The i4a website is created by contributors from the experts from the Area Agencies on Aging. Contributions without a byline are created by Joe Sample, i4a executive director. I4a is thankful for the expertise and experience shared by contributing authors. See the list of contributors below. Contact i4a at if you are interested in contributing non-commercial posts for the i4a website.

G. Joseph Sample

Executive Director Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Joe is the contracted executive director of the Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging and CEO of Sample Professional Services, L.L.C. He has over twenty years of state government and NGO executive and management experience in health and human services. Joe has served on national, state, and local boars and commissions. He is a Ph.D. candidate at Iowa State University in Human Development and Family Studies, with a focus on gerontology. He has earned a M.A. in biomedical ethics and health policy from Loyola University-Chicago and a M.P.A. from Drake University.

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Theresa Davison

Adult Rights Specialist at Milestones Area Agency on Aging

Theresa has worked in the elder abuse field for over 7 years. In this role, Theresa is responsible for providing educational services, resources, and assistance about elder abuse protection and prevention services that maximizes the independence of older adults and adults with disabilities in a six-county area. She provides in-home assessments and referrals to services for individuals who may have experienced physical or emotional abuse, neglect by others or of self, or financial exploitation. Theresa serves on the Clinton County Sheriff Department’s Senior vs. Crime task force and the Scott County Victim Services Crime Coalition. Theresa has earned an ADN, worked as an RN, and was an Adult Protective Services Worker for the State of Illinois before joining Milestones AAA.

Crystal Doig

Elder Rights Specialist at Aging Resources of Central Iowa

Crystal has worked in aging and disability services for 25 years. She manages the Elder Abuse Prevention and Awareness program, which was recognized as a 2019 National Association of Area Agencies on Aging Achievement Award recipient. Crystal serves on theCoordinated Community Response to Later in Life Abuse team, the Dependent Adult Protective Advisory Council, the Iowa Domestic Abuse Death Review Team, and on the Seniors in Law Enforcement program. She has worked as as an Elder Rights Specialist and Advocate, Case Manager, Lead Case Manager, and Family Caregiver Specialist. At the Napa/Solano County Area Agency on Aging, Crystal served as a home care supervisor and volunteer/mentoring director. She earned a B.A. in social work from the University of Montana, is certified in Aging/Geriatrics from Boston University and is nationally certified as an Information and Referral Specialist in aging and disability.

Maria Donohoe

Family Caregiver Coordinator and Options Counselor Health Educator, Heritage Area Agency on Aging

Maria has over 15 years of experience in non-profit and for-profit health and human services. organizations. In her role as family caregiver coordinator, Maria provides support to family caregivers through direct service, teaching caregiver skills through the six-week program Powerful Tools for Caregivers, and serves on the Caregiver Wellness Day planning committee, which provides an all-day wellness and resource event for family caregivers and is a program fundraising event. Maria also works as a grant-funded options counselor health educator at the University of Iowa. This program conducts interventions to link caregivers of people with newly-diagnosed dementia with community services. Maria serves on the Johnson County Livable Communities task force and the Community Partnership Advisory Council for the University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD) within the University of Iowa. Maria earned a B.A. in Sociology at the University of Iowa and has been accepted to the University of Iowa’s Master’s in Public Health program.

Angie Guss

Elder Right Specialist Heritage Area Agency on Aging

Angie has worked and volunteered in the mental health field for over 10 years, specializing in victims and offenders. Her work has focused on medical and legal advocacy and counseling for survivors and families. In her work on a Sexual Abuse Hotline provided rape crisis and domestic violence counseling, service referrals, and dispatch to police departments and hospitals. She has worked as a clinical therapist for civilly committed sexual offenders at the Rushville Treatment and Detention Center in Illinois. She has been an Elder Rights Specialist since 2017 and is certified as a Rape Crisis Counselor and Sexual Assault Advocate. Angie has earned an M.A. in Forensic Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is a veteran of the U.S. Army serving as a soldier in the Military Police.

Stacie Speirs

Regional Coordinator Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging (NEI3A)

Stacie has over twenty years of experience in health and human services providing services across all age groups. She has overseen programs for four NEI3A counties since April, 2014 and leads the NEI3A Elder Abuse Prevention and Awareness Program. She is a licensed mental health therapist. Stacie serves on several community advocacy groups focused on older adults to identify and implement best practices for service delivery. Stacie has earned a M.A. from Loras College.

Kay Vanags

Director of LifeLong Links Aging & Disability Resource Center at Aging Resources of Central Iowa

Kay has over 30 years of experience in the field of aging. She has supervised the following : Information and Assistance program, Family Caregiver program, Elder Case Management program and Elder Abuse Specialists, which support the quality of life for older adults, people with disabilities, and family caregivers. Two of these programs received awards from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (2017, 2019). She has participated in national, state, and local advisory groups and committees. Kay has earned a B.S. from Drake University and is certified in Aging Studies from the University of Iowa, certified in Aging/Geriatric Social Work from Boston University, a certified mediator, and a trainer for Powerful Tools for Caregivers.

Emily Winker

Service Specialist, Elderbridge Area Agency on Aging

Emily provides information and referral assistance and family caregiver supports and services for Elderbridge. She is training to also provide options counseling services. During her studies at the University of Northern Iowa, where Emily earned a B.A. in Leisure, Youth, and Human Services with a Recreational Therapy emphasis, she was active in community service. Emily was Student Coordinator for the Northeast Iowa Special Olympics and volunteered at a local long-term care facility and a care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Emily also was an intern at a Waterloo, Iowa behavioral health unit.