuity of Care- Alpha and Chicago Chapters, Senior Citizen's Services Coordinating Council, Home Care Sales and Marketing Society. Kunicki is a current board member of the Chicago Chapter of CMSA and a past member of Fite- Center of Independent Living (CIL) for Elgin, IL. She is also an active member of several Aging Care Connections committees.

Casandra Porter
Casandra cares for her husband, Marc, who suffers from a potential fatal infection that has spread to his brain, something that is extremely rare. She also works in the insurance field, providing customer care and customer service.

Sharon Toth
Sharon, Corporate Accounting Manager at Bi-Link, cares for her mom and currently spearheads an informal caregiving support group in her workplace.

Anne Tumlinson
Anne is the founder of Daughterhood, an organization dedicated to providing content and community for women navigating the health and elder care systems on behalf of their parents. She also works with provider organizations to encourage and support innovation in how we pay for and deliver care to frail older adults. Anne has testified before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Senate Aging Committee, the Congressional Long-Term Care Commission, and the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Cali Williams Yost
Cali is a pioneering workplace strategist, author, speaker and founder of the Flex Strategy Group / Work Life Fit Inc. For more than two decades, Yost has helped organizations create high performance flexible work cultures that attract and retain top talent, increase productivity and improve work+life fit. Leaders from diverse entities, such as Quest Diagnostics, BDO USA, The United Nations, Novo Nordisk, Stanford University and the Singapore Government, regularly seek out her high-impact, often contrarian, yet always practical, insights into what it takes to unlock the potential of flexible workplaces for business and for people. An honors graduate of Columbia Business School, Yost’s groundbreaking work+life “fit” how-to advice for individuals can be found in her most recent book, Tweak It: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day, (Center Street/Hachette, 2013), and in the critically-acclaimed, Work+Life: Finding the Fit That’s Right for You (Riverhead/Penguin Group, 2004). Called “one of the most sophisticated thinkers,” on work and life issues by The New York Times, Yost is frequently asked to comment in the media. Her work has been featured in The New York Times Magazine’s special “Future of Work” issue, and on Maria Shriver’s “Doing It All” TODAY Show series, a well as on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, NPR, and in Fast Company, USAToday, and the Wall Street Journal. In addition to being named one of Mashable’s Top 14 Career Experts on Twitter, and one of Columbia Business School’s Alumni Changing the World, her websites have been awarded “Best of the Web” distinctions by and Yost lives in New Jersey with her husband, two teenagers and one rescue “puggle”.