Oregon Care Partners Trainers

Chris Harris is a consultant pharmacist for Consonus Pharmacy with more than 30 years experience in the industry.  He works closely with long term care facilities to deliver medications safely and effectively. He’s an accomplished presenter on topics including medications and pharmacology of any therapeutic class.  He has a bachelor’s of science degree in pharmacy from Oregon State University.  Chris teaches Understanding Medicines in Older Adults classes for Oregon Care Partners.

Cynthia is the CEO of ElderWise Inc., a senior living consulting group. She provides nurse and operational consultant services and training to care communities, businesses and individuals. She also consults in course and curriculum development for the Institute for Professional Care Education. Cynthia has worked as a regional director of clinical operations for Regency Pacific Management, an assistant professor at Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing, and as a nurse consultant for the State of Oregon’s Aging and People with Disabilities. Cynthia earned her master’s of science in nursing from Gonzaga University.  Cynthia teaches Positive Approach to Care and Safe Medication Management classes for Oregon Care Partners.

Founder and President of Haffenreffer & Associates, Inc., an Oregon consulting firm supporting skilled and community-based care providers in the delivery of person-centered, compassionate care, Demi Haffenreffer also serves on the Washington Health Care Association Quality Improvement Committee and is a facilitator for the AHCA Leadership Excellence Self-Assessment System. She teaches workshops nationally and internationally, advises law firms as an expert on regulatory compliance issues, and authored five policy and procedure manuals.

Previously, Demi assisted the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care with a CMS grant to publish the Model Program for Quality Performance called “QAPI.,” served on the Oregon State Resident Safety Review Council, the Steering Committee of MOVE (Making Oregon Vital for Elders, an outreach of the Pioneer Network), as a member of Oregon Patient Safety Commission, and as a Master Examiner for AHCA’s Quality Award.  Demi teaches safe medication management classes for Oregon Care Partners.

Erin Hewitt is a consultant pharmacist for Consonus Pharmacy with more than seven years of retail and long term care pharmacist experience.  She has special expertise in aging and dementia, and works to help residents achieve their health care goals and ensure patient safety. Erin has a doctor of pharmacy degree from Butler University and a certification in Cardiovascular Disease Risk Management.  Erin teaches Understanding Medicines in Older Adults classes for Oregon Care Partners.

Jessica Leitner, an accomplished behavior consultant and trainer, has spent more than 30 years advocating for adults and families with Developmental Disabilities in the Portland, Oregon area. She is owner of Jessica Leitner Consulting, LLC, a private consulting firm helping caregiving organizations navigate an ever changing set of rules and regulations while maintaining quality care. She served as an Oregon Intervention System (OIS) Trainer and Steering Committee Member and helped bring Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training to local law enforcement agencies in Clackamas County and Portland. Jessica earned a master’s in social work from Portland State University and a BA in Psychology from Oregon State University. Previously, she held positions with Multnomah County, Clackamas County and Edwards Center, Inc. Jessica teaches Challenging Behaviors classes for Oregon Care Partners.

Dr. Joselyn Salaz received her bachelor’s in psychology from Western Oregon University, her master’s of science in counseling psychology from Oregon State University and her doctorate in counseling psychology, counselor education and clinical supervision from Oregon State University. She is currently licensed as a professional counselor, national certified counselor, accredited clinical supervisor, certified clinical hypnotherapist and is a member of several national and regional counseling associations. Joselyn has also worked more than a dozen years in residential, private and government mental health agencies, has a background as a certified nursing assistant and has spent the last several years working with caregivers to help support clients with challenging behaviors. She has experience training in the community and teaches at the university level.  Joselyn teaches Challenging Behaviors classes for Oregon Care Partners.

Linda Bifano developed her nursing practice in geriatric care with more than 25 years of clinical experience in community-based care. She has managed a community health clinic serving older adults with mental illness and chronic health conditions; provided visiting nurse services working with interdisciplinary teams; developed training and operational systems as director of health services for a large assisted living facility; and been a nurse consultant and trainer for staff for numerous long term care companies. Linda earned a master’s in nursing from Oregon Health and Sciences University, a master’s in public administration in health care management from Portland State University, and a doctorate in nursing practice from Chatham University with a focus on older adult community-based care.  She is a fellow of the Geriatric Nurse Leadership Academy sponsored by OHSU SON Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence and an affiliated faculty member. Linda teaches Positive Approach to Care and Safe Medication Management classes for Oregon Care Partners.

As RN Clinical Trainer/Developer for Care Oregon, Lisa McKerlick co-authored and developed the LiveWell MethodTM quality assurance and process improvement curriculum. She specializes in creating and implementing healthcare industry training programs designed to improve facility culture, training all skill levels, care settings and departments to ensure teamwork and collaboration. Lisa was an RN in oncology, urgent and outpatient care until becoming RN Facilitator/Lead Trainer at Providence Portland Medical Center in 2012. In that role, she oversaw the Releasing Time to Care (RT2C) nursing improvement initiative. Lisa started her career at American Red Cross and Ecotrust. She also served on the Nurse Practice Council and Acute Care Transformation Steering Committee, and volunteered as RN delegation to Tijuana, Mexico, supporting Esperanza International in 2016. Lisa teaches safe medication management classes for Oregon Care Partners.

Lynda Crandall is a registered nurse with 44 years experience working with elders providing direct services through nursing home and gero-psychiatric hospital care, as well as indirect services through formal and informal consultation, community training, quality of care initiatives and state policy/program design.  She served 4 years as Executive Director for Pioneer Network, a national non-profit aimed at changing the culture of aging and now has a consulting company, Lynda Crandall Consulting, Inc.  She has authored several chapters in nursing text books and a number of training manuals on mental health and aging topics.  She also volunteers for MOVE, Making Oregon Vital for Elders, the Oregon culture change coalition, and the Oregon Partnership for Improved Dementia Care. Lynda teaches medication management for Oregon Care Partners.

Marya Kain started working in healthcare more than 36 years ago as a certified nursing assistant in a nursing home.  Since then she has continued to work with seniors and people with different abilities in a variety of settings and roles, including administrator, activity director, support group facilitator, STAR-C consultant, powerful tools master trainer and more.  She has taught classes on aging and memory loss since 1993, and currently works as an educator, certified behavior coach and certified geriatric care manager.  Marya holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and exercise science, and a master’s degree in exercise physiology with a minor in psychology.  Marya teaches Challenging Behaviors classes for Oregon Care Partners.

Nick Lewis, a consultant pharmacist for Consonus Pharmacy, works closely with client facilities to ensure patient safety.  He’s closely connected to delivery of patient care reviewing charts, suggesting changes to drug regimens and identifying possible adverse medication reactions.  He provides pharmacy consulting to long term facilities and speaks about the role of medications in managing heart disease in the elderly.  Nick has a doctor of pharmacy degree from Oregon State University School of Pharmacy.  He teaches Understanding Medicines in Older Adults classes for Oregon Care Partners.

Shelly Edwards, an accomplished professional trainer and educator.  She has been a trainer for adults for more than 25 years, the past seven years of which she has specialized in Alzheimer’s education and training for professional caregivers, police, and families alike.  She holds a bachelor’s in history from Mount Union College and a master’s of library science from Kent State University. Shelly teaches Positive Approach to Care and Challenging Behaviors classes for Oregon Care Partners.

Sherry Stock is the executive director of the Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon (BIAOR), with two master’s degrees and is a certified brain injury specialist trainer with the Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists.  She and has taught numerous university courses in sociology, international gerontology, systems science, chaos theory and medical sociology. Sherry has authored dozens of handbooks, monographs, articles, book chapters and books and is a national speaker and trainer.  Sherry teaches Challenging Behaviors classes for Oregon Care Partners.

Terri Fagan acquired her bachelor’s of science in pharmacy from the University of Montana School of Pharmacy.  She is active in professional societies, including American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), Oregon Society of Consultant Pharmacists (OSCP) and Oregon State Pharmacist Association (OSPA). She has previously served as both president and secretary for OSCP and is a certified preceptor for Oregon and Washington pharmacy students. Terri teaches Positive Approach to Care and Understanding Medicines in Older Adults classes for Oregon Care Partners.

Tim Malone has more than 25 years’ experience in social work and behavioral health. He’s a professional, licensed behavioral health consultant and psychiatric social worker, specializing in geriatric mental health, care consultation, policy and program advocacy. Tim is the owner of Gero Care Solutions, a solution-focused support organization for older adults and their families experiencing complex behavioral challenges as a result of dementia and/or mental illness. Tim earned his Master of Social Work (MSW) from Portland State University. He went on to teach, as adjunct faculty, in the social work department at Portland State and Oregon State universities. He has been the Vice-Chair of the Oregon Governors Commission on senior services and the Chair of the commission’s Committee on Senior Mental Health and Addictions. In 2008, he was awarded the Mental Health Award for Excellence, State of Oregon. Tim teaches Challenging Behaviors classes for Oregon Care Partners.


Positive Approach to Care (PAC) Certified Trainers

Cynthia is the CEO of ElderWise Inc., a senior living consulting group. She provides nurse and operational consultant services and training to care communities, businesses and individuals. She also consults in course and curriculum development for the Institute for Professional Care Education. Cynthia has worked as a regional director of clinical operations for Regency Pacific Management, an assistant professor at Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing, and as a nurse consultant for the State of Oregon’s Aging and People with Disabilities. Cynthia earned her master’s of science in nursing from Gonzaga University.  Cynthia teaches Positive Approach to Care and Safe Medication Management classes for Oregon Care Partners.

Linda Bifano developed her nursing practice in geriatric care with more than 25 years of clinical experience in community-based care. She has managed a community health clinic serving older adults with mental illness and chronic health conditions; provided visiting nurse services working with interdisciplinary teams; developed training and operational systems as director of health services for a large assisted living facility; and been a nurse consultant and trainer for staff for numerous long term care companies. Linda earned a master’s in nursing from Oregon Health and Sciences University, a master’s in public administration in health care management from Portland State University, and a doctorate in nursing practice from Chatham University with a focus on older adult community-based care.  She is a fellow of the Geriatric Nurse Leadership Academy sponsored by OHSU SON Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence and an affiliated faculty member. Linda teaches Positive Approach to Care and Safe Medication Management classes for Oregon Care Partners.

Melissa Robinett is director of nurse consulting for Consonus Pharmacy, where she leads a team of nurses across five states.  Melissa’s passion is to develop training programs and educate staff on best practices related to medication management, ensuring the safety of residents.  Melissa earned her nursing degree from the Linfield School of Nursing, and began her career as a hospital staff and charge nurse at Legacy Emanuel Hospital.  She was nurse consultant manager and pharmacy operations coordinator with Evergreen Pharmaceutical before joining Consonus.  Melissa teaches Positive Approach to Care classes for Oregon Care Partners.

Pamela Ruona is principal of P Ruona Consulting, which provides consultation services to long term care and community-based care providers as well as in-home care agencies and associations.  She has a master’s degree in human relations with an organizational development focus, and more than 20 years of policy and program experience in the field of long term care. While a staff member for the Department of Human Services, Seniors and People with Disabilities, Pamela wrote and implemented the original rules for Alzheimer’s Care Units Endorsements (now Memory Care Units). She has extensive teaching and presenting experience in Alzheimer’s and dementia care.  Pamela teaches Positive Approach to Care classes and is also a Certified PAC Consultant, providing consulting services to families and long term care communities who are working through dementia related challenges.

Shelly Edwards, an accomplished professional trainer and educator.  She has been a trainer for adults for more than 25 years, the past seven years of which she has specialized in Alzheimer’s education and training for professional caregivers, police, and families alike.  She holds a bachelor’s in history from Mount Union College and a master’s of library science from Kent State University. Shelly teaches Positive Approach to Care and Challenging Behaviors classes.

Suanne Jackson is an Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) program analyst for the Oregon State Unit on Aging where she provides training and training coordination for Oregon’s ADRCs and Area Agency on Aging offices.  She has more than 35 years of experience in staff development and training, including her role as project coordinator/trainer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation national initiative “Jobs to Careers” grant (2006-2009) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative “Better Jobs Better Care” national demonstration grant (2003-2006), both in Oregon.  She has bachelor’s in social work from Humboldt State University.  Suanne teaches Positive Approach to Care classes for Oregon Care Partners.

Terri Fagen acquired her bachelor’s of science in pharmacy from the University of Montana School of Pharmacy.  She is active in professional societies, including American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), Oregon Society of Consultant Pharmacists (OSCP) and Oregon State Pharmacist Association (OSPA). She has previously served as both president and secretary for OSCP and is a certified preceptor for Oregon and Washington pharmacy students.  Terri teaches Positive Approach to Care and Understanding Medicines in Older Adults classes for Oregon Care Partners.