Meet The Experts
Our professional team continues to grow to address the questions and concerns of the Aging Life Network™ community. We are pleased and proud to introduce you to some of this fine group of leaders in the field of aging:
Nancy Oriola, LCSW, CMC, NMG, CFP
As the Founder and CEO of Aging Life Network, Nancy brings more than 30 years of work with seniors and families to her vision for this special project. As a licensed clinical social worker, a certified care manager, a nationally certified guardian and a certified financial planner, Nancy offers her unique perspective in her writing, presentations and when interviewing the experts on this list. Long before the internet offered help to those caring for loved ones, Nancy’s master’s thesis was a “Program Design Proposal for Caregiver Support Services”. She believes that the seniors and families who are facing age related challenges need information in an integrated format that is provided by professionals in the aging field. Seniors and families need this information as needed and in a format that fits their lifestyle and learning style.
Sibylle Ehressman, JD, NCG
Sibylle spent many years in the publishing world in New York City, worked as a freelance writer/editor and in law school was the Managing Editor of the New Mexico law review. Following a decade of practicing law, with specialties including medical malpractice and civil rights, Sibylle joined the professional group practice The Care Management Group of New Mexico in 2012. She is excited for the opportunity to write articles sharing the expertise she has acquired during her years as a care manager. Later this year Sibylle will be eligible to sit for the Aging Life Care Professional certification exam.
Chris is the Alzheimer’s Association Statewide Program Director for the State of New Mexico. For more than 25 years, he has worked with children, seniors and families in the area of mental health and dementia care. Much of his work has been in the areas of training and program development. He has overseen partnerships with both city and state agencies to deliver care and support programs for caregivers. He is also a contributing author to the 2nd edition of the book, “The Alzheimer’s Journey: a practical perspective for caregivers”. Chris’ knowledge into the world of seniors with dementia and those who love them offers listeners practical information full of compassion and insight.
Deborah McCullough, RN
Deborah has more than 20 years’ experience in the field of nursing. Prior to her work as a care manager she worked with families and health care institutions assessing hospital patients and assisting with transitions to rehabilitation programs. Deborah’s current practice involves helping seniors navigate the healthcare system, advocating for appropriate care and providing on-going continuity of care by attending medical appointments and consulting with families and staff regarding complex medical matters. Deborah is also adjunct faculty at a local college nursing program.
Torre Near, MD
Dr. Near is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine. She practiced for fourteen years in hospital emergency rooms and for sixteen years in the area of internal medicine. With a BS in Pharmacy from Purdue University and her MD from the University of New Mexico, Dr. Near brings an enormous depth of knowledge to her practice with older adults. She enjoys educating and empowering adults to take control of their health care. She currently works in a large group private practice where she specializes in geriatric medicine.
Joan is a philosopher and consultant in applied ethics, bioethics, and values-based decision making. She has over 30 years of teaching, training, consulting, and administrative work in a variety of settings: universities, business, state and federal government, health care, community, and research organizations. She founded and directed the Health Sciences Ethics Program at the University of New Mexico where she chaired the hospital ethics committee for more than 20 years. She and colleagues developed the Values History Form, the first “values inventory” approach to advance directives. Joan is currently working with The Conversation Project and continues to speak, train and write about Values-Based Decision Making, Bioethics, Advance Care Healthcare Planning, and End of Life Decision Making.
Michael Ferraina, MBA
Michael Ferraina is a Division Director at BAYADA Home Health Care with offices in Colorado, Florida, Missouri, and New Mexico, as well as a dementia education trainer. With more than 10 years of private home care for the elderly experience, his role is to ensure that his offices provide exceptional clinical care and efficient operations that meet state and federal standards.