Barbara Bowers is a professor at the School of Nursing at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the Founding Director of the Center for Aging Research and Education. In this dual capacity, Dr. Bowers has conducted research with frail, older adults in order to examine how nursing staff and long term care systems impact quality of life and quality of care, as well as worked with state and federal government bodies to develop, implement, and evaluate public policies affecting older adults. (Profile)
Senior Outreach Specialist
As CARE’s staff coordinator and outreach person, Diane facilitates communication and collaboration among researchers, clinicians, students, service providers and community members with an interest in older adult health and well-being. In particular, Diane helped design and serves as the community partner liaison for “Community supports for people with dementia” (N511) and co-authored CARE’s Dementia Friendly Toolkit for campus and community audiences. She’s also the project and content manager for Agefully, CARE’s online tool for family caregivers of older adults. Diane received her PhD in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and has teaching, journalism and community organizing experience.
Barbara King is an Associate Professor at the School of Nursing and the Executive Director of the Center for Aging Research and Education. She works with CARE to develop, implement, and disseminate programs supporting older adult health. Barbara’s primary research examines the functional decline and loss of independent ambulation in older adults during hospitalization. Her second line of research focuses on older patients’ transitional care from hospital to nursing home. She is a former special advanced fellow at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC) in Madison. (Academic Bio)
Research Program Manager
Kimberly Nolet is a research manager at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing. In her role, she designs research studies, writes grant proposals, manages projects, and conducts research. Her primary areas of research are related to professional development of long term care staff across settings and culture change in nursing homes. She holds an MS degree in education and enjoys coupling her interest in adult education and the long term care sector through design of educational programs for nursing students and the health care workforce. Kim enjoys the opportunity to work with diverse stakeholders across the United States and beyond.
As the CARE Marketing Specialist, Peggy Rynearson creates and coordinates publicity, branding, and marketing initiatives for CARE’s products and programs. She draws on her skills in event marketing, communication strategy, public relations, brand management, and project management to help build CARE’s presence both within and outside the UW-Madison School of Nursing.
CARE Advisory Committee
Jonette N. Arms is the Executive Director of the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Central Wisconsin (ADRC-CW), which serves Marathon, Langlade, Lincoln and Wood counties. She is responsible for advocacy, planning, coordination, operations and administration of all ADRC-CW services and programs designed to meet the needs of aging and adult disabled individuals. Previously, Jonette served as the 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.
Abby Elsholtz is a junior undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin—Madison School of Nursing. She’s a co-leader of the Geriatric Interest Group, where she advocates for improved quality of living for older adults by organizing a group of volunteers to spend time with this vulnerable population. She has experience as a CNA in long-term care as well as acute care, where she has worked on an orthopedic, neurology, and oncology unit. She currently works as a CNA on a surgical inpatient unit at UnityPoint Health-Meriter in Madison.
Sarah Endicott is a board-certified geriatric nurse practitioner with experience in adult medicine and memory diagnostic centers. Her current clinical practice is in rural skilled nursing facilities. She teaches in the adult/gero nurse practitioner program at the UW–Madison School of Nursing and serves as a preceptor for primary care students. Her interests include advanced care planning and the education and support of caregivers for people living with dementia. She serves as the faculty liaison to the CARE Steering Committee. (Academic Bio)
Brad Klitsch is the senior vice president of market development at Direct Supply. He has over three decades of experience in the senior living profession. At Direct Supply, Brad focuses on senior living, association and industry relations, as well as the development of strategy and integrated solutions for the senior living continuum. Brad holds both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration from Northern Illinois University.
Maddie Lindhart is a senior undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing. With experience as a long-term care CNA, Maddie has grown to love working with the geriatric population. Maddie currently serves as the leader of the Geriatric Interest Group, a student organization with a mission of serving, educating, and advocating for older adults in Madison and beyond.
Susan Rather is the owner of several BrightStar Home Care franchises in Wisconsin. With the BrightStar Corporate Office, she recently opened a high acuity neighborhood-style Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Madison, WI. Her role is to develop team members that share her passion for helping families by providing great care and service to their clients, hiring compassionate staff, and ensuring that they have the resources necessary to do their work. Prior to her work in the senior care environment, Susan was a Medical Technologist. She worked for over 25 years in various medical laboratory settings, with expertise in personnel management, regulatory compliance, and process improvement. In that role, she was most recently the Laboratory Manager at the VA Hospital in Madison, WI.
Stephanie Reopelle is a registered nurse enrolled full-time in the Acute Care Adult-Gerontology Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is projected to graduate in May of 2019. Her clinical practice background lies in adult-gerontology critical care nursing with knowledge in a variety of specialties from cardiovascular surgery to trauma resuscitation and therapeutic hypothermia. Stephanie’s academic interests include improving end-of-life care for older adult patient populations in critical care settings, as well as addressing and alleviating nurses’ experience of moral distress in response to end-of-life decision making and medical futility. She is eager to foster an improved understanding of aging and her role in caring for the critically-ill, older adult patient populations.
Tim Size has been the executive director of the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative in Sauk City since helping to found it in 1979. The cooperative is owned and operated by forty rural hospitals with a vision that “Rural Wisconsin communities will be the healthiest in America.”
“I was glad to be asked to serve on the CARE Steering Committee for three reasons: (1) as an early baby boomer, I am seeing more and more the challenge for the SoN to focus on an aging population, (2) as a long-time advocate for the needs of nurses serving in rural communities, I feel this is a good opportunity to promote their visibility within the school, and (3) I deeply believe in the Wisconsin Idea that ‘the boundaries of the campus are the boundaries of the state,’ and while the UW is a world-class university, we need to remember that rural Wisconsin is part of that world.”
Lisa Thomson is the Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at Pathway Health Services. She has over 25 years’ experience in the post-acute and long-term care setting as well as other healthcare settings. She has had extensive experience in leadership and oversight of daily operations of numerous health care organizations in the Post-Acute Care Continuum. As a Chief Executive Officer, Vice President, Executive Director, Administrator, Marketing, Director, and Director of various IDT departments, she has been instrumental in supporting leadership teams (from all levels) through a number of organizational changes to establish regulatory compliance, standards of practice, operational strategies as well as Joint Commission Accreditation. She has been voted as a “Top Female Healthcare Executive” and serves as a mentor for health care leaders across the nation.