Partners With Purpose
We love to partner with like-minded organizations that help people with dementia live lives full of joy and compassion.
Allen Cognitive Network
Joining forces with the ACN brings us together with peers from around the world who use Claudia Allen's Cognitive Disabilities Model to improve lives. Passionate about the life-changing power of the model, Kim Warchol built the foundation of DCS on the Allen Cognitive Levels—which can unlock your residents' remaining abilities. Kim is a former board member of the ACN, and one of our dementia care consultants, Sharon Jackson, is a past president of the network. If you share our spark for making life better for individuals with cognitive challenges, we encourage you to get involved with the network too.
Want to be one of our Partners With Purpose? Contact us to find out how!
Exemplary dementia care deserves to be recognized. We award Distinguished Provider recognition to facilities that demonstrate exceptional dedication to:
- The Warchol Best-Abilities Care Model℠
- Hiring and training person-centered care partners
- Creating dementia-friendly spaces
- Honoring the best abilities of every resident
These facilities have earned Distinguished Provider recognition:
Date of Recognition and Last Audit: September 2017
Peconic Landing is a nationally recognized, Continuing Care Retirement Community overlooking the breathtaking Long Island Sound. The organization works on a mission of being the retirement community of choice for individuals age 62 and better by encouraging their members to enjoy a vibrant lifestyle and presenting ample opportunity for members to pursue their interests and passions to the fullest.
Date of Recognition and Last Audit: May 2017
Beau Ridge Independent Living & Memory Care offers the Greater Jackson, MS area the highest quality of retirement living & memory care assisted living in a state-of-the-art setting that was built from the ground up specifically to meet the unique needs of the senior audience it serves.
Pathways Memory Care at Villa Toscana
Date of Recognition and Last Audit: December 2015
Pathways Memory Care at Villa Toscana is a state-of-the-art luxury memory care community dedicated to providing highly personalized, unsurpassed care in a therapeutic environment that honors the dignity and individuality of each unique resident.
Ann Arbor, MI
Date of Recognition and Last Audit: June 2015
Featuring programs that optimize independence, safety, and quality of life for those at all stages of dementia, Glacier Hills is a place of purpose, support, and well-being, where residents enjoy feelings of belonging and home.
Heritage at The Colonnade
Date of Recognition and Last Audit: March 2015
With a commitment to best practices in dementia care and the latest innovations in environmental design, staff at The Colonnade are exceptionally dedicated to making life better for their residents.
Date of Recognition and Last Audit: December 2014
Beau Provence takes pride in providing personalized care to seniors in a therapeutic environment that honors the dignity & individuality of each unique resident.
St. Louis, MO
Date of Recognition: July 2014 *honorary recipient
Parc Provence *honorary recipient excels at providing innovative residential environments that focus on person-centered care through a variety of activities and rehabilitative therapy programs.
Date of Recognition and Last Audit: May 2014
Each staff member at Ashton Manor is specially trained in the care of those who have Alzheimer's and dementia, and the facility's individualized programs are custom-designed to enable each resident to function at the highest possible level.
The Willows at Mallard Cove
Date of Recognition and Last Audit: October 2013
In their own words: "It is our passion to serve seniors with dementia and their families with respect, love, and integrity. We admire and uphold the DCS mission in all we do. We honor each member of the household and their life story and legacy."
Provision Living at St. Louis Hills
St. Louis, MO
Date of Recognition and Last Audit: January 2013
In their own words: "Our goal is to create a radiant organization where people, including our residents and our employees, are loved, inspired, and able to thrive."
GreenTree at Post Road
Date of Recognition and Last Audit: September 2012
By recognizing that each person is unique, the staff at GreenTree at Post Road ensure that residents enjoy the greatest level of quality of life.
GreenTree at Mt. Vernon
Mt. Vernon, IL
Date of Recognition and Last Audit: February 2012
The staff at GreenTree at Mt. Vernon excel at maximizing the potential of the people in their care.
Want to become a Distinguished Provider? Contact us to learn how!
Dementia Capable Society Leaders
It has never been more essential to create a Dementia Capable Society—a community in which everyone from all walks of life has the skills to help people with dementia feel valued, secure, and loved. These organizations have earned our Dementia Capable Society Leader recognition:
- Louisiana Healthcare Consultants, LLC (Baton Rouge, LA)
- Mary Goss Nursing Home (Monroe, LA)
- CareOne (Fort Lee, NJ)
- The Arbor Company (Atlanta, GA)
- Therapy Management Corporation (Homosassa, FL)
- Wellington Health and Rehab (Wellington, KS)
- Winston-Salem State University (Winston-Salem, NC)
- GreenTree at Mt. Vernon (Mt. Vernon, IL)
- GreenTree at Post Road (Indianapolis, IN)
- Provision Living at St. Louis Hills (St. Louis, MO)
- VA Tennessee Valley Health System, Alvin C. York Campus (Murfreesboro, TN)
Want to become a Dementia Capable Society Leader? Contact us to discover how!
Dementia Capable Care Therapist Recognition
Spotlighting Commitment, Heart, and Service
These amazing people are raising the standard of dementia care in the US. Want to become part of this elite group? Give us a call at 877.816.4524 or apply for recognition.
Lora Alonzo, COTA, DCCT
Lora has been a COTA for 15 years and has had the pleasure of working in a wide variety of settings, most recently at Green Tree Assisted Living. She loves working with the residents and their families and hopes to continue to help train staff and work with residents and families to develop optimal care plans in order for residents to have the quality of life they deserve.
Donna Arnett, SLP, DCCT
Genesis Healthcare, Provision Living at Panama City Beach
Joel Bove, OT, DCCT
Joel is a senior occupational therapist on the behavioral health team at Rush University Medical Center. He works primarily with the geriatric population in acute inpatient psychiatry. Prior to Rush, Joel provided occupational therapy services in long-term and community settings.
Lori Coleman, PT, WCC, RAC-CT, DCCT
Lori has been a practicing Physical Therapist for 22 years and is currently employed as the Director of Clinical with the Serenity (Dementia) segment of Signature HealthCARE. Signature is dedicated to radically changing the landscape of long-term care forever.
Caroline Copeland, OTR/L, DCCT
Caroline is an expert in the use of the Allen Cognitive Disabilities Theory. She is a clinical specialist in senior living communities and has extensive experience in the areas of psychiatry, rehab, home health, and skilled nursing.
Myrtyce Courtright, MOTR/L, DCCT
Saint Therese Rehab
Myrtyce is an occupational therapist who has worked in the field since graduating from the University of North Dakota in 2013. After taking a Gerontics course and completing fieldwork in a TCU/SNF setting during her master’s program, she took a strong interest in the field of geriatrics and dementia care. Saint Therese, her current employer, created a dementia care initiative and incorporated the Dementia Capable Care beginning course into training for all employees. After this initial course, Myrtyce sought further training through Dementia Care Specialists. Myrtyce has utilized her intermediate training to bring increased evidence and therapy intervention techniques to her rehab colleagues and is leading the rehab Dementia Care Task Force for Saint Therese. She is committed to improving the lives of residents with dementia and appreciates the value the residents add to her life as well.
Heather DiFonzo, M.S. CCC-SLP, DCCT
April Doebert-Fischer, OT, DCCT
Willowfield Nursing and Rehab Center
Archana Doshi, OTR/L, DCCT
Director of Rehabiliation, Royal Health Gate Nursing and Rehab Centre
Erin DuPrae, OTR/L, DCCT
Erin DuPrae has worked in skilled nursing and long term care for 18 years with 14 years spent in management and as a clinician at the facility level. After graduating from Eastern Michigan University in 1999 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy, Erin has always enjoyed working with the geriatric population. Her efforts were directed toward returning each individual to his/her prior level of function, while incorporating humor and fun to improve quality of life. Erin joined Paragon Rehabilitation's clinical support team in May 2015. She earned her certification as a Dementia Capable Care Instructor in 2016 and Dementia Capable Care Therapist (DCCT) certification in 2018. Erin supports therapy teams to assure compliance with documentation, to educate therapists of Medicare regulations, and to share her clinical knowledge. As a seasoned clinician with hands on experience working with people with dementia, and through professional growth and continuing education in the study of dementia and related disorders, Erin can provide insight for positive outcomes and increased quality care.
Chris Ebell, OT/L, DCCT
Chris is the lead trainer for Dementia Care Specialists and an expert in the Allen Cognitive Disabilities Theory. Her specialty is in geriatrics and she has extensive experience in the areas of acute care, psychiatry, long term care, and home health. She is passionate about facilitating abilities and quality of life for persons with ADRD.
Tanya Feddern-Bekcan, MLIS, MOT, OTR/L, DCCT
Tanya Feddern-Bekcan, OTR/L, got her start in OT with pediatrics in the hippotherapy setting, but has been working with late middle-age and geriatric clients since 2011. She is also a medical librarian and for many years, taught an academic course on Evidence-Based Medicine to University of Miami medical students and CE courses to nurses and other clinicians at the Jackson Memorial Hospital. She is an experienced and comfortable public speaker who has presented at numerous conferences in the US and Canada. The specialized training she received at Dementia Care Specialists has greatly enriched her skills as a therapist. Occupational Therapy: Activities for Practice and Teaching by Estelle B. Breines, Claudia Allen’s Model of Cognitive Disabilities, and Sensory Integration have formed her core philosophies in OT, leading to many engaging (and even fun!) sessions for her and her clients.
Jennifer Finnin, PT, Director of Rehabilitation
Jennifer graduated from Texas Woman’s University. Jennifer started working in long term care eleven years ago and at Garden Terrace Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence for the past four years. Jennifer fell in-love with the dementia population and is committed to ensuring that the residents get the best care possible from knowledgeable caring staff. Jennifer is a Certified Dementia Capable Care Instructor for her facility.
Mary Gennerman, OTR/L, DCCT
Mary was the first-ever recipient to receive DCCT distinction. She has directed rehabilitation in long-term care and outpatient clinics nationwide for in-house and contract therapy companies. Skilled nursing facility clinical compliance and reimbursement regulations have been the focus of her clinical and operational responsibilities for more than twenty-five years.
Elizabeth Gomes, OTR/L, DCCT
Elizabeth is the Director of Clinical Services for Consonus Rehab Services. She is a frequent speaker on dementia and teaches courses on this and other topics for Consonus. She is passionate about developing the skills of therapists to meet the needs of those with dementia.
Molly Harrigan, OTR/L, DCCT
Molly has been an OT for 27 years in a variety of settings working with adult patients. For the past 19 years she has worked at an acute care hospital providing services on the medical floors, but also on the Geriatric Psychiatry Units (GPU), both inpatient and outpatient. The GPU focus is on cognitive assessments to determine a person’s level of care needed but also to identify their remaining abilities. With a desire to continue working with these patients and care partners she has started her own home OT business – Memory Partners. The goal is to empower people and care partners to understand memory and cognitive changes and learn skills to make meaningful activities easier. With Dementia Capable Care training, she feels that she now has the tools to be successful in this endeavor.
Allison Homan, OTR/L, MOT,CLWT,DCCT
Big Stone Therapies, Inc
Allison has spent the past 7 years working with a primarily geriatric population within multiple settings. She graduated from The University of North Dakota in 2010. She became interested in dementia care after seeing the impact that can be made in patients’ lives when a dementia capable care approach is utilized. Allison teaches the Dementia Capable Care Foundation Course to other therapists within her company and is passionate about developing the skills of therapists to meet the needs of those with dementia. She recently completed training through Dementia Care Specialists and received recognition as a Dementia Capable Care Therapist and is looking forward to raising the quality of dementia care in her facility and profession.
Sharon Host, OTR/L, DCCT
I began my journey using the Allen Cognitive Disabilities Model in 1999 and completed the Dementia Therapy Master Clinician Program in 2009. I joined the DCS/CPI team in 2010 and am currently a consultant and a global professional instructor. I love my job because I have the opportunity to work with like-minded people to design communities that allow persons with dementia to thrive.
Marsha Jacobson-Witt, DCCT
Alternate Solutions HomeCare Cincinnati
Serena Jones, COTA/L, DCCT
Kate Keefe, OTD, OTR/L, DCCT
My journey with Dementia Care Specialists and the Cognitive Disabilities Model began in 2002. I felt that the Therapy Applications course I attended had provided the structure and theory for the work I was doing in Geri-Psych and Long Term Care. In 2003, I became certified as a Master Clinician in Dementia Therapy. I continued my studies completing the Intermediate Therapy Applications and Dementia Capable Care Certified Instructor program. I have been a Global Professional Instructor with Dementia Care Specialists since 2013. I truly love being able to help other healthcare professionals deepen their understanding and work with persons living with ADRD.
Ike Kent, PT, DCCT
John D Archbold Memorial Hospital
Hannah Lanstrum, PT, DPT, DCCT
Hannah is a Rehab Director for Consonus Healthcare Services, currently working in Washington state in a skilled nursing facility with a focus on dementia care.
Clinton Leavell, PTA, DCCT
Innovative Senior Care
Stephanie Lowenstein, COTA/L, DCCT
Stephanie recently graduated with her Associates as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. Since then, she has spent the last three years working with the geriatric population in SNF and subacute rehab. During her time as a therapist, she has grown to love working with patients who have dementia. Her love and care for these patients has motivated her to gain further knowledge in treatment and care for the residents. Now that she has gained recognition as a Dementia Capable Care Therapist, she plans to continue her training and work towards becoming a Certified Dementia Practitioner.
Colleen R. Marchese, MA,CCC SLP, DCCT
Tender Touch Rehab Services
Denise Martin, SLP, DCCT
Trinity Rehabilitation, Inc.
Brenda McCarroll, OTR/L, DCCT
District Director of Rehab, Sava Senior Care
Brenda is the District Director of Rehabilitation Services for Sava Senior Care. She has over 15 years of direct experience working with dementia management and is very passionate regarding the development of life engagement centers based on a Best Ability to Function Model.
Katie McCormick, SLP, DCCT
Rehab Director for Legacy Healthcare
Maria Miller, OT, DCCT
Maria has been practicing occupational therapy for the past 14 years, first as a COTA and then as an OT, graduating from Misericordia University in 2003. She is a Geriatric Program Specialist at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center. Maria is committed to improving the lives of veterans residing in the community living center as well as those participating in the outpatient program. She is also recognized as a Dementia Certified practitioner by the NCCDP.
Amanda Miller, OT, DCCT
I graduated from The Ohio State University in 2003. I worked in skilled nursing facilities for six years. For the past 3 years I have been doing home health care with geriatrics. I love being an OT and serving the geriatric population in St. Louis city. I have a precious three-year-old boy who is a joy in my life. I also enjoy running and triathlons.
Ian Oppel, Occupational Therapist, DCCT
Senior Vice President of Rehab Services
Ian has promoted best ability to function for over 20 years and is a tireless advocate for persons with dementia. In support of his role as Senior Vice President of Rehabilitation Services, CareOne has facilitated organizational culture change at every center by committing to a dementia capable, person-centered approach. Gaining trust and promoting best ability to function have truly become advanced standard of practice values at CareOne under Ian’s rehabilitation leadership.
Kathryn Park, OTR/L, DCCT
Kathryn Park is the Occupational Therapist at Peconic Landing, a facility recognized as a Distinguished Provider by CPI. Kate works primarily with the geriatric population in sub-acute rehabilitation, long term care, out-patient therapy, and memory support. Kate is working towards her Occupational Therapy Doctorate degree at Bay Path University with expected graduation in June 2019. Having been inspired by this community, Kate has committed herself to providing the highest quality of client centered care to those living with dementia.
Elizabeth Peterson, OT, DCCT
Essentia Health Saint Mary's Oak Crossing
Cortney Place, Speech Language Pathologist
Saint Therese Rehab with At Homes Solutions
Michelle Reale, MS OTR/L, DCCT
Care One Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Evesham, NJ
Recent graduate of Thomas Jefferson University (2011). I have been working as an OT for 5 years, formally an elementary education teacher. I became interested in Dementia Care as I was working in an ALF/memory care unit.
Liana Romano, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist Team Leader
Liana Romano is a Speech-Language Pathologist for Care-One at Ridgewood Avenue who has increased her focus on care of people with dementia. She is committed to developing strategies for increased communication between those with dementia and their caregivers.
Laura Scroggins, PT, DCCT
Laura has spent the past several years of her career working with the geriatric population. She became interested in Dementia Care after joining Legacy Healthcare and working in her facility's "Memory Care" Unit. In addition to her DCCT Recognition, she has received the designation of Clinical Program Lead in Dementia Management from Legacy Healthcare.
Jennifer Thomas, OTR/L, DCCT
Masonicare Health Center
Jennifer has been working as an Occupational Therapist in acute geriatric psychiatry for nearly 12 years and it is in this setting that she has developed a passion for working with those whose lives have been affected by dementia. She is a proud graduate of Boston University's OT program and her professional interests include community and caregiver education.
Patty Trujillo, OT, DCCT
Patty is the Clinical Specialist for Genesis Rehab Services and has 28 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist. A graduate of Washington University, Patty has extensive operational and clinical experience in her previous roles and has participated in speaking and training workshops at the local, regional, state, and national levels. Patty’s depth of knowledge in dementia ensures quality lifestyles for persons at all stages of the disease.
Barbara Van Nortwick, OTR/L, DCCT
Newton Medical Center (Newton, NJ)
I recall in the early to mid 1970’s, when Claudia Allen and her colleagues were working on the ACL. But, it wasn’t until the mid 1990’s, when I had the opportunity to learn more about the ACL while working in behavioral health. At that time, I dabbled in using the tool. More learning was needed, so practice and use became important. I felt that I have been a therapist who looked at the whole person when evaluating and working with an individual. The combination of the ACL, Theory of Retrogenesis, and the Person-Centered Care Approach helped me to see an individual’s Best Ability to Function. I felt I had a mission, to “spread the word” of BATF, remaining abilities, excess disability, person-centered care, in working with patients who have dementia and their care partners. That is now being done via an inpatient and an outpatient dementia program in the supportive acute hospital where I work. Thank you, Dementia Care Specialist for having this wonderful dementia program. It was the Foundations course which help to lay the foundation for the work I am doing now.
Sharon Varns, OTR/L, DCCT
Parkway Manor Nursing Center
Sharon Varns is an Occupational Therapist who has worked in the field of geriatrics and dementia for 20 years. She is a member of the Allen Cognitive Network national organization and continues to advance her knowledge and training in the Allen Cognitive Disabilities Model. Sharon recently completed training through Dementia Care Specialists and received recognition as a Dementia Capable Care Therapist and is looking forward to raising the quality of dementia care in her facility and profession. Sharon enjoys vacationing with her family and is always looking for a healthy recipe to try. Sharon and her husband are raising two little girls they adopted from China and Sharon says, “It keeps us young.” Contact Sharon at email@example.com.
Sarah Viola, OT, DCCT
Essentia Health Saint Mary's Oak Crossing
Kim Warchol, OTR/L, DCCT
Kim Warchol is an Occupational Therapist specializing in dementia management and she is founder and President of Dementia Care Specialists, a CPI specialized offering. Kim has educated thousands of healthcare professionals on an abilities-based, person-centered approach to dementia evaluation, treatment, and programming. As a consultant Kim has set-up many long-term care and memory care environments and programs using her innovative, stage-specific model. Kim is a passionate thought leader, publishing numerous articles and lecturing nationally on various topics related to dementia care and design.