Christine Childers PT, MS, GCS
Chris received her degree in Physiotherapy from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England. This program is a combined PT and OT program so a strong affiliation between the two disciplines is taught and has stayed with her throughout her career. Moving to the US in 1998, Chris practiced in the skilled nursing arena and became a board certified Geriatric clinical specialist in 2005 the same year she completed her MS in Gerontology. In 2012 she transitioned from full time clinician to assistant professor at the University of St. Augustine and continues to work part time in home health care. She first met the Allen Cognitive levels when Cathy Elgas presented at the University and since then has been passionate about ensuring that PTs understand the importance of cognitive levels in all arenas, including outpatient. She has been delighted to present at two ACN symposiums emphasizing the importance for PTs to learn about cognitive issues and work closely with their OT colleagues to achieve this.
Elgas, Kathleen, OTR/L, University of St. Augustine, San Marcos, CA
Kathleen Elgas has worked in adult and geriatric rehab for 40+ years in a variety of settings. She is retired from practice, though works part time as a contributing faculty member at the University of St. Augustine in San Marcos, CA. She has been an active member and supporter of ACN since 2003. She joined the ACN board in 2010, was the Chairperson for Cognitive Symposium 2012 and has mentored Chairpersons for the 2014 and 2016 Symposiums.
Tanya Feddern-Bekcan, MOT, OTR/L, DCCT, MLIS
Tanya Feddern-Bekcan, OTR/L, got her start in OT with pediatrics in the hippotherapy setting, but has been working with late middle-age and geriatric clients since 2011. She is also a medical librarian and for many years, taught an academic course on Evidence-Based Medicine to University of Miami medical students and CE courses to nurses and other clinicians at the Jackson Memorial Hospital. She is an experienced and comfortable public speaker who has presented at numerous conferences in the US and Canada. The specialized training she received at Dementia Care Specialists has greatly enriched her skills as a therapist. Occupational Therapy: Activities for Practice and Teaching by Estelle B. Breines, Claudia Allen’s Model of Cognitive Disabilities, and Sensory Integration have formed her core philosophies in OT, leading to many engaging (and even fun!) sessions for her and her clients.
Alyssa Ford, DHS, OTR, Area Rehab Clinucak Specialist, Legacy Healthcare Services
Alyssa earned a Doctor of Health Science degree from the University of Indianapolis and serves as the Area Rehab Clinical Specialist for Legacy Healthcare Services. Dr. Ford’s clinical experience includes acute care, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and memory care units. Dr. Ford has successfully implemented the cognitive disabilities model in a variety of settings. She is an Authorized Instructor through Dementia Care Specialists/Crisis Prevention Institute for the Dementia Capable Care: Foundation Course. Dr. Ford is a co-author of the Functional Cognitive Assessment, which is a standardized, performance-based test of functional cognition. She was also a recipient of the 2015 Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana Chapter Early Investigator Scholarship for Dementia Research and Study. Dr. Ford is licensed to practice Occupational Therapy in Indiana. Dr. Ford is credentialed through the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Indiana Occupational Therapy Association, and the Allen Cognitive Network.
Marrero, Manny, MS, OTR/L, Cape Cod Healthcare's Centers for Behavioral Health; Hyanis, MA
Manny Marrero is a Mental Health Occupational Therapist at Cape Cod Healthcare’s Centers for Behavioral Health in Hyannis, Massachusetts. After serving eight years honorably in the United States Marine Corps, Manny attended Westfield State University, where he graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Sports Medicine. He continued his education, earning a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Manny serves on the board of directors for NAMI Cape Cod & the Islands. During his off time, he volunteers and acts as a mentor to a young boy through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod and the Islands. Manny was recently honored by Cape Cod and Plymouth Business Magazine as one of the area’s 40 Under 40 for excelling in his profession and showing dynamic leadership in the community.