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Specialties & Experience of this Expert Witness

General Specialties:

Geriatrics and Guardianship/Conservatorship

Specialty Focus:

Elder abuse, disability, senior, healthcare power of attorney, healthcare advocate, social work, care management, case management, long-term care, assisted living, memory care, guardian, nursing home, assessments, cognitive impairment, dementia, conservator, exploitation, elder fraud

Education:

MA in Gerontology, University of North Carolina - Charlotte; BA in Sociology, Belmont Abbey College

Years in Practice:

17

Number of Times Deposed/Testified in Last 4 Yrs:

25

Additional Information

I opened up a care management company in Charlotte, NC in 2005 following the completion of my Master of Arts degree in Gerontology. I lead a team of nurses, social workers, gerontologists, and counselors to advocate for older adults and their family caregivers. For the past 15 years, I have served as a private guardian for older individuals who have been adjudicated in our court system. I serve as a Board Member of the North Carolina Guardianship Association and am a member of the National Guardianship Association. I became certified as a guardian in 2017 and am currently one of only 52 National Master Guardians in the country. This is the highest professional designation that can be attained by guardians and it requires extensive demonstration of competencies in a variety of areas, a comprehensive exam, and at least 15 years of experience in the field of guardianship. In our routine work as both care managers and guardians, we conduct clinical assessments of older adults and persons with disabilities, create care plans and evaluate existing care plans, advocate for the highest possible quality of care for our clients. Through this work, it is not uncommon for us to deal with challenging families whom often behave in negligent and abusive manners towards the senior, or for us to identify that someone is being financially exploited by a care facility, friend or acquaintance, or other professional. As healthcare advocates, we scrutinize the care our clients receive, as well as the companies and individuals providing such care so that we can ensure quality is not neglected. In guardianship cases, we report our activities annually to the Clerk of Courts office and work closely with those individuals (typically attorneys) who are serving as the Guardian of the Estate (also called conservator in other states). Private guardians are in high demand in the country due to the increase in guardianship cases, the growing number of persons who do not have anyone to name as healthcare power of attorney, and an increase in awareness of utilizing guardianship as a protective measure for older clients who are being exploited. For the past 10 years, I have regularly testified in guardianship proceedings involving our clients, or those for whom we have been hired for the purpose of serving as an expert testimony in their matter. I am extremely comfortable with this process and feel that my recent designation as a National Master Guardian puts me at the top of my field in the country.