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You have reached the virtual space for Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Gerontology webinar platform  


developed by the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Gerontology in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Social Services
for professional caregivers working in ALF settings.

COMPASSION FATIGUE – a five-week course

Review the course materials here.

Person-Centered Care 2.1 Virtual Conference

Online meeting held May 28, 2020

Review recording, slides and resources here.

Leadership Meeting: Local Government

Online meeting held May 1, 2020

Review recording, slides and resources here.


Virginia Medicaid

Recorded March 20, 2020

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Guardianship in Virginia

March 31, 2020

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Housing and Redevelopment in Richmond, VA

April 7, 2020

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March 2020


At the end of this training, participants should be able to understand the current medication management regulations that involve medication plans, physician and prescriber orders, alongside the administration of medications, and discuss methods to prevent violations in medication management.

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February 2020


At the end of this training, participants should be able to discover their authentic leadership personality, lead other to better performance and make continuous quality improvements work for them.

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Mental Health and Well-being in Aging

November 2019


At the end of this training, participants should have a foundation, awareness and understanding of good mental health as a critical component of older adults’ overall well being.


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Activities for Persons Living with Cognitive Impairment

June 2019


At the end of this training, participants should have an increased understanding and application of person-centered care activities for persons living with cognitive impairment within different health settings.


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Emergency Preparedness and Safety

June 2018


At the end of this training, participants should be able to:

  • Define Emergency Preparedness
  • Develop/Review an Emergency Preparedness Plan
  • Develop an awareness of challenges posed by different emergency situations
  • Present potential measures to meet these challenges
  • Review physical & mental challenges posed by ADCC Participants
  • Practice developing emergency plans to meet ADCC Standards while incorporating Person Centered Care.


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Culturally Competent Care for Diverse Populations in an Adult Day Setting

November 2018


At the end of this training, participants should have an increased understanding and application of person-centered care theories and practices with diverse populations.


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Medication Best Practices in ALFs

November 2018


At the end of this training, participants should be able to:

  • Strategies to prevent medication-related problems
  • Healthcare providers’ role as partners in maintaining and improving medication safety
  • Resources for improving medication safety in ALFS
  • Psychotropic medications and why they are used.
  • The warnings concerning antipsychotic use, especially in persons living with dementia.
  • Antipsychotics as part of a comprehensive care plan for persons with diagnosed mental illness.
  • Behaviors and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) as communication efforts
  • Underlying causes of people’s behaviors
  • The impact of approaches/attitudes when responding to residents’ needs
  • Person-centered, non-pharma techniques for responding to residents’ needs


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Dementia: It’s Not Just Alzheimer’s

April 2017


At the end of this training, participants will have an increased understanding of:

  • Person Centered Care
  • Symptoms of depression in older adults
  • Symptoms of dementia in older adults
  • Ability to differentiate between depression and dementia
  • Forms of dementia due to diagnoses other than Alzheimer’s disease, as well as delirium and alcoholic dementia.

Gerontology Boot Camp

August 2017


At the end of this training, participants will have an increased understanding of:

  • The biological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual norms of aging.
  • Current trends and research in Gerontology and its application to work in adult day settings.
  • Aging-related stereotypes and myths and ability to identify those which perpetuate ageism
  • How to educate others about normal aging processes.

Navigating Loss, Loneliness, and Aging

November 2017


At the end of this training, participants will have an increased understanding of:

  • the difference between grief and loss
  • the areas of life that loss can impact
  • how to work towards a “new normal
  • activities and resources for navigating loss
  • person-centered care as it relates to loss
  • the importance of self-care for the professional
  • the relationship between loss, loneliness, and social isolation
  • risk factors for loneliness and social isolation
  • the health consequences of loneliness and social isolation
  • how loneliness and social isolation impact the body’s immune system
  • the health benefits of social connectedness
  • activities for enhancing social connectedness


Gigi Amateau

Gigi Amateau has worked in health and human services for thirty-years in program administration, information and referral, and philanthropy with the Commonwealth of Virginia, Homeward, SeniorNavigator, and United Way.

She is currently the Director of Grants and Research for the Greater Richmond Age Wave Coalition.

Gigi received her undergraduate degree from VCU in Urban Studies and Planning and is currently studying for her graduate degree in gerontology, also at VCU.  She is a certified yoga teacher and the 2017 Pat Asch Social Justice Fellow with the YWCA of Greater Richmond.


Annette Clark

Annette Clark received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Sociology from Mary Baldwin College and earned her Master’s degree in Gerontology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012. Annette is a Family Services Director with the Alzheimer’s Association Central and Western Virginia Chapter, an adjunct faculty member and Roanoke Higher Education Center Liaison with Virginia Commonwealth University.

Annette’s responsibilities include assisting students with successful transition into Department of Gerontology programs in the hybrid program located at the Roanoke Higher Education Center, coordination of local GeroStat events and development and instruction of select training programs for Virginia Commonwealth University’s partnership with Virginia Department of Social Services, Division of Licensing Programs.

Annette’s interest include working with individuals and care partners dealing with a dementia diagnosis, educational opportunities for adult learners, advocacy and providing support by serving on various committees, councils and boards.

Tyler Corson

Tyler Corson, PhD, is a gerontologist.  She earned a Master of Science in Gerontology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston and a doctorate in Health Related Sciences from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). She currently teaches in the College of Health Professions at Virginia Commonwealth University, and at Rush University in Chicago with expertise in aging issues, mental health, and research methodology.

She has experience working with older adults both in the community and residential care settings. Dr. Corson serves on the Board of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Virginia Beach and teaches NAMI community education classes.

Dr. Corson has a consulting business focused on developing and implementing educational and training opportunities in the areas of aging and research.



Jennifer Inker

Jenny Inker, PhD, is an assistant professor of gerontology and the co-program director for the Assisted Living Administration Specialty Area in the M.S. in gerontology program at VCU.

Dr Inker teaches Sociology of Aging, and Aging and Human Values (ethics). She also supervises masters students completing their Assisted Living Administrator-in-Training practicum and doctoral students in the Health Related Sciences PhD program. Dr Inker co-leads a number of popular workforce trainings throughout the year, including a leadership master class series, ethics workshops, and an exam preparation class for the Residential Care Assisted Living (RCAL) national exam.

Dr Inker’s personal and professional goals are to raise conscious awareness of the potential for elderhood as a time of life which enriches individuals and society and to disrupt ageism and other barriers to developing elderhood.

Annette S. Kelley

Annette S. Kelley joined the Virginia Department of Social Services Division of Licensing Programs as the Provider Training Consultant in November 2005. In this position she is responsible for training related activities for assisted living facilities and adult day care centers, providing technical assistance to adult program providers, and developing regulations for adult programs. Annette earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and her Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling with a specialization in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Education.

Ms. Kelley has over twenty years of experience working in program development, program management, and training development in both the private and public sector.

Toy Newcomb

Toy Newcomb is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) licensed in the state of Virginia and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) certified by the International Association of Trauma Professionals. Prior to becoming a counselor, she spent over 10 years working in geriatric care communities. In addition to being a Department of Social Services Instructor with VCU, she provides clinical mental health counseling by integrating evidenced based clinical interventions with Biblical principles at her private practice, Renewal Christian Counseling, PLLC.

Her counseling experience includes working with individuals who have experienced a variety of reasons for seeking help to include but not limited to trauma, grief/loss, substance abuse, self-worth/self-esteem issues, stress management, relationship challenges, symptom management, spiritual conflicts, effective/assertive communication, depression and anxiety. Additionally, Toy has facilitated support and counseling groups for the geriatric population and their adult caregivers.

Jennifer Pryor

Jennifer Pryor, MA, MS, LALFA, received her Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees in Psychology from Hollins University and the College of William & Mary, respectively. She earned her Master’s degree in Gerontology and a post-graduate certificate in Non-Profit Management from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Health Services Organization and Research at Virginia Commonwealth University. Jennifer is a licensed Assisted Living Administrator and a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

Jennifer’s responsibilities include coordinating student advising and registrations, maintaining student records, and monitoring student progress. Jennifer also advises and instructs students who are interested in administration and who plan to pursue their license as an Assisted Living Administrator. In addition, she manages several continuing education and training initiatives including the state-wide, co-sponsored training program between the Virginia Department of Social Services, Division of Licensing Programs and the VCU Department of Gerontology. This program is available to professional caregivers working in Virginia’s Licensed Assisted Living Facilities and Adult Day Centers.

Jennifer’s research interests are focused on long-term care organizations, administration, and outcomes. Her personal and professional goal is to challenge the paradigm of the long-term care continuum and promote innovation and development in the industry to foster inclusiveness, community, and awareness of ageism.

Ellen Phipps

Ellen Phipps, CTRS (Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist) is Co-Author of Connections: Engagement in Life for Persons with Dementia, A Complete Activities Guide, and Vice President of Programs & Services at the Alzheimer’s Association, Central & Western Virginia Chapter where she has served for the past eight years. Ellen specializes in creative therapeutic design for persons diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. She received her Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Colorado, at Boulder, and, her Montessori Teacher’s training certification in England in 1989. Before joining the Alzheimer’s Association, Ellen served as Director of Adult Day Centers both in Charlottesville, VA and Somerset, England providing creative and innovative approaches to care. Ellen was instrumental in initiating the first Intergenerational – Montessori Adult Day Centers in Charlottesville, VA, a combination Adult Day Center for Persons diagnosed with dementia and on-site Montessori Pre- School. Ellen established Art Therapy, Music Therapy and Creative, Expressive Arts programs at both Adult Day Centers.

Ellen is a master trainer and presenter for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Foundations of Dementia Care, and, Activities Based Alzheimer’s Care.

She has served on the Foundations of Dementia Care development committee and, on the steering committee for the Strategic Common Work Plan for the National Alzheimer’s Association. She is currently enrolled in the Master’s of Gerontology Program at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.

Anne Rhodes

Annie Rhodes, PhD (cand.), graduated from the VCU Gerontology masters degree program in 2017. She currently serves as the Director for Special Projects for the Longevity Project/Greater Richmond Age Wave, and is the Research Associate within the Department of Gerontology.

Annie specializes in health systems organization and has extensive experience in health and wellness policy.

She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Health Sciences, with a focus in Gerontology.

Edward Richards

Edward P. Richards, BSW, MPA (cand.), has three years of experience working in guardianship with the Virginia Public Guardian Program operated by Senior Connections. Prior to his work at Senior Connections he served as a program manager at Home Again Richmond Men’s Emergency Shelter for two years providing services to single adult homeless men. Edward has five years of non-profit program management experience and seven years of case management related experience using his Bachelor of Social Work to serve vulnerable populations.

Edward is a strong advocate for housing issues of affordability, equity, and fairness. Edward’s quest for knowledge of the guardianship process and service provision led to a call to assume a new role in supporting vulnerable adults in Virginia. Serving as a  guardianship program director aligns well with his housing passion as helping individuals achieve stable and supportive homes is one of the core duties of his current role.  He has overseen programs dedicated to serving the most vulnerable Virginians and aiding those citizens as an advocate. Edward was involved directly with successful homeless reduction efforts in Richmond City from 2015-2017. He has a proven record of directing his programs in proactive institutional change to align with organizational, state, and/or federal missions and mandates. 

Edward currently serves as the active secretary for the Richmond Association of Black Social Workers. Edward achieved his Bachelor of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University with cum laude Latin honors, received a student success award, and was inducted into both Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Work. Currently Edward is near the completion of his Masters in Public Administration from Virginia Tech – also known as Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. 

Alexa van Aartrijk

Alexa van Aartrijk is a gerontologist serving as the VCU Department of Gerontology’s Community Education Coordinator. Her position entails the planning, coordination and implementation of the co-sponsored state-wide continuing education and training program, available for those working in Licensed Assisted Living and Adult Day Center settings. As Community Education Coordinator, Alexa aims to connect community stakeholders and organizations to strong curriculum and training to ensure optimal person-centered care for individuals residing in long-term care facilities.

In addition to the Community Education Coordinator position, Alexa works with the Greater Richmond Age Wave Coalition, including serving as a LongevityU trainer.

E. Ayn Welleford

AynWE. Ayn Welleford, PhD, received her BA in Management/Psychology from Averett College, MS in Gerontology and PhD in Developmental Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University.

She has taught extensively in the areas of Lifespan Development, and Adult Development and Aging, Geropsychology, and Aging & Human Values. As an educator, researcher, and previously as a practitioner she has worked with a broad spectrum of individuals across the caregiving and long term care continuum. As Associate Professor and Chair of VCU’s Department of Gerontology, she currently works to “Improve Elder Care through Education” through her Teaching, Scholarship, and Community Engagement. Outside of the classroom, Dr. Welleford provides community education and serves on several boards and committees.

Dr. Welleford is former Chair of the Governor’s Commonwealth of Virginia Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Commission, as well as a recipient of the AGHE Distinguished Teacher Award. In 2011, Dr. Welleford was honored by the Alzheimer’s Association at their annual Recognition Reception for her statewide advocacy. Dr. Welleford is the author of numerous publications and presentations given at national, state and local conferences, community engagement and continuing education forums. In 2012, Dr. Welleford was appointed to the Advisory Board for VCU’s West Grace Village project.

John "Jay" White

John “Jay” White, EdD, MS, is a gerontologist with an extensive background in topics related to person-centered care, culture change and diversity throughout the long-term care continuum.  He is also a Principal at CommonHealth Partners.

Dr. White earned his Master of Science in Gerontology and doctorate in educational leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University where he also served as the Director of Professional and Community Development for VCU’s Department of Gerontology.

Dr. White serves on the Board of Directors of the Virginia culture change coalition and the senior center of Greater Richmond.  In 2016, Dr. White was appointed by governor Terry McAuliffe to the Virginia health workforce development authority. He has authored and co-authored textbook chapters, articles and presented widely on a variety of aging-related topics.