Laura Rice-Oeschger, LMSW, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Presence Care Project. She received her MSW from The University of Michigan School of Social Work in 1997. Laura has worked in dementia care for over twenty five years. She was the first Director of the University of Michigan Geriatrics Center Silver Club Memory Loss Programs. During her tenure with the Alzheimer’s Association of Los Angeles, she was Clinical Manager of early memory loss services, producing the area’s first Memory Clubs. Laura now serves as the Managing Director of the Wellness Initiative for the University of Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center (MADC). She is a founding member of the Ann Arbor Center for Mindfulness and began teaching mindfulness meditation and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in 2010. Laura teaches Mindfulness-Based Dementia Care (MBDC) in the community and trains dementia care professionals participating in the intensive MBDC teacher training curriculum. She holds advanced professional certifications in aging and contemplative clinical care. You can reach her via email at [email protected]

Ymkje Dioquino, MS, LMFT, is the Chief Operating Officer of the Presence Care Project. She holds her Master’s degree in Clinical and Health Psychology from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, where she lived until 1996, before moving to the United States. She is an Integrative Psychotherapist at the Institute for Health and Healing in San Francisco, and also in private practice. She has extensive experience in working with families living with dementia and other debilitating diseases. She has practiced mindfulness since age 19 and started teaching Mindfulness-Based Dementia Care (MBDC) in 2014. Ymkje presents on various dementia and caregiver related topics, including MBDC. She is currently licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California. You can reach her via email at [email protected]

Michelle Barclay, MA, RYT200 received her Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology with a specialization in Gerontology from Louisiana State University. She is the President and Co-Founder of The Barclay Group, LLC, which provides aging-related program planning, education, training, and independent consulting to government, organizations, individuals, and families. Michelle has professional training in mindfulness-based therapies, including Mindfulness-Based Dementia Care (MBDC), and is a certified yoga instructor. She has spent the past 25 years of her professional life working to help older people thrive, especially those with chronic conditions, including dementia. You can reach her via email at [email protected]

Elisabeth (Liz) Drance, MD FRCP(C) Geripsych, received her MD from the University of British Columbia in 1984 where she also did her training in Psychiatry. She holds a fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada. She is a clinical associate professor in the department of Psychiatry at UBC. Liz is a certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher — having completed a 2 year program with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. She is certified to teach Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Mindful Awareness Practices (MAPs / UCLA MARC), and Mindfulness-Based Dementia Care. Liz is training to become a Life Coach with a particular interest in Dementia Care Coaching. She lives on Gabriola Island in British Columbia Canada with her husband and two dogs — Riley and Bodhi. You can reach her via email at [email protected]

Angela Lunde, MA, E-RYT is an Associate in Neurology at Mayo Clinic. She has worked in the field of dementia and supported dementia caregivers since 1991. Her interests and research focus are in the emotional and quality of life factors experienced in those living with dementia and caregivers. She has professional training in mindfulness-based therapies including MBSR, grief and loss, Dignity Therapy ®, wellness coaching, and has been a yoga instructor for over 12 years. Angela participated in the inaugural Mindfulness-Based Dementia Care (MBDC) Facilitator Training in 2017. She is the Medical Editor and author of 2 books (Mayo Clinic Press) on dementia and caregiving. Angela currently lives in her hometown of Rochester, Minnesota. You can reach her via email at [email protected]

Lisa Schmidt, MS, LPC, CN is a Scottsdale, Arizona based therapist, educator, dietitian, and Certified Yoga Instructor. As a lead Instructor and researcher with Arizona State University’s School of Social Work, Lisa taught mindfulness based stress management interventions and sustainable mindful eating through the Integrated Health Initiatives Program. Her book, Sustainable Living & Mindful Eating is used as the textbook for Sustainable Living & Mindful Eating course at Arizona State University, a plant based mindful eating class teaching students about healthful nourishment and meditation practices.
Lisa is a Licensed Professional Counselor (AZ LPC 20358) and Certified Nutritionist Dietitian (CN) specializing in the food and mood connection. Lisa’s knowledge of mind-body medicine and science based nutrition form the basis of her psychological and nutritional therapeutic work. Lisa’s husband of 30 years is living with Lewy Body Dementia, which introduced her to the Mindfulness Based Dementia Care program. Following this transformative course, Lisa trained as a facilitator and leads virtual groups serving caregivers. As a psychotherapist, Lisa works with clients in her Scottsdale office or through telemedicine appointments available by computer or phone.
Lisa holds dual Master’s of Science degrees in Nutrition and Clinical Health Psychology from nationally acclaimed Bastyr University. Lisa holds a Certified Nutritionist (CN) credential specializing in weight loss, disordered eating, vegan and vegetarian nutrition, diabetes, digestive disorders, depression, anxiety and cardiovascular nutrition and is a licensed mental health therapist with an active yoga and mindfulness practice. She is a trained meditation instructor, and volunteers her time with The Presence Care Project, and other organizations dedicated to helping caregivers survive and thrive while tending to loved ones with dementia.
Lisa’s other affiliations include The MISS Foundation, the Arizona Humane Society, and the Humane Society of the United States. She practices Aikido Martial Arts and holds the rank of 3rd Kyu. More information on Lisa and her integrative approach to health and wellness can be found at Mindful Benefits.

Magdalena M. Cáceres is a facilitator of the MBDC Program in Spanish speaking countries. She is a Neurologist and lives in Córdoba, Argentina, where she got her Medical Degree at the Catholic University. Magdalena holds a Master Degree in Neurosciences and Mental Health. She has been the Medical Director of the Cognitive and Neurosciences Department at Sanatorio Allende in the city of Córdoba and Medical Director of Neuropsychology and Neurorehabilitation at CNR Institute since 2012. Her personal interest and practices in mindfulness started 12 years ago. After finding it useful in her own life she understood it could help her patients and their families, particularly those suffering from cognitive disorders, depression, anxiety and stress. As a result, she became MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy ) teacher trained, Universidad of Bangor UK. and later, MBCT specialist and MSC (Mindfulness Self Compassion) teacher trained, MSC Center for Mindfulness and Self Compassion, University of San Diego, California, USA. She also got a qualification as teacher of Self Compassion Training for Healthcare Communities (Mindfulness Program for Healthcare Communities) and later she became a teacher of Short Course on Mindfulness Self Compassion, MSC Center. Since then, she has been facilitating mindfulness based interventions online and in person. You can reach her via email at [email protected]

Teachers in Training

Jek Mui is Clinical Lead at Care integration, Care Services, Dementia Singapore. She is a registered social worker and has a Master’s in Social Work and Post-Graduate Diploma in Clinical Supervision. Since 2010, she has been with the Caregiver Support Centre (now Caregiver Support Services) and engages in partnership with families and persons living with dementia. She enjoys meeting and creating spaces for caregivers to come together to share their challenges and joys in caregiving. She has an interest in mindfulness-based practices and her own practice has developed over the past 6 years. She has completed her training in Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) and Mindfulness-Based Dementia Care (MBDC) with The Presence Care Project. You can reach her via email at [email protected]

Board of Directors

Marguerite Manteau-Rao is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Founder of the Presence Care Project. She developed the original six-week Mindfulness-Based Dementia Care (MBDC) program while at University of California San Francisco Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. She was the co-principal investigator for a California State Department of Public Health, 2-year research study with University of California San Francisco Institute for Health and Aging & School of Nursing evaluating the feasibility of MBDC training for care partners in two pilot dementia care communities. Marguerite wrote the book on MBDC: Caring for a Loved One With Dementia: A Mindfulness-Based Guide for Reducing Stress and Making the Best of Your Journey Together (New Harbinger, 2016). During the past 10 years, Marguerite has been involved in the development of new, pioneering technologies to support healthy aging, and healthcare more broadly. She was the co-founder of Neurocern, a digital health solution that enables cognitive screening and patient-centered care at scale for different dementia types. She was instrumental in helping a smart home technology company secure and manage a $4.5M NIH research grant project in collaboration with University of California Berkeley Psychophysiology Lab, to support the development of a smart home solution for dementia care partners. She served as a judge and advisor for AARP 2017 Dementia Caregiving Challenge. More recently, she has been leading innovation and clinical discovery for several digital therapeutics and immersive healthcare companies. Marguerite continues to support the Presence Care Project as a member of the Board.

Paula Hertel is Chair of the Presence Care Project Board and a co-founder of Connected Horse, an equine guided program for people affected by dementia. She has spent the last 30 years focused on improving service delivery systems for elders in need of care and services through consulting projects and executive management positions. She has broad experience in senior housing and assisted living operations, staff training, regulatory compliance, new program development and family and community needs.

She is the founder of Senior Living Consult, providing consulting services to organizations and individuals in need of operational and strategic direction regarding elder care services and program development. Prior to her current ventures, she was Executive Operations Officer for Emeryoak, LLC and Chief Operating Officer of AgeSong Senior Communities, operators of assisted living and dementia care communities, where she oversaw operations, marketing and new building development. Previously, she served as Vice President of Operations and Marketing for Elder Care Alliance, a nonprofit faith based organization, where she participated in all phases of feasibility, development, and operations for its assisted-living, dementia care, and multilevel long-term care communities in California. She also worked for ARV Assisted Living for 11 years in various capacities, including as Vice President of Operations and Strategic Planning, Regional Marketing and Acquisitions. Early in her career, she served as Director for the City of Anaheim’s Adult Day Care Program and as a social work intern at Highland Hospital’s Trauma Center.

Paula holds a masters of social work from San Jose State University. She is actively involved in state and national industry associations including past commissioner of the California Health Policy and Data Advisory Commission, past board member of Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA, now Argentum), past Board Member of the Emeryville Municipal Transportation Authority, and is currently a Board Member and Education Co-Chair for the California Assisted Living Association (CALA).

Doris Bersing, PhD, serves on the Presence Care Project Board as Treasurer. Doris is a geriatric consultant, clinical psychologist, professor, and acknowledged expert in the challenges associated with aging. She is often asked to speak about the intersection of feminism and ageism, as well as long-term care options for seniors who desire to live in their own homes. A mentor in spirit and action, Doris has devoted her life to bettering the lives of her clients, associates and students.

As a clinical psychologist, Doris has dedicated 30 years to teaching and providing clinical care for women, geriatric populations, the mentally, and the terminally ill. As a geriatric consultant, she co-founded Living Well Assisted Living at Home, creating a new paradigm for seniors desiring to age in their own homes. Prior to Living Well, Doris was Chief Executive Officer for The Pacific Institute, a non-profit corporation founded to promote individual and community wellness for seniors and mentally ill adults. As CEO, she led the design of their cutting-edge training program in Gero-psychology, which received regional accreditation. She also created a set of wellness programs for elders that won an award from the American Society on Aging.

Doris has been a faculty member at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Wright Institute, Berkeley University, and Saybrook University. At Saybrook, she was the Director of Clinical Training and designed their doctoral specialization in Gero-psychology. After receiving her doctorate from L’Universite de Toulouse, in France, Doris served as Director of Programs and Care at L’hopital de Jour-Lefevbre. Doris currently serves as an expert witness for the U.S. Supreme Court in cases of political asylum, mental competency, and elder abuse.

Because of her multilingual, LGBTQ+, multicultural background and international experience, and her dedicated service as a board member for various organizations, Doris offers valuable expertise in the Presence Care Project’s wish to meet the needs of diverse populations.