The Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services was established to advise the Secretary for HHS on work conducted or needed regarding Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD) and provide recommendations for the National Plan on a yearly basis. The Advisory Council meets officially every quarter for public meetings, and through subcommittees, members meet as often as necessary.
The Advisory Council is made up of federal and non-federal members. Federal members are comprised of expert designees from: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Administration on Aging; the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; the Indian Health Service; the National Institutes of Health; the National Science Foundation; the Department of Veterans Affairs; the Food and Drug Administration; and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Non-federal members include: Alzheimer's patient advocates; Alzheimer's caregivers; health care providers; state health department representatives; researchers with Alzheimer's-related expertise; and voluntary health association representatives.
The Secretary of HHS is currently seeking nominations for new members for each category to replace the members whose terms will end on September 31, 2023. Nominations will be excepted through April 28, 2023. Information on how to make a nomination is available at https://aspe.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/documents/4cab85345a3f2860126435b92498c4ec/napa-advisory-council-2023-nomination-announcement.pdf.
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Non-Federal Advisory Council Member Biographies
Chair — Cynthia Carlsson
Dr. Carlsson is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Carlsson is both an expert clinician and a skilled and well-respected researcher. She is the Director of the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute, the Clinical Core leader at the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and a geriatrician treating veterans at the Veterans Hospital in Madison. Her research focuses on the impact of vascular risk factors such as cholesterol and blood pressure on risk of dementia.
Randall Bateman is the Director of the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network Trials Unit (DIAN-TU), a practicing neurologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Distinguished Professor of Neurology. Dr. Bateman’s research focuses on the pathophysiology and development of improved diagnostics and treatments of AD. He was selected for the American Brain Foundation Potamkin Prize in 2019 and elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2020 for his many contributions to the understanding of this brain disease, such as developing a blood test which detects the earliest stages of AD. He is a key leader in the field and is particularly gifted at making research findings understandable for people with dementia and their families.
Ms. Brown-Boatswain is the Director of Diversity and Multiculturalism at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. She is an active community leader, a member of Toastmasters, and a consulting mediator for various companies for over two decades. Mrs. Browne-Boatswain is passionate about raising awareness of dementia in communities of color, supporting loved ones, training and informing health care practitioners about the importance of cultural competency training, and developing effective strategies for assisting families dealing with dementia. She cared for her husband, who had dementia, for over 10 years until he passed away in October 2018. She was a member of the 2017 Dementia Care and Services Summit Family Caregiver Support Group and was the closing speaker at the Summit.
Dr. Janicki is the Co-chair of the National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices (NTG) and a retired Associate Professor of Human Development in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He served as the Director for Aging Services at the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. He was the project director of a NIH-funded effort that provided the World Health Organization with a series of background reports on promoting longevity among adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the world. Dr. Janicki is a strong advocate for the special needs of people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities who develop dementia as they age and their family caregivers, who are also aging. He has consistently attended quarterly meetings since the beginning of the Advisory Council, even prior to joining the Council, and provides an insight into the work and a vulnerable population that others do not have. He continuously demonstrates a long-term commitment to addressing dementia and the challenges that people with intellectual disabilities and their family caregivers face.
Keun Kim is the Chief Compliance Officer and Acting Chief Operating Officer for the community health center at Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc. (CPACS), a FQHC and social services agency in Georgia. In collaboration with Atlanta Regional Commission and Georgia Division of Aging Services, he successfully established, for the first time in Atlanta Metro Area, Older Americans Act Nutrition Programs and senior recreation programs for under-served seniors from refugee and immigrant communities. Mr. Kim has been working towards building culturally and linguistically responsive dementia care infrastructure, including a caregiver support program for refugee and immigrant communities.
Helen Bundy Medsger
Helen Medsger is a longtime family caregiver and advocate for individuals with ADRD, specifically Lewy Body Dementia (LBD). Mrs. Medsger first began caregiving in her youth, when her mother suffered a brain injury. Then, over 30 years ago, her father developed LBD, followed by her older sister and younger brother. She was the primary caregiver for three of these family members, navigating Medicare, SSDI, Medicaid, private insurance, home health, and institutional care. She now facilitates a support group through the Lewy Body Dementia Association, volunteers for the Brain Support Network, and has consulted for the Care Ecosystem study at the UCSF Memory & Aging Center, where she also serves as a member of the Family Advisory Council. Mrs. Medsger is involved with the Global Brain Health Institute, advising Atlantic Fellows as future leaders on dementia work. Her experience working in peer-to-peer volunteer networks for family supports is well-respected and she is currently advising in Ireland on the adoption of LBD-specific support models.
Adrienne Mims is the Chief Medical Officer at Rainmakers Strategic Solutions where she provides thought leadership in the areas of health equity, clinical quality measures, patient/family engagement, and quality improvement. She was a practicing geriatrician at JenCare Senior Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente in Georgia. She brings both a clinical physician’s perspective as well as a broader policy understanding to her work. Dr. Mims served as the Medical Director and later the VP and Chief Medical Officer at Alliant Health Solutions (a Quality Improvement Organization). She currently sits on the boards of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and the Retirement Research Foundation, and the Georgia Council on Aging. Dr. Mims previously participated as a member of ARC’s Advisory Committee on Aging, and the Governor’s Older Adults Cabinet under Governor Nathan Deal.
Ms. Molke is the Director of the Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources in the Division of Public Health within the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. She has over 20 years of experience working in the field of aging and disabilities, including public and private sector experience serving people with dementia. Her Bureau administers a variety of programs and services for people with dementia and their caregivers. She serves as the Chair and spokesperson for the Wisconsin State Dementia Plan and Steering Committee. Wisconsin, as a state, is a leader in dementia care and much of their work is under her leadership.
Joe Montminy is an Alzheimer’s Association Congressional Team member in Massachusetts. He began this role after being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. He has also joined the Alzheimer’s Association Early Onset Dementia Support Group. Since his diagnosis, Mr. Montminy has become a strong advocate for improved provider training, spreading awareness on the financial and emotional impacts of ADRD, improving accessibility to Alzheimer’s resources, and collaborating with industry professionals to develop coping strategies and support networks for PLWD. He has testified before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Elder Affairs, reached out to Massachusetts legislators, presented at conferences, and performed interviews. Mr. Montminy sits on the National Alzheimer's Association Early Stage Alzheimer's Advisory Group, the MA/NH Alzheimer's Association Board of Directors and the Quinnipiac University Early-Onset Alzheimer's Research Advisory Council. Prior to his diagnosis, Mr. Montminy was a subject matter expert in the individual annuity market, an Associate Actuary with the Society of Actuaries and a member of the Academy of Actuaries.
Dr. Ortega is the Director of the Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center, as well as an Associate Professor in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University. At the Memory and Wellness Center, she oversees programs in memory, wellness, and neuropsychological testing, driving evaluations, caregiver support, physical therapy, counseling, behavioral health, and an adult day program. She also collaborates on the implementation of an ACL Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative grant through Florida Atlantic University since 2015. Dr. Ortega brings both the perspectives of Hispanic and Latino Americans and providers of long-term services and supports to all her work.
Joanne Pike is the President of the Alzheimer's Association and is responsible for the Association’s mission strategy and implementation. In her former role as the Chief Strategy Officer of the Association, she led the strategic plan on advancing risk reduction, care and support, research, advocacy, diversity and inclusion, concern and awareness, and fundraising. Prior to her role as CSO, Dr. Pike was a Chief Program Officer for the Alzheimer’s Association, where she led on the Association’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. Dr. Pike previously worked as the Executive Director of the Preventive Health Partnership between the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, and the American Heart Association. In this role, she developed a joint strategy grounded in social determinants of health and the role of this partnership to create guiding principles, programs, and consensus statements to help build a culture of health.
Rhonda Williams is the Chronic Disease Prevention Chief at Vermont Department of Health, where she runs three CDC-funded state programs including Alzheimer’s and Health Aging. This program focuses on preventing and reducing chronic disease morbidity and mortality, reducing the risk of cognitive decline, and increasing population level health, primarily through lifestyle modifications and improving health equity. Ms. Williams also leads cross-department collaborations such as the State Action Plan on Alzheimer’s and Healthy Aging, the Medicaid Tobacco Initiative to decrease smoking among Medicaid-insured, and the Hub and Spoke Workgroup on ADRD Screening, Early Diagnosis and Care. She served on the Public Health Accreditation Board Healthy Aging Think Tank and is a member of the Stakeholder Engagement Advisory Board of the BOLD Public Health Center of Excellence on Dementia Caregiving.
Federal Advisory Council Member Agency Affiliations
Department of Health and Human Services
Tisamarie Sherry, M.D., Ph.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Behavioral Health, Disability, and Aging Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Bruce Finke, M.D., Elder Care Consultant, Indian Health Service
Richard Hodes, M.D., Director, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health
Shari Ling, M.D., Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Arlene S. Bierman, M.D., M.S., Director, Center for Evidence and Practice Improvement, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Erin Long, M.S.W., Office of Supportive and Caregiver Services, Administration on Aging/Administration for Community Living
Lisa C. McGuire, Ph.D., Lead, Alzheimer's Disease and Healthy Aging Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Joan Weiss, Ph.D., R.N., C.R.N.P., F.A.A.N., Chief, Geriatrics and Allied Health Branch, Health Resources and Services Administration
Department of Defense
Sarah Fontaine Ph.D., Health Science Program Manager, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, United States Army Medical Research and Development Command
National Science Foundation
Rebecca Ferrell, Ph.D., Program Director, Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Science
Department of Veterans Affairs
Cheryl Schmitz, M.S., R.N., N.E.-B.C., C.N.S.-B.C., National Director, Home and Community Based and Purchased Care Programs, Veteran's Healthcare Administration