Meet The Team

Anchorage

edit

Rebecca Marinelli
Care Coordination Director

Rebecca Marinelli is the Care Coordination Director. She administers the organization’s statewide Care Coordination Program, which provides services to seniors and others with physical and/or developmental disabilities.

Rebecca is committed to helping Alaskans improve their quality of life in an inclusive environment by gaining access to the services that will assist people remain stable in their homes.

After beginning her career in 1998 as a Direct Service Professional at Hope Community Resources, Rebecca moved on to Care Coordination and then to the position of Director of Community Support Services in the Mat-Su Region and then Director of Community Support Services in Anchorage. She also spent two years at Senior and Disability Services working in the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities unit.

Rebecca has lived in Alaska since 1972 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Public Communication from the University of Alaska, Anchorage and a Master of Arts degree with an emphasis in Senior Health from Alaska Pacific University. Rebecca is a Certified Care Manager through the National Academy of Certified Care Managers. She is a Board Member with Alaska Association on Developmental Disabilities.

edit

Brandy Barnes
Care Coordinator

Brandy has been providing Care Coordination services since 2007. While she completed her schooling, Brandy was hired by People First of Alaska, Anchorage Chapter and worked as a mentor, providing assistance and guidance to the board and members to expand advocacy and disability awareness throughout the state.

When Brandy met her cousin who communicated with ASL after losing his hearing at a young age because of undiagnosed Scarlet Fever, her interest in deaf culture was piqued and spread into an appreciation for the many different ways people can be different and unique.

She graduated from University of Alaska Anchorage with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and an Associate’s degree in Human Services with an emphasis in Disabilities. She works with people with intellectual and development disabilities as well as those who experience mental illness and people with ISB.

edit

Kathy Day
Care Coordinator
Kathy has 25 years of experience in case management with the elders and youth of Alaska. Kathy believes firmly in client-centered care coordination that allows for her clients to set goals that she can help them achieve. She feels strongly about giving back to the community and does so by working with K9 Search and Rescue which many times involves helping to find individuals, young and old, who have wandered away from their homes or assisted living facility.

After earning a Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, Kathy went on to get her Master of Arts in Anthropology from Eastern Mexico University and her Master of Science in Psychology from the University of Laverne. She anticipates completing her PhD in the spring of 2017 from the University of Wales/Trinity St. David in Anthropology.

For 26 years, Kathy taught for the University of Alaska, Anchorage and that, combined with her background in anthropology, enables her to be more sensitive to the many diverse cultures of Alaska when meeting their particular needs.

edit

Sarah Lawrence
Care Coordinator
Sarah is a master grant requestor, resource allocating, care coordination fashionista. Her extremely extroverted personality helps her provide supports and find creative solutions to help her senior clients in the community.

She is professional, yet relaxed, approachable and passionate about helping the members of the community. She truly believes in supporting one another to make the community better. If there is any way she can help her clients or her community, she will.

Sarah specializes in working with seniors with ADRD, she has grown to understand the complexities and changes that occur in an individual and families who experience ADRD. She also works with male seniors who do not experience ADRD because her experience and education have given her the tools to hear, understand and assist with the unique challenges they may face.

A proud undergraduate of Southern New Hampshire University in the Psychology program, Sarah is still working towards completing her degree. She has her Care Coordination Certification with the State of Alaska. She is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, the New Hampshire Psychological Association and the American Veterans Ladies Auxiliary. She plans to run for an open chair this coming year on the New Hampshire Psychological Association Student Organization Board.

edit

Takiya Abdurashid
Care Coordinator
Takiya loves to work with elders and families because it allows her to get a sense of the breadth and scope of a problem from several angles and the perspective of someone who has a lifetime of experience and knowledge. This allows her to see exactly where there is a need for services and to collaborate to find creative ways of meeting that need. Her extensive experience working with diverse populations and managing difficult personalities and situations gives Takiya the ability to see and appreciate the individual. She is willing and able to work through any challenge to help support the individuals she serves.

Takiya has an Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts and a Bachelor’s in Sociology. She is a certified Chemical Dependency Counselor and she participated in the Mayor’s Synthetic Cannabinoid working group, a dialogue started in effort to address the rising use of K2 Spice in Anchorage.

In addition to her time as an addiction counselor, Takiya has worked with individuals experiencing mental illness and co-occurring disorders as well as people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

edit

Vita Castellana
Care Coordinator
Vita has worked in the developmental disabilities and health care fields for 20 years. Her broad range of experience gives her a truly unique perspective on providing care coordination. She has been an occupational therapy aide, worked at a group home and day program and has also consulted and coached people with disabilities to get a job. She also has extensive knowledge of Medicaid Waivers from her years at the State of Alaska Division of Senior Disabilities Services.

When a person is receiving services, Vita knows how important it is that they feel comfortable and that they can trust their Care Coordinator enough to be open about their needs and goals. Having a comfortable relationship with the people she works with allows her to find the best resources to meet their needs and goals.

Vita has a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Science, Anthropology emphasis, from University of Alaska Southeast.


Mat-Su Valley

edit

Jennifer Ivory
Care Coordination Supervisor
Jennifer supervises the Care Coordination team in the Mat-Su office. She has worked in the social service field for 18 years. Before moving into her current position she worked as an In-Home Services Specialist for ARA and prior to that she was a Resource Navigator at Alaska Brain Injury Network. She enjoys working with all kinds of clients but she has special training and experience with individuals who have a brain injury.

Working with individuals and their support network to empower them in their decisions is something that Jennifer really enjoys about this position. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Library Science from Western Kentucky University and she is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS).

edit

Amber Bartz
Care Coordinator
As a parent of a child who needs extra care, Amber has acquired the skills to advocate for and assist families on a very personal level. She strives to be a resource to those she works for and always listens to both the words that are said and the ones that aren’t.

Amber believes that family is an integral part of the team and attempts to give them a voice whenever she can. She has spent eight years providing suggestions and assisting with accessing or changing services as well as linking people to grants and programs and much more.

Amber works primarily with Children with Complex Medical Conditions and people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. She is always open to learning from those she works with and willing to share her own personal experiences. Amber has an Associates of Applied Science degree and Bachelor of Health Science degree in Human Services with an emphasis on Family and Youth Services from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

edit

Audrianna Mengel
Care Coordinator
Audri connects individuals from all walks of life to the services they need to live a full and happy life. She values face-to-face interaction with each individual and their entire team. She knows that the individuals and family members who have been there since day one have voices that need to be heard.

For six years, Audri worked as a Direct Service Provider and volunteered with Special Olympics Alaska, bowling. She was a partner and mentor for athletes but admits that most of the time, they were teaching her!

Because of her experience as a Direct Service Provider and volunteer at Special Olympics Alaska, Audri has an immense amount of experience working one-on-one with people who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has a certified nurse assistant license and is working towards a degree in nursing.

edit

Elizabeth Smith
Care Coordinator
For more than seven years, Liz has been working in Care Coordination and focusing her efforts on helping people get onto the Home and Community Based Waiver and working with the in-home folks who do not qualify for the waiver. Recently she has moved into serving the rural communities.

Liz works with seniors, and with people who have Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. She is often inspired by the people she works with for their wisdom, their humor and their ability to overcome obstacles.

edit

JoEllen Sadler
Care Coordinator
JoEllen grew up in a small community in Missouri. By the time she was four she had “adopted” an extra set of grandparents whom she visited daily. She enjoyed her visits so much that she started spending time with all of the seniors in the community. Her love for seniors is never-ending, she especially enjoys hearing their life stories and sharing experiences with one another. This led her to a career in healthcare.

Eighteen years ago, JoEllen entered the healthcare field. She first worked with people who experience mental challenges. Then, she worked as a CNA for 12 years, throughout which time she specialized in many areas including child care, dementia care and rehabilitation.

All of her experience has taught her the art of effective multi-tasking and the importance of doing work that she can be proud of. She works hard to ensure that her clients will receive quality care, with respect and dignity, no matter what that may look like. She is caring and compassionate and makes sure her clients are heard. She does not pass judgment or tell her clients how things are going to be. He experiences and background allow her to provide her clients with the best recommendations and guidance regarding their healthcare decisions.

edit

Lisa Hubbard
Care Coordinator
Lisa began working as a Care Coordinator after many years of work in healthcare. She has worked as a Child Protection Specialist, Psychiatric Nurse Assistant, Registered Nurse Assistant and Caregiver. Her work has given her a good understanding of behavioral health and resources for adolescents.

Working with children and families, assisting them to find resources in their communities to support health and wellness is what Lisa enjoys most about her job. She has a degree in Human Services and is attending University of Alaska Anchorage, working towards a Master of Social Work degree.


Juneau

edit

Christy Long
Care Coordination Manager
Christy manages the team of Care Coordinators in Juneau. The team is small but diverse and she ensures that each individual is placed with the Care Coordinator who is their best match. She has been a social worker for 30 years and a Care Coordinator for six. For most of that time she has worked with seniors and people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

After earning a Bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University, Christy received her Master’s from the University of Washington in Social Work, specialized in Management and Administration. She loves the balance of service and management that her job offers.


edit

Jane Preston
Care Coordinator
For almost five years Jane has been connecting individuals to services as a Care Coordinator. Prior to that, she spent 20 years as a teacher in Special Education. She’s worked with children of all ages and disabilities. Jane always strives to understand the whole person by learning how they interact and function in a variety of settings. This allows her to connect each individual with the best supports for them.

Her time as an educator gives Jane a deeper understanding of the school system and how to help parents navigate through it when they need help or to simply lend an understanding ear. Jane’s professional and personal experience has led to an extensive knowledge of individuals with autism. It is important to her to support the whole family as they face extreme challenges.

Jane has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Brown University as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching, Elementary Education from Colorado College and a Master of Science in Special Education, K-12 from the University of Oregon. She is also certified to work in preschool special education.

edit

Kimberly Adkison
Care Coordinator
Kimberly is passionate about helping individuals tell their story and to have their needs and desires be heard. She helps to develop service plans that meet people’s needs and goals and she facilitates communications between all the members of each individual’s team.

For more than 25 years Kimberly has been working in Social Services. She enjoys working with people of all ages and abilities, her most significant amount of experience being with children and families and individuals who experience Intellectual and Developmental disabilities. She earned a Master’s of Social Work degree from the University of Minnesota.

edit

Val Cummins
Care Coordinator
Val is the Care Coordinator with the “dude factor.” He has been active in sports and other activities in the Juneau area and is known by many. Val’s years in the area have also afforded him many connections in the community that are instrumental to the people he coordinates services for.

With clients ranging from children to seniors, Val is ready to help individuals of any age and need to find services and support.

Val earned a Bachelor’s degree in religion from Northwest Nazarene University and is a Certified Activities Director.