John Zeisel, PhD

John Zeisel, president of Hearthstone Alzheimer Care, is founder of the "I'm Still Here" Foundation, fostering new strategies that provide meaningful, engaging experiences to persons living with memory challenges. Dr. Zeisel and his work are the focus of “Hopeful Aging,” a presentation featured on the PBS network and a monthly cable TV interview program, bringing viewers a hopeful message about memory and aging.

Dr. Zeisel lectures internationally on the innovative I’m Still Here approach to non-pharmacologic treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. He presents Hearthstone’s adaptive communication techniques, emphasizing the role of art and culture in dementia care.

Dr. Zeisel earned a PhD in Sociology from Columbia University and a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. He has been on the faculty of Harvard University’s Department of Architecture and has taught at Yale and McGill Universities, and the University of Minnesota. He was a Fellow at the National Institute for Advanced Studies near The Hague in the Netherlands and is a Visiting Professor at Salford University, UK where he is also Scientific Advisor to the Salford Institute for Dementia.

Dr. Zeisel’s research and practice over two decades has resulted in award-winning books, articles, and guidebooks used internationally by families, service providers, and physicians.

Michael Skrajner

As Director of Research and Program Development for Hearthstone, Michael Skrajner oversees clinical trials of non-pharmacological interventions for dementia—primarily funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA).

Mike also conducts internal Hearthstone research projects to develop the evidence-base for the company’s operations. As senior faculty of The Hearthstone Institute, Mike trains professionals and care providers nationally and globally on Hearthstone’s care approaches, including Montessori-Based Activity Programming (MAP®) and Procedural Interval Learning (PIL®), on which he has co-authored more than ten peer-reviewed articles.

Research topics on which Mike has managed funded research include: testing and developing reading material adjusted to the particular cognitive levels of persons with dementia; medication adherence monitoring delivered via videophone to HIV positive persons; Montessori-based activities for persons with dementia in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and adult day centers; and activities programming with persons who have early stage dementia leading Montessori based activities.

Chris Gage

As Managing Director of Ladder to the Moon Chris Gage has pioneered the use of creative interventions as change catalysts across Social Care in the UK. Chris is senior project consultant in script writing and training development, for the Scripted-IMPROV® Drama Program.

He holds a degree in Theatre and Performance from the University of Warwick, UK, and is also an alumnus of the Ashridge Business School.

Chris's personal experience with his grandmother living in care with dementia has deeply influenced his work in applied creativity.

Miranda Noelle Wilson

As a part of the Scripted-IMPROV® Drama Program creative team, Miranda Noelle Wilson is co-author, performer, and developer of the Scripted-IMPROV® Drama Program plays. She is also a consultant and on-screen presenter of the Scripted-IMPROV® Drama Program training for activities director and actors.

Based in New York City working as an actor, singer, dancer, and puppeteer, Miranda earned her BFA at the University of Evansville, Indiana. Since moving to New York, Miranda has performed with multiple off-Broadway companies and is a member of The Treehouse Shakers, a dance and theatre troupe performing plays nationwide for youth of all ages.

Miranda performs regularly on television having been seen in several TV soap operas, including As the World Turns and Guiding Light, primetime TV shows such as Rescue Me and PanAm, and in several commercials nationwide. Miranda also stars in The Eve an award-winning 2013 independent feature film for which she recently won a "Best Actress" award for her performance.

Evan Bass

As part of the Scripted-IMPROV® Drama Program creative team, Evan is co-author and developer of the plays. He is also a consultant and on-screen presenter of the Scripted-IMPROV® Drama/Performance Programs and Communication training for activities directors, actors, and care-givers.

Evan is a New York City-based actor, writer, and filmmaker. He is CEO of Electronic Bass Entertainment which develops works that are reflections of truth in society that are either rarely discussed or, for some reason, have not been given the proper magnifying glass that they deserve; and sometimes also makes comedies. He is best known to his fans as Rod in the viral Web series "We Need Girlfriends."

His experience with his tutoring company, Kleos Tutoring, serves him well in this role as educator. A graduate of Columbia University, Evan holds a degree in Psychology and Political Science. Evan has also trained extensively in improvisation at the renowned Upright Citizens Brigade and Magnet Theater training centers.