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Conference Session 3: Initiatives to Promote Brain Health
Friday, October 21, 2022, 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM PDT
Category: Conferences

Initiatives to Promote Brain Health

Session Facilitator: Joyce DeMonnin, MPH, MBA 

Funding for Neuroscience Research


  • Representative Earl Blumenauer (Co-Chair, U.S. Congressional Neuroscience Caucus) 


Representative Earl Blumenauer will provide a short address to conference attendees regarding the importance of funding for neuroscience research, as well as the status of neuroscience research funding in Oregon. 

Emerging Issues in Psychiatry: A Conversation with Rawle Andrews 


  • Rawle Andrews, Jr., Esq., JD (Executive Director, American Psychiatric Association Foundation) 


Rawle Andrews, Jr., Esq., JD, Executive Director of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation, will have a fireside chat with session facilitator, Joyce DeMonnin. Conversation topics will include emerging advancements in mental healthcare and legislation on the national level, promoting a sense of belonging for diverse individuals within the psychiatric profession and mental health system, and the work the American Psychiatric Association Foundation is doing to reduce social isolation among older adults. The conversation will also include information on useful community tools for connecting individuals to mental health services while reducing stigma.

Learning Objectives

  • Gain an understanding of the nexus between health and well being with the Mind, Body, Brain and Soul under the APA Foundation's Notice. Talk. Act. framework
  • Understand how the APA Foundation works with community stakeholders to advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
  • Become informed of recent policy updates and how it impacts communities across the nation 
  • Summarize how the APA Foundation is working to reduce the stigma of asking for/needing mental health services

Frontotemporal Dementia & Mental Health 


  • Vimal Aga, MD (Oregon State Hospital; and OHSU Layton Aging & Alzheimer's Disease Center)


This presentation will explore behavioral-variant Frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), which is at least as common as Alzheimer’s disease dementia in younger adults. It is often difficult to make an accurate diagnosis of bvFTD since the myriad clinical presentations in the prodromal and early stages mimic psychiatric disorders, which confounds the diagnosis. Furthermore, a subset of bvFTD patients present as if they have bipolar disorder and do not go on to develop a progressive dementia syndrome, thereby adding to the diagnostic complexity. The presenter will focus on the interface between psychiatric and neurological symptoms in bvFTD, briefly cover the genetics of bvFTD, introduce scales for office screening, and cover currently available treatments for bvFTD. Some resources for families, caregivers and clinicians will be provided. There will be ample time at the end for questions from the audience.

Learning Objectives:

  • Enumerate the current diagnostic criteria for bvFTD.
  • Review the overlap between the clinical presentations of bvFTD and primary psychiatric disorders.
  • Incorporate current screening tools and biomarkers in the diagnostic work- up of possible bvFTD.
  • Identify the currently available psychopharmacological approaches to treating bvFTD.

Lonely? Who, Me? Findings from an Oregon Loneliness & Isolation Technology Project 


  • Ann McQueen, PhD (Community Services and Supports Manager, Aging and People with Disabilities, Oregon Department of Human Services, Salem, OR)
  • Cassandra Hutchinson, AAOT, CRS-A/D (Data and Quality Assurance Analyst, Community Services and Supports Unit, Aging and People with Disabilities Program, Oregon Department of Human Services)
  • Lynelle Bergman, BS, NCMA, NCPT (SHIBA Field Services Representative, Community Services and Supports Unit, Aging and People with Disabilities Program, Oregon Department of Human Services) 


This session will offer information on the planning, implementation, and results of a technology project aimed at decreasing loneliness and isolation among approximately 200 older adults and people with disabilities who live in their own homes and communities. The project included laptops, tablets, and electronic pets and was funded through the Administration on Community Living and was implemented by Access Technologies Inc (ATI) and Oregon’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) network.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the benefits and challenges of offering technology as a means of reducing loneliness and isolation among older adults and people with disabilities.
  • Describe the planning efforts, and financial investment needed to implement and measure the effectiveness of a technology project such as the one described in the session.

More information coming soon about Continuing Education Credits. 

This is the third of four sessions of OGA's 2022 virtual conference. You can register for individual sessions or, at a discount, for the entire conference series. For an overview of all sessions, please visit the conference page.

Register here!

Rawle Andrews, Jr., Esq., JD is the Executive Director of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APA Foundation), the philanthropic arm of the APA. Founded in 1844, the American Psychiatric Association is the oldest medical association in the United States and the largest psychiatric association in the world. Before joining the APA Foundation, Rawle held several progressively responsible management positions with AARP over a 15-year stint, including most recently as a Vice President. He practiced law for 16 years before joining AARP. Rawle also is the 135th President of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia (BADC); a member of the Thurgood Marshall Center Trust Board of Directors; a past commissioner of the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, and the DC Access to Justice Commission; and national chairman of the Public Policy Committee of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He has held adjunct professorships at Georgetown University and the Howard University School of Law. Rawle holds a BA in Psychology from Texas Southern University, a JD, cum laude, from the Howard University School of Law, and an executive leadership certificate from the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business. His commendations for servant leadership include: the 2022 Charles Hamilton Houston Award from the District of Columbia Courts (DC Courts); a 2022 Hope In Action Award from the H.O.P.E. Center of Harlem; a 2018 Distinguished Healthcare Leadership Award from the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE); a 2016 National Humanitarian Award from the National Association of Black Veterans (NABVETS); and the 2006 D.C. Bar Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award.

Vimal Aga, MD is a board-certified geriatric psychiatrist and hospitalist. As a clinician, he has around 20 years of experience working with dementia patients. He has chaired workshops on diagnosing dementia at several APA Annual Meetings and has published on various topics in the areas of dementia and geriatric psychopharmacology.  He has been a regular contributor to the AAGP annual self-assessment exams and co-authored the questions on behavioral disturbances in dementia in the Geriatric Review Syllabus (11th Edition) published by the American Geriatric Society in Jan 2022. Dr. Aga is a physician-specialist with the Oregon State Hospital in Salem where he manages the med-psych unit, while his outpatient practice is with the Layton Center for Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease at OHSU, where he is Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology.

Ann McQueen, PhD is the Community Services and Supports Manager for the Aging and People with Disabilities Program within the Oregon Department of Human Services. She has worked with and on behalf of older adults for over 25 years in local and state government, as a college/university instructor, and in long-term care facilities. She has presented sessions at a variety of local and national conferences on topics related to aging and has a special interest in creating a world where people with cognitive challenges are respected and appreciated.

Cassandra Hutchinson, AAOT, CRS-A/D is a Program Analyst for the Oregon Department of Human Services – Aging and People with Disabilities. In her current position, Cassandra provides skills training and technical assistance to the state-wide Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) network and serves as the Quality Assurance Analyst for Older American Act (OAA) and ADRC programs across Oregon. Prior to her current position, Cassandra worked for a local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) as an ADRC Specialist for 3 years and held the role of Lead ADRC Specialist for an additional 5 years. During her time as a resource specialist, Cassandra provided referrals to countless Oregonians, connecting them to programs and services in their community and helping them navigate the maze of long-term care options available. Cassandra is AIRS Certified and holds a certificate as a Community Resource Specialist for Aging/Disabilities – (CRS- A/D).

Lynelle Bergman, BS, NCMA, NCPT is currently working as a Program Analyst for the SHIBA program with the Oregon Department of Human Services. She has worked as a medical assistant in internal medicine and family practice, and was a resident services assistant at Dallas Retirement Village in memory care. In 2021, she graduated from Western Oregon University’s gerontology program. Lynelle values her role in advocating for older adults in the community.

Supporting Sponsors for this session: 


Session Sponsors for this session: 


The entire conference series is sponsored by: