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Summit Resilience Training

DRwJL Actor Charles “VAL” Valentino Chats about his Mom’s Memory Loss

I am so happy to welcome my friend Val, Charles Valentine to the show this week. We have been friends for many years after my cousin, Johnny Kris Johnson introduced us in LA. After knowing Val for about 5 years I received a call from him, requesting help when he learned his beloved Mom Margarita Promponas, was having memory issues and cognitive loss. Val returned to his native New York City to care for her, and has remained by her side for years. Today we had a lovely chat about Val’s childhood, Margarita’s career, and Val’s career and how it changed when he decided to put his work on hold and return to Manhattan. Val speaks with so much love about his mom and her Alzheimer’s. He has used many techniques to learn her new style of communication. He has figured out her many nuances of smiles, the look in her eyes , and things she says to help him understand her needs. Even as her Alzheimer’s has progressed, she still loves to sing and dance.

Margarita Promponas

Throughout her life, Margarita was a singer and dancer who toured the country in her younger years. She was also extremely proud of her Native American heritage. Her son soon followed in her footsteps. Charles Valentino attended classes at the New York School of Ballet and the American Ballet Theater while a student at the High School of Performing Arts and he danced with the Harkness Ballet, the work was choreographed by Geoffrey Holder. He made his acting debut in The Me Nobody Knows, – played HUD in the Australian production of HAIR, and returned to the states for the national tour of the show. He had a hit single “I was born this way,” on Gaiee Records, released by Motown. In Bill Turner’s version of the Ziegfeld Follies Valentino portrayed the legendary Bert Williams. He also appeared on Komedy Tonight, an NBC-TV special. He was the scarecrow in the national touring company of the WIZ as well as the 84 revival on Broadway with Stephanie Mills. Most recently he acted on CSI Vegas.

Val in the Theater production of THE WIZ

His more recent work was with his close friend Joni Mitchell. He is featured on her special Painting with Words and Music. He was also featured in her video Come in from the cold, He sang on Ladies Man, from the album Wild Things Run Fast, and Yvette in English from the album Turbulent Indigo.

Shell Burton, Johnny Kris Johnson, Val, & Joni Mitchell

We spoke about how Val stays healthy as a caregiver and what he does for fun. His LA family is still close to his heart. He shares information about his deep love for friends Joni Mitchell and Anjelica Huston with whom he has sang and danced with so many times over the years. Angelica Huston writes in her book, Watch Me: “He twirls me around as if I were a silk scarf. I never set down unless he was dancing with his other favorite girl Joni Mitchell.”

Val & Margarita today

His LA family includes my cousin Johnny Kris, who Val calls his brother by another mother and Shell Burton. They have had a deep friendship for over 40 years. Val credits his family and friends for keeping him motivated, while caring for his mom. No matter who you are or how bright the lights shine on you, Alzheimer’s can find you anywhere. I thank my friend for being on the show and lovingly sharing their story.

DRwJL – Big & Loud – An Awesome program for People with Parkinson’s p.2

This is part 2 of Big & Loud, a program designed to help people with Parkinson’s dementia speak in a more audible voice and exercise in a way which enhances fluid movement. A fantastic conversation with Angela Halpern, Bob Brown 7 Laura Guse from LSVT Global.

DRwJL – Big & Loud An Awesome Program for People with Parkinson’s p. 1

My guests in this 2 part segment beginning the first part of April, are Angela Halpern, Laura Guse, and Bob Brown as we spoke about a program from LSVT Global called Big and Loud! A fantastic program to help people with Parkinson’s to live resiliently and improve many aspects of their life including its quality on a daily basis.

DRwJL – Strategy Show – The Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s

My show today is a strategy show was about the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s and explain what are the nitty gritty clues we see in our homes when MCI and early stage are starting to show. I hope today’s show helps enlighten #caregivernation of what their friend with diagnosis is experiencing and help them display more compassion and understanding. This is the beginning of accepting the notion that our actions toward a person who has cognitive impairment and memory loss, will create a reaction in return. There are two sides to this coin and we all play a part in the success or failure of each interaction.

DRwJL – Talking with Juniper Village, Person Centered Care Done Right!

My show today is with Karan McGrath from Juniper Village Louisville, explaining how her person centered care community trains her staff on best practices for working with Alzheimer’s, Lewy Body, Frontal Temporal and Parkinson’s. She explains in depth the type of care that really works for a person with diagnosis. De-escalation techniques, great tips. If you are not satisfied with your loved ones’ care in their nursing home, listen to this show!

DRwJL – A Conversation with My Brother who has FTD

My guest, March 18, was my brother Dave as we discussed his FTD diagnosis and how he is doing now! A fun conversation for me with my big brother! Dave shares his inner most thoughts and hopes for others to stay positive throughout their journey! Happy Birthday to my big brother!

Healthier Rural West Summit March 19-21

The Summit

The Summit is organized around four critical health action areas pertaining to fostering a healthier rural West. These action areas, based on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Action Framework, inform AHW’s objectives and the Summit’s key results.

  • Making Health a Shared Value
  • Fostering Cross-Sector Collaboration
  • Creating a Healthier, More Equitable Communities
  • Strengthening Integration of Health Services and Systems

Building from the initial Summit, AHW will continue to convene, collaborate, and commit rural stakeholders. Most importantly, AHW serves as the incubator for the initiatives identified and proposed during the Summit, and defines next steps needed to achieve our health transformation objectives. Join us as we create a healthier rural west!

The Healthier Rural West Summit is being held on March 19-21, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah

The Summit, produced by A Healthier WE (not-for-profit organization) and co-sponsored by Intermountain Healthcare. It aims to address many key challenges by offering an inspiring vision of rural cooperation and leadership in the coming information and health economies.


This unique and highly interactive and participative Summit will draw 400 stakeholders from across health providers, policymakers, Rural
West public leaders: federal, state and county health directors, University policy, research, and teaching faculty, community activists, business and technology leaders, Health systems and payors. Over the course of two days, they will listen to inspiring talks, and participate in sessions to debate, discuss and formulate successful strategies for creating well-being in the West.

DRwJL Person Centered Care Community at it’s Best!

March 11, 2018 My guest is Stacie Naslund from Spring Ridge Alzheimer’s Special Care Center. We discussed the information from last week’s Report on the Journal of Gerontology which released its finding and recommendations on Person Centered Care (PCC) and related it to how PCC looks when use as practical application in real time and life. This is my favorite type of conversation!

DRwJL – RM Conference on Dementia/ Important Info for #Caregivernation

My guest this week is Rosalyn Reese, the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Alzheimer’s Association Colorado. Today we talked abut the need for the Rocky Mountain Conference on Dementia, what it is, why we need the education for families and professionals and what the breakout sessions entail. You should fight to have a conference in your area or attend one if possible! Rosalyn also speaks about the statistics of Black Americans living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. I will be a speaker at the Conference in Denver on April 29th at the Hyatt in DTC. Learn more and register by clicking on the link below.

DRwJL- Learn More About Person Centered Care & Journal of Gerontology Report on this Issue

On March 4th, my friend Amelia Schafer & I discussed the report released by the Journal of Gerontology in February regarding what the basic tenants and best practices of Person Centered Care (PCC) should look like. Amelia is the Executive Director of the Colorado Alzheimer’s Association. We discuss our thoughts about why PCC is not only important, but paramount and why care communities would benefit by using the practical applications outlined.