Association for
Professionals in Aging

APA News

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  • Tuesday, May 16, 2023 3:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s true…APA members are alike yet different. They are alike in that all share one very important interest: providing support for the aging population. Their differences are in their stories – each is unique. We’re fortunate to tell one of those here.

    Dennison KellerDennison Keller is the Owner/Managing Member of the Law Practice of Dennison Keller, LLC. In his words, Dennison explains that his firm is an elder law firm that practices the Life Care Plan Model.  That means we have a team of health professionals that incorporates care advocacy alongside the traditional legal advocacy of a law firm. Read on to learn more about Dennison.

    APA: Thinking about your professional life, what are you most proud of?

    Dennison: I am most proud of building a firm from the ground up that has not only safeguarded the life savings of countless senior citizens, but also advocated for their care, quality of life, and dignity in their last days.

    APA: How long have you lived in Cincinnati? Where else have you called home?

    Dennison: I grew up in Ripley, Ohio, and have lived in Cincinnati most of my adult life.  Prior to my work as an attorney, I was a television journalist and that career took me to live in Youngstown, Ohio, Daytona Beach, Florida, and Orlando, Florida.

    APA: If we were to ask your best friend about you, what would they say?

    Dennison: Ha! I’m afraid that might not be suitable for print! But I’d like to think he’d say even though I can be irreverent, I have a good sense of humor. Most importantly, he’d say I’m loyal.

  • Thursday, April 13, 2023 8:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Valorie FrantzOne of our newest Board members is Valorie Frantz. Here's a little more about Valorie.

    Tell us what you do and how you help the community. 

    I currently work at Seasons Retirement Community, where I am the Director of Sales and Marketing. Seasons provides senior independent and assisted living apartments for people 62 years and older. 

    Are you from Cincinnati?  If not, where are you from?

    I am originally from Toledo, and I moved to Cincinnati in 2012.

    If you could travel anywhere in the world (with money being no object), where would you go?

    I'd love to visit New Zealand for a month.

    What is your biggest inspiration in life or in your job? 

    My inspiration is my family and friends. With working at Seasons, I love providing an excellent place to live so residents may age in place, with no worries. I am also a nurse; I love to help people anyway I can.

    Tell us about yourself and family.

    I am married to my husband, Rick. We have two daughters. Alexis is a pediatric nurse who is married to Clay, a pediatric neurosurgeon. They live in Colorado Springs with Landon, who is almost two years old. My other daughter is Maya, who is 23 and a Cincinnati firefighter. Our daughters are our pride and joy and we try to see them as often as we can. We also have two dogs, Moose and Rio. 

    What is your “go-to” restaurant?

    Meritage in Glendale

     What was the last book you read?

    The Quarry Girls 

     If you could see one musician/act in concert, who would it be?  

    The original lineup of Grateful Dead. 

     What do you do when you’re not working?

    I love the outdoors – hiking, white water kayaking, off-roading, spending time in Tennessee at our property or visiting Colorado and my kids.

    If you had one superpower, what would it be?

    My superpower would be flight, so I could get to Colorado fast and see my daughter and grandson whenever I wanted! I also would like to have the power to take away pain to help those suffering.

    What is your current and/or past favorite television show?

    For a good laugh, the Big Bang Theory. My all-time favorites are Friends and Golden Girls.

    Any additional information you would like to share?

    I am the Past Chair of Retention Committee for ALZ Association Walk for eight years. In addition to being an APA board member, I am also a SAAG member, Teepa Snow certified dementia trainer and Registered Nurse.

  • Monday, April 03, 2023 12:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The spring edition of our quarterly newsletter is now available!

    Catch up on upcoming APA events, as well as announcements and articles submitted by your fellow APA members.  

    Click on the image to read the newsletter

    APA Spring 2023 Newsletter

    If you would like to submit an article for consideration for future quarterly newsletters, or let us know of any newsworthy events, contact Mary Mendel at or Rob Jutze at

  • Wednesday, March 15, 2023 10:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    COVID-19 Vaccination Program for Homebound Older Adults
    Ken Wilson, Vice President of Program Operations
    Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council on Aging (COA) went above and beyond for the older adults in our community. Seeing that the 65+ population was the segment of the population most impacted by severe illness and death from COVID-19, COA acted quickly to implement programs for social and nutritional needs of older adults. When vaccines became available to older adults, COA partnered with local public health agencies, the National Guard and other providers to quickly vaccinate and protect our older adult population. They were also instrumental in helping older adults navigate technology and complex registration requirements – making sure no one was left behind from accessing lifesaving vaccines. 

    COA established a process to receive homebound vaccination referrals from both internal clients and outside social service agencies. They created a standard protocol and database at the regional level, which incorporated a quality assurance process. This process ensured people who were added to the homebound vaccination list – actually received their shot. They consistently addressed the needs of a highly vulnerable population that was not being served or considered through other vaccination efforts. 

    Because of the COA's efforts, no doubt many of our seniors were saved from contracting COVID-19.

  • Wednesday, March 15, 2023 9:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Luda Gikhman
    Director, Russian Jewish Cultural Center
    Jewish Family Service of the Cincinnati Area

    Luda’s story begins in the former Soviet Union where she was an educator. She met, fell in love, married and had a family with a Jewish man. As a result, Luda experienced discrimination due to anti-Semitism and was unable to advance in her career.  In the late 80’s/early 90’s the Soviet Union allowed those identifying as Jewish to immigrate to the United States. Luda’s family arrived in the United States with no housing, no jobs and little if any English skills. Jewish Family Service of the Cincinnati Area stepped in and provided what Luda’s family needed to resettle and be successful here in the United States.

    Luda then paid it forward by coming to work for Jewish Family Service and helped other families from the former Soviet Union resettle here. As an educator, she taught citizenship and English to these families and provide care management to navigate the public and private benefit systems here in the US. Luda also became a professor of Russian language at the University of Cincinnati.

    In 2017, Luda created, designed and successfully launched the Russian Jewish Cultural Center. Its purpose was to provide a culturally responsive place to gather for older adults from the counties of the former Soviet Union including Russia and Ukraine. The center borrows from the concepts of senior centers and adult day care service centers but the focus is on American, Russian and Jewish culture.

    When it opened, the center served 50 clients and today it serves over 200. Almost half are age 80 and over. Luda partners with the Mayerson Jewish Community Center on transportation and lunch.

    During COVID Luda switched quickly and successfully to virtual programming much of which continues today. They are back two days a week at the center in person and field trips to the symphony, ballet, area parks and movies have resumed.

    One client named Mila says, “The Russian Jewish Cultural Center is like a home, it gives me life”. 

    In 2022, Luda stepped up to help those fleeing the war in Ukraine, the country of her origin, to be able to be in the Cincinnati area often with family or friends. Each person/family’s situation is unique and the multitude of public and private systems to navigate through to be here legally is overwhelming and complicated.

    Luda has done so much to help older adults in the Cincinnati area. She loves her county and is thankful to be able to do so while celebrating the culture of her birth.  

  • Wednesday, March 15, 2023 9:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Shannon Braun
    Director, Center for Memory Support & Inclusion
    Episcopal Retirement Services

    Shannon is the ultimate collaborator, and has made it her mission to make Cincinnati more dementia-inclusive. Despite starting her newly formed role right as the COVID pandemic broke, Shannon never gave up on her vision to educate the masses about dementia.  

    She routinely is offering education about effective ways to support individuals with dementia; including but not limited to educating Cincinnati police department, church leaders, museum docents, local musicians, movement instructors, healthcare providers, etc. Because of her previous role as the Early Stage Coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Association, Shannon has a special soft spot for individuals in the early stages of their dementia journey. As a result, she has built several social engagement programs, specifically intended for individuals that are still very capable yet navigating a new dementia diagnosis. She has partnered with UC’s Memory Disorders Clinic & the Alzheimer’s Association to offer quarterly early-stage support groups for caregivers and their loved ones with a new dementia diagnosis.  

    As if that wasn’t enough, Shannon has teamed up with a local ballroom dance instructor to offer “Dancing to Remember” ballroom dancing classes for those navigating a dementia journey. She is also collaborating with the local museums (Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati Art Museum, & Taft Museum) to offer “With Art in Mind” a monthly museum tour specifically designed for individuals with dementia.  

    It is clear that connection is of great importance to Shannon, ensuring individuals still feel connected despite their diagnosis. And the icing on the cake is that Shannon & ERS have obtained grant funding so these programs/services are all offered free of charge. Cincinnati is beyond blessed to have Shannon Braun in its corner!

  • Thursday, February 16, 2023 3:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Lisa LegtersOne of the more recent additions to the APA board is Lisa Legters. When she joined the board, Lisa hit the ground running. She is currently the APA Events Chair, putting together all of the APA Networking Events and so much more. Here's a little more about Lisa.

    Tell us about your what you do and how you help the community.

    I have been the Program Director for Creative Aging Cincinnati since the fall of 2015. We are a small nonprofit organization that pairs members such as retirement communities, nursing homes, adult day programs and senior centers with artists who provide educational, wellness and arts programs to older adults. What I love most about my job is working with a diverse group of professionals in the field and some very interesting artists. By matching the right musician, speaker, or wellness instructor to the customer, we are positively impacting the lives of seniors. In my early career, I was an Activity Director in both an adult day program and later a retirement community, so I bring those experiences into my current role. It has been a rewarding job.

    If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go money no object?

    I would love to travel to Paris, France or Rome and see the Vatican one day.

    Tell us about yourself and family.

    My husband Jeff and I have been married for 25 years and have four children – Nick and Daniel are both at UC, Jennifer is a senior at Lakota East and our youngest, Chris is a freshman. We live in West Chester. Our family has traveled nearly every summer to support Jeff as part of the barbershop international contest – we all love to watch him perform.

    Nick and Chris have both taken part in marching band – which has also been a lot of fun. The kids talked us into getting a cat in the fall of 2019, and now I am Piper’s “person”.  I like to joke that she is my administrative assistant, as I work from home and she likes to walk across my laptop!!  I also have been a catechist at our church, teaching second graders. This has been a lovely ministry.  I love to cook, bake, read and am an avid walker.

    What was the last book you read?

    I am in a book club that started more than 45 years ago. I joined with a dear friend before my daughter, now almost 18, was born. I love these women in the group, and we read some pretty awesome books. The last one was “The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot”. So good!!  I loved the author’s writing and honesty – and the relationship between the two characters. And if audiobooks count, I technically am listening to the podcast “The Catechism in a Year” with Fr. Mike Schmitz.  It is inspirational and complex book for sure.

    Anything else you would like to share?

    I am looking forward to a great year of networking with others in the Association for Professionals in Aging.  

  • Monday, January 16, 2023 9:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Your Family is our Family!

    Missy FisherCareCore Health is family owned and operated. We provide individualized care for our valued community and patients we serve. Excellent care is provided for those in need of rehabilitation services, as well as long-term care and specialty healthcare needs. Missy Fisher is CareCore's Regional Director of Business Development and has over 30 years experience in the healthcare field.

    With nine locations throughout Ohio, CareCore  goes above and beyond to make the patient experience exceptional with a serving mission. We’re proud to serve the Greater Cincinnati, Dayton, Lima, Chillicothe, and Cleveland areas with nine locations: CareCore at Montgomery, CareCore at Lakeridge, CareCore at Meadows, Garden Park, CareCore at Mary Scott, CareCore at Lima, CareCore at Westmoreland, CareCore at Willowood and our newest family member, CareCore at Mentor.

    There are so may exciting things happening in the CareCore family within the Ohio healthcare arena that will improve patient service and meet the healthcare needs. Total renovation of some of our facilities to provide up-to-date environments and service. In-house dialysis, non-invasive vent units, actual vent units, suboxone and methadone treatment with programming partnerships, secured dementia units. Behavior units are being enhanced, developed, and increased across the state as well.

    Our dedicated team provides quality, personal, and comprehensive care for you and your loved ones. CareCore Health, Your Family is Our Family!

  • Tuesday, January 03, 2023 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The winter edition of our quarterly newsletter is now available!

    Catch up on upcoming APA events, as well as announcements and articles submitted by your fellow APA members.  

    Click on the image to read the newsletter

    APA Winter 2023 Newsletter

    If you would like to submit an article for consideration for future quarterly newsletters, or let us know of any newsworthy events, contact Mary Mendel at or Rob Jutze at

  • Sunday, December 11, 2022 7:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It's kind of silly to title this entry "Meet Tracey Collins," because Tracey is one of the most visible advocates for seniors in our community. The long-time former CEO of Cincinnati Area Senior Services has recently embarked on a new phase of her career. Beginning in January, she will be the president-elect of the APA Board of Trustees. Here is a little more about Tracey.

    Tell us what you do and how you help the community.

    I have worked in the nonprofit space for 38 years. For the past 22 years, I was the CEO of Cincinnati Area Services until the organization merged with Meals on Wheels of Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

    My plan has always been to step down from a leadership role to return to my social work roots and passion of working directly with seniors. My second act career begins now with WellBe Senior Medical as their Master Social Worker. I am excited about their philosophy of bringing medical services to seniors with compassion and care. This fits my philosophy and values for a service delivery model overall better care. 

    Tell us about your work career?

    I started my career by working as a child protective investigator in Kentucky. I worked with Children and Families for 16 years before I began working in the aging community. I became a caregiver for my grandmother and my passion for advocacy began at that point. The system seemed too difficult to navigate. I love to hear the stories the seniors tell. If I can make their experience easier or a caregiver's experience easier, then I have done my job. 

    If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

    To be honest, I am a homebody. We recently moved by the lake and love spending days out on the lake. My husband and I have decided when we travel  we would like to get in an RV and travel the backroads, stop and explore the shops, and mom and pop restaurants. 

    Tell us a little more about you.

    My husband and I live in Liberty, Indiana near Brookville Lake with our two dogs. I have two grown children and two grandchildren, ages five and 18 months – they call me Gigi. Our home is the family lake house where everyone gathers for all events and that is my passion. I like to entertain and host events. I read, garden and enjoy spending days on the lake in the summer. 

    What is your go-to restaurant?

    My husband and I love to cook together, and we live in the middle of nowhere so we really don't have a lot of choices. I do love all things Mexican. 

    What do you love about the APA?

    This is my second time on the Board and my favorite things are the networking and the relationships I have made over the years.

    What would you do if you were not working?

    I would spend more time with friends, hang out with my grandchildren, volunteer, and of course, spend lazy days on the lake. 

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