About Us

The Montana Alzheimer’s/Dementia Work Group was established in June 2014. It is a state-wide partnership consisting of several key national, state, and local partners interested in improving care and support to Montanans with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias, their families, and caregivers. The Work Group consists of over 40 members representing multiple industries or stakeholder groups including the Alzheimer’s Association, the Senior and Long-term Care Division of the Department of Public Health and Human Services, the Governor’s Office, other government agencies, patient advocacy groups, patient advocates (caregivers), Assisted Living/Long-Term Care facilities, senior services groups, regional healthcare organizations and providers, the Veteran’s Administration, educators, researchers, legislators, Montana’s Native American population, and the LGBT community.

The Work Group recognized that Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most important health care crises of our generation. It is prevalent, underdiagnosed, and carries significant caregiver burden. It is one of the costliest chronic diseases to society and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and Montana. To date there is no effective prevention, cure, or treatment. The Work Group also recognized that currently Montanans are significantly impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. As the number of individuals with dementia increases over the next decade, their needs and those of their caregivers will increase.

The Work Group concluded that the best way to help our state prepare for the current and future needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementia and families and caregivers was to write a Montana Alzheimer’s and Dementia Action Plan. The goal of the plan is to alert Montanans to this growing health care crisis and identify action steps that will be taken to improve care to individuals with dementia and their caregivers. The Work Group met every other month over the course of two years to accomplish this goal. To ensure the plan addressed the needs and concerns of all Montanans, Work Group members conducted a state-wide inventory to identify gaps in dementia care resources and services, and held public Town Hall meetings in several Montana communities and on Native American reservations and Indian Health Services centers across the state to hear and discuss the challenges, fears, and unmet needs of Montanans caring for individuals with dementia.

Work Group Members

The following Montana Alzheimer’s/Dementia Work Group members contributed significantly to the creation and development of the Montana Alzheimer’s and Dementia Action Plan. Each has a passion for improving the lives of Montana citizens affected by dementia. Thank you to all the Work Group members and partner organizations.

Executive Committee

Beki Glyde Brandborg, Consultant, Helena
Claudia Clifford, AARP Montana, Helena
Patricia Coon, MD, Billings
Holly Garcia, Billings Clinic, Billings
Heidi Gibson, Consultant/Advocate, Great Falls, MT
Miranda Meunier, Billings Clinic, Billings
Betty Mullette, Billings Clinic, Billings
Lynn Mullowney, Montana Alzheimer’s Association, Billings
Jennifer Rosen, National Alzheimer’s Association, Washington, DC
Jan Smith, Big Sky Senior Services, Billings

Workgroup Members

Richard Blank, Missoula Aging Services, Missoula
Casey Blumenthal, DNP, RN, CAE, Vice President, Montana Hospital Association, Helena
Beki Glyde Brandborg, Meeting facilitator, Helena
Beth Brenneman, Disability Rights MT, Helena
Nicki Broch, Patient partner, Billings
Joy Bruck, Past-President AARP Montana, Helena
Kathleen Burke, Caregiver representative, Billings
Rebecca Chance-Schauf, Community Education Manager II, St. Peter’s Hospital, BHU, Helena
Claudia Clifford, Advocacy Director, AARP Montana, Helena
Patricia Coon, MD, Billings
Brian Coplin, Executive Director, HELP, Helena
Jennifer Crowley, BSN, RN, CLCP, MSCC, Eagleview West Life Care Planning, Kalispell
Charlotta Eaton, MD, Billings
Terry Egan, MS, UM- Montana Geriatric Education Center, Missoula
Holly Garcia, BSHA, Billings Clinic, Billings
Heidi Gibson, Consultant/Advocate, Great Falls, MT
Jeremy Glover, Highgate Senior Living, Bozeman
Marsha Goetting, Ph.D., CFP, CFCS, Professor and Extension Family Economics Specialist, Montana State University, Bozeman
Patti Holkup, Ph.D., RN, Professor Emerita, Montana State University, College of Nursing, Missoula
Gayle Hudgins, Pharm. D., CGP, Skaggs School of Pharmacy, University of Montana, Missoula
Kathie Kadri, MD, Missoula,
Clare Kearns, LCSW-C, Veteran’s Health Care, Fort Harrison, Helena
Kim Leighton, Regional Development Organizer, PRIDE Foundation, Helena
Pamela Longmire, RT, BAS Long-Term Care & Health Care Administration, Lead Nursing Home Quality Improvement, Mountain-Pacific Quality Health, Helena
David Loewenwarter, Alzheimer’s Advocate, Missoula
Libby Markus, VP Health Services, St. John’s Lutheran Ministries, Billings
Kathryn (Kat) Quinn McBee, B.S., LSSW, DTM, CDP, Alternative Care Service-In-Home Care/Owver, Belgrade
Laurie Miller, RN, ResCare HomeCare, Inc, Great Falls
Betty Mullette, MSN, RN, Research Nurse, Billings Clinic, Billings
Lynn Mullowney Cabrera, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Association, Billings
Jill O’Moore, Senior Research Assistant, McLaughlin Research Institute, Great Falls
Lanette Perkins, RN, MS, Hardin
Glenda Oldenburg, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Helena
Emily Propst, Highgate Senior Living, Masters in Gerontology, Bozeman
Charlie Rehbein, Bureau Chief, DPHHS Aging Services Bureau, Helena
Kerrie Reidelbach, DPHHS-SLTC Div. –ADRC Program Manager, Helena
Jessica Rhoades, DPHHS, Director’s Office, Helena
JoDee Samano, Adult Resource Alliance of Yellowstone County, Billings
Myrna Schuhmacher Seno, Care Transition Consultant, Helena
Ronalee Skees, Immanuel Lutheran Communities, Kalispell
Jan Smith, BSBA, Big Sky Senior Services, Billings
Joan S. Taylor, Chair, Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging, Helena
Sue Warren, RN, MSN, NE-BC, Director of Nursing/Senior Services, Benefis Health System, Great Falls
Kelly Williams, Administrator, Senior and Long Term Care Division, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Helena
Carla Wilton, Executive Director, Immanuel Lutheran Communities, Kalispell

The Montana Alzheimer’s / Dementia Work Group want to thank the hundreds of individuals from across Montana who shared their personal stories, concerns and challenges facing them due to the impact of Alzheimer’s disease. Their input was critical to shaping the state plan.

The Work Group thanks these elected officials and their staffs, who participated in various meetings throughout this process:

  • Children, Families, Health, and Human Services Interim Committee
  • Offices and staff of:
    • U.S. Senator Steve Daines
    • U.S. Senator Jon Tester
    • U.S. Congressman Ryan Zinke