Aging Well Conference

We invite you to join us for our 32nd Annual Aging Well Conference held on June 2, 2023 at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. We are celebrating 32 years of Aging Well and expect to attract well over 200 professionals working in the field of aging! Enjoy learning from excellent presenters, visiting exhibitor booths, and networking with your peers.


7:00-8:00 am


8:00-8:15 am


8:15-9:15 am

KEYNOTE | Jeffrey Rediger, MD, MDiv

After his exciting virtual keynote in 2020, Dr. Rediger is back by popular demand with a new keynote address in person that will challenge us to think differently about how we view aging, health, and vitality. The latest research reveals that our lifestyle choices can dramatically affect the outcomes of our mental and physical illnesses. This is increasingly relevant in today’s healthcare system, in which demand for providers is high and doctors have ever less time to spend with patients. The good news is that there's a huge amount that individuals can do to educate themselves on their own health needs and advocate both on their own behalf and on behalf of their loved ones. We can also make use of new tools and technology to take our health and well-being to a new level. These tools, in conjunction with lifestyle choices, provide an entirely new level of possibilities for health and well-being, and can also significantly change the trajectory of our illnesses, leading to improved outcomes for longevity, independence, and overall quality of life.

Dr Jeffrey RedigerJeffrey Rediger, MD, MDiv, is a physician, best-selling author, and popular speaker. He is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Medical Director of McLean SE Adult Psychiatry and Community Affairs at McLean Hospital. A licensed physician and board-certified psychiatrist, he also has a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. His research with remarkable individuals who have recovered from incurable illnesses has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Oz Shows, among others. He has been nominated for the National Bravewell Leadership Award, and has received numerous awards related to leadership and patient care. His best-selling book, Cured: Strengthen Your Immune System and Heal Your Life, is available at Amazon, local bookshops, and in multiple languages. 

9:15-9:30 am


9:30-10:45 am


One of the fastest growing health issues for elders in the United States is substance use. In this session we will examine the reasons for this growth and current invisibility of the issue, as well as factors that place elders at higher risk. In addition, it will explore the age-related changes that make prescribing medication challenging and the attention given to screening and treatment.

Tracy Schroepfer, PhD, MSW, MA, UW-Madison

Tracy Schroepfer Headshot 2023Dr. Schroepfer is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work. She is a recipient of the Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar Award, and serves on several national boards. Dr. Schroepfer’s research focuses on 1) improving the care provided to elders who are seriously or terminally ill by determining the best strategies for meeting their psychosocial, cultural and spiritual needs; and 2) health care disparities experienced by medically underserved communities. Her research is informed by her former practice as a hospice social worker and community work. 

Did you know that your voice ages? Join this session and discover why our voice ages, what to expect, and how best to care for it. This interactive session will have everyone literally talking as participants explore daily exercises to improve vocal function.

Ami Bouterse, MM, MS, SLP-CF, UW-Parkside

Ami Bouterse HeadshotAmi Bouterse, M.M., M.S., SLP-CF is an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin - Parkside where she teaches applied voice lessons and directs the contemporary a cappella group, Parkside Range. In addition to performance degrees in voice and opera, Prof. Bouterse earned a Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Emerson College for licensure as a speech language pathologist to rehabilitate those with communication challenges in healthy functional ways. 

One great way to make sure your decisions are adhered to when you can no longer speak for yourself is to draft a legally binding Power of Attorney (POA) document. This session will discuss who should have a power of attorney, when they should acquire it, and the purpose of the important document.  Also discussed are the fiduciary responsibilities created by a power of attorney document and how the agent can be held accountable to protect your fortress. 

April DeValkenaere, SBWCP, CFCI, Financial Fortress Education, LLC

April DeValkenaere headshotApril DeValkenaere is the owner of Fortress Forensic Investigations a division of Fortress Financial Education LLC, skilled in white collar criminal analysis, forensic investigations, educational trainings, and consulting. She is also an experienced Certified Paralegal with the State Bar of Wisconsin, with a demonstrated history of working in the government administration industry with a focus on Forensic White Collar Crime Investigations. She is certified as a Financial Crimes Investigator (CFCI) by the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI), where she is the Wisconsin chapter President. She is also a member of the Waukesha County Financial Abuse Specialist Team (FAST) and the Attorney General’s (AG’s) State Coordinated Community Response (CCR) Team. April enjoys her role as an adjunct professor teaching law enforcement how to investigate white collar and elder financial exploitation crimes. 

The four pillars of healing and well-being include nutrition, strengthening your immune system, changing your relationship with stress, and prioritizing health through the healing of identity and beliefs. Dr. Rediger, from Harvard Medical School, will discuss the ways in which you can improve your health and well-being while following the tenets of the four pillars of health and flourishing vitality.

Jeffrey Rediger, MD, MDiv, Harvard Medical School

Jeff Rediger HeadshotJeffrey Rediger, MD, MDiv, is a physician, best-selling author, and popular speaker. He is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Medical Director of McLean SE Adult Psychiatry and Community Affairs at McLean Hospital. A licensed physician and board-certified psychiatrist, he also has a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. His research with remarkable individuals who have recovered from incurable illnesses has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Oz Shows, among others. He has been nominated for the National Bravewell Leadership Award, and has received numerous awards related to leadership and patient care. His best-selling book, Cured: Strengthen Your Immune System and Heal Your Life, is available at Amazon, local bookshops, and in multiple languages

Nearly 25% of adults aged 65 to 74 and over 50% of adults over age 75 have some form of disabling hearing loss. Learn about your body’s hearing mechanisms, the causes of hearing loss, and new and effective treatments to help mitigate the effects. 

Heather Miller, AuD, Froedtert South

Heather Miller HeadshotDr. Heather Miller received her Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree in 2002 from the University of Florida. She has a Master of Science degree in Audiology from the University of Wisconsin and a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from UW-Milwaukee. She has worked for Froedtert South for over 22 years and is also the educational audiologist for Kenosha Unified School District. Dr. Miller is a Board Certified Audiologist and a member the American Academy of Audiology and the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.

10:45-11:00 am


11:00 am-12:00 pm

KEYNOTE | Laura Gitlin, PhD

Currently there are 6.5 million Americans over the age of 65 living with dementia. That number is expected to grow to 12.7 million by 2050. Cognitive impairment is the leading cause of loss of independence for adults worldwide. Dr. Laura Gitlin is an expert on home and communitybased interventions for adults diagnosed with dementia and their caregivers. She works to find solutions for families that focus on and support people’s strengths. Her research also focuses on supporting caregivers in the management of challenging behaviors by providing education and strategies for management. Dr. Gitlin will share her insights from her research on programs that can help provide support and resources to those affected by cognitive impairments later in life so that individuals can live longer, more fulfilling, and independent lives.

Dr Laura GitlinLaura N. Gitlin, PhD, is an applied research sociologist, a distinguished professor, Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University, and the inaugural Executive Director of its AgeWell Collaboratory. The AgeWell Collaboratory oversees Drexel’s AgeFriendly University international designation, and partners with over 80 community-based organizations serving racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse communities involving older adults and families. Her research focuses on developing, evaluating, and implementing novel home and community-based interventions that seek to improve quality of life indicators for older adults and/or their family members. She applies a social-ecological and health equity lens as well as person-centered and directed approaches to support individuals/families within their living contexts using nonpharmacological, behavioral, cognitive, and environmental strategies. Her interventions have resulted in improving physical and psychosocial outcomes, reducing mortality and health care savings. Some of her interventions are being implemented globally and in agencies throughout the USA. She is a well-funded researcher with continuous research and training grant funding from federal agencies and private foundations for over 35 years. She and her teams have received numerous awards for their innovation and interventions. 

12:00-1:15 pm


1:15-2:30 pm



Alzheimer’s and Dementia Science is constantly evolving. Learn more about recent gains in Alzheimer’s and dementia science, including risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other dementia, and the latest advancements in clinical trials, treatments, and lifestyle interventions.

Lisa Groon, Alzheimer’s Association

Lisa Groon HeadshotAs Senior Health Systems Director at the Alzheimer's Association, Lisa Groon partners with health systems leaders and researchers across the upper Midwest to enhance and expand global research, drive risk reduction and maximize quality care and support programs for caregivers and people living with Alzheimer's Disease. Lisa graduated from South Dakota State University in 2006 with a degree in Human Development and Health Sciences and primarily focuses her work on healthcare quality improvement. She lives in Harrisburg, SD with her husband Jason and their three sons and serves in the SD Army National Guard and as a member of her local school board.

Aromatherapy involves the use of plant extracts, known as essential oils, with distinct and pleasant odors. Aromatherapy can help improve mood and a general sense of well-being. In this session, Nicole Pisani will discuss the basics of what essential oils are, how to use them safely, and everyday issues that essential oils and aromatherapy may improve. Attendees will also get an opportunity to learn how to make their very own aromatherapy item to take home.

Nicole Pisani, RN, Hospice Alliance

Nicole Pisani HeadshotNicole Pisani works at Hospice Alliance as a Registered Nurse and Certified Aromatherapist after spending over a decade working in emergency medicine. When joining the staff of Hospice Alliance, Nicole had a passion for essential oils and aromatherapy. To ensure a holistic approach in the care patients receive, Hospice Alliance utilizes the use of complementary therapies and supported Nicole’s passion and commitment to grow the agency’s aromatherapy program.

Additionally, Nicole is an active Master Reiki Practitioner and trained in chakra balancing and as a Death Doula. Currently, she is also completing her education in massage therapy.
Nicole received a BS from UW-Whitewater, Associates Degree in Nursing from Gateway Technical College and is currently completing her Clinical Aromatherapy Practitioner Certification and is an active member of NAHA.

What is a senior “orphan” or “solo-ager,” and how will they affect the healthcare market as we age? Senior “orphans” are adults with no nearby family members to help take care of them, and this can result in greater health risks. How can we effectively help this demographic? What referrals are most helpful to seniors with limited social networks? This presentation will teach and empower both healthcare professionals and community members who face similar challenges in caring for their loved ones and planning for their future.

Teri Dreher, RN iRNPA CCM BCPA, Northshore Patient Advocates

Dreher Headshot 2023Teri Dreher is a nationally recognized leader in the emerging field of professional patient advocacy. In 2011, she left a long career in critical care nursing to form North Shore Patient Advocates, now one of the country’s largest professional advocacy companies. Teri is also the founder of Seniors Alone Guardianship and Advocacy Services, a nonprofit organization that serves senior orphans and disabled adults. To date, she has co-founded three national advocacy programs, including the International Conference on Patient Advocacy.

The act of standing changes as we age. Learn stretching, strength, and balance exercises designed to help older adults reduce their risk of falls, keep them more active for a longer period of time, and help ease the pains that can slow them down.

Denise Jacob, Program Director, Kenosha Senior Center

Denise Jacob HeadshotDenise Jacob is the Program Director for the Kenosha Senior Center. She has been in her position for 13 years and has over 30 years of fitness teaching experience. Her certifications include group fitness, personal training, group cycling, yoga, and Pilates. She had her own children’s fitness company for over 15 years, bringing fitness to children in daycares, preschools, and after school programs. In her role at the Kenosha Senior Center, she continues her efforts to bring wellness to people of all ages. 
Denise believes in creating a class atmosphere that makes participants of all levels feel comfortable and welcome and encourages each individual to work to their personal potential. 

Favorite Quote: The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. ~Lao-tzu 

There are currently over 16.5 million veterans in the United States, with 23.5% of them over the age of 75. Caregiving for military veterans presents a unique set of challenges, especially for the aging veteran population. This session will provide information on preventing caregiver burnout, handling stress, and services available to support caregivers of veterans.

Emily Nelson, MSW, LCSW, Captain James A. Lovell Federal Healthcare Center – Great Lakes Naval Base

Emily Nelson HeadshotEmily Nelson, LCSW, is the General Caregiver Support Coordinator at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center. She received her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and her master’s degree in Social Work with a Military Concentration. She has a background in working in various residential settings, community agencies, and for the past seven years serving Veterans and their families in various roles at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center.  

2:30-2:45 pm


2:45-3:45 pm

KEYNOTE | Bill Armbruster, Senior Advisor, AARP Livable Communities

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans age 65 or older is projected to grow by almost 50 percent from 2016 to 2030. An average American child who is 10 years old today has a 50% chance of living to 100 or beyond. In Wisconsin, the U.S. Census Bureau predicts that there will be a 36 percent increase in residents over the age of 60 from 2012-2030. It is imperative that communities and states respond by ensuring that resources are available to serve this rapidly aging population. The common thread among Age-Friendly communities and states is having local leaders believe that the places where we live should be more livable, and better able to support people of all ages, and commit to improving the quality of life for the very young, the very old, and everyone in between. Bill Armbruster is a Senior Advisor and manages the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities. Bill will share with us how communities (towns, cities, counties, and states) are engaging and mobilizing in ways that create "real change" that results in longer independence and all-around well-being for aging adults, as they go through the age-friendly process. 

Bill ArmbrusterBill Armbruster, Senior Advisor, AARP Livable Communities, manages the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, which is a program within AARP Livable Communities. 

He has been with AARP since 2000, joining as an associate state director for AARP New York. In that role he served the upstate and western region of the Empire State and was responsible for the development, implementation and assessment for community outreach programming. That body of work included livable and age-friendly communities initiatives, partner development and grassroots volunteer organizing for a 30-county region both near and far from his Rochester home base. 

Since 2016, Bill has been traveling frequently and far to communities, conferences and meetings nationwide as a speaker and facilitator for the AARP Livable Communities initiative. In addition to his work at AARP, Bill has extensive experience in corporate wellness programs, occupational rehabilitation and ergonomics, pain treatment and physical therapy. 

3:45 pm-4:00 pm


Aging Well Sponsors


Aging and Disability Resource Center of Racine County
Assisted Living Locators Platinum Sponsor


Gold Sponsor Right at Home
Elder Care Cottages Senior Living Community
Gold Harbor Park Fitness


Kenosha County Aging and Disability Resource Center
Kenosha Place Assisted Living and Memory Care
Adventures in Lifelong Learning Silver Sponsor
Care Patrol of Greater Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin
Hospice Alliance


Become a sponsor.

Introduce your organization to regional professionals and consumers who are interested in health and wellness. Your partnership provides opportunities to engage with individuals working in the field of aging, people considering a career in gerontology, and active retirees.

Return on investment detailed with sponsorship tiers below. For full benefits of sponsorship, please register by Jan 31, 2023.

Platinum | $1000

• Four conference entries (you must register them separately with aprovided code)
• Logo in direct mail brochure (if received by January 31, 2023) 
• Logo links to your website in digital marketing and on Aging Well page
• Full page ad in program
• Organization representative invited to provide morning or afternoon welcome address
• Organization logo on event tote bag
• May share one small promotional item to be pre-stuffed in ourconference tote
• Event exhibitor table with prime location
• Highlight business in social media marketing of the conference
• Sponsor breakfast or lunch for attendees
• Recognition at the breakfast buffet or lunch
• Digital representation throughout the conference

Gold | $750

• Three conference entries (you must register them separately with aprovided code)
• Logo in direct mail brochure (if received by January 31, 2023) 
• Full page ad in program
• Logo links to your website in digital marketing and Aging Well page
• Digital representation throughout the conference
• Event exhibitor table in a prime location

Silver | $500

• Two conference entries (you must register them separately with aprovided code)
• Logo in direct mail brochure (if received by January 31, 2023) 
• Half page ad in program
• Logo links to your website in digital marketing and Aging Well page
• Digital representation throughout the conference
• Event exhibitor table

Bronze | $375

• One conference entry (you must register them separately with aprovided code)
• Mention in direct mail brochure (if received by January 31, 2023) 
• Quarter page ad in program
• Mention on Aging Well page
• Digital representation throughout the conference
• Event exhibitor table

Nonprofit Exhibitor | $225

• One conference entry
• Event exhibitor table

Continuing Education  |  262-595-3340 |

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation in its services, program activities, education, and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodations, contact Continuing Education at least eight weeks in advance at: 262-595-3340 (V), 262-595-2513 (FAX), or email

UW Extended Campus

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