Collaborating Organization Program

Taking Action: A 50-State Strategy for Family Caregiving

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 | 1:00–5:00 PM
No CE credits offered.
Fee: $50. Pre-registration is required.

The notion that family caregiving has potential public health consequences and the need to address caregiving across the lifespan has forced policymakers to consider what an effective strategy to support caregivers would look like when implemented at the community level. Given the issues driving the momentum in the policy arena around family caregiving, now is the time for all caregiver advocates to make their voices heard—now is the time to unify under a common strategy for family caregiving. Join us as we examine the various components needed to create a 50-state strategy for America’s family caregivers.

This program is made possible through generous support from Avanir and UnitedHealthcare.


C. Grace Whiting, JD, President and CEO, National Alliance for Caregiving
Karen Marshall, JD, Director of Advocacy and Engagement, National Alliance for Caregiving.

Scott Williams
Vice President, Head of Global Patient Advocacy and Strategic Partnerships
EMD Serono

Scott Williams is currently Vice President, Head of Global Patient Advocacy and Strategic Partnerships at EMD Serono. Scott is actively sought out as a speaker and resource on health issues by the media, policymakers, public health professionals, physician key thought leaders, and patient advocacy leaders.  He has been featured as an expert in the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post, Baltimore Times, Medicare Reimbursement Weekly, Chicago Tribune, National Public Radio, St. Petersburg Times, Inside CMS, Dallas Morning News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, among others.

Scott has been a peer reviewer and contributing author to the American Journal of Men’s Health, a SAGE Publication.  He also founded the Men’s Health Caucus within the American Public Health Association.  Scott is the former President of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Alumni Volunteer Corporation, and former member of the Moravian College Alumni Association Board.

Prior to joining EMD Serono, Scott was Managing Director, Strategic Partnerships at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), Senior Vice President at Men’s Health Network (MHN), Public Relations Manager for sanofi pasteur in Swiftwater, PA, and Senior Analyst of Strategic Services at PharmaStrat, Inc. based in Flemington, NJ.  Scott received his BA in Political Science with Honors and a minor in Business Management from Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA.  Scott also has a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from American University in Washington, DC.

Spencer Blalock, LCSW, BCD, DHA
Co-Chair, Mississippi Family Caregiver Coalition

Spencer Blalock was born and raised in Mississippi. He was educated at Delta State, Jackson State, University of Southern Mississippi, and completed his doctorate in Health Administration at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He has worked in Hospice Care, Child Protection and Foster Care, The Youth Court, Mental Health (Youth, Adult, Acute, Long-term, Community), Nursing Home Care, and Home Health Care. He has served on The Mississippi Board of Examiners for Social Workers and Marriage & Family Therapists since 2011, appointed by Governor Haley Barbour and reappointed by Governor Phil Bryant. He is currently the chair of the board. In 2014, Governor Bryant appointed Mr. Blalock as chair of the Mississippi Caregivers Task Force. He is also president of the Behavioral Health Society of the Mississippi Hospital Association, an advisory council member of the Area Agency on Aging for East Central Planning and Development District, an advisory council member at Mississippi State University – Meridian Campus – Social Work Program, and served as a committee member of the Regulations and Standards Committee of the Association of Social Work Boards. He is an employee of Rush Health Systems in Senior Behavioral Health.

The Mississippi Caregivers Task Force was responsible for studying the issue of caregiving in Mississippi and completed a report and blueprint for the governor and legislature in late 2014. In 2015, efforts of the Task Force were successful as the Caregiver Act was passed in Mississippi. Another important milestone in 2015 was the creation of the Mississippi Family Caregiver Coalition, a grassroots group whose aim is to engage providers and caregivers in advocacy efforts and pooling of caregiver resources. In 2016, members of the Task Force and Mississippi Family Caregiver Coalition came together to support the creation of the Caregiver Resolution, as promoted by the Family Caregiver Platform Project. It passed unanimously in 2016. He is currently a co-chair of the Coalition.

Donna Benton, PhD
Director, University of Southern California Family Caregiver Support Center
USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology

Donna Benton. Ph.D. is a research associate professor of gerontology. She is the director of the USC Family Caregiver Support Center at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. She just finished as co-chair for the California Taskforce on Family Caregiving, which led to a report which outlines recommendations for supporting family caregivers throughout the diverse communities in CA.

She has worked in the field of aging for over 30 years. Her volunteer experience with the Gray Panthers in high school inspired her career as an advocate for improving how we all view the natural process of aging. She is committed to promoting collaborative partnerships that enhance service delivery for families caring for older adults with long-term memory and health problems. She received a small grant to study social isolation in family caregivers.

Josephine Kalipeni, MA
Director of Policy and Federal Affairs
Caring Across Generations

Josephine’s expertise includes asset-based grassroots and faith organizing, public speaking, and policy development for issues-based campaigns in health, education, and international affairs, with a focus on racial and economic equity. Josephine initially worked in direct service family case management and social work, assisting families navigating various public systems. Seeing firsthand the limitations and opportunities of social programs, she has worked to increase health access through public social policy for children and families. Josephine has provided technical and policy assistance to state organizations working on progressive policy and researched and developed state and national policy. Josephine has worked to increase health access through public social policy, with a focus on Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. Josephine focuses on public policy benefit design and issues campaigns development through community-based organizations. Josephine values developing policy through a collective impact and asset-based model that centers the experiences of those most impacted by the issue as the experts of formulating a solution. She has worked with organizations like the NAACP, Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce, Progressive Action for the Common Good, and Families USA.

Josephine holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology with a concentration in political science and religious studies from the University of Illinois, a Mental Health Professional (MHP) certificate, and a Masters in Social Justice and Community Development with an expertise in global and health policy from Loyola University in Chicago. She is currently the Director of Policy and Federal Affairs at Caring Across Generations leading the work to develop state and federal policies on universal long-term and home and community based care.

Brian W. Lindberg
Public Policy Advisor

Brian Lindberg is a Washington, DC based advocate, policy educator, and lobbyist.  He serves as public policy advisor to several organizations including: the National Alliance for Caregiving, the National Association of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs, the Elder Justice Coalition, The Gerontological Society of America, the National Association for Geriatric Education, and the Special Needs Alliance.

Brian has served on many boards and advisory panels, including for the Institute of Medicine, CMS, NAIC, and the Planning Committee for the National Quality Forum (appointed by Vice President Gore).  Currently, Brian serves on the Board of Visitors of the College of Public Health at Temple University.

Brian worked in Congress for ten years on the House Select Committee on Aging and the Senate Special Committee on Aging.  He holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Temple University, a Master’s degree in Management of Human Services from Brandeis University, and studied social and health care policy at the University of Stockholm’s International Graduate School.

Gary D. Williams
Associate State Director
AARP New Mexico

Gary D. Williams is currently the Associate State Director for AARP New Mexico, where he is responsible for management of community outreach initiatives within the state of New Mexico; which includes volunteer recruitment/training/retention, educational outreach and advocacy for the state’s 50 plus population.

Mr. Williams served for seven plus years as the Deputy Director at the New Mexico State Office of African American Affairs (OAAA). Prior to joining the staff at OAAA, Mr. Williams was the Investigations Officer for the City of Albuquerque’s Human Rights Office for seven years.

Mr. Williams worked for more than twenty-six years in the health care industry, with the majority of that time being spent in a regulatory capacity for federal and state government agencies. Mr. Williams is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

Mr. Williams served as Corporate Director of Diversity Programs for Sun Healthcare Group, an international health care corporation based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Heidi Holt
Public Health Advisor
Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging program
Centers for Disease Control

Heidi Holt is a Public Health Advisor in CDC’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging program, Heidi has responsibility for strategic planning, program development and cross-sector collaboration. In addition, she currently coordinates the CDC-wide Healthy Aging Workgroup, where programs across CDC discuss how best to serve an aging population among all of its programmatic activities.  Heidi has a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Southern California, and a Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Georgia.  Heidi has published book chapters, articles, and guidance documents and has expertise in policy and program management. Heidi joined the CDC in 1992 and has a unique perspective spanning over 2 decades in Public Health.

Registration Information

This program is part of the Aging in America Conference. To attend you must register for Aging in America and choose this event from the Optional Events. Use discount code NAC10 to save 10% on your conference registration.

Interested in partnering on the conference? Contact the Alliance at for more information.

Previous Coalition Conferences

The 2018 conference convened more than 100 family caregiver advocates in San Francisco to set the agenda for caregiving policy work moving forward. At a population of nearly 44 million, family caregivers are generally one of the largest constituent groups in the United States. If mobilized and prepped for advocacy, caregivers would have an incredibly dominant voice on the national stage when it comes to setting policies and practices that benefit not only themselves, but also those they care for every day.

The 12th Annual National Conference of Caregiver Advocates-Engaging Caregivers Across the Lifespan explored how the caregiving community can engage and leverage this powerful voice for policy change. The one-day meeting was hosted on Monday, March 26, 2018 in partnership with the American Society on Aging at the Aging in America 2018 Conference.

This program was made possible through generous support from Archstone FoundationEli LillyPfizerAvanir, and UnitedHealthcare.

Program Overview

The conference focused on topics such as building capacity for caregivers across the lifespan, developing caregiver-friendly communities, and caregiving and the workplace. Several national and state advocates presented, including representatives from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), Legal Aid at Work, the National Partnership for Women and Families, and the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, among others. Advocates sought to broaden the scope of current efforts by sponsoring caregiving coalitions from across the United States to attend the conference. These coalitions support family caregivers with information, referral services, educational outreach, and advocacy.

Conference Materials

NAC 2018 Program Book

Presentation Topics

Building Capacity for Caregivers Across the Lifespan
The Caregiver-Friendly Community
Building a 21st Century Workforce
Defining the Caregiver Journey
Co-Creating Next Steps for Caregiver Advocacy


NAC 2018 Conference Presentations

The 2017 conference examined the future public health implications of family caregiving. We knew caregiver stress could lead to serious health problems—as our population rapidly ages, and the number of available family caregivers in younger generations diminishes—the 11th Annual National Conference of Caregiver Advocates explored the question Is Family Caregiving the Next Public Health Crisis?

Presentations featured informed insights from public health experts, diverse perspectives from caregiving innovators, and actionable solutions from engaged advocates.

The event built on work uncovered in the 2016 meeting – The Next 20 Years in Caregiving – which was held in conjunction with the American Society on Aging Meeting on March 21, 2016, in Washington, D.C.

This program was made possible through the generous support of Eli LillyPfizerUnitedHealthcare, with support from the SCAN Foundation.

Program Overview

We know stress can lead to serious health problems. As we examine the relationship between family caregiving and public health—namely caregiver stress, an aging population, and a shrinking family caregiver workforce—we asked “Is Family Caregiving the Next Public Health Crisis?” Presentations for this all-day event featured informed and diverse insights from public health experts, caregiving innovators, and engaged advocates.

Conference Materials

Presentation Topics

  • Is Family Caregiving the Next Public Health Crisis? – Featured Speaker and Fireside Chat
  • Policy Perspectives on Public Health and Family Caregiving
  • Presentations on Creative Caregiving, Senses of Caregiving, and Caregiving Research
  • Social and Cultural Perspectives on Public Health and Family Caregiving
  • Inside-the-Beltway Updates on Family Caregiving Legislation & Advocacy


In January, the National Alliance for Caregiving celebrated our 20th birthday – two decades of working to improve the lives of America’s family caregivers through research, innovation, and advocacy. As we reflected on how far our society has come in supporting family caregivers, we looked ahead to the future – what’s in store for caregiving 20 years from now?

Similar to a patient advocacy meeting, The Next 20 Years in Caregiving conference was hosted at the American Society on Aging Meeting on March 21, 201 in Washington, D.C. The one-day event featured national experts on caregiving, health care reform, health technologies, and aging and disability issues. Over 175 caregiving advocates attended including representatives from the National Network of Caregiving Coalitions, a virtual network of 80+ state and local caregiving coalitions across the U.S.

Conference Materials

NAC Program Agenda The Next 20 Years in Caregiving

NAC Program Speaker Bios The Next 20 Years in Caregiving

Caregiving Coalition Honorees

Updates from the National Alliance for Caregiving

Legislative Overview – Caregiving Bills

Legislative Overview – Important Health Care Bills


NAC_Next 20 Years in Caregiving_Overview

NAC_Next 20 Years_Business Case for Caregiving_ UnitedHealthcare (James Murphy)

NAC_Next 20 Years_Business Case_DaVincian Healthcare (John Knoebel)

NAC_Next 20 Years_Business Case_CareLinx (Sherwin Sheik)

NAC_Next 20 Years_Diagnosis and Dementia_GSA (Katie Maslow)

NAC_Next 20 Years_Diagnosis and Dementia_Eli Lilly (Dr Kristin Wrobleski)

NAC_Next 20 Years_Diagnosis and Dementia_Mike Splaine

NAC Next 20 Years_Caregiving and Home Care US Dept of VA (Dr Tom Edes)

NAC_Care Out Loud – Start and Sustain Your Caregiving Coalition

This program is made possible through the generous support of AllerganEli LillyUnitedHealthcarePfizerMallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, and PWR.

The 2015 meeting, From Caring to Caregiver Advocate: The 9th Annual Caregiving Coalition Conference, featured over 100 caregiving advocates and coalition representatives from across the United States and focused on the transition of family caregivers to caregiving advocates. Attendees had several opportunities to connect with other advocates, including a “Table Topics” discussion lunch and Q&A with national experts. Panels included research and analysis on caring for underserved populations, legislative and advocacy work, and how new technologies can support caregivers. We were honored to have Pennsylvania’s Former Secretary of Aging, Brian Duke, as our keynote speaker.

This conference would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors: UnitedHealthcarePfizerEaster Seals and Mass MutualRight at Home, and Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.

Meeting Materials

Presentation Slides

Speaker Resources & Handouts

Other NAC Presentations

Eighth Annual National Conference of Caregiving Coalitions
The annual meeting brought together caregiving coalitions and advocates from across the United States to discuss the latest in caregiving legislation, advocacy, and innovation. Many thanks to our generous sponsors: The Archstone FoundationPfizer, and Genentech.


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