Roxanne's advice to me during my father's mental and physical decline was invaluable.
It has been an integral part of who I am to help others who are vulnerable and with disabilities from a very young age. I enjoy spending time with my elders as well, especially listening to the wonderful stories and the wisdom gained throughout their lives. It was therefore a very natural fit for me to pursue a career in clinical-behavioral psychology, with a special interest in gerontology. After working a number of years as a limited licensed psychologist, I then decided that I would be the most effective at supporting individuals with special needs and older adults by pursuing a career in law and advocacy.
I am particularly interested in assisting individuals with developmental disabilities and those with memory loss and dementia. I seek ways to maximize their independence and quality of care, and ensure they lead a life with meaning through law, advocacy and training and education.
I am very passionate about community education and the importance of helping people to have a greater understanding of their care choices and legal options, and to ensure their wishes are honored. I wish to share my knowledge so that others may be an effective advocate for themselves and their loved ones, as well as improve their ability to effectively navigate through complex health systems and other related issues.
It is a very natural progression for me to become a peacemaker, mediator, and conflict resolution coach. I strive to promote empathy and understanding of everyone's experiences in their life's journey. I appreciate the importance of resolving conflicts while preserving and repairing relationships and building community.
I am especially grateful for all of the people who I have crossed paths with throughout my life, that have helped me to gain insights, inspiration, and appreciation about life, diversity, and what it means to be human. I hope my work in law and advocacy, peacemaking and mediation, and training and education, continues to promote quality life and care, choice, individuality, and the human spirit, and to ensure everyone’s stories are heard.
When I am not working, I enjoy cooking, travelling, being outside, appreciating music and art, and playing with my three cats!
- Over 20 years in health care and assisting individuals with special needs and older adults, ranging from being a direct care worker, to a limited licensed psychologist, to a consultant designing therapeutic activities and programming for persons with dementia, to an educator for health care providers and families, to an attorney.
- Assisting individuals with closed head injuries, mental illness, individuals with developmental disabilities, emotional disorders, physical disabilities, and memory loss.
- Working in various health care settings, including rehabilitation facilities, assisted living facilities, nursing facilities, memory care facilities, and a community mental health agency serving individuals with developmental disabilities.
- Over 15 years of developing and teaching university level classes, seminars, workshops and conferences for health care providers and the greater community.
- Volunteering in the community, including the Greater Michigan Alzheimer's Association as a member of the Speakers Bureau and facilitating a monthly caregiver support group, and dispute resolution centers.
- 40-hour training on General Civil Mediation
- Eldercare/Adult Guardianship Mediation
- Conflict Coaching
- Peacemaking Court and Restorative Justice
- Member of the State Bar of Michigan
- Member of the Elder Law and Disability Rights, Probate and Estate Planning, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Sections of the State Bar of Michigan
- Member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
- A frequent contributor of written materials and webinars for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) in elder law
- Past member of the Council for the Elder Law and Disability Rights Section of the State Bar of Michigan
- Past member of the Michigan Dementia Coalition
- Past member of the Governor's Task Force on Elder Abuse