About Us

Rethinking Dementia: Accelerating Change is a community collaborative, made up of partner members who have expertise in senior care and aging.

We came together as a group because we knew three important things:

  • Dementia is a growing concern in our community, and it's going to increase as baby boomers age.
  • Dementia is a stressful, expensive, and emotionally draining disease for everyone.
  • Although our community has many resources, they are fragmented and disconnected, which makes them hard to find.

Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to improve the lives of people affected by dementia by promoting better access to quality support and services through innovative community collaboration.

Our goals are to:

  • Erase stigma so that people are comfortable seeking help.
  • Empower caregivers to seek support and resources.
  • Promote early and accurate diagnosis to preserve function and reduce stress.
  • Ensure quality care, whether in the home or through community organizations.
  • Advocate for policy and funding so that resources and support are widely available.
  • Support research to slow the disease or find a cure.

White Paper

Read our White Paper to learn about the history of Rethinking Dementia: Accelerating Change, the urgent dementia problem we are facing, and our proposed solution to this problem.

View Executive Summary Download White Paper

Our History

In 2015, Clark Retirement Community and Holland Home brought together a group of nationally recognized experts in senior care, and facilitated a three-day forum with approximately 200 community leaders and influencers. The purpose was to start a dialogue about dementia, and figure out how to become a more dementia-friendly community.

Through that forum, we identified a group of partners who had expertise in many facets of senior care. These partners had the passion to create a seamless way for caregivers to access information and services.

The partners came together in a community collaborative in 2016. Each partner brought resources to the effort, and helped us set our goals.

Learn more about our partners >



Lisa Misenhimer, MSW
(616) 247-9630

Steering Committee

Katie Branch
Grand Valley State University

Mina Brueker
Holland Home (Treasurer)

Cindy Busscher
Pine Rest

Jayne Courts MD
Mercy Health Saint Mary's

Jamie Downes

Anne Ellermets
Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan

Dana Fillmore
Gordon Food Service

Nick Kanaan PhD
MSU College of Human Medicine

Brian Pangle
Clark (President)

Joy Spahn
Alzheimer's Association (Secretary)

Steve Starnes
Grand Wealth Management

Cynthia Swain
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Steve Velzen-Haner
Reliance Community Care Partners