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News - August 18, 2020


Contact: Martie Serna | 202-518-6493 |

Goodwin House Dementia Advance Team Named 2020 Dementia Friends Champion of the Year by LeadingAge Virginia

Alexandria, VA – LeadingAge Virginia (LAVA) selected the Goodwin House Incorporated (GHI) Dementia Advance Team as the winner of the 2020 Dementia Friends Champion of the Year award. LAVA announced the award during a special virtual ceremony on August 18, 2020.

“The Goodwin House Advance Dementia Team is a prime example of not for profit leadership,” commented Melissa Andrews, president & CEO of LeadingAge Virginia. “Collaboration, community outreach, stakeholder involvement, consumer participation – each of these elements contribute to the success of Dementia Friendly communities. The lives of people living with dementia and their families are positively impacted thanks to this extraordinary group!”

GHI launched the Dementia Advance Team in 2018 as a key component of its strategic plan with a directive to “become a catalyst for a higher quality of life for persons with dementia.” GHI was inspired in part by LAVA’s call to take action, asking member organizations to support the Dementia State Plan, Virginia’s official response to the needs of individuals with dementia and their caregivers.

“When Leading Age Virginia made a call to support the Dementia State Plan, the Goodwin House Dementia Advance Team took the lead in encouraging all Goodwin House staff to become Dementia Friends,” said Linda L. Lateana, chief operating officer for GHI. “All members of the Advance Team became Dementia Champions, and then they went out to the local community to become catalysts for change across Northern Virginia. They trained more than 1,000 Dementia Friends outside of Goodwin House, from first responders to church clergy and lay leaders.”

The GHI Dementia Advance Team is an interdisciplinary group from our two Life Plan Communities, Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads (GHBC) and Goodwin House Alexandria (GHA) that seeks knowledge, programs and services that promote care and understanding for individuals with dementia and the people who care for them.

In less than 18 months, the Dementia Advance Team has achieved many milestones:

  • All 12 members of the Dementia Advance Team are certified Dementia Champions
  • 100% of the 900+ Goodwin House staff members are Dementia Friends
  • Dementia Friendly training and the Virtual Dementia Tour experience have been integrated into Goodwin House New Employee Orientation
  • More than 60 residents, staff and their families attended the 2019 National Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Washington, D.C.
  • Northern Virginia’s three Master Champion Trainers are Goodwin House Dementia leaders and they continue to educate the greater community with support from LAVA
  • The Dementia Advance Team has trained more than 1000 Dementia Friends outside of Goodwin House, from first responders to church clergy and lay leaders
  • We collaborated with other local community partners and elected officials of local governments to establish three Dementia Friendly Communities in Northern Virginia:
    • Alexandria on April 24, 2019
    • Arlington on May 19, 2019
    • Fairfax on August 21, 2019

The GHI Dementia Advance Team’s success was made possible thanks to the hard work of dedicated colleagues led by Assisted Living Administrators Jackie Barbarito and Jessica Peters. The team also benefitted from readily available and customizable resources provided by Dementia Friendly America, the organization that has spearheaded this national movement.

Here is the full list of the GHI Dementia Advance team members:

  • Jessica Peters, Administrator of Assisted Living, GHBC
  • Jackie Barbarito, Administrator of Assisted Living, GHA
  • Aaron Zajdel, Social Work Supervisor, GHBC
  • Taneisha Hampton, Admissions Coordinator, GHBC
  • Monica Hutchins-Thomas, Director of Social Work, GHA
  • Barbara Bolin, Social Worker, GHA
  • Greta Christ, Volunteer Coordinator, GHBC
  • Liz Pomerleau, Corporate Director of Clinical Pastoral Education, GHI
  • Linda Lateana, Chief Operations Officer, GHI
  • Valerie Burke, Chief Philanthropy Officer, GHI

Goodwin House thanks LeadingAge Virginia for honoring the Dementia Advance Team with the Dementia Friends Champion of the Year Award.

About Goodwin House Incorporated: Celebrating more than 50 years of providing exceptional service to older adults, Goodwin House Incorporated (GHI) is a not-for-profit, Virginia-based corporation affiliated with the Episcopal Church. The growing family of GHI senior living and healthcare services owned and operated across Northern Virginia includes: two Life Plan Communities—Goodwin House Alexandria and Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads; an innovative continuing care at home program—Goodwin House at Home; and a portfolio of healthcare services and partnerships delivering Palliative Care, Home Health, Primary Care and Hospice. GHI also is the management agent for The Lewinsville Retirement Residences, Inc. serving low-income older adults in McLean and Great Falls, Virginia.

GHI also advances its mission through the Goodwin House Foundation, a 501(c)(3) supporting foundation that provides financial support to current and future residents in need and to fund programs dedicated to promoting growth and education of staff as well as overall well-being and vibrant living as we age.



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