SPEAKERS: Morning Plenary Panel

Martin Lynch, Ph.D., M.P.A., M.S., President & CEO, LifeLong Medical Care

Marty Lynch has been a nonprofit administrator for over 30 years. He co-founded the Elderly Subcommittee of the CA Primary Care Association and currently serves on the state’s task force to examine policy changes necessary for the integration of primary care and mental health services and to develop a CA plan for Alzheimer’s disease. He is a lecturer at the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare and a researcher at the Institute for Health and Aging at UCSF. His research and writing interests include Medicare and Medicaid policy, home and community-based long term care, and disabled seniors.


Ruth Gay, Area Director of Public Policy & Advocacy, Alzheimer’s Association

Ruth Gay has a Master’s degree in Community Health and Gerontology. Prior to her current position, Ruth supervised the opening of the Alzheimer’s Association’s East Bay Office and was the Site Director for three years. She had also overseen the Chapter’s Helpline and Family Connections programs, provided training for professional and family members. She currently works with policy legislation, and issues of equity that affect persons with Alzheimer’s. She advocates at all levels to alleviate the gaps in delivery of care and services for people with Alzheimer’s disease. 


Louis A. Vismara, M.D. Policy Consultant to Senator Darrell Steinberg

Dr. Vismara is a retired cardiologist and co-founder of the M.I.N.D. Institute at the University of California, Davis. In 1998, he was appointed to the First Five CA Commission and has served on various governing and advisory boards. Since 2000, he has worked as a health policy consultant to the CA Senate President Pro Tempore, advising Senators John Burton, Don Perata, and now Darrell Steinberg on issues of child development, learning differences, diversity and appropriate access to health care for under-served populations.


Daniel Sawislak Executive Director, Resources for Community Development

Dan Sawislak has been the Executive Director of Resources for Community Development, an affordable and supportive housing developer, since October 1998. In his 20 years of experience in the community development sector, he has personally seen the importance of services in helping residents thrive and seniors age in place. He has also worked as an economic development planner and a community organizer in Oakland and Chicago. Dan holds a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.

Plenary Speakers

State Senator Loni Hancock—Keynote Speaker

Senator Hancock’s public service career has spanned more than three decades at the local, state and federal levels. She currently represents the 9th Senate District, which includes the cities of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Dublin,El Sobrante, Emeryville, Livermore, Oakland, Piedmont, Richmond and San Pablo. She previously served three terms in the CA State Assembly and was the Mayor of Berkeley.


State Assemblymember Nancy Skinner

Assemblymember Skinner chairs the Assembly Natural Resources Committee and has long been a nationally renowned leader in environmental policy legislation and social justice issues, as a student activist, Berkeley City Council member, CA Energy Commission appointee, East Bay Regional Parks District Director, and National Women’s Political Caucus Executive Board member, among her many affiliations. She represents the 14th Assembly District, which includes parts of Contra Costa and northern Alameda Counties.


State Assemblymember Joan Buchanan

Assemblymember Buchanan honed her financial and analytical skills at Delta Dental, becoming Director of Commercial Operations before the age of 30. She left the private sector to raise her five children and in the process became an effective community activist and school board president. Elected to the CA State Assembly in 2008, she represents the 15th District, which includes portions of Alameda, Contra Costa, Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties.


Joanne Handy, President & CEO, Aging Services of California

Joanne Handy, R.N., M.S., has a long-standing interest and expertise in senior services. A current member of the AARP Board of Directors and former CEO of the Institute on Aging in San Francisco, she also served on the board of American Society on Aging (ASA), the Visiting Nurse Associations of America, and the National Association for Home Care. She has received numerous awards, including the ASA Leadership Award, Member of the Year Award from Women Health Care Executives and was a Kellogg Foundation International Leadership Program fellow.