The statewide Board to hold its inaugural quarterly meeting on Thursday, April 17 at the Riverside Doctors' Hospital in Williamsburg.

Kathleen Fletcher DNP

Christine Jensen Ph.D

Newport News, VA – Kathleen Fletcher, DNP and Christine Jensen, Ph.D., Riverside Health System experts who help enhance the medical care older adults receive, as well as the support systems for the caregivers who care for them, were named to serve on the Advisory Board of the newly formed Institute for Innovations in Caregiving.

The Institute, which will hold its inaugural quarterly meeting Thursday, April 17 at the Riverside Doctors' Hospital in Williamsburg, VA, was developed by SeniorNavigator, a statewide non-profit providing free health and community support information and guidance to older adults, family caregivers, and health care professionals.

In short, the Institute will leverage best practices and technology to improve the physical and emotional health of caregivers, with a special focus on the Alzheimer's caregiver.

"It is our goal to provide tools and a sense of hope to family caregivers who face many difficult challenges—not only in caring for their loved ones, but in caring for themselves," said The Honorable John H. Hager, chairman of the board of directors, SeniorNavigator. "This Institute will play a crucial role in pulling together the most passionate and knowledgeable advocates and service providers in the areas of caregiving and Alzheimer's to implement state-of-the art initiatives and, ultimately, lighten the load for caregivers."

Fletcher and Jensen serve on the inaugural Advisory Council among an elite group of healthcare professionals.

And with good reason.

Last year, Fletcher, who has spent nearly three decades of her career helping enhance the quality of health care older adults receive, was named Director of the Geriatric Nurse Clinical Practice Program, a Riverside Health System-wide position created to help transform not only the way Riverside cares for older adults, but also the way health care providers improve geriatric patient outcomes across the country.

Fletcher came to Riverside Health System following 27 years at the University of Virginia (UVA) Health System, where her last role was Director of Senior Services. Fletcher earned her undergraduate degree in nursing from Pennsylvania State University, her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Lowell and earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Virginia.

Jensen earned her doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies with a specialty in gerontology and is the Director of Health Services Research at Riverside Health System's Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health (CEALH).

At CEALH, Jensen manages the Caring For You, Caring For Me program, which grew from an $80,000 Williamsburg Community Health Foundation grant and was modeled after the Rosalynn Carter Institute's (RCI) program. She was recently named the only Master Trainer outside of the institute in Georgia for the "Caring for You" program.

CEALH's caregiver training placed first in the Commonwealth Council on Aging's 2013 Best Practices Award Program.

"This Council will serve as the backbone of the Institute and its activities offering unique peer-to-peer connections – fostering new thinking and practices that might not otherwise be created," SeniorNavigator said in a press release.

Project management of the Institute will be led by Executive Director Adrienne Johnson.

Two national experts in the aging field will serve as Institute consultants: Dr. Richard W. Lindsay, Professor Emeritus of Internal Medicine and Family Medicine at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center and founder and former Head of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Virginia; and Gordon Walker, retired CEO of the Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA).

For more information on the Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health, visit

For more information about The Institute for Innovations in Caregiving, call (804) 525-7728; toll-free 866-393-0957 or send an email to

Published: April 15, 2014