Nicole has a passion for working with the elderly and believes in the "law of plenty". She enjoys the challenge of breaking down the silos of health care organizations by creating and participating in consortiums of the health care providers that actively discuss issues facing the seniors that they are serving and how this fragile population can a better quality of life through education, resource sharing, and problem solving during meeting times and collaboration.
Nicole has spent the bulk of her career in various different capacities working for Northeast Health and the Eddy Memorial Geriatric Center in New York. Nicole was a social worker and team leader of their Special Care Unit for individuals afflicted with dementia and as the director of an Adult Day Medical Health Center (Adult Daycare). During her tenure at the Eddy she also served on the Board of the Alzheimer's Association of Northeastern NY chapter and trained professionals on the up and coming techniques for dementia care nationally. When moving to North Carolina Nicole expanded her area of expertise to the field of private duty in home care as the Community Outreach Coordinator, a role that she continues to hold for Homewatch CareGivers of the Triangle. Nicole is also the host of a weekly radio show "Caring Connections" on 1360 WCHL that focuses on educating the family caregiver about resources and what to expect in their roles.
Nicole took some time off from her professional career to raise her two children and during that time she experienced firsthand what it is like to be the primary caregiver of her children and her grandfather for whom she cared for in her home until he passed away.
Nicole has her Associates in Arts from The Sage Colleges, and her Bachelor's in Social Work with Advanced Standing from Siena College. Nicole has also completed some graduate work in the area of Health Care Administration.
In my 40+ years in the medical field, there have been few constants. But there has been one which, frustratingly, still remains a constant: the lack of uniform availability of adequate resources for family caregivers of hospital patients readying to go home, for caregivers of clients receiving home care/home health care, for caregivers of people with chronic physical illnesses, for family caregivers of patients in skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes), and especially for family and professional caregivers of clients with dementia, in particular Alzheimer's.
That is why Guiding Lights is my passion. Every unfulfilled need that caregivers have expressed over my professional years can and will be met in this Caregiver Support Center. All staff members have been caregivers of beloved family members and have experienced the frustration of not knowing where and to whom to turn for help.
I am so proud to be a part of this collaborative effort and to be able to bring joy to people who live in frustration & desperation because they can not get the help they need to provide adequate and appropriate assistance to their loved ones. Guiding Lights is for each and all of them!
Corliss is a social worker and a LPN, who has worked with elderly patients in a hospital setting. She has coordinated activities in a residential senior center and implemented various ways of assisting individuals with dementia. The Guiding Lights team is directed by passionate individuals responding to the needs of those who provide significant care. I am pleased to be part of a team that is cognizant of the needs of the many caregivers that we serve.
Leigh comes to us from Elder and Adult Day Services (EADS) -- a day health non profit organization in Seattle, Washington - at which she was responsible for Public Relations and Marketing. In 2008 through 2009, the organization took on a rebranding campaign (on a shoe string budget) with the goal of attracting a wider variety of participants and funding sources. Leigh and her supervisor presented on the campaign at the 2010 National Adult Day Services Association conference here in Raleigh. Leigh and her family had moved to Raleigh in July of 2009, after which she continued working (remotely) for EADS until recently.
Martha, a N.C. native, comes to Guiding Lights as Program Coordinator. Martha has 40+ years as a R.N. with positions ranging from all aspects of inpatient rehabilitation, coordinating care for severely injured workers, to surveying adult care facilities in N.C. for licensure compliance with state rules & regulations. Many of these positions provided her the opportunity to see first hand the importance of well trained staff to care for the elderly. She strongly believes coordinating a program that prepares nurse aides to become the best they can be, will result in providing much better care for the frail elderly. Martha welcomes the exciting opportunity to be a part of this dynamic team!
It is with great enthusiasm that I join Guiding Lights as a RN Instructor for the NA program. I have been nursing for 33 years and I have seen many good NA's and many that needed more training and guidance than they had received. It is my commitment to teach our students to be the best in their field. Guiding Lights is committed to meeting the needs of caregivers; by training top-knotched NAs, we will further that service to the community.
I believe that caring for people is a special gift you can give. Being a team member of Guiding Lights will allow me to give that gift in many ways. How great is that !
I am an ADN graduate from Wake Community College. It was my pleasure to hone my nursing skills at Dorothea Dix Hospital for 25 years and UNC Hospital for 5 years. After retiring 2 years ago, I have been working per diem as a Nurse Consultant.
Kathleen Rosendale, Awakening Mentor
I am delighted to be joining the staff of Guiding Lights. As a mentor I am blessed to be touched by the grace and wisdom of our senior community. I can remember as a child sitting and listening to the stories of my Grandmother. Later, it would become my privilege to share them with her when she no longer recognized them as her own, but still recognized a good story when she heard one! In this spirit of listening I open my mind, heart and hands to the journey.
Jamilah Dixon, Program Support Specialist
Jamilah is a native of Raleigh. She has been in the healthcare world for a while. It all began when she first started working with teens on a talk line. From then, she continued school and went on to graduate from Winston-Salem State University, only to dive deeper into the mental health world. Which granted her the opportunity to develop many skills and certifications such: as Non-Violent Crisis Intervention, as well as Wilderness and Clinical First Responder. She enjoys exploring the environment outside, traveling, and reading. Jamilah is ecstatic to join such an amazing, and productive team.
Marilyn Hartman, Contracted Grant Writer
Marilyn started working with Guiding Lights a few months after its doors opened, assisting with grant-writing and evaluation. She has an academic background, and was a faculty member in the Psychology Department of the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill for over 20 years. Her career started at Johns Hopkins University (BA, 1980) and the University of Minnesota (Ph.D., 1987) and has always focused on the field of aging. After many years of teaching and conducting research on age-related cognitive and neuropsychological changes and on caregiving, she now is happy to support the work of nonprofits making a difference in the local community. Working with Guiding Lights has enabled her to bring her experience and skills to make sure that those living with illness and caregiving have the support and services they need.
Rachel David, President of T.J.A. CPA PLLC, a locally owned company in the city of Cary, NC. Mrs. David has over 10 years experience in accounting and specializes in job costing, Non-profit accounting and personal financial management for seniors with Alzheimer's and Dementia. Her passion is the advocate for those that are not able to advocate for themselves and to serve the elderly community however she can.