Meet the Stakeholder Advisory Council

James 'Jeb' Butler, Chaplain, Heart of Texas Hospice (Spring Branch, Texas)

Experience: As the Chaplain for Heart of Texas Hospice (Spring Branch, Texas) I have continual interaction with Patients, Caregivers, and Families that face various diagnoses. This includes Dementia. I strive to provide Emotional & Spiritual Support to the Patients, Caregivers, and Families by creating a positive and supportive atmosphere. 

Thoughts on Dementia Care: It is commonly said that we need to understand that world that we live in.  I am convinced that we also need to understand the world of Dementia.  No one desires to be treated different in society.  However, one word (Dementia), can bring out the greatest of misunderstandings, assumptions, and speculations.  People have a natural tendency to Fear what they do not know.  The best way to combat this Fear is to become educated, have direct interaction with all that are impacted by Dementia, and listen to Participants, Caregivers, and Families regarding their daily experiences.  

About me: I love My Family and Ministry.  I love my Wife NaShyra, Daughter Ahmeir, Son Josiah, and Grandson Eli.  I also consider my mother, Mercer Butler, as my Hero.  I am an Associate Minister and a “people person”.  I believe that a kind word and a Smile goes a “loooong” way. A smile is also universal.  Regardless if there is a culture difference, a language difference, or racial difference, a smile can brighten the atmosphere.  My  late Father, Retired Air Force SSgt. Brady Milton Butler Sr., taught me & my siblings how to treat others with compassion (especially those with health or social challenges).   I believe the Word that says we should “Love our Neighbor, as we Love ourselves”.  This is what I Preach, this what I Practice! 

As you can tell by now, I Love to write, I love to motivate, and I love to support others.  This is just a part of my Calling.

Kathy Canty, ANCNS, Methodist Healthcare System

Angelica Davila, MD, Palliative medicine, UT Health San Antonio, Physicians

Experience: I am currently providing medical services in the Acute, Post-Acute, Long-Term Care and Hospice communities. I graduated from UT Health Science Center School of Medicine at San Antonio, pursued Family Medicine Residency and Geriatrics and Palliative Care Fellowship with the UTHSCSA and Audie Murphy VA System. 

Thoughts on Dementia Care: Caring for a patient living with dementia includes caring for all individuals involved. I want to help my patient and their loved ones continue to focus on living and enjoying life.

Personal Pastimes: My interests include educating learners and families about palliative care and incorporating palliative care in all different care settings. I have three children and my hobbies include being as involved as I can in their extracurricular activities.

Yoli Forney, Memory Care Advisor, Memory Care at Westover Hills

Experience: Helping families for over 10 years in the senior industry, specifically Memory Care.

Thoughts on Dementia Care: My mother in law suffered from Alzheimer's and to see how she was robbed of everything, her husband, her children, her grandchildren because she could not remember who they were, was heartbreaking. Because this is such a horrible disease that robs you of everything, my mission is to help beat the heck out of Alzheimer's.

Personal Pastimes: My passions are my family, helping others and football!!! I love being a mom, I have the sweetest daughter and 3 sweet wonderful nephews, that when my sister passed away, became 'My Boys'. I am passionate about my career, which does not feel like a job, but rather a ministry where I have the opportunity to serve every day.

Kiki Foster, Family caregiver, Stakeholder Alliance Council Member

Experience: I am a caregiver for my husband who is living with dementia. I have trained to listen and be slow to challenge others.

Thoughts on Dementia Care: Good care is usually available but excellent care often needs to be sought after.

Personal Pastimes: I enjoy gardening, cooking, meeting people, reading, singing, dancing, and creating fiber art.

Mike Foster, Person living with dementia, Stakeholder Alliance Council Member

Experience: I am a person living with dementia. I recently wrote an article about my experience finding out about my condition titled "It All Started with a Bottle of Wine".  I believe that dementia is not a death sentence. I am accepting of my ability to be open with my diagnosis as often as possible. 

Thoughts on Dementia Care: We need to get more information about dementia and family caregiving out.   

Personal Pastimes: I love talking and communicating with others. I enjoy associating with people. I also enjoy singing and dancing.

Ginny Funk, MS, Director of Programs Alzheimer's Association San Antonio & South Texas Chapter

Experience: I have been a family caregiver for my mother. I have been employed for 18 years with the Alzheimer's Association, working with families and professional caregivers. 

Thoughts on Dementia Care: Training is so important. Obtaining as much education on dementia and applying tips, recommendations, suggestions, on a daily basis.  Learning from others, learning to ask for and accept support.  Including the person with dementia is so important.  Try to walk in their shoes and expect to treat them like you would want to be treated.

Personal Pastimes: I love anything to do with geriatrics, dogs, animals, and/or live music.

Debbie James, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, Palliative medicine UT Health San Antonio, School of Nursing

Experience: I have been working in the Adult Critical Care area for the last 40 years. I believe my positive attitude, integrity, scholarly investigation, and professional experience will result in project success, as we embrace best practices for care of people living with dementia and their families.

Personal pastimes: I love spending time with my children and grandchildren. 

Sara Masoud, MPH, Community Outreach Coordinator, UT Health San Antonio, School of Nursing

Experience: I was a caregiver for my grandfather, Harold, who lived with dementia. I also have a professional background in public health with a focus on access to health care within vulnerable communities.

Thoughts on Dementia Care: I believe that the people we are striving to support through research and interventions should be involved in and listened to at every step of the process.

Personal Pastimes: I enjoy spending time with my dog, Basil, and cooking for the people I love. I love animals and doing anything outdoors - especially gardening, hiking, and picnics with friends.

Mayra Mendoza, Family caregiver, politics advisory, Stakeholder Alliance Council Member

Experience: I am an active young caregiver to my parents. My mother, now seventy five years of age, thrives amidst early onset vascular dementia. She attributes her mother's moderate progression to hands-on comprehensive caregiving, including informed patient advocacy and concurrent, cross-specialty medical care. I hold dual degrees in Psychology and Business Administration from Texas A&M University. A social worker at heart, I am first and foremost committed to people and the betterment of their day-to-day. I serve as social and political advisor to various local and statewide advocacy organizations. Bridging my professional knowledge and personal caregiving experience, I am steadfast in ensuring no voice is forgotten. 

Thoughts on dementia care: Mayra believes that comprehensive dementia care management is key in maximizing a dignified quality of life for patients and their caregivers, across every stage of the disease. She is committed to improving audience-specific, culturally-sensitive and patient-centered educational material, support services and research. 

Personal pastimes: enjoy reading poetry, public speaking, travel and community building.

Neela Patel, MD, Geriatrics & Palliative Care, UT Health San Antonio, Family & Community Medicine

Sheran Rivette, Family Caregiver Specialist, UT Health San Antonio, School of Nursing

Experience: Lifelong care of my adult son with special needs, both physical and cognitive for his 50 years. Caregiver to mother and grandmother in their last years. Caregiver to my husband for the last 10 years of his life living with Alzheimer's Disease.

Thoughts on Dementia Care: It is very rewarding, and I consider it a privilege but it is also both physically and emotionally draining. Help is needed to help lift the load and give support.

Personal Pastimes: I enjoy my family and friends whether we are together for work, fun, or studying the bible together. I enjoy outdoor activities like gardening and walking.

Carole White, PhD, Director, Caring for the Caregiver, UT Health San Antonio, School of Nursing

Experience: I have been working with people with neurological conditions and their families through-out my career as a nurse and my goal has been to optimize their quality of life. I also am a distance family caregiver to my mother who is living with dementia.

Thoughts on Dementia Care:  In order to provide best care for people living with their dementia and their families, we need to listen to what they see as their goals for care and what outcomes are most important to them.  Listening and understanding their perspectives will lead to patient and family-centered care.

Personal Pastimes:  I grew up on a farm so enjoy outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking, and walking. I enjoy listening to music and playing the piano. I am married, have 2 grandchildren, and have lived in San Antonio for 15 years.

Bill ZinsmeyerFounder / Chairman, AMCORP Employee Benefits & Financial Advisors

Experience: I am a caregiver for my wife Janet who is living with dementia and I have worked closely in various capacities with the local Alzheimer's Association.

Thoughts on Dementia Care: I think we all need a lot of help, particularly with more education.  

Personal Pastimes: I enjoy golfing and being involved in charitable work. I am on the Board of the Methodist Healthcare System and work as Chair for the Walk for the Cure of the Alzheimer's Association San Antonio and South Texas Chapter.

Janet Zinsmeyer, Person living with dementia, Stakeholder Advisory Council Member

Experience: I am a person living with dementia and am active with the Alzheimer's Association local chapter. I meet once a week with people who have this disease at the Alzheimer's Association.

Thoughts on Dementia Care: We need to get more information about dementia and family caregiving out.

Personal Pastimes: I used to teach ballroom dancing and I enjoy working out. I also have co-chaired the Alzheimer's Association annual Walk with my husband, Bill.

Last modified: Tuesday, 11 February 2020, 4:00 PM