Darra Wray, CSA, MBA
My Care Companions
Darra Wray is a business professional with more than 25 years of practical business and finance experience and an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA. In 2018, she became a Certified Senior Adviser (CSA) and left her role as a finance executive to launch My Care Companions.
In addition to her business background, Darra also has over 25 years of personal experience as a family caregiver and patient advocate and has had a life-long interest in healthcare. She developed a true passion for family care giving and elder care services through her personal life experiences.
As the CFO of a large non-profit organization, Darra saw how reliant businesses have become on immediate and secure access to information. Yet, as the CEO of her family, she realized that she had failed to see how important this same access was for her family information. She learned the hard way that she often did not have the information she needed to manage and support her family.
Darra developed the My Data Diary family information management tool and set out on a mission to change the personal data management paradigm. My Care Companions provides education, tools and resources to caregivers so they can focus more of their time and energy caring for their loved ones. She invites you all to join her revolution to liberate your data!
Dee Childers, MA, CMC
Community Education Chair
Life Changes Eldercare
Dee founded Life Changes Elder Care Consulting after experiencing the challenges of helping her parents move from an independent lifestyle to assisted living due to infirmity and memory loss. She saw very clearly what many others have seen — the lack of readily available information and resources for helping a senior family member. It became clear to her that with our aging population, many others would also find themselves feeling clueless and overwhelmed with the responsibilities of senior care giving.
Her training and background in both counseling and human resources management and first-hand experience with her changing role in family inspired Dee to turn her experience into a way to help others in similar situations. Life Changes Elder Care Consulting was founded to help those needing guidance and support on senior care issues by providing professional geriatric care management that helps with planning and coordinating the care of the elderly to improve their quality of life and maintain their independence for as long as possible. Life Changes works with families around the country to assess, select and manage the specific needs of our elders while giving family caregivers the professional help you need to manage and support the needs of those they love.
Dee is a NACCM Certified Care Manager (CMC), earned a BS in Psychology from the University of Utah and a MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from the Phillips Graduate Institute. She comes to this profession from 30 years in corporate America as a Human Resources Executive with extensive experience in interpersonal dynamics, crisis management, conflict resolution, mediation, benefits, and health and safety. She worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist for six years. She has been a caregiver for many years to her parents and others, and personally understands the demands and emotional turmoil of care giving and the tolls it takes on you, your aging loved one and the family. She is a court ordered Guardian and Conservator, experience with the legal and medical system. She is a certified Elder Mediatory and volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association. Dee is currently the President of the board for the Idaho Guardians and Fiduciary Association. She previously served on the board for Friends in Action, a non-profit providing respite caregiving; JAVA, the Justice Alliance for Vulnerable Adults. She is an Advanced Professional member of the Aging Life Care Association™.
Oasis Senior Advisors
of SW Idaho
JP Benlian is a Certified Senior Advisor and the President of Oasis Senior Advisors of SW Idaho. With over 30 years of sales and leadership positions working for Fortune 500 brands, JP has a knack for listening to his clients and helping them achieve their goals.
Oasis Senior Advisors is a national organization that provides a free service to families to advise them on the best senior living options for themselves or their loved ones. After an initial consultation with the family to gather important information, such as activities of daily living, health and budget needs, interests and hobbies, as well as geographic preferences, that information is input into the proprietary Oasis software, Oasis IQ to find the perfect match whether it be independent living, assisted living, or memory care. Oasis Senior Advisors will also leverage their expert network to help those seniors and their families get connected to the necessary resources to assist them on their journey. Whether it be home healthcare specialists, Medicare agents, elder law attorneys, Medicaid planners, and realtors to name a few.
JP and his wife Lisa came to the valley 25 years ago for a week’s vacation, where they immediately realized this was the place they wanted to start and raise their family. 3 kids later, the Treasure Valley has proven to be their ideal community. When JP is not working, he is involved in several causes in the Valley. In the winter and spring, JP can be found up at Bogus Basin giving ski lessons to individuals with physical or cognitive disabilities through BASE (Boise Adaptive Snowsport Education) where he also serves on their Board. In the summer and fall, JP serves as a golf coach for the local Special Olympics golf team, the Ghostbusters.
Kathy Lacina is a community outreach specialist for senior living communities. Most recently, she was the Sales Director for Revel Eagle, an over 55 senior living community in Eagle, ID. Her career has spanned decades of working in the retail and technology industries. She entered the senior care industry and discovered her passion for serving the seniors in the Treasure Valley. Her positions in home and health care have given her an added perspective on the challenges that seniors face as they continue on their life journey. Her position as sales director at Revel allowed her to draw from all those experiences when helping seniors find their forever home.
Kathy has served on several committees relating to senior care in the Treasure Valley including Idaho Guardians and Fiduciary Association, HAPPEN, Idaho Health Continuum of Care Alliance and LEARN.isa
Mary Holden, SRES
Red Pheasant Realty
Idaho Caregiver Alliance
Mary Holden is a Senior Real Estate Sepcialist with Red Pheasant Realty. She has a passion for helping older adults and their families work through the daunting process of transitioning to a new living situation. She understands the stress of leaving a home that you can no longer care for, and has the contacts with other professionals that can help decide what to do you with your treasures and how to find the best living situation for you. Mary works with families to create and implement the plan for making a move as seamless as possible.
Mary also holds a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology and serves as a senior advocate with leadership roles in both the Idaho Caregiver Alliance and the Justice Alliance for Vulnerable Adults. She works with a network of organizations and individuals to expand opportunities for respite for caregivers and to prevent elder abuse through action and education.
Professional Education Chair
Mary Bruno-Mlot is a Community Engagement Specialist in the aging services industry in Boise, Idaho. Building on her education in Sociology from Western Illinois University, Mary has built her career in the healthcare industry with a focus on community and population health. Mary’s experiences in Healthcare Marketing, Physician Services, and Business Development prepared her well for her most recent role as the Community Engagement Manager responsible for launching DispatchHealth into the Boise market.
Mary has served as a Standardized Patient for the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine and is passionate about improving the quality of healthcare for all patients in all care settings.
Reese Phillips II
Preferred Senior Benefits
Reese Phillips II is the Managing Partner of Preferred Senior Benefits. He is an Independent Agent licensed in Idaho to advise Medicare beneficiaries on their health, dental, and prescription drug insurance options. He represents all of the local Medicare Advantage plans, a number of the top Medicare Supplements and Part D plans. As an independent agent, Reese helps take the confusion out of finding the right fit for his clients needs, and he loves to educated new Medicare beneficiaries about their options.