We are an experienced team of nurses, social workers, gerontologists, and care managers. Through our extensive knowledge of the eldercare system, local resources and facilities, we deliver compassionate, efficient and cost effective services.
Each of our team members is a seasoned health care expert with wide spread experience to provide you and your family members with the skills and knowledge you need.
Sage Team Members
Nina Pflumm Herndon, MAG, CMC, CLPF (Lic. #262)
Sage Eldercare Founder and Executive Director
BA Anthropology, Denison University; MA Gerontology, San Francisco State University
Nina is fortunate to have developed many wonderful relationships with older adults, starting with her own grandmothers. These experiences shaped her in many ways and inspired her decision to focus on healthcare and health related issues affecting older adults throughout her career.
While working at Age Wave IMPACT, the nation’s leading research and marketing firm focused on older adults, Nina learned about the difficulties that adult children often face in fulfilling the needs of their aging parents and keeping up with their own family and work responsibilities. She knew then that she wanted to apply her healthcare expertise to help older adults and their families directly. She decided to earn her master’s degree in gerontology and became a professional geriatric care manager. Today at Sage Eldercare Solutions, she strives to empower people to make wise eldercares decisions, relieve family caregiver worries, and help older adults live better.
Nina holds a master’s degree in gerontology from San Francisco State University and earned a certificate in Professional Fiduciary Management from California State University at Fullerton. Nina is a member of the Professional Fiduciary Association of California and the American Society on Aging. She is an active member of the Aging Life Care Association (formerly the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers) and has been honored with the association’s President’s Award, the Rose Kliener Award for Dedication and Service, and the Outstanding Chapter Member Award for the Western Region. She has also served on the Western Regional Chapter Board.
Nina is a licensed professional fiduciary, registered administrator for residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFE) in California, and a certified care manager (CMC). She frequently speaks on care and quality of life issues and has published a chapter on Quality of Life for each of the 5 editions of the Geriatric Care Manager’s Handbook.
Ariana Alex, MAG, CMC
Director of Care Management Services
BA Psychology, University of San Francisco; MA Gerontology, San Francisco State University
Ariana grew up having strong relationships with many elders in her family and community. She has always had a passion for helping others so it is no surprise that she has chosen a career working with older adults and their families.
In her current role as the Director of Care Management Services, Ariana works closely with Nina Herndon, Sage Eldercare Founder and Executive Director, as well as with the Sage Care Management team to ensure positive outcomes for clients and their families.
Ariana began her work at Sage as the Director of Home Care. She created a strong home care program which focuses on providing quality care and meaningful engagement. She is trained as a Positive Approach to Care Trainer (CPT) and trains Sage home care providers in this specialized dementia training program based on Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care philosophy.
Previously, Ariana worked at Coventry Park Assisted Living Community in San Francisco as the Director of The Memory Enhancement Program and Associate Director of Assisted Living. She has direct experience in creating and conducting activities for older adults, especially those with memory loss. In her role at Coventry Park, she provided on-going support and guidance to family members who were experiencing the challenges associated with memory loss.
Ariana earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in gerontology from the University of San Francisco(USF). While studying at USF she participated in intergenerational research with the FROMM Institute for Lifelong Learning. She completed her master’s degree in gerontology from San Francisco State University and was awarded the Michelle Benjamin Scholarship. Ariana is a member of the Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) and a certified care manager (CMC).
Adrienne Uyenco, MA, CMC
BA Psychology, San Jose State University; MA Counseling Psychology, Santa Clara University
Adrienne is a devoted advocate and feels passionate about working with the elderly population. She has worked as a Social Services Director in various skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities in the Bay Area, gaining extensive experience working with clients with dementia and complex medical conditions. In those roles, her responsibilities included facilitating clients’ return home with care, conducting family meetings to educate family members about a loved one’s needs, and assisting in decision making as well as connecting clients and their family members with resources for support, such as support groups and adult day programs. Most recently, Adrienne has worked as a Case Manager for persons with Acquired Brain Injury residing in a supported living and rehabilitation facility. She earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Health Psychology from Santa Clara University. Additionally, she completed her Counseling practicum doing grief counseling in the bereavement department through hospice.
Ann Liska, RN, MSN, CMC
BA Art History, University of California at Berkeley; BSN, St. Louis University; MSN University of California at San Francisco
Ann, a San Francisco native, has over thirty years of experience in healthcare, including neonatal intensive care and adult post-surgical nursing. She received a Masters in Nursing from UCSF after which she worked as a nurse practitioner in a chronic pain clinic and then worked at Genentech for 12 years focusing on treatments for growth hormone deficiency, psoriasis, stroke and pediatric arthritis. Prior to joining the Sage team, she left Genentech because she wanted to work with people, not data. Her passion for working with elderly people stems from being an advocate, care provider and care manager for her parents in their nineties, in-laws and an elderly friend for whom she had Power of Attorney.
Erin Frost, MA, CMC
BA Psychology, Texas Wesleyan University; MA Gerontology, University of North Texas
Erin has worked with seniors and their families for ten years, six of these as a care manager at the Council on Aging in Santa Clara County. Erin has also worked in home safety and fall prevention to identify fall risks in the home and help seniors age safely in place; in this role, she educated various professionals on the importance of home safety and modifications. Erin’s interests in the field of aging include holistic health and the documented benefits of inter-generational contact and animal-assisted therapy. Erin attended Texas Wesleyan University and the University of North Texas, where she earned her Master’s degree in Gerontology.
Janeane Randolph, MSW, CMC
BA Social Welfare, San Francisco State University; MSW, University of California at Berkeley
Janeane has had the good fortune to work professionally with older adults and their families for over 25 years. Janeane earned her Master’s Degree in Social Welfare, with a concentration in gerontology, from the University of California at Berkeley. After graduate school she developed a care management program at Catholic Charities for older adults and then led the development and operation of an adult day health care center sponsored by St. Mary’s Hospital and Medical Center. At California Pacific Medical Center, she was the Administrator and Executive Director of Senior Services. She also served as a founding member of San Francisco’s Elder Abuse Prevention Task Force and a Board member of the San Francisco Adult Day Services Network. Prior to joining Sage Eldercare Solutions, Janeane was the founding President and CEO of Elder Care Alliance. At Elder Care Alliance, she developed and operated elder care communities offering independent living, assisted living, dementia specialized care and skilled nursing care.
Jennifer Danzer, MSW, CMC
BA Psychology, Indiana University; MSW, University of Iowa
Jennifer has worked as a social worker for more than 13 years, and throughout her career she has received the greatest satisfaction when working with the elderly population and their families. She has an extensive professional background as a clinical social worker in such settings as home health care, a substance abuse agency, a subacute skilled nursing facility, on the burn unit and neurosurgical unit of a large university hospital, and most recently for hospice. Through her experiences, she has developed an extensive knowledge of end-of-life issues, dementia-related issues, long-term care concerns, and medical and mental health issues. She has provided supportive counseling, problem solving, crisis intervention, coordination of discharge plans, and grief counseling. Jennifer also has a strong desire to provide dementia education to the community and co-facilitated monthly support groups for caregivers and families of persons with dementia.
Jill Melvin, MSW, LCSW, CMC
BA Sociology, University of California Santa Barbara; MSW with Gerontology specialization, University of California Berkeley
Jill has worked with older adults and their families for the last 13 years and joining Sage is a return to her roots as a Care Manager. Jill started her career with Jewish Family and Children’s Services of San Francisco and the Bay Area, first as a Care Manager and then as the Director of the Conservatorship Program. Jill was court appointed for more than 250 older adults in her five years as Director. Following her time with JFCS, Jill worked as a liaison between the City and County of San Francisco’s Public Guardian’s office and the five main hospital Social Services departments, encouraging timely discharges from acute care hospitals to appropriate levels of care for patients waiting to be conserved. Just prior to joining Sage, Jill worked for a local homecare agency. Jill is enthusiastic about and most enjoys working with seniors and their families to promote healthy aging and quality of life.
Kris Peterson, MS, LMFT, CMC
BS Psychology, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; MS Clinical Psychology, San Jose State University
Kris is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with fifteen years of experience providing counseling and case management services. Kris worked for ten years in the Behavioral Health department at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, CA and was the program coordinator for OATS (Older Adult Treatment Services), an intensive outpatient program for seniors with mental health concerns. In addition to providing and supervising group, family, and individual therapy, Kris initiated a specialized track for the treatment of older adults with both psychiatric symptoms and mild cognitive impairment. Kris also began a family support and education group to aid in coping with caregiver stress and the changing family dynamics associated with aging.
Laura Callagy, MAG, CMC
BS Sociology, Gerontology Certificate, Santa Clara University; MA Gerontology, San Francisco State University; Aging and Mental Health Certificate, University of California at Berkeley
Laura has been involved in the field of eldercare for over 25 years. Previously, she worked for the Federal Government in the policy department at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid services and served as a bilingual claims representative with the Social Security Administration. Laura also worked for a Peninsula Adult Day Health Program in the Activities Department and as the transportation coordinator. She attended Santa Clara University and then earned her Master’s degree in Gerontology from San Francisco State University. Recently, Laura completed the certificate program in Aging and Mental Health at UC Berkeley. Laura enjoys working with clients and their families to ensure that they are well cared for and enjoy their lives.
Mary Collins, MSW, LCSW, CMC
BA History and Art History, Santa Clara University; MSW and Gerontology Certificate, Tulane University
Mary is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with more than 10 years of experience working with older adults. After receiving her MSW, Mary worked as a Case Manager at Curry Senior Center in San Francisco, where she provided long-term case management and caregiver supervision for her clients. Mary has also worked for the Department of Aging and Adult Services with the City and County of San Francisco in both the Public Guardian/Conservatorship office and with Adult Protective Services. Mary has focused her career on providing older adults with services and support systems that will enable them to maintain their highest level of independence and quality of life.
Home Care Manager
Roey joined Sage with seven years of progressive experience within long-term care settings. She has worked at several skilled nursing facilities in the Bay Area. Her most rewarding experience was as an admissions manager with Covenant Care, where she provided above-and-beyond customer service as well as taking the facility to its first time capacity of one hundred percent. Roey has successfully worked with hospital case managers, physicians, conservators and families to qualify and transition patients into the skilled nursing setting. Her passion for helping others has kept her in the healthcare field. Roey attended California State University, East Bay.
Sage Staffing Coordinator
Gil comes to Sage with a background in customer service and administrative work. He has a talent for care coordination and specializes in client relations. Gil has become a valued member of Sage Home Care and has cultivated relationships with our team of Personal Care Attendants. His enthusiasm and dedication to eldercare have helped prepare him for taking on the role of Staffing Coordinator. While Gil is relatively new to the healthcare field, he has demonstrated a commitment for getting the details right—which is a perfect fit for the Sage Eldercare culture.
Erin Tordsen, MAG
Home Care Manager
BS Psychology, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; MA Gerontology, San Francisco State University
Erin joins Sage with over five years of experience in eldercare. Erin has a Master’s degree in Gerontology from San Francisco State University and Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She has interned in the past with adult day care and with the San Francisco Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. She has also volunteered with hospice as both a patient care volunteer and administrative volunteer in the office. Erin has worked for the last few years with a home care agency where she assisted with the scheduling of care providers, provided oversight and supervision to the care providers, performed client visits and maintained regular communication with client’s responsible parties. Erin’s passion for eldercare stems from helping to care for her grandmother who lived with Alzheimer’s Disease for over 10 years and watching her mother care for aging family members.
Francine Perez de Tagle, BS
Human Resources Lead
BS Psychology, De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines
Francine joined the Sage Administrative Team with a comprehensive Human Resources background encompassing various positions from the corporate sphere. As a Human Resources Associate at Citigroup, she cultivated her skills in Recruiting, HR Administration, and Employee Relations. Later, she developed her competencies in Recruiting by furthering her career in HR as a Recruitment Analyst at Accenture. Francine holds a B.S. in Psychology and has used her interpersonal skills and knowledge of social relations to become a successful asset in the realm of childcare and elder care.
Anna is a Texas native and has fallen in love with the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an experienced medical support administrator with 4 years experience in medical administration and as a medical assistant in an urgent care clinic. Anna brings her love of caring for people from her clinic experience and as a nanny to now help aging adults.
Kari Rogenski, RDT, MA, LMFT
Director of the Hummingbird Project
BA Theatre Performance, University of Lethbridge; MA Counseling Psychology Drama Therapy, California Institute of Integral Studies
Kari’s love of elders began as a child, and spending time with her three Grandmothers was always a joy. Grandma’s house was always Kari’s favorite place to be. Kari combined her passion for eldercare and the creative arts by becoming a licensed marriage and family therapist and registered drama therapist working with elders. She brings 10 years of experience to her role as Director of The Hummingbird Project and co-creator of Joyful Moments: Meaningful Activities to Engage Older Adults. She is a proud advocate for the importance of finding and embracing joy throughout life. She has presented to both professional and public audiences locally and nationally about Quality of Life and Life Enrichment for older and disabled adults, including several presentations for the Alzheimer’s Association, the Aging Life Care Professional Association and the North American Drama Therapy Association, among others. It is Kari’s creative and professional approach, as well as her warm personality, that allows her to connect with clients and engage them in meaningful therapeutic activities. Kari’s passion for theatre has been infused into her education and career. She has expertise in facilitating drama therapy techniques including improvisation, monologue writing, and play reading. Some of her favorite activities to share with older adults include expressive arts such as life story collage, art appreciation, touch drawing, creative storytelling, legacy projects and more.
Meredith Eden, MA, MFTi*
Lead Activity Specialist
BA Drama, San Francisco State University; MA Counseling Psychology, California Institute of Integral Studies; MA Drama Theory and Devised Performance, San Francisco State University
Meredith has over ten years’ experience working in the theatre world and has transitioned over the last four years into using her skills for therapeutic forms of expression. She has interned at California Pacific Medical Centers’ SNF unit and Alzheimer’s residential facility. Meredith is honored to be a part of Sage, where she is enthusiastic about working collaboratively on the collective goal of quality of life for the elderly population in our community. Since childhood, she spent many hours at her grandparents’ community, which built awareness of the wisdom and stories the elder population embody. She received her Bachelor’s in Drama (Performance) from San Francisco State University where she went on to complete her Master’s in Drama Theory with a concentration in Directing and Devised Theatre. She holds a second Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology (Drama Therapy) from California Institute of Integral Studies. She is furthering her education and training through the Developmental Transformation Institute for drama therapy based in New York. Meredith’s training in improvised and devised theatre is a catalyst for her passion of creative approaches to achieve rich quality of life for both her clients and the community she serves. The heart of her practice is to think outside of the box while attuning to the desires, interests and needs of her clients.
*Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern #117017. Under supervision of a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist.
Ashley Leonard, BA
BA Psychology, Saint Louis University ; MA in Marriage and Family Therapy candidate, Notre Dame de Namur University; MA in Art Therapy candidate, Notre Dame de Namur University
Ashley has experience as an activity coordinator in assisted living and memory care settings. Her passion for creating art influences the work that she does with seniors and older adults. She has experience facilitating art therapy for groups and individuals of all ages as well. Some of her favorite activities to engage in are community outings to art museums and exhibits and incorporating time for individual art responses to the outing. Ashley is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California. The program prepares students for a Marriage and Family Therapy License and to become a Registered Art Therapist.
Nancy Bess, MS
BS History, Texas Women’s University; MS Gerontology, University of Massachusetts at Boston
Nancy has spent more than a decade in a rewarding an dynamic career leading senior and memory care activity programs. Along with her activity programming experience she has also created and facilitated health and educational programs in the community. Her love and knowledge of history, literature, writing, and art are woven into her curriculum. Nancy also employs empathy and creativity to connect with clients and foster meaningful and therapeutic activities. Storytelling and autobiography in written and art form are examples of activities that Nancy loves to share with her clients.
Jennifer Verdu, CTRS
BS Nutritional Science, San Jose State University
In 2008, Jennifer began working at Masonic Homes of California’s Skilled Nursing Facility as a Recreation Leader. She’s a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and Senior Fitness Instructor with almost 8 years of programming experience. Jennifer has worked as Lifestyles Manager for Acacia Creek CCRC and managed all aspects of the lifestyles programs. She has spent the last few years working as an Activity Coordinator for Avenidas Rose Kleiner Adult Day Health Center. Jennifer’s ultimate goal is to create purposeful programs that enrich the lives of seniors.
Keesje Fischer, BA
BFA Painting, Utrecht School of Fine Arts, The Netherlands; BA, Pomona College
Keesje comes to the field of Aging through caring for her grandmother and volunteering in her New York nursing home as a TimeSlips storytelling facilitator. She has worked as an Activity Specialist in skilled nursing facilities and Assisted Living Residences for more than 8 years, most recently as Activities Program Manager for Memory Care Unit of Rhoda Goldman Plaza. Encouraging creative expression is inspiring, fun, and surprising, too. In her work with elders, Keesje loves that she learns something every day.
Susan Martelino, MA
BA in Psychology, Upper Iowa University; MA Marriage and Family Therapy, St. Mary’s University of Minnesota
Susan has been involved with the elderly since 2000 when she became a caregiver in Des Moines, IA. Her genuine interest to work with the elderly continued after she became a Massage Therapist in St. Paul, MN; this included working in a nursing facility, hospice care, and contract work, all of which emphasized geriatric modalities in regard to massage. Susan chose a practicum when earning her masters in Marriage and Family Therapy in Minneapolis that emphasized the elderly. It was there that she led a women’s group, provided recreational support, and worked individually with those who held a more specific need for confidentiality. Susan believes there is a myth among society that once you reach a certain age, you no longer have desires, goals, aspirations, or the need for relationships. She would like to help debunk that way of thinking and bring to light that no matter what age, people still desire the need to be acknowledged, loved, and contribute to society.
Liz Nichols, MA
BA Asian Studies, Brown University; MA Asian Studies, Stanford University; CA Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, San Francisco State
Liz has an eclectic background in education and communication, and strives to bring the Power of Fun – the value of play and creative expression – to folks at every stage of life. She has more than 10 years of professional experience working with seniors, including 4 years as Storytelling Director of Stagebridge, the nation’s oldest senior theater company, in Oakland. She is a Master Trainer and Facilitator of TimeSlips, a storytelling method developed specifically for people with memory loss. Liz is a certified Laughter Yoga Leader, and finds that laughter for health, without need of jokes or humor, can bring energy and joy to anyone. Helping others try something new is what keeps her growing and thriving too.
Tiffany Paige, BFA
Lead Activity Specialist – Sacramento
BFA Design, Parsons School of Design
Tiffany applies her 17 years of professional art and design experience to sharing creativity as a means to connect the heart and mind of individuals in their elder years. Moved by the loss of her grandfather to Alzheimer’s, in 2010 she started pursuing her vision to bring the healing properties of art and imagination to the lives of others living with the illness.
She launched and directs Artisan Mind and its affiliate, ARTZ Sacramento —both nonprofits dedicated to offering creative experiences that serve as gateways to accessing lost memories, reclaiming a sense of dignified self, and healing the symptoms often associated with dementia. For more information about Artisan Mind, please visit www.ArtisanMind.org. Today, at the Hummingbird Project, Tiffany continues to be devoted to nurturing creative thinking and inspiration in a way that sparks the very life in the hearts of those she serves. Tiffany is leading the development of The Hummingbird Project’s Sacramento region and is excited to provide clients with enriching experiences that are brimming with purpose, meaning and connectedness.
Kim Peloso, MPH
BS Adult Health/Wellness, University of South Carolina; MPH, University of South Carolina
Kim has more than 15 years of professional experience working with seniors and spent ten years as a volunteer coordinating an Intergenerational program in her community. She has served as Director of the Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Columbia, SC, The Alzheimer’s Activity Center in San Jose, CA and the Ruth Ann Rosenberg Adult Day Healthcare Center in San Francisco, CA. Kim has hands on experience working with older adults, as well as experience in program development, staff training, consulting and management.
Kim’s outgoing and warm personality allow her to freely connect with seniors, quickly building a trusting relationship. Her passion lies in guiding memory-impaired individuals through all aspects of daily life. She has a special focus on maintaining familiar routines and creating opportunities for participation in pursuits that are meaningful to the individual.
Miyoko M. Nida, MA
BA Ethnic Studies/Asian American Studies, San Francisco State University; MA Counseling Psychology with specialization in Expressive Art Therapy, California Institute of Integral Studies; Certificate in Digital Design and Production, SFSU, College of Extended Learning
Miyoko has worked in the mental health field for ten years, including work with older adults in private residencies, group homes and skilled nursing facilities. As an Activity Specialist, she is excited to engage expressive arts, creativity and multiculturalism to provide enriching quality of life services. Miyoko supports individuals in creative ways in which words may not be the primary form of communication. She is a doctoral student in Transformative Studies at CIIS. Her research focus uses a transdisciplinary approach to intergenerational trauma and the arts.
Sonia Shell, BA
BA Humanities, New College of California
Sonia has worked many years in an adult day care setting with clients who are developmentally disabled, physically frail or have dementia. She has also spent many years teaching and performing on guitar, cello and banjo. She has recorded and toured with several bands and is currently in a Bossa Nova Duet. She brings her joy of music to Sage. Sonia is a credentialed teacher of Alexander Technique, and has spent many years working in a physical therapy setting. She loves writing, poetry, travel, animals, kids, and of course elders!
Alicia Hadley, BFA
Activity Specialist – Sacramento
BFA Painting and Drawing, University of Utah
Alicia’s love of art and variety started at an early age while growing up in the Middle East, surrounded by a diversity of ethnicities and artistic cultures. The desire to focus that energy into working with seniors with dementia started soon after Alicia’s grandmother, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, moved in with Alicia’s family.
Now, Alicia has over 19 years of experience that includes volunteering with hospice and the Alzheimer’s Association as well as working in Adult Day programs, Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Facilities. She also managed a Memory Care Community for over 10 years.
Alicia believes that some of the most profound and meaningful lessons she has learned have come from people who are living with dementia. She highly values what they have to offer the world. She is both determined and excited to help find the individual bridges that help older adults connect with life and defy their mental or physical concerns.
Jack Herndon, MBA
BA International Relations, Brown University; MBA, Stanford University
Jack has more than 25 years of experience in marketing, management and business development roles in companies ranging from Fortune 1000 organizations to start ups (both for-profit and not-for-profit). In his current role of Managing Partner of Sage Eldercare Solutions, Jack has led the introduction and expansion of the concierge home care practice which today employs over 100 team members. Previously Jack taught care managers through the University of Florida certificate program (Ethical, Legal and Business Aspects of GCM) and is co-author of the chapter in the Geriatric Care Manager Handbook titled, “Adding GCM to a Home Care Agency.” He is a founding board member and former Treasurer of the San Francisco Village (www.SFVillage.org ). He authored and published The Hospital Discharge Organizer and has led numerous workshops for families navigating the eldercare maze. Jack earned his BA from Brown University and his MBA from Stanford University.
Hannah Choung, BA
BA Psychology, University of California at Davis
Hannah Choung has had the privilege of working with older adults and their families for most of her life. Hannah spent most of her career as a Marketing Director in assisted living facilities in San Francisco and enjoyed working directly with residents and family members. She has always had a passion to serve seniors and now enjoys supporting Sage Care Managers, clients and their families. Hannah is thankful to be a part of Sage’s offering of comprehensive eldercare services.
DC*, Life West College
Michelle brings over 10 years experience as an office manager for various health care offices as well as five years in clinical practice as an alternative health care professional. She has been involved in many community outreach programs and was awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the California State Assembly for her volunteer work. Michelle has been with Sage Eldercare Solutions since 2008 helping clients and their families in the administration of services and has been integral to Sage’s continued growth.
* Doctor of Chiropractic