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NAPA Advisory Council Members

An 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 subcommittee meet as often as necessary.

The Advisory Council is made up of federal and non-federal members. Federal members are comprised of experts/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.

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Non-Federal Advisory Council Member Biographies

Co-Chair -- Katie Brandt

Ms. Brandt is Director of Caregiver Support Services in the Frontotemporal dementia unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. She came as a member of the public to an Advisory Council meeting in July 2014, where she told her moving personal story of losing her young husband to frontotemporal dementia and caring for her father who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at the same time.


Co-Chair -- Allan Levey

Dr. Levey is the Director of Emory University's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and Chairman of the Department of Neurology. He is widely respected among providers and researchers in this field. Dr. Levey is a practicing neurologist in addition to his work on neurodegenerative research and will bring an important dually-informed perspective to the Council.



Venoreen Browne-Boatswain

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. Brown-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 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.


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.


Debra Cherry

Dr. Cherry is currently the Executive Vice President of Alzheimer's Greater Los Angeles. For more than 25 years, she has been an effective advocate for persons with dementia and their families. She has led numerous initiatives to develop and evaluate programs to improve quality of care for people living with dementia and advocated at the local, state, and national level to increase access to services. She has expertise across a number of areas as a provider in geriatric psychology, advocate, and leader of an association.


María de los Ángeles Ordóñez

Dr. Ordóñez 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 has also been implementing an ACL Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative grant through Florida Atlantic University since 2015. Dr. Ordóñez brings the perspectives of Hispanic and Latino Americans and providers of long-term services and supports.


Robert Egge

Mr. Egge is the Alzheimer's Association's Chief Public Policy Officer and Executive Vice President, Government Affairs, and leads the Association's Public Policy division based in Washington, DC. The division includes government affairs, policy development and grassroots advocacy teams working in pursuit of policies to better serve those affected by Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.


Bradley Hyman

Dr. Hyman is a world renowned neurologist, neuropathologist and neuroscientist with extensive experience in basic and translational neurosciences of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Dr. Hyman has served at NACA, as chairman, and as an Alzheimer's Disease Research Center director. He is also involved in new criteria of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias and developed the standardized neuropathological criteria for Alzheimer's diagnosis.


Matthew Janicki

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 and 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 and provides an insight into the work and a vulnerable population that others do not have. He has demonstrated a long-term commitment to dementia and the challenges that people with intellectual disabilities and their family caregivers face.


Becky Kurtz

For more than 25 years, Ms. Kurtz has influenced aging policy at state and federal levels and led the provision of social and advocacy services for older adults and individuals with disabilities. Ms. Kurtz currently directs the Aging and Independence Services group within the Atlanta Regional Commission, widely regarded as one of the most innovative area agencies on aging in the nation. Previously she led the Long-Term Ombudsman program both at the state and federal levels and provided legal services to low income elders. In each of these roles, Ms. Kurtz has served and advocated for individuals living with dementia, their families and caregivers.


Carrie Molke

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.


Gloria Owens

Mrs. Owens was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment 2 years ago at age 60. She is retired from the Federal Government after 30+ years as a Supervisor Accountant at the Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Her husband, Don, has also retired from IBM to help care for her. They have three daughters who live along the East Coast, as well as a large extended family, many of whom are in the Washington, DC area. She is interested in participating in the Advisory Council and talking about her experience.


Federal Advisory Council Member Agency Affiliations

Department of Health and Human Services

Gavin Kennedy, Acting 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

Anthony Pacifico, Ph.D., Militarily Relevant Peer Reviewed Alzheimer's Research Program Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center MCMR-TT


National Science Foundation

Deborah Olster, Ph.D., Senior Science Advisor, Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Science


Department of Veterans Affairs

Scotte R. Hartronft, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.P., Executive Director, VA Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care, Veteran's Healthcare Administration