CARE Staff

Paula Bizot

Position title: CARE Aging Education Project Manager


Paula Bizot, MS, RN works with faculty, staff, and community partners to enhance student education on older adult health. She also engages healthcare organizations to increase their utilization of evidence-based geriatric care training programs and products. Paula has worked in project management at the UW-Madison School of Nursing since 2018, and prior to that, she worked as a nurse and environmental scientist. Her areas of interest and experience include older adult care, public health, and environmental health.

Barbara Bowers

Position title: Professor Emerita, CARE Founding Director

Barbara Bowers, PhD, RN, FAAN conducts research with frail older adults in both community and residential settings. She is interested in how public policies, organizational practices and models of care delivery influence quality of care and quality of work life for caregivers. Her interest in work life quality for workers in long term care systems has led her to examine causes of staff turnover, the relationships among organizational structure, organizational culture, management practices, and care outcomes, and to explore ways to improve the effectiveness of staff development. Her work with informal caregivers at home has led to the development of tools to support caregiver decision making. Professor Bowers is the founding director of the School of Nursing’s Center for Aging Research and Education. She is currently on the boards of the Advancing Excellence in Long Term Care Collaborative, Capitol Lakes Foundation, and Metastar, and on the national steering committee of the Moving Forward Nursing Home Reform Coalition.

Diane Farsetta

Position title: CARE Manager and Senior Outreach Specialist


Diane Farsetta, PhD facilitates collaboration among researchers, clinicians, students, service providers, and community members with an interest in older adult health. She helped develop and co-facilitates meetings of the Madison and Rural Boards of Older Adult Advisors, which provide guidance to health researchers. Diane helped design and is the community partner liaison for “Community supports for people with dementia” (Nursing 511) and co-authored the Dementia Friendly Toolkit for campus and community audiences. She produced content for and managed development of Agefully, an online tool for family caregivers of older adults. She is a Morgridge Fellow and serves as the Chair of the Governing Board of the Area Agency on Aging of Dane County and as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Capitol Lakes Foundation. Diane has biology research, teaching, journalism, and nonprofit leadership experience.

Barbara King

Position title: Professor, CARE Co-Director

Barbara King, PhD, RN, APRN-BC, FAAN is the Charlotte Jane and Ralph A Rodefer Chair and Professor at the School of Nursing. Her primary research investigates how to improve care for hospitalized older adults to improve their functional outcomes both during and after a hospital stay. She is one of two faculty co-Directors of CARE.

Tonya Roberts

Position title: Associate Professor, CARE Co-Director

Tonya Roberts, PhD, RN conducts research to help improve the quality of life for frail older adults who require long-term care. She is particularly interested in enhancing the personalization of care in ways that allow older adults to achieve their individual life and care goals, and in developing interventions that activate and engage older adults in their own care and long-term care environments. She is the Karen Frick Pridham Professor in Family-Centered Care and one of two faculty co-Directors of CARE.

CARE Advisory Committee

Jonette Arms

Jonette N. Arms is an Assistant Administrator with the Division of Public Health of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Central Wisconsin, which serves Marathon, Langlade, Lincoln and Wood counties; was Interim Executive Director for the Milwaukee County Department on Aging; and led the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities’ efforts to inspire human service professionals to serve, work with, and value the contributions of older adults.

Laura Block

Laura Block, BS, BSN, RN is a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin—Madison School of Nursing with a focus on long-term care and cognitive aging among older adults with serious mental illness. Her role as a Registered Nurse in a skilled nursing environment, with added pressures during the COVID-19 pandemic, has deepened her commitment to dementia-focused research in post-acute and long-term care settings. She also works as a Project Assistant for Dr. Andrea Gilmore-Bykovskyi, supporting research studies focused on promoting effective and equitable care and research for persons living with and at risk for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Sarah Endicott

Sarah Endicott, DNP, PMHNP-BC, GNP-BC is a board-certified psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner and geriatric nurse practitioner with experience caring for older adults with complex needs across care settings. Her current clinical practice is geriatric psychiatry in long-term care and on a geriatric psychiatry unit. She teaches in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the UW–Madison School of Nursing and serves as a preceptor for students in medicine and nursing. Her interests include the education and support of caregivers for people living with dementia. She serves as the faculty liaison to the CARE Advisory Committee.

Olivia Erickson

Olivia Erickson is a junior undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin—Madison School of Nursing. She co-leads the student Geriatric Interest Group and provided research support for a national nursing home reform initiative. Her other experiences include volunteering with the Red Cross and at a nursing home, and leading an after-school science class for elementary school students. Olivia is passionate about the care of older adults and eager to gain knowledge about the research process.

Valerie Joy Hein Hamstra

Ever since her childhood, Valerie has been involved with supporting older adults and individuals with disabilities. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication Technologies from University of Wisconsin–Platteville, along with training in psychology and medical terminology, and a certificate for Mental Health for the Older Adult.  She is a Certified Nursing Assistant who has provided direct care to older adults throughout Dane County, in facilities as well as in clients’ homes. Valerie is a trained volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association and is certified as a Wilderness First Responder. After Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico in 2017, Valerie began volunteering there, coordinating in-home care and support for older adults and disabled individuals. Currently, Valerie manages her own business, Joyfull Living, LLC through which she offers caregiver coaching, creative wellness workshops and retreats, among other services. Her passion is nurturing happy, healthy individuals and communities.

Valerie Hiltbrand

Valerie Hiltbrand, SW, is the manager at the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of Wisconsin-Iowa County office, located in Dodgeville.  She has worked with people who are over the age of 60, adults with disabilities, and their caregivers for 15 years.  She spent four years as a nursing home social worker, working with residents and families, including by assisting with discharge planning.  At the ADRC, she has provided information and assistance, options/enrollment counseling, and adult protective services.  She has worked on initiatives including Dementia Friendly Communities, evidence-based health promotion programs, support for caregivers, and Healthy Aging in Rural Towns.  She is currently partnering with CARE on the Rural Board of Older Adult Advisors.  She has lived and worked in Southwest Wisconsin her entire life, which helps her realize the barriers faced by rural residents.

Liz Jensen

Liz Jensen, MSN,RN,RN-BC is the Clinical Director with Direct Supply, Inc. She works with senior care providers, product managers and engineers to translate evidence-based research, regulations and risk management strategies into practical processes, technology and applications for clinicians and frontline care providers in senior care. Liz’s prior experience as a nurse executive, business owner, educator, program developer and direct care nurse informs her nursing practice in this unique role. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Innovation Platform Advisory Council for AMDA/The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care; is a member of the AHCA Clinical Practice Committee; serves on the Argentum Quality Standards Committee and is a frequent speaker at national and local conferences on advancing innovation in senior care through collaboration.

Christine Klotz

Christine Klotz, MS has advised and led projects to improve the health and care of older adults, to support family caregivers and to expand the geriatric curriculum at nursing schools. She began her career as an occupational therapist and later earned a degree in health care administration. She has been the Director of Marketing for National Jewish Hospital, was chief executive in the start-up of two Programs for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), and was CEO of Senior Health Partners of New York City, a partner with Mt. Sinai Hospital. Christine authored “All-In Caregiving: A Guide for the Care of Aging Parents.” She also serves on the boards of the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging and Sharing Active Independent Lives in Madison.

Sue Konkel

Sue Konkel is a retired nurse with a passion for public health, dementia-friendly communities, and program development. Her experience includes working with local communities as Wisconsin’s Healthy Brain Initiative Project Coordinator and authoring the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ Tool Kit for Building Dementia Friendly Communities. She also developed dementia curriculum with the UW Oshkosh Center for Community Development, Engagement and Training; helped create Jefferson County’s Dementia Care Specialist Program; chaired the Public Health Advisory Committee in Waukesha County; and launched the Parish Nurse Program for Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital.

Edith Lawrence-Hilliard

Edith Lawrence-Hilliard recently retired from the Goodman Community Center. She serves on the Board of Directors for Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Life Center Madison and Friends of Monona Terrace, where she is a volunteer docent. Edith sings with the Precious Memories Choir, which includes people with memory loss and current or former family caregivers. (Edith was her mother’s caregiver, when her mother was living with dementia.) Edith has been honored with the Dane County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Recognition Award, Meriter Hospital Spirit of Women Award, YWCA Women of Distinction, and Outstanding Service Award, Ebony Expressions. She worked with Wisconsin Power and Light Company–Alliant Energy, Dr. Floyd Rose and MPI International LLC, in addition to founding her own business. Edith has tracked her family’s history back to 1747 and played her great-grandmother Cynthia Owens in a living history tour.

Jacqueline Olen

Jacqueline Olen is a senior undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin—Madison School of Nursing. She has a degree in Neurobiology and is interested in implementing neuroscience research into healthcare practices. She has worked as a CNA for over four years, in skilled nursing facility and hospital settings. She wants to work with older adults and especially to support the health and wellness of those without the resources to advocate for themselves.

Lisa Rudolph

Lisa Rudolph, MSN, RN is the Educational Services Manager for Fort HealthCare in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. In this role, she advances nursing/clinical research and education and oversees the hospital’s Learning Center, Simulation Lab, and Diabetes Education Program. She is also is the Joint Commission Coordinator for Fort HealthCare. Her previous experience includes teaching in the RN-BSN program at Aurora University in Illinois and working in acute care settings as an intensive care and post critical care nurse. She is currently collaborating with CARE to design and implement a hospital training plan using the Dementia Friendly Hospital Toolkit.

Deanna Truedson McKillips

Deanna Truedson McKillips, MSW, CAPSW is a palliative care social worker with Agrace Hospice and Palliative Care. She works with an interdisciplinary team to assess patient and family caregiver needs, identify supports, provide emotional support and facilitate connection to community resources. She is a member of the Healthy Aging in Rural Towns (HeART) Iowa County coalition. She also leads Healthy Living with Chronic Pain classes and is a leadership team member of the Care in the Community workgroup of the State of Wisconsin’s Dementia Plan. She previously worked with the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin, providing services and programs in Iowa, Lafayette and Green counties.

Gracie Venechuk

Gracie Venechuk is a PhD student in the University of Wisconsin–Madison Department of Sociology and a trainee with the Center for Demography of Health and Aging. Her research focuses on addressing disparities in later-life health and well-being; and engaging directly with the population of interest to clearly represent their interests, concerns, and experiences. She previously engaged older adults regarding their health as part of multidisciplinary research on advanced heart failure.