National Team – University of Illinois at Chicago


Beth Marks, PhD, RN, FAAN

Research Associate Professor
Phone: 312-413-4097
Email: bmarks1@uic.edu

Beth is Co-Director of the HealthMatters Program in the Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Past President, National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities. Beth directs research programs on empowerment and advancement of persons with disabilities. She has published numerous articles and books related to health promotion, health advocacy, and primary health care for people with disabilities. She recently co-produced with Bronwynne Evans, RN, PhD, FAAN a film entitled “Open the Door, Get ‘Em a Locker: Educating Nursing Students with Disabilities.” She has also authored two books published in 2010 entitled Health Matters: The Exercise and Nutrition Health Education Curriculum for People with Developmental Disabilities and Health Matters for People with Developmental Disabilities: Creating a Sustainable Health Promotion Program.

Jasmina Sisirak, PhD, MPH
Research Assistant Professor

Phone: 312-996-3982
Email: jsisirak@uic.edu

Jasmina is Co-Director of the HealthMatters Program in the Department of Disability and Human Development at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Her research interests consist of nutrition, health literacy, and health promotion for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She coordinates several health promotion projects in the RRTCDD; and has written publications and presented papers in the area of disability, health, and nutrition. Jasmina has co-authored two books entitled Health Matters: The Exercise and Nutrition Health Education Curriculum for People with Developmental Disabilities and Health Matters for People with Developmental Disabilities: Creating a Sustainable Health Promotion Program.

Matthew P. Janicki, PhD
Research Associate Professor

Email: mjanicki@uic.edu

Matt is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as the co-President of the US National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices. He is also a member of the federal NAPA Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services. Previously, he served as director for technical assistance for the former Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developmental Disabilities and Health at the University, was director for aging and special populations for the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, and spent a year as a Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation’s Public Policy Leadership Fellow at the National Institute on Aging and the United States Senate. Currently, he is leading a longitudinal study of specialized group homes designed for dementia-related care of adults with intellectual disability, including Down syndrome. He was the principal investigator of several NIDRR-funded studies that examined how community agencies provide community supports to adults with intellectual disabilities affected by Alzheimer’s disease and how families are aided by community agencies in supporting adults with Down syndrome affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and was also the project director of a NIH-funded effort that provided the World Health Organization with a series of background reports on promoting longevity among adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the world. He served as an officer of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities from 2000-2008 and was the founding editor of the Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities. He is also the editor of numerous books and author of articles on aging, dementia, public policy, and rehabilitation concerning adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (including Dementia, Aging, and Intellectual Disabilities: A Handbook).

Ryan Murphy, MPH
Research Assistant
Email: rmurph6@uic.edu

Ryan is a Research Assistant in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and works on HealthMatters Program Scale-Up.
 

Jeanne Desjardins
Virtual HealthMatters Coach
Email: esjardinsjeanne@gmail.com

Jeanne is an Educational Assistant with the Student Success Center at John Adams Middle School in Albuquerque, NM. She has worked with children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities for 39 years in various capacities and has taught the 12-week HealthMatters Program for many years. She is a is an Advanced Certified Instructor for the HealthMatters Train the Trainer Program. Jeanne has trained staff throughout New Mexico on how to implement the HealthMatters Program.

Kathy Service, RN, MS, FNP-BC, CDDN

Board of Directors of the National Task Group on Dementia and Intellectual Disabilities (NTG)
Email: kathyservice@gmail.com

Kathy has worked in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) since 1976 both in institutional and community settings with the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) until retirement in 2016, yet continues to consult on dementia matters for DDS. Over those years, in addition to hands-on clinical support, she has worked together with and presented to people with IDD and their families and direct support professionals. In 1995, she was the co-developer and coordinator of a series of presentations on dementia and people with IDD in Western Massachusetts. Kathy has served on advisory boards nationally and internationally, presented at domestic and foreign conferences, and written articles, book chapters and educational modules on topics of aging, dementia, loss and grief and nursing support of people with IDD. She had served on the initial Steering Committee and is currently on the Board of Directors of the National Task Group on Dementia and Intellectual Disabilities (NTG) and as a Master Trainer contributed to the NTG’s Dementia Capable Curriculum. She is a Family Support Volunteer through the Alzheimer’s Association and locally conducts Dementia Friends sessions.

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