Brain Health Center Professional Team
CPMC is proud to have some of the San Francisco Bay Area's best memory loss and dementia specialists working at the Brain Health Center. Our Brain Health Center medical providers, multidisciplinary staff and Care Navigation Team take pride in working with patients creating a plan that is customized to each individual's needs, helping them to maintain independence and quality of life.
Choosing the best comprehensive care is the first critical step towards addressing cognitive changes. It is often overwhelming to navigate the system of resources, treatments and supportive community services required to support and care for yourself or someone you love who has memory deficits. The Brain Health Center team consists of a neurologist, nurse practitioner, social worker, family care specialist, case management assistant, neuropsychologist, dietitian and pharmacist, all of whom are available to help support you and your family every step of the way.
Director, Brain Health Center
Catherine Madison, MD
Dr. Madison completed her medical school training at St. Louis University in Missouri and her neurology residency at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington D.C. Dr. Madison is board-certified in neurology and has been practicing at California Pacific since 2001. Read more about Dr. Catherine Madison.
Family Nurse Practitioner
Susan Sullivan, RN FNP-C
Susan Sullivan RN, FNP-C has been an RN since 1981 and received her Master’s degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner from UCSF in 1992. She developed her expertise with the aging population through her work in an internal medicine practice for over 20 years.
Ms. Sullivan is trained in diagnosing, treating and educating patients and their families about dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment. Her compassionate approach and connection with people make her a provider patients love to see.
Louisa Parks, Psy. D
Dr. Parks is a licensed clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist in California and New York. She completed her postdoctoral residency in neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology at UC Davis Medical Center and her internship at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco.
Dr. Parks is also recognized as a specialist in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder by the SFPD, San Jose Police Department, San Francisco Fire Department, the California Highway Patrol, and the Oakland Police Department.
Social Worker, Psychotherapist
Nalani Griffin Dunn, LCSW
Nalani, a native Californian, received her undergraduate degree in Clinical Psychology at San Francisco State University and her Master’s in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. In addition to her LCSW, she is an experienced psychotherapist specializing in family and couples counseling, as well as individual counseling.
Ms. Dunn has worked in a variety of medical settings for the last 18 years including hospitals, homecare and hospice. One of her specialties is working with clients diagnosed with memory problems, their families and caregivers. “Memory problems affect the whole family. Relationships change because roles change which can be sad and a difficult adjustment for the patient, spouse and children. My focus in working with families is on identifying strengths and assisting in increasing coping skills for both the patient and family. We do this through education, identifying practical solutions together, providing emotional support and appropriate referral to community supports.”
Social Worker / Integrative Care Initiative Liaison
Howard Hahn, MSW
Howard completed his undergraduate degree in Clinical Psychology at New York University and received his Master’s in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley where his concentration was Gerontology. While attaining his MSW, he interned at Laguna Honda Hospital’s hospice and memory care units, as well as at CPMC’s Brain Health Center. Howard continues to serve as a volunteer phone counselor at San Francisco Suicide Prevention and as a Hospice and Palliative Care volunteer for Jewish Family and Children Services. Howard has a passion for working with seniors. He is dedicated to improving the quality of life for older adults experiencing memory loss as well as those patients and their loved ones confronting chronic illness and end of life issues.
Assistant Case Manager
Ymke Dioquino, MS, MFTI
Ymke received her Master’s degree in Clinical and Health Psychology from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. After raising her three children, she joined CPMC in 2010 and found a passion for providing support to patients and families in coping with changes in cognition. She offers case management, support and counseling, and facilitates support groups at the Brain Health Center. Ymke is currently a registered Marriage and Family Therapy intern, working toward obtaining a state license as a Marriage and Family Therapist.
Family Care Specialist
Mandi Thomas, MSW, ASW
Mandi moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2008 and received her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Seattle University. Shortly after, she relocated to New York City and completed her Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University with an emphasis on health, mental health, and disabilities. Her passion for working with patients and families coping with cognitive impairment was ignited after working at an Adult Day Health Center in Seattle, Washington. In 2013, she returned to her native state of California and joined the Brain Health Center as the Family Care Specialist for the Alzheimer’s Association. She offers educational classes, case management, supportive counseling, and facilitates support groups. Mandi is currently working towards obtaining a state license as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
Richard Ron Finley, B.S.Pharm, R.Ph, CGP
Mr Finley recently joined CPMC as a consultant pharmacist to the Brain Health Center team. He continues as a Lecturer (Emeritus) in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy School of Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco and continues to teach pharmacy students per his appointment as a clinical professor. His clinical practice includes eighteen years in the UCSF Memory and Aging Center-Alzheimer’s Research Center, UCSF Department of Neurology.
He also serves as a Consultant Pharmacist to several community health care organizations. Mr Finley is a frequent lecturer on health care issues related to older adults, on a local and national level. On two separate occasions he was a visiting professor in Japan.
His areas of interest and expertise include geriatric pharmacy practice, geriatric psychotherapeutics and geriatric neurological issues related to memory.
Nancy Bennett, MS, RD, CDE
Ms. Bennett is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and the principle of Enlightening Choices. Her company provides nutrition consultations for a number of health care agencies, medical clinics, private physicians, corporations, and individuals within the San Francisco Bay Area. Additionally, she develops and implements nutrition programs for medical continuing education, community groups and corporations.
Ms. Bennett earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in nutrition from University of California at Berkeley in 1976, her Masters in nutritional science from the University of Bridgeport in 1992 and her certificate of diabetes education in 2000.
Ms. Desuasido, Administrative Supervisor, brings over ten years of outpatient clinic experience. She started her career in health care as Unit Secretary at a Dialysis Clinic in Daly City in 2001. After several years she joined the Department of Neurosurgery at UCSF as the Front Desk Coordinator in April 2003, where soon after she was promoted to be the Front Supervisor for the Spine Center. In this roll she helped open their new clinic, setting up protocols and procedures within the department while supporting the clinical coordination of the providers. It did not take long before Melissa became the Practice Manager for the Neuro-Spine Center at UCSF in 2008. In this roll she managed 13 staff and eight providers.
Scientist, CPMC Research Institute
Kendra Peterson, MD
Dr. Peterson completed her medical school training at the University of Washington in Seattle, her neurology residency at the University of California San Francisco, and a neuro-oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. She is board certified in neurology. She worked previously as an academic neuro-oncologist at the University of Minnesota and at Stanford University, and then as a neurologist at the Palo Alto Veteran’s Hospital. She joined the CPMC Brain Health Center in August 2013.
During her time as an academic neuro-oncologist Dr. Peterson developed an interest in improving care at the end of life, and was board certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She has extensive experience in the symptom management and supportive care of patients with advanced neurologic disease. She joined the Brain Health Center to work on the Integrated Care Initiative, developing an educational curriculum for caregivers of adults with cognitive impairment.
Ms. Eckowitz, a Certified Medical Assistant, began her career in the medical field five years ago and has had the pleasure of being part of the Sutter Health team since 2009. She worked as a medical assistant in both urgent and primary care, as well as OB/GYN.
Ms. Eckowitz is excited to meet her new patients and will take excellent care of them.
Cognitive changes or decline can happen to anyone at any age and we can help you.
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