Our Challenge

Dementia and other symptoms of memory loss are a big problem in this country. In Sonoma Valley alone, we estimate there are more than 1,000 individuals experiencing some form of cognitive decline. Most still live at home, which means that there are another 1,000 to 2,000 caregiving friends and family members who are also affected.

The Good News Is

that with proper support, both Care Partners (care receivers and care providers) can still enjoy a quality life.

The Bad News Is

that until now, the support available has only reached a fraction of the Sonoma Valley families that need it.

The Challenge

How to educate more people and connect them with support opportunities that
will enhance their quality of life.

Our Collaborative

CarePartners Initiative is a nonprofit organization formed in March 2019 to tackle this challenge.

Our approach is to partner with our community’s established service providers. If they have relevant programs and events, our job is to build greater awareness for those programs. We also work with our partners to adapt, create and promote new services, including new activities , support groups and educational events.

In short, we are a catalyst for creating greater awareness and support for Sonoma residents dealing with cognitive decline.

Community Partners

Our Strategic Partners

Our Supporting Partners


The organization is led by a Governing Board responsible for the achievement of CarePartners Initiative strategic objectives and for the delivery of its annual operating plan.

Whitney Evans, Chairman

As the Care Partner for his wife, Jeanette, Whitney is a passionate advocate for families with a member with dementia. He is a dedicated community volunteer, playing a role in the success of many nonprofit organizations in the valley to include the Sonoma Valley Fund, he is President emeritus, Village of Sonoma Valley, he is a founding board member emeritus, Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Club and the Education Foundation. In 2012 he was selected as the Alcalde, honorary mayor, by Sonoma City Council in recognition of his nonprofit leadership.

Reverend Jim Thomas, Interfaith Ministerial

Rev. Thomas is Priest-in-charge, Trinity Episcopal Church. He has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, has worked as a psychologist for 48 years, and was an Air Force Officer. His book, Seven Steps to Personal Power addressed strengthening family member’s personal power and ability to cope with their family care challenges. Families living with a member with dementia are among the most challenged. His involvement included seminars for judges, attorneys, police groups and teachers.

Jim Keck, Board Member

Working as caregiver for his wife, Dorothy, in early stage Alzheimer’s he has networked with many other caregivers of spouses and family members challenged with dementia. He is passionate in helping others with knowledge and support to care for a loved one as well as oneself. He brings extensive experience as a training specialist in various industries and is recognized as a born teacher and networker.
He values caregiver help available from Alzheimer’s Association, Council on Aging, and other resources and wants to make all that and more available to many others. He also knows that we must identify and reach out to many more in our community who need support and help.

Dr. Patricia Brooks - Emeritus Founding Board Member

Dr. Brooks has practiced as a psychotherapist in traditional and integrative medical settings for over 35 years. Her practice in Sonoma includes individuals and family members who are coping with symptoms of cognitive decline.

Advisory Council

Our advisors hold responsible positions in supporting organizations and/or have experience and expertise in cognitive health. They will be called upon regularly to lend their expertise in support of our mission.
Judith Bjorndal, M.D. Pediatrician, Medical Director at Sonoma Developmental Center, retiredDenise Kalos Founder & CEO, AFFIRMATIVhealth (RE:Mind program)
Ann Colichidas Support Group SpecialistNancy King Executive Director Pets Lifeline
Shelley Dombroski Alzheimer’s Association’s Director North BayPeter Langham Retired Fire Captain and Paramedic caregiver and musician
Lauren Hibdon Alzheimer’s Association Family Care SpecialistKelly Mather CEO BayHealth and Wellness Author, former CEO Sonoma Valley Hospital
Dr. Patricia Brooks Dr. Brooks is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Mental Health Counselor located in Sonoma, CA.Mark Nilsson Director, Sonoma Hills Retirement Community
Carson Watson CaregiverHeldi Rutherford Caregiver and Art Therapist
Mark Sipes Community Liaison, St. Joseph’s HealthcareErick Larson Executive Director and Chairman, Village of Sonoma Valley

Charitable Status

Our Fiscal Sponsor is Inquiring Systems, Inc (ISI), a California nonprofit 501c3 corporation founded in 1978. This fiscal sponsorship relationship provides CarePartners Initiative the 501c3 legal status to accept tax exempt donations. ISI handles the regulatory compliance and provides us with other administrative and legal support