The Longest Day 2018
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Meet Chapter Staff
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At the Heart of America Chapter, our talented team shares a passion for helping individuals and families who are affected by Alzheimer’s. Our educational and career backgrounds vary: dedicated gerontologists, nurses, and master’s-level social workers work hand-in-hand with an exceptional group of communications, fundraising, special events, and administrative professionals.

Our common goal is to provide the support needed today as we work toward a better tomorrow – a world without Alzheimer’s. Why do we care so much? What led us to this organization? Find out, as we highlight members of our staff. This week, get to know:

Cindy Miller, LPN, Dementia Care Specialist

Little did I know that wonderful time spent with my kind and loving grandfather would become early training for the work that I do today at the Alzheimer’s Association. My choice to spend my nursing career serving older adults was also influenced by him. Grandpa was a master at meeting and accepting others right where they were at in their lives. Through his positive interactions I caught that no one needed to be perfect to be loved and cared for.  

However, specifically focusing my work with individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases was never planned. I still recall the day when I was asked by my director of nurses to work on the Memory Care Unit at the facility where I was employed. With hesitation I agreed thinking it would only be a temporary period of time. When I walked onto the unit I was both surprised and saddened to observe staff who I believe wanted to do a good job, but appeared to lack disease understanding and training. There was also a lot of chaos due in large part to ineffective and limited programming available for the residents. I remember thinking there has to be a better way. These individuals deserved more; to feel loved, understood and respected. From that day forward I decided that this vulnerable population and their families was who I wanted to serve. 

I have been blessed in multiple ways through the work that I do and the people that I get to connect with through the Alzheimer’s Association. Our Chapter has an amazing team of compassionate staff who continue to teach me. I am also humbled by the courage that caregivers exhibit on this difficult journey and the individuals with disease who work very hard every day in a world that becomes less familiar to them.  

Today, I am a grandmother and remain confident that the children will one day live in a world where we have conquered Alzheimer’s disease. In the interim, I will remain hopeful that they too will grow up understanding the value of relationships and that no one needs to be perfect to be loved and cared for. 


Debra Brook, Executive Director

Lauren Larsen, Special Events Coordinator

Michelle Niedens LSCSW, Director of Education and Programs

Karen Clond, Dementia Care Specialist

Brenda Gregg, Dementia Care Specialist

Katherine Rivard, Manager - Community Outreach and Volunteer Engagement

Juliette B. Bradley, Director of Communications

Trish Weatherspoon, Outreach Coordinator, Diversity Outreach

Susan Wagner, Donations Processor

Scott Bradley, Director of Special Events

Cassie Wilson, Special Events Coordinator










Alzheimer's Association

Our vision: A world without Alzheimer's disease®.
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.