Board Member Information

Kathleen M. Bishop, Ph.D.

Dr. Bishop is a gerontologist with a specialty in aging with developmental disabilities.  Dr. Bishop works as a consultant for many organizations in the aging and IDD networks and assists with program and support planning.  Her areas of expertise include environmental modifications and developmental disabilities, caregiving for adults with dementia and IDD, and issues of women with disabilities.

Nicole Cadovius, MBA 

Ms. Cadovius is the Director for Practice Improvement at the National Council for Behavioral Health and oversees a national project portfolio focused on aging, mental health, recovery and substance use, and peer supports. She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and serves on several national boards as well as is the President of Region X, American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Lucille Esralew, Ph.D.

Dr. Esralew is a licensed psychologist in California and New Jersey and a Certified Clinical Neuropsychologist specializing in work with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, individuals with severe mental health disorders and persons with dementia both with and without intellectual disability. She is on the Clinical Certification Subcommittee of NADD and serves as Senior Psychologist for the California Department of Developmental Services.

E. Adel Herge, OTD, OTR/L

Dr. Herge is Professor and Director of the BSMS OT Program in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA, and Co-Chairs the NTG Evaluation Committee.  She has presented at various professional venues and authored book chapters on topics related to intellectual disability, aging, dementia, and occupational therapy practice.  She is Skills2Care® certified and is working on a new Skills2Care-ID® program to support caregivers of individuals with intellectual disability and dementia.

Nancy S. Jokinen, MSW, Ph.D.

Dr. Jokinen is an adjunct professor for the University of Northern British Columbia's School of Social Work. She alongside Canadian colleagues leads the NTG - Canadian Consortium on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia. She helped adapt the NTG Education & Training Curriculum for use in a Canadian context and works to provide training and advocate on behalf of families and individuals with intellectual disability affected by dementia,

Paula Gann

Ms. Gann is the parent of daughter with Down syndrome diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She is an advocate for the planning and delivery of services for persons with Down with dementia. In addition to a career in magazine publishing and in not-for- profit organization management, she volunteers for the Alzheimer’s Association, co-facilitating a telephone support group for caregivers of people living with Down syndrome and dementia.

Andrew W. Griffin, Ph.D.

Dr. Griffin is a licensed psychologist and has worked in a variety of settings including at the Austin State Hospital in Texas and the Mexia State Supported Living Center, and as well as in other long-term care facilities. His specialties are forensics, aging, and intellectual disabilities.  A native of Houston, Texas, he received a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A & M University.

Matthew P.  Janicki, Ph.D.

Dr. Janicki is a psychologist and research associate professor in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago, a member of the federal Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services, and formerly was director for aging and special populations for the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. He is the author of numerous books and articles on aging, dementia, and public policy with respect to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Seth M. Keller, M.D.

Dr. Keller is a board-certified neurologist in private practice with Neurology Associates of South Jersey, specializing in the evaluation and care of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He is a Past President of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) and the chair of the Adults with Intellectual Disability Section of the American Academy of Neurology.  He is a co-author on a number of articles and book chapters relating to aging and dementia in adults with intellectual disability. 

Christina N. Marsack-Topolewski, Ph.D.

Dr. Marsack-Topolewski is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Eastern Michigan University and a co-investigator on the Michigan Older Caregivers of Emerging Adults with Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Family Support Project. Her areas of interest include the needs, experiences, and service delivery systems for caregivers of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Dawna Torres Mughal, Ph.D., RDN

Dr. Mughal is associate professor emerita at Gannon University, a registered dietitian nutritionist, and Fellow of the American Dietetic Association and of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is also the Clinical Director for Health Promotion for Special Olympics (PA) and a national consultant on nutrition and disability. Her interests and work includes research, acute care, higher education, nutrition education programs, advocacy for good causes, perennial volunteerism, and community service. 

Philip McCallion, Ph.D.

Dr. McCallion is Professor and Director of the School of Social Work within the College of Public Health at Temple University and the co-founder/co-principal investigator/co-applicant of the Intellectual Disability Supplement to the Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging, and co-investigator on longitudinal studies of dementia in persons with Down syndrome. Dr. McCallion is also a Visiting/Adjunct Professor at Trinity College Dublin, and is the National Consultant on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia for the U.S. National Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center.

Melissa Parnell, Ph.D.

Dr. Parnell is a licensed psychologist at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and a principal of Parnell Psychological Services. She is a certified dementia care specialist and has over 15 years of experience working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families across the lifespan and has practiced across multiple settings, including schools, hospitals, and residential programs and she is passionate about engaging with individuals, families, and care providers to provide conscientious care and help those she serves achieve a full and meaningful life. 

Kathryn Pears, MPPM

Ms. Pears is principal of Dementia Care Strategies {DCS) and provides training and consulting to professionals in the aging and disability sectors.  She has been professionally involved in the field of dementia-for over 30 years and served as the Director of Programs and Policy for the Alzheimer's Association's Maine Chapter. She specializes in the non­pharmacologic management of the behavioral and psychiatric behaviors of dementia (BPSD).  

Rick Rader, M.D.

Dr. Rader is the Director of the (Orange Grove) Habilitation Center in Chattanooga, TN, and a physician crossed-trained in internal medicine and medical anthropology. His special interests are in the aging process as it relates to individuals with intellectual disability; and especially in the training and education of direct support professionals and health care providers in the area of cognitive decline and dementia. He is a member of the federal National Council on Disability, Board President of the American Association on Health and Disability, and editor-in-chief of the Exceptional Parent magazine.

Jadene S. Ransdell

Ms. Ransdell is the mother of an adult son with Down syndrome. She is a special educator and served as Director of the Vogelweh, Germany Army Community Service Exceptional Family Member program, the Executive Director of the Family Network on Disabilities of Florida, and as President of her consulting business, The Different Drummer. She is the co-chair of the NTG's Family Support and Advocacy Workgroup and is also the Senior Advisor of the Aging and Caregiving Initiative for the National Down Syndrome Society.

Kathryn P. Service, RN, MS, FNP-BC, CDDN

Ms. Service is a nurse practitioner and specializes in gerontological nursing. Retired from the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, she consults as a dementia care specialist advanced practice provider. She has served on various advisory boards and committees, including the founding board of DDNA and presented and authored articles on aging, dementia, end-of-life related to people with intellectual disability.

Helen Eshenour Stepowany, MS

Ms. Stepowany is an adjunct lecturer in the graduate program for Health Administration at Utica College and has worked for more than 40 years in health and disability services.  She has served in an executive leadership role for several highly regarded New York State non-profit organizations including Upstate Cerebral Palsy, the Kelberman Center for Autism, and the Kennedy Willis Center at Pathfinder Village. As an organizational consultant, her work focuses on non-profit capacity building as well as on how livable community models can effectively support older adults with intellectual disabilities

     National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices. © 2020                           www.the-ntg.org                                                       Edited 12/3/20

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