The annual “Meeting of the Minds Dementia Conference” will be held March 19, 2016, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Saint Paul RiverCentre to inform and support people with dementia along with their family, friends and professional caregivers.

The Meeting of the Minds is organized by the Alzheimer's Association Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter and the Mayo Clinic.  Every year more than a 1,000 participants come together to hear national, regional and local presenters provide education and information on Alzheimer’s and other dementias, including strategies for caregiving, legal and financial planning, and cutting-edge research.

People with mild cognitive impairment or early dementia are encouraged to attend the conference, along with care partners, family and friends.  Recognized experts will conduct breakout sessions on a wide range of topics and exhibitors will provide information on dementia-related products and services.

For registration details and fees and full information on the conference and session topics, go to the Alzheimer’s Association’s conference website. Ecumen, which has 28 memory care communities in five states, is a sponsor of the Meeting of Minds Conference.  We invite you to stop by our booth.

In addition to the more than 30 breakout sessions, the following presenters will be keynote speakers:

—Dr. Mary Mittelman is Research Professor of Psychiatry and Rehabilitative Medicine at NYU School of Medicine. She is an epidemiologist who has been developing and evaluating interventions for people with cognitive impairment and their family members for nearly three decades. In 2004, Dr. Mittelman was the recipient of the Alzheimer’s Association Zenith Fellows Award for her research on the effectiveness of counseling for couples impacted by dementia. For more than 20 years, Dr. Mittelman was Principal Investigator of the National Institute of Health funded study of the NYU Caregiver Intervention (NYUCI), which has been widely published and recognized. With her colleagues, she developed online training for social service professionals as well as a telehealth version of the NYUCI.

—Dr. Donald Warne is the Director of the Master of Public Health Program at North Dakota State University, and serves as the Senior Policy Advisor to the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board. He received his MD from Stanford University in 1995 and his Master of Public Health from Harvard University as a Commonwealth Fund/ Harvard University Fellow in Minority Health Policy in 2002. He is a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), and a Diplomate of both the American Board of Family Practice and the American Board of Medical Acupuncture. Dr. Warne’s work experience includes several years as a primary care and integrative medicine physician with the Gila River Health Care Corporation.