Speakers

Tonya Cox, Keith Knapp, adam mather, Marie Smart

Tonya Cox, MSW LNAH

Regional Executive Director
The Homeplace, Midway
Bridgepointe, Ashgrove Woods
Best Friends Adult Day Center
Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Advisory Council
Lexington, Kentucky

Tonya Cox, MSW, LNHA is the Regional Executive Director with responsibility over The Homeplace at Midway, Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods and the Best Friends Adult Day Center. She has also served as Vice President for Mission and Service for the Greater Kentucky/Southern Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and for more than 20 years has been developing programs and services for persons with dementia and their caregivers, including working on national curriculum development for professional caregivers in various care settings. Tonya presents locally and nationally on activity programming and dementia care. She is a co-author on The Best Friends Book of Alzheimer’s Activities, Volume One and Volume Two and contributed to The Best Friends Approach to Dementia Care, Second Edition, with Virginia Bell and David Troxel. She serves on the Kentucky Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Council and is a practicum supervisor for both the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work. Tonya is also Adjunct Professor at Midway University in their Health Care Administration Program.

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Keith Knapp, PhD

Associate Clinical Professor
Department of Health Management and Policy
University of Kentucky College of Public Health
Lexington, Kentucky

Dr. Keith R. Knapp is Associate Professor, Department of Health Management and Policy. An established post-acute care leader and gerontologist, his teaching focuses on student engagement through sharing current practitioners’ experiences and exploring relevant applications of contemporary theories. He is especially interested in both post-acute health care delivery innovation and public health approaches aimed at improving the lives of underserved elders.

Dr. Knapp joined the UK College of Public Health in August 2019. Prior to joining UK, he served as Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Services and Senior Living Leadership in the College of Health Professions at Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY. Previously, he was the CEO of Christian Care Communities, Kentucky’s largest faith-based provider of affordable senior housing and long term care services, annually serving over 5,000 elders and their families statewide. In this position he was responsible for overseeing the organization’s achievement of quality outcomes and financial performance, as well as leading strategic planning and innovation efforts.

Dr. Knapp has served as the board chair for the American College of Health Care Administrators, National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards, Kentucky Board of Licensure for Long Term Care Administrators and Leading Age-Kentucky.

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adam mather, RN

Inspector General
Commonwealth of Kentucky
Cabinet for Health and Family Services
Frankfort, Kentucky

Prior joining CHFS, Mather worked with several long-term care companies based out of Louisville. He is a graduate of Louisville’s Ballard High School where he played football. He received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Georgia State University and currently holds a registered nurse (RN) license. He will be attending Cornell University this spring to work on a Master of Health Administration degree.

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Marie Smart, SW, BA

Quality Assurance Review Team
The Breckinridge Christian Care Communities Board
Lexington, Kentucky

Marie Smart is a graduate of King College in Bristol, Tennessee. She retired from the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky after serving twenty-nine years as an Alzheimer's Family Care Specialist. She continue to provide, on a private basis, education and support to families living the the challenges of dementia care. She is a contract consultant as a member of the Quality Assurance Review Team for The Breckinridge Christian Care Communities Board.

Ms. Smart assists with clinical assessments on the Senior Volunteers in the Health Aging Cohort Program. She provides education, training, and support to professional and family caregivers.

Maris has worked in Kentucky as a health and family care professional since 1972 and has specialized in care of the frail elderly since 1982. She has concentrated on care of families living with dementia since 1988.

Ms. Smart has extensive experience in the clinical assessment of persons with AD and related disorders, in family assessment, care planning, and support, and in training of both professional and family caregivers on topics related to AD and caregiving approaches.

For almost four decades, it has been not only her profession but also her passion to offer supportive care and guidance to families living with progressive dementia. She has had opportunities to help families learn and use sage, creative, and positive approached with their persons. And, that has made life more comfortable for all. They have explored together how to meet the need for meaningful daily routines and activities and the essentials of a safe and supportive physical environment. They have learned that laughter and a gentle touch and a sincere "I'm sorry" can be very real "save-the-day" approaches. It is learned over and over that each person (whether impaired or not) is unique and valuable, "a pearl of great worth." Living with dementia is all about living!

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