Memory, Moments And Moving Forward


Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center’s 16th annual education conference and expo takes next step

Conference attendees respond enthusiastically to the announcement of Robin Marks’ appointment as ADRC’s new Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer.

More than 300 people shared insights, stayed “in the moment” and helped usher in a new era of leadership at the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center’s Education Conference last month.

A series of six educational sessions ran concurrently in the morning and afternoon program, providing presentations ranging from the latest cellular pathways, emerging therapies and clinical trials for Alzheimer’s treatment to the use of music, origami and tai chi as caregiving strategies. Close to 140 sponsors and exhibitors also shared their expertise and information about their services throughout the day.

Dr. Barry Reisberg, professor in the Department of Psychiatry at New York University Langone Health, presented the luncheon keynote, which highlighted work he conducted at the Fisher Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Research Program at New York University Langone Medical Center. He emphasized the importance of connectedness and compassionate caregiving as critical treatment components for those suffering from Alzheimer’s.

The conference was bittersweet for many in the local Alzheimer’s care community, as Mary Ann Malack-Ragona, ADRC’s former executive director and chief executive officer, who passed away Dec. 19, 2018, was fondly remembered for her exceptional contributions to the betterment of Alzheimer’s patients, their families and the caregiving community. Her son, Vincent Ragona, presided over official opening ceremonies and is the newest member of ADRC’s Board of Directors.

Dr. Rick Scher, chair of the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center’s (ADRC) Board of Directors (left) and Barry Reisberg, MD, professor, Department of Psychiatry at New York University Langone Health, following his keynote presentation.

Dr. Rick Scher, Chair of ADRC’s Board of Directors announced that Robin Marks will assume the role of Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, effective last month. A highly experienced marketer, community leader and expert on issues impacting the aging and gerontology community, Marks’ most recently served as Long Island’s Regional Director for Amber Court Assisted Living.

Scher also announced Myra Ripley is ADRC’s new director of marketing and development, bringing more than two decades of senior communications and marketing experience to the team. Myra previously directed external relations for a global engineering company, and has developed award-winning communications programs for both private sector and nonprofit organizations.

“The Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center functions as an inclusive, accessible center where Long Islanders can find the answers and the services they need to provide care, support and education for families in need, all at no cost,” said Scher. “Thanks to our generous sponsors and donors, Long Island families have a strong advocate dedicated to helping those who are coping with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias.”

—Submitted by the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center

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