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
Approach

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

Leadership

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.

Mary Piasta, Esq., Board Member

Mary Piasta, Esq. is vehement about creating a world that embraces neuro uniqueness while building a community to support caregivers.  After all, we are all caregivers in some way.  Mary blends personal and professional experience to serve as a legal resource and sounding board for the complex issues caregivers need.  Combining a passion for law with a deep-rooted commitment to the ties of family, Mary adeptly navigates the intricacies of family-owned businesses and multi-generational family estates to resolve legal tangles, sort out complex real estate issues, and alleviate the legal complexities of family ties.  With a compassionate outlook, she counsels families gripped by the specter of dementia; as a granddaughter, mother and daughter, Mary has seen and grappled with care challenges within her own close knit family.  
 
Mary feels blessed to call wine country home, where she lives with her husband, three children and fur babies.

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.

Heidi Lage, Board Member

Heidi Lage was a caregiver to her mother who suffered from dementia. Heidi is passionate about forming a community in which we can learn, grow and support one another through the journey of caring for a loved one affected with memory loss. Heidi has lived in Sonoma Valley for over twenty years and has been an active member of the community. She is a practicing licensed marriage and family therapist. She has a Master’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Nevada Reno as well as a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Sonoma State University. Heidi also has over 20 years of experience as a social worker for a nonprofit agency providing care and advocating for those in need.

Amy Murphy, Director of Referrals

Amy Murphy is a designer and project manager. She holds a Masters in Environmental Design, degrees in art and communications, and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Amy has worked across the design, construction, and art worlds. She takes an inquisitive approach to making spaces that work and to managing complex interdisciplinary teams. She has designed or managed the construction of restaurants and hospitality spaces on 5 continents, subsidized housing units, culturally sensitive health clinics in remote regions of Australia, and dementia friendly homes that are sensitive to the unique needs of people living with memory loss.

In her role with CPI as Director of Referrals, Amy seeks to build a robust network of community focused organizations and individuals committed to raising awareness, support, and comfortable spaces for people living with dementia and their caregivers.

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.
Madolyn Agrimonti Former CPI Board MemberJudith Bjorndal, M.D. Pediatrician, Medical Director at Sonoma Developmental Center, retired
Dr. Patricia Brooks Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Mental Health CounselorShelley Dombroski Alzheimer’s Association’s Director North Bay
Barbara Hughes Retired Nonprofit ExecutiveDenise Kalos Founder & CEO, AFFIRMATIVhealth (RE:Mind program)
Jim Keck Emeritus Founding Board MemberNancy King Executive Director Pets Lifeline
Kelly Mather CEO BayHealth and Wellness Author, former CEO Sonoma Valley HospitalJohn Randazzo Retired Marketing Executive – Communications Volunteer
Elsa Nelson Evaluations Task ForceJames Thomas Retired Priest

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