Danielle Barrette-Marcuccio


In 2015, Danielle’s husband, John, was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) at age 61. When Danielle realized there wasn’t much support available for them, she became active in advocating, working with a Young Onset Dementia club in Ottawa and launching a “Canadians Living with FTD” Facebook group, which is nationwide. Now retired, Danielle has worked as an executive in a number of exciting fields, including Organizational and Cultural Change, Social Marketing and Communications, Social Services, High Technology and Public-Private Partnerships.

Janet Bergen


Janet has enjoyed a long career as a nurse and an executive director in long-term care. Committed to championing the dignity of residents and the involvement of family members, she also has personal experience with family members who are experiencing dementia. Newly retired, her aim is to continue to support those with dementia with the utmost devotion, love and respect. Janet has a passion for quality improvement and believes we have a responsibility to educate those who interact with our loved ones and those in our care to ensure the best services are provided.

Dr. Laura Booi

Laura is a social gerontologist whose work in international dementia issues aims to engage both the next generation of dementia-focused leaders as well as marginalized, often unheard voices affected by dementia. In 2018, she received her doctorate in gerontology from Simon Fraser University, funded by the Canadian Frailty Network. She then went on to graduate as a Senior Atlantic Fellow with the Global Brain Health Institute, Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland) in 2019, and in the spring of 2020 joined Newcastle University in England as a research associate on the PriDem project, developing sustainable models of post-diagnostic support and dementia. As co-founder of World Young Leaders in Dementia (WYLD), Laura is also an outspoken advocate for global dementia issues.

Lisa Despins


Lisa has been working in health-care communications for over 20 years. Her awareness of dementia has grown in her professional realm through collaborative projects with doctors, health-care teams, and patients and caregivers, to provide resources around dementia and related issues. On a personal level, Lisa has lost both her in-laws to dementia, and is now watching her own father’s dementia struggles in the UK. Supporting both him and his wife from afar has been difficult, and Lisa is glad to be able to help others facing the same challenges in any way she can.

Kate Ducak


Kate is a gerontologist who combines her care partner perspectives with community building, knowledge mobilization and social enterprise development skills to empower individuals, groups and organizations to change social structures and health-care systems. She studied aging, health and well-being at McMaster University, where she received her undergraduate honours and master’s degrees, and partially at the PhD level at the University of Waterloo. Today, Kate’s work focuses on facilitating person-directed care, dementia care, age-friendly communities and culture change across the continuum of care.

Dr. Kate Dupuis


Kate is a clinical neuropsychologist and a researcher whose work lies at the intersection of arts, health and aging. In her research, she seeks to identify the potential personal and systemic barriers to participation in the arts, how we can facilitate arts engagement in older adults, and what the terms “being creative” or “artistic” mean to us as we age. Much of her work (before COVID-19 and hopefully again post-pandemic) takes place in retirement and long-term care homes, with older adults living with dementia and their care partners.

Wayne Hykaway


Wayne is the primary caregiver for his wife, Judy, who lives with dementia. They’ve been married for 47 years and have two daughters. Wayne hopes to learn more about dementia and how to care for Judy more effectively by participating on the Dementia Connections Editorial Advisory Board. Currently, Wayne contributes as an advisor for 12 local and Canada-wide projects and programs related to dementia, seniors and long-term care issues. A committed life-long learner with a background in design and education, Wayne hopes to gain more knowledge of dementia issues and advocacy through participation on the board.

Dr. Carole-Lynne Le Navenec


Carole-Lynne is an associate professor emerita at the University of Calgary and the award-winning author of One Day at a Time: How Families Manage the Experience of Dementia. She has worked with people with dementia and their families for decades, both as a researcher and community health nurse, and was co-founder of Club 36, a day program for people with dementia in Calgary. Today, Carole-Lynne is involved in a range of national and international networks focused on later life learning, active aging, and bringing patient/family insights into the health or home-care planning process.

Dan Levitt


Dan is an international speaker, elder care leader, writer and gerontologist, specializing in helping others create better lives for seniors. As the executive director of Tabor Village in Abbotsford, he shepherds the enhancement of social, spiritual and care needs for more than 300 seniors, inspiring a team of over 400 employees and volunteers with a commitment to continuously improving quality of life. Dan is also an adjunct professor in gerontology at Simon Fraser University, an adjunct professor within the University of British Columbia’s school of nursing, and a sessional instructor at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Frank Palmer


Frank retired from his 25-year career with the Federal Government/Industry Canada in 2006 to become a full-time care partner for his wife, Irene, during her lengthy journey with dementia. Irene lived at home with Frank, supported by extensive, coordinated health-care services, until her passing in May 2020. Over the years, Frank has been an advocate for the Alzheimer Society and other organizations whose mission encompasses caregiving and dignity/respect for both the individual and their family. He was awarded the Caregiver Recognition Award from Central CCAC in 2015.

Lisa Poole


Lisa is a family care partner and provides insight from the perspective of lived experience. She is the founder of Dementia Connections magazine and the co-chair of Dementia Advocacy Canada. Lisa is on Dementia Network Calgary’s Strategic Council, AGEWELL’s Older Adult and Caregiver Advisory Committee (OACAC) and is involved with several other dementia-related community initiatives.

Dr. Ron Posno


Ron has dementia — he was formally assessed with minor cognitive impairment in August 2016. Born, raised and living in London, Ontario, Ron has also resided in Quebec, Germany and Calgary. Nationally recognized for curriculum innovation in special education, Ron was a teacher, consultant and school superintendent. As a tireless advocate for people with exceptional needs, Ron has lectured in 13 universities and colleges throughout Canada and the United States. Before retirement, he became a popular motivational speaker addressing change in business and public institutions. Now, he speaks for people with dementia and their caregivers.

Stephanie Ruckstuhl


Stephanie is a mother to four, a grandmother to three, a registered nurse, a community college instructor, a researcher, an activist and, in the last four years, a caregiver to Ron, her husband of 30 years. She has seen first-hand what dementia can do in a family, first with her mother-in-law, Carole, and now with Ron, both of whom have struggled with Lewy body dementia. Stephanie is incredibly passionate about finding best practices in caregiving, to make going through the motions of Lewy body dementia more comfortable for her husband and others.