Abby Gershenzon, Community Education Coordinator
Abby is the Community Education Coordinator for Signature Home Health and Hospice. Beginning in 2016, Abby spent four years as Regional Coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Association, in charge of their programs and services.
In her current position with Signature, Abby works to bring education, resources and support to families navigating the dementia journey, and to professionals giving care in care communities. Abby also serves on the Board at Olive Plaza, a 150-unit building that houses low-income seniors in downtown Eugene. She has spent her career as a journalist, educator and Community Health Worker, as well as a committed volunteer for refugee resettlement. Abby earned her B.A. from UC Berkeley, and has an Associate of Science and Community Health Worker certificate from Lane Community College.
Willow Cordain, Director of Placements
Willow is a native Oregonian; she grew up in Eugene and has her degree in Public Health from Oregon State University.
She has worked in Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care Communities in Community Relations/Admissions.
She is the Director of Placement for Adult Living Solutions doing what she loves best, helping families find the best fit for their loved one. Clients appreciate her personalized approach, knowledge of the industry, and compassion when working with them.
Willow is on the Alzheimer’s Association Regional Advisory Committee and was their Chairperson for the 2014 and 2015’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s. She is a co-facilitator of a 10-week Memory Loss Series class for those with dementia and their care partners. She is also a member of Southtowne Rotary.
Liz von Wellsheim, Medical Director
Liz has been active at ElderHealth and Living Memory Village from 2006 until 2020 as an owner and has now transitioned to being Medical Director. Liz oversees the medical and nursing needs in the village and is available for Memory Loss Coaching. She typically sees new residents for a comprehensive assessment prior to moving into one of the nine memory care homes.
Liz von Wellsheim, MSN, MA, GNP, has two masters degrees from the University of Pennsylvania: one as a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner and the other in Social Gerontology. Liz has more than 30 years of experience in the field of geriatrics.
Karyn Baker, Community Education Specialist
Karyn Baker has over 30 years experience working with persons with Memory Loss. She started her career at Good Neighbor Care as a CNA/Caregiver in 1990. She worked there for 15 years as a Caregiver, Manager, Human Resource Assistant, Family Services Coordinator and Assistant Administrator.
In 2005 Karyn purchased a 16 bed residential care facility with her business partner in Veneta OR, where Karyn became the Administrator. They turned it into a Memory Care Community in 2007 just as Karyn’s own mother needed care and became a resident in her community.
In 2019 she sold her facility and moved her mother into ElderHealth and Living Memory Village, where Karyn works in Recreation and is the Community Education Specialist. Karyn has been facilitating or co-facilitating memory support groups for over 15 years. Quote from Karyn “Once I began caring for persons with memory loss, I knew this was my calling. I knew I had a talent for getting into their world and bringing them joy. I love what I do”
Thomas Farley, Bereavement Coordinator
Tom was born at the old Sacred Heart Hospital in downtown Eugene so he’s an Oregonian through and through. Tom graduated from Corvallis High School, started at Oregon State University and, after a life changing spiritual experience, transferred to a seminary where he completed his formation and was ordained a Catholic priest for western Oregon.
Over many decades of pastoring Tom realized that being a celibate was too debilitating for him so he left the priesthood, fell in love and married. Recently he was a certified chaplain at Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend principally in the oncology unit. Now he’s the Bereavement Coordinator with Signature Hospice. His rich ministerial experience and his wrestling with his own personal losses has formed an empathic and reflective adult.
Laura Fischrup, Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist
Laura Fischrup opened Driving Solutions in February of 2005 to help serve individuals, their families, physicians, caseworkers, and other agencies working to meet the driving and transportation needs of people with disabilities and the older driver.
She has over 30 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist and uses her knowledge of disabilities, medical conditions and aging to determine how functional skills are affected, including driving. As a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist, she is able to assess driving skills, determine what kinds of modifications or adaptations are needed, and provide training to help you maintain your independence.
John Urness, Elder Law Attorney
John is a shareholder attorney at Thorp Purdy. Since 1983, John has served his clients and provided personalized solutions that best fit their needs.
John finds nothing more satisfying than helping a client who may be overwhelmed with a difficult situation, breaking it down so the client’s options are understandable, then helping the client decide upon and execute sound solutions, and doing it all with compassion and as efficient as possible. John assists clients in the areas of Elder Law, Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration, Guardianships & Conservatorships, and long term care and Medicaid planning.
David Henry, LPN
David has been working as a nurse since 2010, specializing in caring for individuals who are experiencing memory loss issues.
Since 2015, David has been a regular presenter at the Living with Memory Loss Series, discussing Cognitive Health and Wellness for those with memory loss and people as they age. He also teaches classes to all new employees at ElderHealth & Living Memory Village to prepare them to work with those living there.
Suzanne Cavanagh, Certified Lighting Specialist
Suzanne Cavanagh is the owner of Century Lighting, a commercial lighting company and Lumen Element through which she does research and education. She is a certified lighting specialist and has an executive certification in home modification. She loves sharing how light can improve lives, sleep and even memory. She has been Co-Chair of the local Walk to End Alzheimer’s for the past 3 years.