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.

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.

Diane Richardson is a project manager at HealthInsight Oregon and former project lead for the nursing home team. She provides support, education, coaching, and mentoring to nursing homes and teams participating in collaboratives and quality improvement work as part of the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization Program. She has strong collaborative relationships in the long term care community and actively serves on statewide committees working on quality initiatives. Diane holds a bachelor’s of science in healthcare administration from Concordia University. She is a licensed nursing home administrator and former licensed practical nurse.  Diane teaches Safe Medication Management classes.

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.

Hope Murphy is a consultant pharmacist for Consonus Pharmacy where she partners with long term care facilities to ensure safe and appropriate medication use. With more than 10 years of pharmacist experience, she is a skilled medication aide trainer and frequent presenter on geriatric medication principles.  Her primary focus is elder care, with a special interest in traumatic brain injury patients.  She earned her doctor of pharmacy degree from Albany College of Pharmacy.  Hope teaches Understanding Medicines in Older Adults classes.

Jennifer Wright is a licensed nursing home administrator with more than 10 years of experience in the long term care industry, including continuing care retirement communities and skilled nursing facilities. She is a certified professional in healthcare quality through the National Association for Healthcare Quality.  During her tenure at HealthInsight Oregon, Jennifer has worked with nursing homes and hospitals on various QI (quality initiative) projects; currently her focus is on coordination of care across communities in all levels and settings of care. She holds a bachelor’s of science degree in health care administration with a gerontology certificate from Oregon State University.  Jennifer teaches Understanding Medicines in Older Adults classes.

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.

Dr. Leslie Fuchs is a Harvard-trained, board certified psychiatrist who practices in the San Francisco Bay area and consults with agencies in California, Oregon and Washington.  She works as an overseeing physician at Home Care Advisors.  Dr. Fuchs works with individuals and families, providing home care advisory consultations to promote aging in place.  She is an expert at navigating systems, coordinating teams and helping folks stay at the least restrictive level of care.  Dr. Fuchs teaches Challenging Behaviors classes.

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.

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.

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.

Shelly Edwards, an accomplished professional trainer and educator, is president/owner of Edwards Consulting and Training, LLC.  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.

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.

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.

Tyler Havlin is a project coordinator at HealthInsight Oregon, where she has spent the last several years supporting, coaching and educating a collaborative group of nursing homes from across the state.  She is experienced in implementing and teaching quality improvement principles.  Tyler has a passion for improving elder care and spreading knowledge about caring for people living with dementia, and she is an active member of the Oregon Partnership to Improve Dementia Care.  She holds a bachelor’s in history from the University of New Mexico. Tyler teaches Understanding Medicines in Older Adults and Positive Approach to Care classes.


Positive Approach to Care (PAC) Certified Trainers

Amy Gordin is a transition services analyst for Oregon’s Aging and People with Disabilities helping move consumers from nursing facilities or hospitals back home or into community-based care.  Previously she worked as a homeless outreach coordinator for AmeriCorps based out of the Yamhill Community Action Partnership, as well as for Family Support and Connections connecting at-risk families with services in their community.  She graduated from Washington State University, Vancouver with a bachelor’s degree in public affairs. Amy teaches Positive Approach to Care classes.

Becky Bearden is a nurse consultant for Consonus Healthcare.  With more than 15 years experience in the long term care industry, she has provided care, support and knowledge as a dialysis nurse, charge nurse in a skilled nursing facility, and staff development coordinator and infection control nurse.  Becky has served on the STAT and Satellite Medications and Washington Health Care Assoc. Quality Assurance committees, trained facilities on Electronic Medical Records, and volunteered with Right At Home of Snohomish County.  Becky teaches Positive Approach to Care classes.

Christine Koonce, a nurse for more than 30 years, has spent the last 21 years as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner with a specialty in geriatric mental health. She currently works at Providence Portland Elderplace, and prior to that was on the geriatric team at Cascadia Behavioral Health. Christine has presented to a wide range of audiences on topics related to geriatric mental health, including suicide prevention and intervention, delirium, positive approaches to dementia care, professional boundaries and depression. She earned a registered nursing degree from Lane Community College, a bachelor’s of nursing degree from Southern Oregon State College, and a master’s of psychiatric nursing degree from Oregon Health Sciences University.  Christine teaches Positive Approach to Care classes.

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.

Demi Haffenreffer has worked in long-term care for more than 40 years. She is founder and president of Haffenreffer & Associates, Inc., an Oregon long term care consulting firm providing education and assistance with the implementation of quality systems and corporate compliance programs nationwide. Demi has taught workshops nationally and internationally and has authored five policy and procedure manuals. In addition, Demi is retained regularly by nationally known law firms as an expert on regulatory compliance issues.  She earned her bachelor’s in nursing from New York University, Albany, and her master’s of business administration from Boston University.  Demi teaches Positive Approach to Care classes.

Erin Eastberg works for Clackamas County Social Services with the Family Caregiver Support Program. She has been a professional and family caregiver for 14 years. Erin cared for her dad until he passed away from dementia and she continues to be her mom’s primary caregiver. She has an associate’s degree from Clackamas Community College in gerontology.  She is also certified by Stanford University as a Living Well with Chronic Conditions Leader.  Erin teaches Positive Approach to Care classes.

Jan Karlen has worked for the Department of Human Services (DHS) since 1998.  In her current position as a policy analyst with the State Unit on Aging, Jan has varied responsibilities, including coordinating and participating in several workgroups connected with the State Plan on Alzheimer’s Disease, overseeing the Family Caregiver Support Program, as well as coordinating and participating in the Oregon Partnership to Improve Dementia Care.  In her tenure at DHS she has worked with the licensing of residential care and assisted living facilities and endorsement of memory care communities.  Previous to her time with DHS, Jan worked in the private sector and as a nursing facility surveyor with the Department of Health Services in Arizona.  Jan teaches Positive Approach to Care classes.

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.

Mary Murphy-Altrichter is an independent nurse consultant with Consulting Resources.  She provides expert guidance and oversight to assisted living and memory care communities throughout Washington and Oregon.  She began her nursing experience in psychiatry, transitioned to medical-surgical nursing, post-partum, cardiac care and geriatrics.  Mary has also worked as a diabetic nurse consultant for the pharmaceutical industry providing diabetic education to consumers, pharmacists and physicians for a variety of insulins and devices.  She has a bachelor’s of arts degree with a major in nursing and a minor in psychology.  Mary teaches Positive Approach to Care classes.

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.

Michelle Giammona is administrator at Aging Wisely with Heartfelt Hands supporting caregivers and clients. While attending University of Texas at Arlington and after, she worked for the State of Texas caring for seniors with disabilities and chronic illnesses.   She moved to Oregon eight years ago to care for her elderly aunt and began working for Aging Wisely with Heartfelt Hands.  Michelle teaches Positive Approach to Care classes.

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, is president/owner of Edwards Consulting and Training, LLC.  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 and is also a Certified PAC Consultant, providing consulting services to families and long term care communities who are working through dementia related challenges.

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.

Susan Debates is a registered nurse with more than 20 years of experience in long term care.  In her current role as a pharmacy nurse consultant, Susan reviews and trains in all aspects of medication systems, educates on the link between the clinical side of pharmacy and nursing practices, and advises narcotic diversion and discrepancy resolution.  She also presents on topics such as medication administration, policies and processes, as well as state and federal regulations pertaining to medications and pharmacy services.  Susan teaches Positive Approach to Care classes.

Susie Sample is an intern horticultural therapist with Earthtones, works as a care advocate for people living with dementia and their families, and works with Volunteers of America adult day centers.  She discovered a passion for being of service to people living with dementia and those in supporting roles when helping her mother navigate through Lewy Body disease. Wanting to be part of raising awareness and improve care led Susie to pursue an associate of applied science degree in gerontology at Portland Community College.  Susie was also part of the founding staff of The Sundance Program, a community-based research program providing support for people experiencing symptoms of Sundowning and their family caregivers.  Susie teaches Positive Approach to Care classes.

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.

Tyler Havlin is a project coordinator at HealthInsight Oregon, where she has spent the last several years supporting, coaching and educating a collaborative group of nursing homes from across the state.  She is experienced in implementing and teaching quality improvement principles.  Tyler has a passion for improving elder care and spreading knowledge about caring for people living with dementia, and she is an active member of the Oregon Partnership to Improve Dementia Care.  She holds a bachelor’s in history from the University of New Mexico. Tyler teaches Understanding Medicines in Older Adults and Positive Approach to Care classes.