Theresa Pham is a second-year PhD student at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in the Department of Social, Behavioral, and Population Sciences. Prior to starting her PhD program, Theresa received her MPH in Epidemiology at TUSPHTM in 2017 and went on to work as an Opioid Surveillance Epidemiologist for the Louisiana Office of Public Health. Her research focuses on substance use disorders among late adolescents and young adults and health consequences of changes in marijuana policy in the U.S.
NhuNgoc Pham is a doctoral student in the Department of Social, Behavioral, and Population Sciences at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Her research interests include population dynamics, mental health, and health impacts from natural and manmade disasters. She has conducted research and provided technical and analytical support in both the international and domestic settings.
Mai Do, MD, DrPH, MPH is an Associate Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of International Health and Sustainable Development at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Her primary research interests include access to health care and quality of health care services, health inequities, and barriers to accessing care, such as health related stigma. She has conducted research in international settings, such as sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, as well as the Vietnamese immigrant population in the United States.
Cathy Green-Miner knew she would one day become a licensed therapist. After taking a few detours, she finally lives her passion – helping people understand themselves and their realities
Dr. Birdsill is an Assistant Professor and clinical neuropsychologist in the Department of Neurology at Tulane University School of Medicine. Dr. Birdsill assesses cognitive functioning in adults with a wide range of neurological, psychiatric, and medical conditions. As part of the Tulane Healthy Brain Aging Initiative, he has research and clinical interests in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Dr. Solch received her PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Florida in 2020 where she studied the relationship of probiotics and fiber on microbiota and gastrointestinal function. She is now a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Neurology in the lab of Dr. Maraganore at Tulane University. Her work focuses on the impact of the Mediterranean and Western diets on cognitive function and microbiota in translational models.
Don: Don was a caregiver for his wife with vascular dementia, mother with Alzheimer’s and father with Parkinson’s Disease. He is a retired psychologist and marriage and family therapist and an active musician. He has written a book on marriage health and one on caregiver self-care and edited several other books on dementia-friendly faith communities with his wife, Lynda.
Lynda: Lynda was a caregiver for her husband with Alzheimer’s and her father with vascular dementia. She is a passionate dementia advocate who helped secure the USPS’s Alzheimer’s semipostal stamp and edited a book of meditations for caregivers. She and her husband, Don Wendorf, were senior editors of a dementia-friendly worship handbook and the authors of a book about her Alzheimer’s stole and tallit initiative that use her handmade stoles.
Dr. Paul Colombo studies experience-dependent changes to brain and behavior across the lifespan with a focus on musical experience. He received his Ph.D. in physiological psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and is the Louise and Leonard Riggio Professor of Social Entrepreneurship in the Department of Psychology at Tulane University.
Dr. Demetrius Maraganore is the Herbert J. Harvey, Jr. Chair of Neurology at the Tulane University School of Medicine. Dr. Maragnore’s passion is helping patients to achieve successful brain aging by preventing cognitive decline and dementia. His recent research studies relate to 1) quality improvement and practice-based research in neurology using the electronic medical record (EMR); 2) utilizing data from the EMR to predict Alzheimer’s and dementia risk; and 3) understanding resistance, resilience, and repair in the healthspan (“over 90’s study”). His clinical practice is in brain health (primary prevention of cognitive decline and dementia in at-risk persons) and the evaluation and management of memory disorders (including mild cognitive impairment and dementia).
Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN is a neurologist, author, educator, and champion of those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and their caregivers. Currently Attending Neurologist at the Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Potts is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, and was chosen by the AAN as its 2008 Advocate of the Year for his work promoting the arts and storytelling to enhance quality of life in those with dementia. He has also been designated an Architect of Change by Maria Shriver, and blogs monthly on her website.
Dr. Kenneth Carder is the Williams Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Duke Divinity School and Senior Visiting Professor at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. He served for thirty-two years as a United Methodist pastor of churches in eastern Tennessee and twelve years as a bishop, assigned for eight years in the Nashville Area and four years in Mississippi. He was the primary caregiver for his wife Linda in their journey with dementia until her death in 2019. He teaches a seminary class focusing on dementia through a theological lens. His book, Ministry with the Forgotten: Dementia Through a Spiritual Lens, is an outgrowth of his personal journey as a caregiver and seminary professor.
Dr. Fayron Epps is an Assistant Professor, tenure track, and joined the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing in August 2019. She has 20 years of nursing experience. Dr. Epps completed her doctoral degree in Nursing from Southern University and A&M College. In 2015, she completed her postdoctoral fellowship with the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence and is a 2018-2019 Tideswell Emerging
Leaders in Aging Scholar. Dr. Epps also leads an interdisciplinary collaborative, Faith Village Connections, team that works with African American churches and provides them with the tools and skills needed to support congregations and communities in relation to dementia and other chronic illnesses.
Dr. Glenna Brewster is an Assistant Professor at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University and a Family Nurse Practitioner providing care for persons living with dementia. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor and Masters of Science in Nursing, a Masters of Arts in Gerontology, and a Ph.D. in Nursing Science. Her program of research aims to understand sleep disturbance experienced by persons living with cognitive impairment and their caregivers, develop behavioral interventions to address the identified sleep disturbance, and examine the impact of these sleep interventions on psychological, cognitive, and physiological outcomes. She has published her research in various multidisciplinary journals and has given numerous presentations about her work at multiple local, regional, and international conferences.
Jeremy D. Cohen, PhD is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and founding Director of the Neuroscience Program at Xavier University of Louisiana. Dr. Cohen graduated with a PhD in Neuroscience from Tulane University and went on to complete fellowship training in Stanford University in the Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research. His current focus is structural and functional brain networks related to emotion regulation, self-awareness, and meditation. Dr. Cohen has won many awards including a National Institutes of Mental Health Research Fellowship, and a Louisiana Board of Regents Grant recipient in support of his graduate studies at Tulane University.
Ellen Woodward Potts earned an M.B.A. from the University of South Alabama and a B.A. in Finance from Birmingham – Southern College. She co-authored the book, A Pocket Guide for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver, with her husband, neurologist Daniel C. Potts, M.D. out of their experience with eight family members with various forms of dementia. She was named one of Maria Shriver’s “Architects of Change.” Currently, Ellen serves as Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa and serves as an elder and choir member at First Presbyterian Church of Tuscaloosa.
Brian LeBlanc is an International Dementia Advocate and Educator who is Living with Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Brian is living-well and enjoying life on the water in Clearwater, Florida. He is the co-founder of a non-profit We Are Dementia Strong, LLC. Together, He and Maureen share their lives and perspectives of the Person Living with the Dementia and the Care Partner.
Maureen Rulison is the President of Caregiver Support and Resources, a Board Certified Patient Advocate, Certified Montessori Dementia Practitioner and Certified Medicaid Planner. Maureen specializes in life care planning for Persons Living with Dementia She along with Brian is the co-founder of their non-profit We Are Dementia Strong.
Hannah Kaufman is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Social, Behavioral, and Population Sciences at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She served as a 2017-2018 Fulbright U.S. Student Researcher in Paraguay while conducting fieldwork for her doctoral dissertation, “Health, Aging, and Health Care Access for Older Adults in Paraguay and Latin America and the Caribbean.” Ms. Kaufman received her Master of Public Health from Tulane University in 2015. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language from the University of Florida with concentrations in Gerontology and TESL. After graduating from UF, she lived and worked with Peace Corps in Paraguay with a focus on rural health and sanitation from 2008 to 2012. Today her research interests focus on health equity and access among vulnerable and marginalized populations in Paraguay, Latin America and Latinos in the United States, specifically the social determinants of health, and the needs of aging populations and the societies in which they are aging.
Heather Nace is a chef and dietitian who leads the culinary medicine program and teaching kitchen at Tulane University’s School of Medicine. She enjoys bringing together her passion for good eating with her culinary and nutrition knowledge in her work teaching hands on cooking classes to medical students and community members in New Orleans. Her mission is to empower people to improve their kitchen confidence and cook
Deborah M. Jackson, a returning native of New Orleans is founder and Executive Director of HC3D™, Inc. (Helping Caregivers) She is an Award-Winning International Speaker, Christian Minister, Author, and Entrepreneur. She had no idea how her twenty-year tennis career and corporate careers with Merck and Johnson and Johnson would one day prepare her for the most important assignment of her life – the care of her mother Mercedes.
After having completed her Master of Divinity from Regent University School of Divinity, and pursuing her licensure of Mental Health Counseling, and Certified Pastoral Education for Chaplaincy, Deborah adds Jewelry Designer, Conference and Program Developer to her repertoire.
Deborah’s highest purpose is to allow her life and experiences to first glorify God, encourage others, and empower caregivers through her life experiences. She has developed programs and addressed audiences at Tulane University, Xavier University, Alzheimer’s Association, AARP for The Louisiana Senate and Congress, eWomen International, City Church New Orleans, The National Junior League, Jack and Jill of America, and more.