Felicia Juntunen, MA, CMC: Director of Care Management
“One of my care management mantras that I share whenever possible, ‘It’s easier to make a change when you have choices’. We so often see people wait to move, or hire that extra help, or go to the doctor. We know that making changes can be difficult, but they are critical to dealing with the challenges of aging.”
Felicia received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a Master’s in Gerontology from California State University, Sacramento. In 2011/12, during her graduate program she served as a student intern with Elder Care Management then officially joined the Care Management team shortly thereafter. After 9 years on the ECM team, Felicia assumed the role as Director of Care Management, taking charge of leading the established team of Care Managers. Felicia is a member of the Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) and received her certification through the National Academy of Certified Care Managers (NACCM). She holds a Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) license with the California Department of Social Services and has volunteered as a caregiver support group facilitator for the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California. Felicia believes her most important ‘work experience’ has been her role as a family caregiver, which heavily influenced and informed her practice as a Care Manager. Having been closely involved with the care of several family members, she has an insider’s view to what many of our client families are experiencing. Formal work experience that contributes to her expertise includes several years spent working in a geriatrician’s office. However, most impactful to Felicia are her foundational years as a Care Management intern with Ginger McMurchie (founder of ECM) and Gail Arno and the opportunity to work under their guidance.
As a third generation Sacramento native who has lived in Northern California her entire life, Felicia has a profound appreciation for the beauty of the area. She enjoys adventures in the great outdoors with her husband of 35 years whether it be kayaking, hiking, or snowshoeing. Felicia is a dedicated Grandmother, a role she cherishes. Felicia values this role as she had a close relationship with all four of her grandparents and believes their presence in her life influenced her character development and had a direct influence on her interest and capacity to work with older adults.
Piper Jackson, CDP: Care Manager
“There are many reasons why I love working for ECM… I love working with clients and families in trying to overcome challenges. I love giving families the peace of mind to know that their loved ones are well taken care of. And, I honestly LOVE my team. I have never experienced a more supportive team where everyone has their own individual talents that make the team a success.”
Piper earned her undergraduate degree from California State University Sacramento and went on to obtain her Residential Care for the Elderly Certificate (RCFE) through the California Department of Social Services. Piper is also an active member of the Aging Life Care Association and a Certified Dementia Practitioner through the NCCDP. She has worked in the senior industry since she was 18 years old, starting with hands-on experience in her role as a caregiver then working her way up to become the Director of a group of local Board and Care homes. Her strengths are connecting with the clients and making them feel heard and loved and she takes pride in treating all her clients like they are family. Piper contributes her success as a Care Manager to her tough-mindedness, listening skills, comfort in handling conflict, and determination to succeed with the client. She is well-versed in the healthcare system and relies on this knowledge to advocate for clients and their families.
Born and raised in Sacramento Piper knew she always wanted to come “home” to raise her own family after spending time living in San Diego, San Francisco, and North Carolina. She is a proud mom of three children and two dogs. Her free time is primarily spent with her “amazing barn family” as she loves to be with her horses and watch her children take lessons and compete in equestrian events.
Nicolette Eberle: Care Manager
“My goal will always be to bring a smile to my client’s face before I exit my visit. The most rewarding aspect of this job for me is to make a difference in the quality of life for each client. The client’s family obviously hired ECM to fill voids that so often develop over the years with family members resulting in physical and emotional distance, dysfunctionality, resentment, etc. My goal will be to create a new, healthy relationship and friendship with the client and to treat them as if they were my own parent but without the ‘baggage’.”
Nicolette Eberle joined the Elder Care Management team in 2021, after working as a Client Care Manager for a local in-home care agency. Her experience in conducting In-Home Assessments for new clients, problem-solving through challenges faced by clients and caregivers alike, and working under pressure to address scheduling changes serve her well in her role as an ECM Care Manager. After earning her BS in Business Administration from CSU Northridge, Nicolette spent a significant part of her career in Banking & Financial Services, Estate Plan & Trust Administration, and Insurance Sales. Nicolette has a passion to serve the older adult population and the experience and demeanor to help advocate and guide them through the challenges they face. Nicolette believes her empathy, compassion, listening skills, ability to build trusting relationships and rapport on an accelerated basis, all contribute to her Care Management skill set.
Nicolette was raised primarily in Southern California, but moved often as an Air Force brat, eventually landing here in Northern California where she has enjoyed building new personal and professional relationships. Nicolette has two grown children who are her pride and joy. During her free time, she plays the piano and flute, is a former scrapbooker and quilter, and recently took up golf which she has developed an affinity for.
Cindi Unger: Care Manager
“There is no other work I would rather be doing than teaching and serving seniors and their families. I love to teach care partners, families, and the community about Alzheimer’s disease. Knowledge is power and Alzheimer’s is less scary when you are informed and prepared.”
Cindi Unger joined the Elder Care Management team with over thirty years of experience in the senior care industry. Cindi started her career serving individuals living with significant mental illness but found her true calling when she began working with seniors. In 1987, Cindi opened The Memory House, a board and care home dedicated to serving those living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. After closing the Memory House in 2005, Cindi held roles in the senior industry including Executive Director of Assisted Living/Memory Care communities, Divisional and Corporate Director serving multiple communities in California and 6 other states, and her most recent role as Community Outreach/Alzheimer’s trainer with ApexCare.
Throughout her career, Cindi has served agencies/groups that support seniors including Yolo County Commission on Aging, Area Agency on Aging, Solano Senior Coalition, Yolo Health Aging Alliance, Del Oro Caregiver Resource Center, Yolo Cares and many more. She was recognized in 2019 by Congressman Garamendi as a District 4 Congressional Woman of the Year for her work advocating for people with memory impairment. Writing a grant in 2012 to Dignity Health, Cindi has brought “Brain Boosters” a comprehensive brain health promotion class to Yolo, Solano, and Sacramento counties.
Cindi has lived in Davis for the past 60 years. She has two grown children and talented daughters in law and 4 beautiful grandchildren. In her spare time, Cindi enjoys family dinners and celebrations, and travel with her family and friends.
Kristin Messer, MBA: Care Manager
“I have been in our clients’ families’ shoes and have had my family in similar situations. I understand how scary it can be with so much information and not having a point person, it can be overwhelming. When there are so many balls being juggled the ability to know what info is pertinent and who it needs to be delivered to is vital for success.”
Kristin joins Elder Care Management after an extensive career in the local senior care industry. Her experience spans across roles in social work, home health, in-home care, hospice, skilled nursing and case management, discharge planning and care coordination. Kristin earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Geriatric Psychology and Social Work from San Diego State University, then attained her Master’s of Business Administration at Walden University.
Kristin was inspired to work within senior care after watching her grandmother age and reach a stage where she needed support. “She became ill and needed a higher level of care. She went through acute, skilled nursing, home health, assisted living, home with caregivers, board and care, and finally hospice. I vowed to be to other families what some of the people in those organizations were to my mom and our family. Help support and love them and their families.” It takes a variety of skills to navigate Care Management and Kristin’s work experience, education, interpersonal skills in relationship building, compassion and empathy, and her critical thinking and organizational skills lend to her success.
Born and raised in Northern California, Kristin attended high school in Stockton and then moved to San Diego to attend college. In 2002 she moved to the Sacramento area and started her career in elder care. Her favorite hobbies revolve around her daughter and whatever it is she enjoys, especially playing soccer and Uno together. She also cherishes her morning or evening strolls with her two dogs and her yearly family vacation to Mexico.
Cristina Koval: Care Manager
“A belief I have always followed and I think it’s appropriate in any stage of life, but especially for successful aging is – no man is an island. We need to surround ourselves with those who bring joy into our lives and will be there to hold our hand in our last moments. Socializing does wonders for our minds, hearts, and souls!”
Cristina graduated as a Medical Doctor in 2013 from State Medical and Pharmaceutical University “Nicolae Testemitanu” in the Republic of Moldova. Upon relocating to the United States, she obtained her CNA license and worked as a nurse aide at a Convalescent and Rehabilitation Center in Vacaville. This is where she fell in love with caring for seniors and developed a passion for advocating for them. As a weekend admission coordinator for the rehab center, Cristina continued to grow her knowledge of local resources and support services. She then joined a local Resource agency where she gained experience in the various levels of care and peripheral services available to seniors. These experiences resulted in her interest in becoming a geriatric care manager, a dream that came true when she joined Elder Care Management in late 2023.
In Cristina’s previous experience in the senior care field, she gained the skill sets that aid her in being a productive and compassionate Care Manager. From providing direct personal care to helping navigate the medical system and obtaining necessary authorizations or grants to ensure proper services. She is attentive to details and can read between the lines, picking up on even the smallest things that need to be addressed to ensure a client’s well-being. Cristina respects that every client has their own story and can appreciate everyone’s unique situations. She looks forward to supporting her clients by taking one step at a time to help them reach their goals.
Cristina was born in Moldova, which used to be a part of the USSR then gained independence in 1991. She came to California in the early 2000s as a High School exchange student. She left her birth family in Europe and permanently moved to California where she set down her roots, reconnecting with and marrying a friend from her previous stay. Her husband is a third-generation Vacaville native, and she looks forward to growing old with him there. In her free time, Cristina enjoys spending time with her husband and young daughter, gardening, and playing in the dirt. She also enjoys reading and listening to audiobooks and podcasts.
Gail Arno, CMC: Care Manager
“This career is most definitely my passion and I found it later in my working experience. I so very much enjoy our clients, helping them, supporting them, and allowing them grace as they walk through their aging journey. It is fulfilling to end the day and feel as if you have helped make someone’s day just a bit better.”
Gail brought her expertise to the team at Elder Care Management in 2010, after starting her career in the aging services field back in 1998 as a family consultant for a local placement agency. As a placement agent she actively educated and guided a generation of seniors and their families to resources and services available throughout the Sacramento area. In 2020 Gail assumed the position of Director of Care Management providing oversight and counsel in the growing field of Aging Life Care Management. After two years as ECM Director, in early 2022 Gail transitioned to a role as a part-time Care Manager where she continues to support clients and the community. The ECM team continues to rely on her for seasoned industry knowledge and experience as she takes on this new role.
Gail received a Bachelor of Science in History from UCLA and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from CSU Northridge. She then completed a Graduate Certification program in Gerontology through CSU Sacramento, where she concurrently completed a six-class case management course certification. Gail is a California Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) certified administrator and is a state-approved instructor for RCFE administrator’s certification courses. Gail is a Certified Care Manager through the National Academy of Certified Care Managers and a member of the Aging Life Care Association (ALCA). She serves as a Board Member for Del Oro Caregiver Resource Center and volunteers for the Alzheimer’s Association.
Gail was raised in Southern California but relocated to Sacramento over three decades ago, seeking a softer and less hectic paced lifestyle in which to raise her children. She considers herself a true Northern California girl and is delighted to be a “local”! Gail relishes time spent with her granddaughter and grown children and enjoys a hike or bike ride to take in the local sights.
Judy Kent: Care Manager
“I came to Care Management very late in my work life. After retiring from business, I cared for my mother who had Alzheimer’s for four years until she passed. I realized that I knew very little about the aging process and dementia in particular. Best way to learn- on the job training.”
Judy has an undergraduate degree in Education and a Master’s in Business Administration. She joined Elder Care Management in October 2016 and is ECM’s “weekend warrior” covering weekend and holiday client calls and needs. She joined the team after an extensive career in Business, including roles in accounting, logistics, and customer service. Judy relies on these work experiences where she interfaced with a diverse group of people to support our clients as they work through various issues. Also integral to her role is her ability to be a good listener and empathetic to the family and the caregivers she supports, as she understands their struggle.
Judy was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York but has called California home since 1980. She is the President of Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue where she is dedicated to the care of her rescue dogs. Judy feels lucky to have had 26 rescue dogs live with her over the last 20 years and has provided hospice for cancer dogs, a safe place for scared dogs, as well as providing a good home for dogs that need medical support or were surrendered or abandoned. Most of Judy’s time outside of her role at ECM is spent advocating and supporting her canine family.
Aimee Smith, MS FNP: Care Manager
“I have seen people at all stages of life with varying illness, be it physical or mental, and have a strong sense of compassion and empathy for others. I provide reassurance while being honest and straightforward. And when there are no words, just listening is equally as important because sometimes, we just need to talk and vent. I am most appreciative of being able to build relationships with our clients and advocate for their needs and wishes.”
Aimee joined Elder Care Management in March 2021 after serving for over 20 years as a Registered Nurse and Nurse Practitioner. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Kansas and a Master of Science from Boston College. As a Nurse Practitioner, Aimee has had extensive experience working with diverse populations in both rural and urban environments. She has participated in youth sports physical clinics, performed forensic exams for presumed sexual assaults, coordinated care for a Breast Cancer Early Detection Program, diagnosed and treated individuals with acute and chronic health problems, and supervised the well-being of students at a local elementary school. Aimee’s passion for serving our community is endless and her understanding of the medical environment is truly an asset to the ECM team and our clients.
Aimee is from the Midwest where her parents still live. She moved to the Sacramento area in 2002 where she continued her work as a Nurse Practitioner and eventually met her husband of 16 years. She has two teenage boys who keep her busy between their Scouts, sports, and music competitions. When she has free time, she loves to garden, watch her favorite sports teams, go wine tasting, complete jigsaw puzzles, and play boardgames with friends and family.
Maureen Lawrence: Outreach Coordinator
“’You don’t know what you don’t know!,’ one of the profound life lessons I have learned to be true across many aspects of my life, but most especially so when it comes to the aging journey. When a family is charged with navigating care for a loved one during the aging process, they often struggle to find the best path forward because they do not know about the various resources that exist to support them. I love helping seniors and families connect with our Care Managers who can help guide them when they need it the most.”
Maureen Lawrence joined Elder Care Management in 2016 as the Outreach Coordinator. Maureen graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. As a Community Liaison for a local hospice company, where she educated seniors and their loved ones about the benefits of hospice care, she found her love for the senior care industry. When she joined ECM as the first employee in the role, she embraced the opportunity to launch the marketing efforts virtually from the ground up. Her mission to educate the community on the services of Care Management compliments her passion to help normalize aging and end of life conversations.
Maureen works part-time, balancing her ECM role with raising her three, very active, teenage boys. Born and raised in the Sacramento area foothills she has a deep appreciation for the natural beauty and outdoor activities it offers. If she is not courtside watching her boys play basketball, she can be found walking or hiking the local trails with her husband and overly friendly Goldendoodle. When Maureen finds spare time she enjoys baking, reading, the joys of music and dancing, and spending time with her extended family who still live in the area.
Jason Wu: Owner
“I have always believed in the saying that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. This is especially true with our amazing team at Elder Care Management where I get to see the profound impact that our team has on our clients and families. Each day, our Care Managers work together to solve problems and to put their plans into action. I am honored to be part of the ECM team and cannot wait to see what we will accomplish in the future!”
Jason has been serving our older adult community since 2016 as President of ApexCare, a private home care agency serving Northern California. In this capacity, Jason has and continues to work closely with families, caregivers, and community partners to provide the special care and attention that our older adults need. Because Jason’s grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease, he also experienced firsthand how important it is to have a strong care team supporting those suffering from dementia. His need for structure, organization, and order are the foundation of his leadership and he is constantly seeking new ideas to improve both his professional and personal lives. He enjoys being able to use his creativity and innovation to try new things and is involved in all aspects of his businesses from accounting and finance to sales and marketing to operations. Prior to taking the leadership role with ApexCare, Jason spent 7 years as an investment analyst and 13 years as an entrepreneur and business owner. Jason holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Northwestern University.
Jason was raised in Southern California, then spent 14 years living in Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and Boston. Having spent that much time on the East Coast, he truly appreciates living in California where he feels the beauty, diversity, weather, and people cannot be matched. Jason has spent most of his spare time over the past decade wrapped up in the activities of his two children including coaching numerous soccer and basketball teams. Now that his children are getting older, he has rediscovered his love for playing tennis and golf and looks forward to spending more time restoring his ’73 Triumph TR6.
Ginger McMurchie, CMC: Founder
Ginger McMurchie is the founder of Elder Care Management of Northern California. She helped care for both her father and mother-in-law during the late stages of their lives and worked professionally with seniors and their families, which lead to the inception of Elder Care Management. For 10 years Ginger lead and supported the exceptional team of Care Managers of ECM in advocating for area seniors. In 2020, she stepped away from her role and entrusted the company to Jason Wu, the owner of ApexCare, who shares a similar passion for serving the aging community.