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Then.

Founded by award-winning geriatrician Dr. Bill Thomas and his partner Jude Thomas, The Eden Alternative® began as a grant-funded project in a single nursing home.

Now.

Today, we are a global, 501c3 non-profit organization that impacts hundreds of thousands of people across 22 countries and transforms caring relationships throughout all care settings and services.

We get results.

Greater well-being

The Eden Alternative increases hope, the will to live, and higher quality of life.

Lower employee turnover

62% lower! The 2019 employee turnover rate for organizations implementing The Eden Alternative was 35.6% vs. an average US turnover rate of 94%.

Higher performance

Eden Registry Member nursing homes outperform other US nursing homes with higher overall CMS 5-Star ratings, higher survey 5-Star ratings, and fewer substantiated complaints.

Greater reduction in harmful drug use

110% greater! Organizations experiencing Eden Alternative education reduced antipsychotic use by 26.3%, while non-participating organizations dropped usage by only 12.4%.

Significant positive impact

Implementing organizations experience a significant positive impact on clinical measures, quality of life, financial outcomes,
and overall well-being.

Our Team

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Kris Angevine
Community Builder
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Evy Cugelman
Community Builder
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Kristi Doan
Community Builder
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Sue Gerould
Operations Manager
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Kathy Hagen
Interim CEO
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Denise Hyde
Community Builder
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Meredith Martin
Head of Eden Services
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Danna Pentes
Digital Producer
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Tina Taylor
Project Coordinator
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Kimberly Wood
Education Support
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Angie Mccallister
Board Chair
Spark Performance League Commissioner, Lifespark
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Tom Zwicker
Board Vice-Chair
Co-Founder, AgeSpeaks
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Peter Reed
Board Treasurer
Director, Sanford Center for Aging, University of Nevada, Reno
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Cheryl George
Board Secretary
Eden Alternative Global Alliance - Western Canada
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Deke Cateau
CEO, A.G. Rhodes
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Thomas Brattle Gannett “Toby”
President, Draper Commons Affordable Housing
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Sarah Thomas
CEO -Executive Strategist in Aging Innovation
Venture Partner
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Jack York
Co-Founder, IN2L
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Kris Angevine
Community Builder

Kris joined the Eden Alternative Home Office Team in November of 2018. As Community Builder, she consults with and supports organizations with implementation, creates resources, develops educational tools and materials, and supports networking opportunities between individuals and organizations. Kris also invites new organizations to join the Eden Registry. She is also an Eden Educator and Empowered Teams Educator who has had the pleasure of teaching over a thousand change agents. Kris loves spending time with her husband, Chris, and their four-legged family, Kelli Jean, Loki, Gigi, & Minerva is near and dear to her heart.  Connect with her at kangevine@edenalt.org.

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Evy Cugelman
Community Builder

Evy is a retired nurse (RN) and has specialized in the field of Gerontology since 1976, in Toronto, Ontario, and Denver, Colorado. She was an Innovation Specialist (Culture Change) at Pinon Management and Vivage Quality Health Partners in Colorado and has been employed in varying roles as a consultant and educator since 1974.  She is a recognized Therapeutic Touch teacher and has been studying complementary therapies and integrative healing since 1975.    She was also a Green House Educator and is co-author of The Eden Alternative’s Empowered Teams training to develop self-directed work teams, and co-author of a Complementary Therapies Curriculum for long-term care.  She was a Certified Validation Teacher and a Certified Second Winds Virtual Dementia Tour trainer.  Evy is presently an Eden Educator, Mentor, and Community Builder.

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Kristi Doan
Community Builder

Kristi joined the Eden Alternative Home Office Team in January 2022 as a Community Builder and has been involved with The Eden Alternative since 2018. In her role, she consults with and supports organizations with implementation, creates resources, develops educational tools and materials, and supports networking opportunities between individuals and organizations. As an Eden Educator, she enjoys facilitating change in communities across the country. Kristi loves spending time exploring the outdoors and has a goal to visit every national park. She lives in Denver with her husband, James, and their four-legged family of multiple cats and a dog. Connect with her at kdoan@edenalt.org.

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Sue Gerould
Operations Manager

Sue joined The Eden Alternative® in September of 2015. She is the Operations Manager and collaborates with every member of the Home Office Team. She provides financial management, human resources support, and the fulfillment of educational materials. Sue lives in the Rochester, NY area and loves spending time with her children and grandchild. Connect with Sue at sgerould@edenalt.org.

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Kathy Hagen
Interim CEO

The Board of Directors has appointed Kathy Hagen, MBA, as interim CEO for The Eden Alternative.  Kathy has been with The Eden Alternative since January 2011 and has served as Operations Manager, Project Administrator, and since 2021, Head of Business Operations.  Kathy’s involvement in all aspects of the organization makes her uniquely qualified for the interim CEO position.  Kathy is a lifelong learner, earning her MBA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2007.  She has diverse experience outside the aging sector, and she brings passion to her work at The Eden Alternative.

She lives in Rochester, NY near Lake Ontario, and enjoys yoga, gardening, and sailing with her partner, Tom, and their Golden Doodles, Tucker & Slylar. Connect with her at khagen@edenalt.org.

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Denise Hyde
Community Builder

Denise has been involved with The Eden Alternative® since 1997 and part of the home office team since 2009. As Community Builder, Denise guides and supports organizations with implementation, creates resources, develops educational tools and materials, and supports networking opportunities between individuals and organizations. She is part of the leadership team for the Nebraska Culture Change Coalition. Denise enjoys spending time with her family, especially her grandsons. She is a member of the church bell choir, attends monthly wine club gatherings, and enjoys reading a good romance novel! Connect with her at dhyde@edenalt.org.

 

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Meredith Martin
Head of Eden Services

Meredith is the Head of Eden Services which includes education, consultation, and learning tools.  She first learned about The Eden Alternative as a college student. Inspired by the approach, she set her sights on a career in aging services. She began actively applying The Eden Alternative® in 2003 as a leader in an Eden Registry Member Organization.

As an Eden Educator, she taught hundreds of change agents about the impact of loneliness, helplessness, boredom, and the power of person-directed care. In 2009, she joined the Eden Alternative Home Office Team. As Education Coordinator, Meredith manages the coordination of all educational events and the growth and development of Eden Educators, as well as cultivating new, potential educational initiatives and opportunities, such as Eden Alternative LIVE.

Simple Pleasure

Sitting on my front porch in the morning with my dog, a cup of coffee while listening to the birds sing.

Social

https://www.linkedin.com/in/meredith-martin-edenalternative/

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Danna Pentes
Digital Producer

Danna Pentes joined the Eden Alternative Home Office Team in September 2019. As a Digital Producer, she creates educational and promotional content using video, audio, graphic design, and motion graphics. Danna earned her audio chops playing bass for the groundbreaking, alternative pop band Fetchin Bones, and as an audio engineer for NPR in Washington DC, and Turner Studios in Atlanta, GA. Since 2014, she has worked as an independent professional in multiple design areas. Danna lives in Decatur, GA. Connect with Danna at dpentes@edenalt.org.

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Tina Taylor
Project Coordinator

Tina Taylor joins the Eden Alternative team with a background in Recreation Therapy. She was first introduced to the Eden Alternative in 2013 and it transformed her way of approaching care partnership.  Since then she has become a Certified Eden Associate and Certified Eden Educator. She is deeply committed to person-centered care and reducing the plagues of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom. She is passionate about supporting meaningful engagement opportunities and has developed several grant-funded intergenerational programs to foster connection between youth and elders. She looks forward to applying these experiences to her role as a Project Coordinator.  Tina currently lives in California with her husband Austin and her very spoiled dog, Sally.  In her spare time, she can be found fussing in the garden and planning her next great travel adventure. 

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Kimberly Wood
Education Support

Kimberly joined The Eden Alternative in March of 2019 to provide support for our educational events and grant projects. She lives in The Colony, TX with her husband, Jeffrey, and their dog Stanlee. In her downtime she enjoys a multitude of activities including spending time with their daughters, Morgan and Annsley, listening to all genres of music, choir, playing piano, reading a great book, going on any kind of trip with her husband, hiking, boating, or vacationing anywhere there is a beach or a pool.  Connect with Kimberly at kwood@edenalt.org.

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Angie Mccallister
Board Chair
Spark Performance League Commissioner, Lifespark

Angie McAllister, NHA is a culture and community builder, writer, and speaker, and is currently the Spark Performance League Commissioner at Lifespark.  Angie has over 27 years of experience in healthcare, proudly having started her career as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Within that time, she led Quality of Life & Culture Change for Signature HealthCARE for over a decade.  In this position Angie worked closely with over 100 Signature HealthCARE communities to facilitate cultural transformation, assisting over 40 of them to join the Eden Alternative Registry. Additionally, Angie has been an Eden Alternative Educator & Mentor since 2011.  Angie was also named the 2016 recipient of the Nancy J. Fox Leadership Award and the 2018 recipient of the Eden Alternative Champion Award.

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Tom Zwicker
Board Vice-Chair
Co-Founder, AgeSpeaks

During his career, Tom has held many positions: owner/operator of a 250-resident health and rehabilitation center; Vice President of Operations for 17 skilled nursing communities in northern California; President of the Wisconsin Health Care Association; President of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Health Care Association; and Co-Founder of Age Speaks Company™️. In 1997, he became a Certified Eden Associate and an Eden Mentor. He also operated the first Eden  Registry Member organization in Wisconsin – one of the first in the country. Tom also holds nursing home licenses in Wisconsin, Texas, and Washington.

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Peter Reed
Board Treasurer
Director, Sanford Center for Aging, University of Nevada, Reno

Peter has 20 years of experience in the field of aging that bridges research, practice, policy, and organizational leadership. Prior to serving as Director of the Sanford Center for Aging, he served as CEO of Pioneer Network, President and CEO of the Center for Health Improvement, as well as the Senior Director of Programs for the Alzheimer’s Association National Office. He also currently serves on the Governing Board of Consumer Voice, the Board of Directors for the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California and Northern Nevada, the Board of Directors for Nevada POLST, and as Vice-Chair of the Nevada Task Force on Alzheimer’s disease.

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Cheryl George
Board Secretary
Eden Alternative Global Alliance - Western Canada

Cheryl has been teaching, mentoring, and supporting the growth of The Eden Alternative with colleague Suellen Beatty since 1999. She was Education Leader at Sherbrooke Community Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada for over 28 years supporting the adoption and implementation of the Eden Alternative approach. Sherbrooke has been an Eden Registry Member since January 1999 and is regarded as a Centre of Excellence internationally. Cheryl served on the Advisory Committee for iGen, a grade 6 class located at Sherbrooke providing an intergenerational experience for students and Elders. She lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and is the mother of son Davis.

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Deke Cateau
CEO, A.G. Rhodes

Deke is the CEO at A.G. Rhodes, a nonprofit organization providing therapy and rehabilitation services, short-term recovery and long-term care at three metro Atlanta locations. Prior to becoming the CEO, he served in various roles at A.G. Rhodes including the Chief Operating Officer, Chief of Strategic Implementation, and he was the Administrator for seven years at the organization’s flagship location in Grant Park. In 2013 and 2014, Deke won the American College of Health Care Administrators Facility Leadership Award, and he won the Georgia Health Care Association’s Leadership Excellence Award in 2015.

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Thomas Brattle Gannett “Toby”
President, Draper Commons Affordable Housing

Toby brings deep expertise in board governance, as well as a background in innovation and senior housing to The Eden Alternative.  Currently, Toby is a commercial real-estate developer specializing in green-built, low-income, intergenerational, affordable, and attainable housing.  An innovator in senior communities, his senior housing projects have earned over 30 national, state, and local awards, including two United States National Home Builder Awards.  He is the former Global Practice Chair, for Board and CEO services at N2 Growth, a global consulting firm.

Toby is a Board Leadership Fellow and SEI Cyber Certified with the National Association of Corporate Directors. He is a board member of the Association for Managers of Innovation and a First Movers Fellow with the Aspen Institute.  Toby earned an MBA in Healthcare Administration at the University of Colorado and completed the LEAD Program in Corporate Innovation at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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Sarah Thomas
CEO -Executive Strategist in Aging Innovation
Venture Partner

Sarah is an accomplished leader of innovation and an expert in aging with more than 20 years dedicated to transforming the aging experience. As CEO of multiple enterprises, she helps create age-inclusive products, brands, spaces, and experiences that delight consumers of every age. Sarah has held key leadership positions across the US and Asia with a career spanning high-tech robotics, change management, post-acute care, and as an accomplished speaker and author. She combines her Occupational Therapy expertise with her operational, clinical, and entrepreneurial experience to inspire global improvements in design and systems innovation worldwide.

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Jack York
Co-Founder, IN2L

Jack York is a well-known and respected leader in improving the quality of life for older adults, by enriching their lives through technology that makes it easier to connect with family and friends.  As a co-founder of IN2L, his charismatic, mission-driven approach helped him to build an organization around the idea that it’s never too late to have a fulfilling life.  Jack is currently traveling the country in a 42-foot trailer he calls Tale Gate, hosting 2 or 3 parties a week, and capturing stories of the most remarkable and cherished people on the planet – older adults.

“Life is a wild, magical, crazy journey. Lean into your dreams, think big, surround yourself with smart people you trust……. and who knows where your own journey might lead.” – Jack York

Eden Members

Eden Members are inspired influencers and innovators that demonstrate exceptional commitment to practicing our unique approach to care.

Eden Educators

Certified Eden Educators are intentional disruptors. Trained to facilitate Eden Alternative training events, they help you create an empowered culture of care.

Global Partners

Our global partners are 23 countries strong. Check out this network of tenacious leaders and learn how you can engage with The Eden Alternative where you live.