Alan Abrams MD, MPH
Dr. Alan Abrams is a geriatrician with more than four decades of experience in developing health care delivery models for older and frailer adults and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School. He sits on the Board of Directors for Senior Helpers, a national provider of in-home care services, also serving as the Geriatric Clinical Advisor for Senior Helpers franchisees across the country. Dr. Abrams is the Chief Medical Officer for PerfectHealth, a provider of personalized, comprehensive health services delivered to seniors in their homes. His leadership shaped the COVID- 19 response for both Senior Helpers and Perfect Health
Previously, Dr. Abrams served as the Chief Medical Officer of Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization and as the founding Medical Director of UnitedHealth’s Special Needs Plan for People Living in Nursing Homes and their dual eligible Senior Care Options program. In addition, he was the Cambridge Health Alliance Medical Director of the Center of Excellence for Senior Health which included a start-up PACE program as well as both a national and state award-winning house call medicine program.
Dr. Abrams was awarded the Physician of the Year Award from the National Association of Home Care in 1993 and was the AMDA delegate to the 2015 White House Conference on Aging and a Certified Medical Director. Dr. Abrams holds an MPH from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston and an MD from New York University School of Medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency at the Cambridge Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts and fellowship in geriatrics at Harvard Medical School.
Charlene Brown MD, MPH, FACPM
Founder, CNA Simulations VR
Dr. Charlene Brown is a public health physician expert who has devised testing and outreach strategies for multiple global pandemics. As a Medical Officer at USAID, she advised local teams tackling the HIV pandemic in nearly 20 countries across 4 continents. She contributed to global policy frameworks for diagnostic testing through consultations at the World Health Organization. Prior to USAID, Dr. Brown served as the Deputy Health Commissioner for Medical Operations at the Baltimore City Health Department and led multiple medical safety reviews on antiviral drugs for the FDA.
Dr. Brown has authored multiple peer-reviewed journal articles and been featured in national and local news outlets discussing COVID-19 and testing, including Yahoo Finance, the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and Vox. She served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Emory Medical School and has worked as a clinician in retirement homes, rehabilitation hospitals, primary care clinics, homeless shelters, and more
As a physician entrepreneur, Dr. Brown founded CNA Simulations VR, a reimagining of clinical training for certified nursing assistants through virtual reality. Before that, she founded Caregiver Jobs Now, an award-winning platform connecting caregivers to meaningful jobs in senior care. Dr. Charlene Brown is Board-certified in Preventive Medicine, trained in internal medicine, licensed to practice in Maryland, and a Fellow in the American College of Preventive Medicine. She is a graduate of Princeton University, Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard School of Public Health and serves on the Community Health Board of Keswick Multi-Care.
Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick
Founder and CEO, Grapevine Health
Dr. Lisa is an infectious disease specialist and the creator of Dr. Lisa on the Street where she talks to community members about common health questions and concerns, especially COVID-19. She has been hearing a lot of questions about the virus and wants to help! Dr. Lisa is the CEO & Founder of Grapevine Health where she works in communities where CNAs, CMTs, HHAs, and Caregivers live to improve health literacy.
In addition to being an infectious disease physician, Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick is a CDC-trained medical epidemiologist. Her career has spanned research, clinical medicine, global health, community health education and patient advocacy. She served as the medical director for the Infectious Diseases Center at United Medical Center in Washington, DC and as the Medical Director for Washington DC’s Medicaid program.
Her decision to leave federal government service in 2007 to work in the community was largely based on a personal desire to ensure her expertise and professional experiences could be used on the ground and would directly benefit underserved communities of color. From 2008-2012 she was an Associate Professor of Medicine at Howard University and is a professorial lecturer for the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.
Dr. Lisa earned a BA/MD, at a six-year accelerated program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, a Masters in Public Health from the University of California-Berkeley School of Public Health and Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. She completed a preventive medicine fellowship as an epidemiologist in the San Francisco Department of Health Office of AIDS. Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick has authored peer-reviewed journal articles, has been featured in the Washington Post, PBS and is a guest blogger for the Huffington Post.
Elizabeth Galik PhD, CRNP, FAAN FAANP
Professor, University of Maryland Nursing School
Dr. Elizabeth Galik is a Professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing and a nurse practitioner who specializes in improving neuropsychiatric care practices for older adults and their caregivers. In addition to her teaching, she has served as the Principal Investigator of 4 externally funded research grants that focus on working with caregivers to optimize function and physical activity and effectively manage behavioral symptoms among older adults with dementia.
Dr. Galik provides patient care to older adults and their caregivers in outpatient clinics, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and also has developed a house call practice for dementia symptom management. She has served as a Past President of the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association, a Scientific Review member for the National Institute on Aging and the International Psychogeriatric Association. Additionally, she is the Co-Editor in Chief of Caring for the Ages and an expert advisor for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to improve behavioral health and reduce the inappropriate use of psychotropic medications in long term care and acute care settings.
Ama Adepa Gryn, CNA
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
While some people choose to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA), others simply fall into it. Ms. Ama Adepa Gryn considered CNA training because of the passion and positive experiences of her aunt. Ama has now been a CNA in the home care industry for many years. She has personal experience as a CNA working in home care during the pandemic and can speak to the community misinformation about COVID-19 that she has heard in her communities.
Ms. Gryn is also an Honors graduate of Montgomery College and an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland. In her prior role as a Senior Caregiver Specialist for Caregiver Jobs Now, she spoke with hundreds of CNA about their careers.
Dr. Luther Kalb
Dr. Luther (Luke) Kalb is a public health researcher. Since the onset of COVID-19, his epidemiologic research has explored how the pandemic has affected the mental health of adults and children. Surprisingly, mental distress is higher in young people than in older populations!
Prior to COVID-19, Dr. Kalb’s research aimed to improve mental health outcomes among vulnerable populations, especially youth with a developmental disability. His primary research interests involve understanding the phenomenology, epidemiology, and treatment of mental health crises. In addition, his research includes assessing the effectiveness of community-based mental health programs, epidemiology of health services, psychometrics and measure development, and use of health information systems to improve clinical care.
Recently, his research and teaching have focused on positive mental health and well-being. This can be seen in his course “Public Health and the Good Life”, which is taught at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he is Assistant Professor in the Department of Mental Health. This is also evinced by his research and collaborations as Chair of the National Research Consortium on Mental Health in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. At Kennedy Krieger, Dr. Kalb is Director of the Informatics Program at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders and serves as a faculty researcher in the Department of Neuropsychology.
Dr. Luther (Luke) Kalb received his PhD from the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. During his studies, he received an NIMH Children’s Mental Health Services research fellowship, the Morton Kramer award for excellence in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, an F-31 award through NICHD, and was named a Wendy Klag Center Scholar. He has published dozens of articles in peer-reviewed journals and his work has been featured by Reuters, AAP News, WebMD, the San Francisco Chronicle, Pew Research, and FOX45 News in Baltimore.
Dr. Roy McKay
Dr. Roy McKay has 40 years of national and international experience in respiratory protection as a faculty member at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. McKay is active in all areas of respiratory protection including research, teaching, clinical practice, and consultation. Dr. McKay is the past chair of ANSI/AIHA Z88.10, the committee responsible for publishing guidelines for “Respirator Fit Test Methods” and a member of ANSI/ASSE Z88.2-2015 which published the “American National Standard Practices for Respiratory Protection. Respirator committee assignments include the American Industrial Hygiene Association's Respiratory Protection committee.
To keep current with respirator wearer issues and concerns, he personally conducts respirator fit testing and a variety of worker training programs. Other services include respirator selection and development of cartridge change schedules. He’s developed more than a dozen different continuing education courses on respiratory protection, which include fit testing, respirator selection, cartridge change out, program administration, filter penetration, protection factors, and other topics. Find out more at www.DrMcKay.com.
Clifford Mitchell MD, MPH, MS
Director, Environmental Health Bureau (MD Health Department)
Dr. Clifford S. Mitchell, MS, MD, MPH is the Director of the Environmental Health Bureau, in the Prevention and Health Promotion Administration, Maryland Department of Health. He is responsible for a wide array of public health projects in the Bureau, including weekly COVID-19 updates.
Dr. Mitchell Joined the Maryland Health Department in 2006, after 14 years on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. At the Health Department, Dr. Mitchell oversees a wide array of projects in the Bureau, including a home visiting program for children with asthma. He has served on several state and national health advisory committees and has contributed to numerous peer-reviewed publications and reports Dr. Mitchell received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University, his MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and his M.S. from MIT.
Madhuri Reddy, MD MSc
Dr. Madhuri Reddy is a national expert on skin and wound care in older adults. She is a geriatrician in the Department of Medicine at Hebrew SeniorLife, and in the Division of Gerontology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, both in Boston, and which are affiliated with Harvard Medical School; and is an instructor in medicine in the Department of Medicine at Harvard University. In 2016, Dr. Reddy co-founded a software technology company to increase training standards and help provide education for caregivers. As the Co-Founder and former Chief Medical Officer of CareAcademy.com, she built a leading online caregiver training and education company serving the home care industry.
Dr. Reddy’s clinical and research work focuses primarily on chronic wounds. She has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals, including in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and written several book chapters, and written a book for caregivers. Dr. Reddy completed a fellowship in geriatric medicine at the University of Toronto, followed by a fellowship in skin and wound healing in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Toronto.
Nadeene Riddick, PhD
Virologist and Science Educator
Dr. Nadeene Riddick is a content developer with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) BioInteractive program. In this role, she utilizes her experiences as a cell and molecular biologist, virologist, and educator. Dr. Riddick earned her PhD in cell and molecular biology from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Riddick’s graduate and postdoctoral research focused on studying simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infections in nonhuman primates in an attempt to understand why simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection causes an AIDS-like disease in some monkey species but not in others.
Dr. Riddick has a long-standing interest in improving science education and science literacy through teaching in formal and informal settings, particularly engaging with individuals who traditionally lack access to STEM programs and activities. Dr. Riddick has developed and taught the science component of international STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Summer camps in the Gambia and Belize, and also enjoys teaching biology courses for higher education in prison programs.
Amy Schiffman, MD, MHS
Chief Medical Officer, JSSA
Dr. Amy Schiffman is a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician who obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a graduate degree in public health from the Bloomberg Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine. She completed her Emergency Medicine residency also at the George Washington University School of Medicine in 2005.
After residency, she worked as an Emergency Physician for two large hospital systems in Washington DC area, where she developed an interest in geriatrics and palliative/hospice care. She subsequently left Emergency Medicine to start a Medicare home-based primary care practice for frail and homebound patients. Under her 9 years of directorship, the practice grew over 500% and performed over 60,000 house calls, becoming the largest house calls practice in the DC Metro area. Amy has served as the medical director for two hospices in the DC area and is a certified Hospice Medical Director. In her free time, Amy enjoys biking, travelling, and spending time with her family.
Linda Justice Teodosio, PT, DScPT, COS-C
Dr. Linda Teodosio is a Physical Therapist who has specialized in rehabilitation of older adults, for the past 31 years. She has extensive experience in Home Health Care in Maryland, as a clinical leader for various home health agencies, and is currently a Division Rehab Manager with Bayada Home Health.
She has developed several multidisciplinary clinical programs for the treatment of older adults, and has presented many CEU events throughout Maryland, to educate both professionals and clients in the fundamentals of aging in place, Vestibular Rehabilitation, fall risk reduction strategies, and caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
In 2011, Linda earned a terminal doctoral degree in Physical Therapy. She has held several community leadership positions, and is currently a Board Member of the Maryland National Home Care Association, and the American Physical Therapy Association, Home Health Section.
Vinette Tyme, Director of Caregiver Engagement, HouseWorks
Vinette has spent most of her career building customer relationships and solving problems. For over 30 years in her home country of Jamaica, Vinette held a variety of customer service jobs including at the Bank of Nova Scotia, the Jamaica Tourist Board as well as at a financial services firm. Vinette also served as a para legal for Frater, Ennis & Gordon. In every position she held, Vinette took great pride in supervising and mentoring her staff to be their best selves.
A decade ago, Vinette moved to Boston to be closer to family. She used her relationship building and problem-solving skills to transition to a new role as a professional Caregiver for HouseWorks, one of the largest independent private home care companies in the country. Her love of people and specifically of seniors made transitioning to home care an easy choice.
In 2012, Vinette began her career at HouseWorks as a Caregiver in the field where she has always had an innate ability to form strong relationships and anticipate her clients’ needs. A trusted leader who is looked up to by her peers, Vinette has been promoted into several managerial roles—most currently as the Director of Caregiver Engagement. In this position, Vinette helps HouseWorks create an engaged and empowered workforce through a peer-to-peer training and mentoring model—bridging the gap between Caregivers and office staff. Compassion, gratitude, and her ability to build relationships are skills that have enabled Vinette to successfully manage her stress and create a sense of calm for herself and her team.
Vinette is a sought-after speaker who was interviewed by NBC10 and the Boston Globe about her Virtual Dementia training. She was awarded the STAR Award by the Massachusetts Home Care Alliance in recognition of her contributions and commitment to the industry, and has spoken at numerous events sharing her insights and experiences as a professional Caregiver. Devoted to serving her community, while in Jamaica Vinette was the President of Sacred Heart Parent Teachers Association, a Parent Representative on the School Board, and a Member of the Knox High School Board. Vinette lives in Boston surrounded by her mother, sister, 2 children aged 16 and 29 and a 2-year-old grandson.
Celeste Wooten CNA, CMA, CHPNA
Team Lead Hospice CNA/Coordinator, Intrepid USA
Celeste M. Wooten has been a Hospice Certified Nursing Assistant for over 20 years. She also obtained an Associate’s Degree as a Medical Assistant and a CHPNA (Certified Hospice Palliative Nursing Assistant). Currently, she serves on the CNA Steering Commission for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and was recently elected to the Board of Directors for the National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA). Celeste is the Senior CNA Lead for Intrepid Hospice of Virginia Beach.
When not involved in community outreach or trainings, Celeste spends her time with her husband Eric, their three adult children and two grandsons. Being a CNA is what she calls a ministry to her patients and a mission to help other CNAs realize their invaluable role in providing care for our senior population.
Angel and Wendell are the co-creators of a talk show for CNAs, about CNAs and by CNAs called "Let's Talk CNAs." They have a national following on both Facebook and YouTube and have served as CNA leaders locally and nationally for years. See below for links to their pages, as well as a bit more about them in their own words!
Wendell: My name is Wendell Anderson, Host of The Let's Talk CNAs show! I have been a CNA for 35 years, and have been working in long term care ever since. I have been Lead CNA/Unit manager for my facility for 18 years. I was also on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Healthcare Assistants (NAHCA).
Angel: My name is Angel Jackson from Let’s Talk CNAs! I have been a CNA for 23 years. I have worked in nursing homes, hospice, home health, assisted living, hospitals and more; so I have years of experience in all different settings in healthcare. Let's Talk CNAs is a show for CNAs by CNAs.