Featured Presenters

The Alzheimer's Association New England chapters are proud to include a distinguished list of dementia care professionals speaking at this year's Family Conference.

Presenter Biographies

Leonor Buitrago

Diversity Outreach Manager

Leonor Buitrago is the Diversity Outreach Manager for the Alzheimer's Association MA/NH Chapter. She previously worked at the New York City Chapter and Rochester NY Chapter, training Hispanic home care professionals, family caregivers and delivering Alzheimer's education to Spanish speaking communities. In her current role she works in collaboration with local organizations and volunteers to provide education and raise Alzheimer's awareness in diverse communities.

Jack Paul Gesino, DSW, LCSW

Former Associate Professor, Social Work, Southern Connecticut State University and Chair of the Families and Elder Specialization

Jack Paul Gesino, DSW, LCSW, is a former Associate Professor, Social Work, Southern Connecticut State University and Chair of the Families and Elder Specialization. Mr Gesino has 47 years of clinical practice in working with elders and their families in a variety of treatment and community settings. He has extensive training in neuroscience, clinical practice with couples/families and sexual intimacy, biofeedback, and Positive Psychology.  In addition, Mr Gesino is a consultant at The Whitney Center, a Continuing Care Residential Community.

Melissa Grenier, LCSW

Regional Manager for New Hampshire, Alzheimer's Association MA/NH Chapter

Melissa Grenier, LCSW, graduated with her Bachelors of Social Work degree from Western New England College in Springfield, Massachusetts, and later obtained her Masters of Social Work degree from Springfield College. Melissa has worked in the areas of elder guardianship, home care, geriatric psychiatric care, and long-term care for over fifteen years.  She has worked for the Alzheimer's Association, MA/NH Chapter, for over nine years, and is currently the Regional Manager for the State of New Hampshire.  Her role includes overseeing the operations of the Bedford, NH, regional office, and providing the Alzheimer's Association's wide range of programs, services and trainings to those diagnosed with memory impairment, their loved ones and caregivers, the public, and law enforcement and first responders, across NH.

Jennifer Hoadley, CDP

Regional Manager of Southeastern Massachusetts, Alzheimer’s Association, MA/NH Chapter

Jennifer Hoadley, a certified dementia practitioner, is the Regional Manager of Southeastern Massachusetts for the Alzheimer's Association, Massachusetts/ New Hampshire Chapter. Ms. Hoadley facilitates a variety of educational programs about Alzheimer's Disease which are offered to the general public, professionals, people living with Alzheimer's Disease or a related dementia and their care partners and provides information and referral as well as symptom management strategies. Prior to her position with the Alzheimer's Association, Jennifer worked for over ten years in assisted living as a program director in the memory support neighborhood. She also has experience in a nursing home setting and has facilitated support groups for families affected by Alzheimer's disease.

Judith K. Jones, JD

Butenhof & Bomster, Manchester, New Hampshire

Judith Jones, JD, joined Butenhof & Bomster, PC in 2007. Attorney Jones brings substantial experience in elder law issues from her statewide practice with New Hampshire Legal Assistance from 1997 to 2006, which included serving as the Directing Attorney of the Senior Citizens Law Project from 2002 to 2006. Her experience in the areas of Medicare, Medicaid and other public benefits programs, enhances the firm’s commitment to comprehensive benefit planning for its clients. Attorney Jone received her J.D. from Western New England College School of Law in 1994, and her undergraduate degree from Cornell University in 1980. She is a founding member of the New Hampshire Elder Rights Coalition and EngAging New Hampshire. She currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Committee for the New Hampshire Long Term Care Ombudsman. In 2010, Judith helped to establish the not for profit organization, Friends of the New Hampshire Office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman and currently serves as a board member. Judith’s personal experience as a family caregiver has informed and influenced her approach to advocacy. She frequently speaks about public benefit planning to health care professionals and family advocates, including a monthly informational session through Elliot Health Systems and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Lisa Sobhian, MSW, LICSW, CDP

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and Certified Dementia Practitioner

A licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and Certified Dementia Practitioner, Lisa Sobhian has been a nursing home social worker and nursing home consultant, specializing in working with individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their families and other caregivers. Since 2007, she has been in charge of Alzheimer’s care at D’Youville Life & Wellness Community in Lowell, where she is the Director of Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Services and Director of Life Enrichment Programs. Lisa enjoys speaking about Dementia and facilitating support groups for families who are caring for their loved ones. A volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association for the last 12 years, Lisa has been part of its Committee for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s as Chairperson and currently their Mission Chair, and as an advocate and a Community Educator. Lisa’s passion is working to bring awareness and education to the public about Alzheimer's disease and sharing her determination that there is a reason to hope for treatment and a cure. Lisa holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Stony Brook University.

Deanna Upchurch

Director of Clinical Outreach Services, HopeHealth

Deanna Upchurch has worked in hospice and palliative care for over 20 years as a grief counselor and healthcare professional. She has spent the past 15 years focused on developing programs that provide compassionate care to those at end of life and their families at HopeHealth, including the Circle of Love Dementia Care Program. She holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Rhode Island College, having entered the field of hospice following her own personal loss experiences during young adulthood. Deanna also serves as adjunct faculty for the past 15 years at Bristol Community College and Roger Williams University where she teaches Exploring Life and Death and Human Development.

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