Michelle Kimzey, PhD, RN

Michelle Kimzey is an Assistant Professor of Nursing in the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Since coming to TCU, she has continued to follow her passion for those living with dementia. Dr. Kimzey’s research focuses on improving the care of those living with dementia. She is engaged in a range of research, enterprise and teaching activities in the field of dementia care. Dr. Kimzey looks forward to collaborating with people living with dementia, caregivers, and students to raise awareness of dementia in hopes of improving the lives of those living with dementia.

Beth Mastel-Smith, PhD, RN

Beth Mastel-Smith, a nurse, has worked in dementia day centers and educated family and professional care partners, health professional students and volunteers about dementia and dementia care. She helped develop and delivered a photography and ekphrastic poetry program for people with dementia. Beth’s research interests include health promotion for people with dementia, care partners and reducing stigma associated with dementia. Currently, Beth is a Nursing Professor at The University of Texas at Tyler.

Linda Abel, RN

Linda worked as an RN in Assisted Living communities for 20 years. Since her retirement she has taught classes for assisted living managers across Texas. Because of her background in nursing, she is particularly interested in seeing  nurses and other healthcare professionals graduate with an awareness and understanding of dementia so that they are better provide dementia-capable care. Her greatest joy in working with Dementia Friendly Fort Worth has been the development of a weekly dementia friendly Chapel service. Through this virtual chapel service, it is possible for people living with dementia and their care partners to continue to enjoy worship with familiar hymns and Scripture in a comfortable environment. 

Jim McLarty, MS, BSN, RN (Retired)

  • Expert Living with Dementia

Jim practiced as an RN clinically in cardiac and critical care, and through progressive management roles, ultimately serving as a Chief Nursing Officer. He medically retired in 2016 due to a rare form of early onset dementia, Binswanger Disease. He has utilized this diagnosis to educate others on dementia, assist in teaching at TCU’s Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences and, most importantly, he uses these opportunities to share his faith.

Nancy McLarty, BSN, RN (Retired)

  • Expert in Dementia

Nancy practiced as an RN in the trauma emergency department, critical care, case management, and clinical IT system implementation. She retired in October 2019.  As healthcare professional, she has seen hospitals across the country struggle in managing care of dementia patients and they have watched their friends trying to support and care for loved ones living with dementia and not knowing where to turn for support.  This is also a personal cause for us, as Jim as a rare form of early onset dementia, Binswanger Disease.

Chelsea Martin, RN, BSN

  • TCU BSN 2020

Chelsea Martin completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Texas Christian University in May of 2020. As an undergraduate student, she took a special interest in the care of persons living with dementia, participating in course electives and research. She currently works as a registered nurse on a geriatrics/medical oncology unit in the Texas medical center.

Elizabeth Anne (Wacker) McConnell

  • TCU BA 1973

Elizabeth W. McConnell is a ‘73 graduate of TCU with a BA in History/Government. She is a board member of the TCU Fort Worth Alumni Association and Fort Worth/Arlington Sigma Kappa Alumnae. Elizabeth is a founding member of Sigma Kappa sorority on the TCU campus in 1998. Elizabeth experienced the challenges of dementia with her aging mother. She watched her mother have behavioral changes, anxiety completing normal tasks, and inability to make herself understood. Her family confronted difficult decisions with her mother’s health care. Elizabeth is energetically involved in TCU Alumni and sporting events and the Fort Worth community.

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