Danielle Barrette-Marcuccio

ONTARIO

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.

Lisa Despins

BRITISH COLUMBIA

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.

Dr. Kate Dupuis

ONTARIO

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.

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.

Dr. Ron Posno

ONTARIO

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.

Wayne Hykaway

ALBERTA

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.

Stephanie Ruckstuhl

NEW BRUNSWICK

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.