The Care Management team
Our team of Care Managers
- Have more than 30 years of combined geriatric care management experience.
- Specialize in working with cognitively impaired clients and those impacted by dementia.
- Combine professional expertise with respect and compassion to provide solutions, relief and peace of mind to clients and their families.
- Are experienced moderators, mediators and liaisons.
- Work effectively with health care providers and other professionals in a variety of settings including home, hospital, and hospice.
- Interact with a broad network of professionals to comprehensively understand and meet the needs of clients and their families.
- Receive recurrent training on issues essential to providing high quality general and geriatric care management services.
- Adhere to the Minnesota Board of Social Work and the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) standards and ethics to maintain the highest level of service for clients and their families.
Sara Michel, LGSW
Sara Michel is a licensed graduate social worker; she earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Saint Thomas/University of Saint Catherine’s joint MSW program. She has over 30 years of experience in healthcare and geriatrics and brings experience, maturity, compassion, resource knowledge, and clear communication skills to her role.
Sara knew she had a heart for helping older adults from her first job as a nursing assistant in a skilled nursing facility. She moved on to become a social worker in long term care, continuing to advocate and assist those who were the most vulnerable. She worked in the community with clients and their families with the Alzheimer’s Medicare Demonstration Project seeking resources and creative solutions to facilitate safe care in the home for individual with memory loss. She worked for many years at a long-term acute hospital with geriatric mental health, brain injuries, and complex medical needs. The ability to closely collaborate with patients, their families, medical professionals, and community resources was a skill that became second nature to Sara. She has most recently worked as a social worker in a large independent senior living facility, requiring the ability to balance the autonomy and safety issues inherent in the desire to age in place.
As the lead Care Manager, Sara brings a genuine commitment to advocacy, an extensive knowledge base of community resources, and a passion to help people to navigate al the options available to them in a respectful and collaborative way. Sara provides personalized guidance and information, coordination of resources and services tailored to support physical, social, and financial needs while maximizing independence and quality of life for the people she serves, and peace of mind for their caregivers.
Sara is a member of MASWA (Minneapolis Area Senior Workers Association), and has been a presenter and panel member at the Senior Cooperative Housing Conference.
Anita Raymond, LISW, CMC, Program Manager
Anita Raymond is a licensed independent social worker and certified care manager; she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater and her Masters in Social Work from Augsburg College in Minneapolis and has over 30 years of professional experience in geriatric social work, beginning her career in county adult protection and community services, prior to joining the Protective Services team in 1990. At that time the program was housed at Ebenezer Community Services; it moved to Volunteers of America MN in 1998. Anita has served as the Program Manager of Protective Services and Care Management & Consultation Services since 2012, providing back-up for both programs as needed. Anita leads the Center for Excellence in Supported Decision Making, through a DHSS Administration for Community Living Elder Justice Grant, a collaborative program of VOA MN providing individual assistance and WINGS MN, seeking systems change with a focus on improving guardianship and promoting supported decision making. Anita is Co-Convener of WINGS MN, a Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardianship Stakeholders. whose aim is to build a system that prioritizes supportive decision making and less restrictive alternatives to guardianship, and that maximizes autonomy for persons under guardianship.
Anita is an active member of the MN Association for Guardianship and Conservatorship (MAGiC), serving on the Executive Board in various positions including President, Conference, Communications, Standards, Journal, and is currently the Bylaws Chair. Anita is a member of Aging Life Care Association and the MN Elder Justice Center. Anita has completed the Gunderson Lutheran Medical Foundation's Respecting Choices course and qualifies as an Advance Care Planning Facilitator.
Anita is a frequent presenter to community and professional groups on topics including: supported decision making, guardianship and conservatorship, alternatives to guardianship and conservatorship, vulnerable adults and maltreatment, client autonomy and self-determination/dignity of risk, planning for incapacity, advance directives, and more.
Anita was honored to have received the national Volunteers of America 2018 Leadership Award for Excellence in Program Management. In 2008, Anita was recognized as the National Guardianship Association’s Outstanding Affiliate Member for Minnesota for her tireless passion and commitment to the quality of life for vulnerable adults in her work with MAGiC. Also in 2008, Anita was a recipient of the Shelley Joseph-Kordell Award, which honors “unsung heroes” who demonstrate a willingness to go the extra mile in working with older adults, a demonstrated passion for senior issues, and a clear impact in the senior community. Anita received the 2004 Age Odyssey award for exemplary service, leadership and advocacy. The Protective Services program received MAGiC’s Organizational Recognition Award in 1999.
Kathleen Carlson, LSW
Kathleen is a licensed social worker and earned her Bachelor's Degree in Social Work through Saint Cloud State University. Kathleen has been practicing social work since 2008 with older adults and adults living with mental illness in long term care settings. Since joining the Center for Excellence in Supported Decision Making/Protective Services, Kathleen has been able to expand her practice in social work to serve a broader group of clients including young adults, adults with I/DD diagnosis, and adults living with SPMI, as well as older adults.
Kathleen's passion lies in advocating for adults to maintain autonomy with a focus on dignity, quality of life, and the safest yet least restrictive options for each individual. Kathleen is also passionate about being a resource to professionals serving vulnerable adults as well as families and supporters. She continuously strives to support individuals to make the most appropriate and informed decision for themselves.
Kathleen's primary role with the Center for Excellence in Supported Decision Making includes assessment of vulnerable adults with questionable-decisional capacity as well as offering support to formal and informal decision-makers; aiming to support them to remain engaged, effective and person centered. She also applies these skills as a Care Management and Consultation Services social worker, providing person-centered assessments and ongoing care management to support older adults, adults with disabilities, and their families who may be long-distance caregivers or who are in need of objective evaluation of care situations, or experiencing family conflict over residential or care needs..
Kathleen co-authored CESDM Guide to Supported Decision Making in Minnesota: A Resource for Families and Other Supporters with colleagues Anita Raymond and Amanda Hudson in 2019. Kathleen is an active member on the MASWA (Minneapolis Area Senior Workers Association) Board where she holds the position of Education Chair; is a member of MAGiC (MN Association for Guardianship and Conservatorship) and serves on the MAGiC Journal Committee; and WINGS MN (Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardianship Stakeholders). Kathleen is a graduate of Honoring Choices Minnesota’s Respecting Choices course and is qualified as an Advance Care Planning Facilitator; she is also a Notary Public.
The Center for Excellence in Supported Decision Making Team was recognized with a MN DHS and MN Board on Aging 2019 Age and Disabilities Conference Award for making a lasting difference for older adults and persons with disabilities in Minnesota.
Amanda Hudson, LSW
Amanda Hudson is a licensed social worker in Minnesota and Wisconsin; she earned her
Bachelor's Degree in Social Work through Minot State University. Amanda brings experience working in the skilled nursing environment as both a long-term/short-term care social worker and most recently as Director of Social Services.
Amanda’s passion for advocating for older adults has inspired her to further that drive with being a part of this innovative model that supports improvement of human well-being, safety, and empowerment of vulnerable adults. In her primary role as a Center for Excellence in Supported Decision Making social worker, Amanda is excited to promote individual right to self-determination regarding complex decisions about care by providing guidance and support to inform individuals, families, and professionals who serve vulnerable adults to make the most appropriate and informed decisions, all while ensuring autonomy and self-advocacy are upheld.
Amanda also serves as a back-up care manager in Care Management and Consultation Services, which includes objective assessments of adults with questionable-decisional capacity, find themselves in precarious circumstances, or need guidance through the many systems as they age. Amanda also supports formal and informal decision-makers so they'll be engaged, effective and person centered.
Amanda is a member of WINGS Minnesota (Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardianship Stakeholders), and the Minnesota Association for Guardianship and Conservatorship (MAGiC), serving on the Conference and Member Services Committee. She is a graduate of the Respecting Choices course through Honoring Choices Minnesota, and is qualified as an Advance Care Planning Facilitator; she is also a Notary Public.
Our team members are actively involved in the professional community; they are members of the Aging Life Care Association, Minnesota Association for Guardianship and Conservatorship, Minneapolis Area Senior Workers Association, St. Paul Senior Workers Association, and Minnesota Elder Justice Center Partners group. Our team members also work to positively impact the fields of vulnerable adults, unbefriended elders / solos, and surrogate decision makers via relationships with elder law attorneys, county adult protection units, and State governmental staff, as well as active participation in relevant community events, task forces, and committees.
Compassion, Respect, Dignity and Balance
We balance respect for self-determination with concerns for safety and honor each individual’s rights, values, lifestyle and desire for independence. We believe our clients should participate in decisions about their care to the greatest extent possible. Additionally, we work carefully to identify balance in our recommendations and service provisions so that we are not being over-protective or under-protective. We endeavor to reduce risk while also enhancing quality of life for the individual, which includes avoiding premature nursing home placements and overly prescriptive care plans. By combining our professional expertise, high standards and ethics with respect and compassion, we effectively collaborate with our clients and their families to provide solutions, relief, and peace of mind.
Quality, Expertise, Professionalism and Leadership
Our care managers are experienced, licensed professionals who receive recurrent training on issues essential to providing high quality general and geriatric care management services. We adhere to the Minnesota Board of Social Work and the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) standards and ethics to maintain the highest level of service for our clients and their families. Furthermore, our care managers are members of and/or hold leadership roles in the following professional organizations: National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, Memory Care Professional Consortium, Minneapolis Area Senior Workers’ Association, Minnesota Association for Guardianship and Conservatorship (MAGiC), National Guardianship Association, Edina Professionals Serving Seniors, St. Paul Area Senior Workers’ Association, and Washington County Senior Workers’ Association. These associations assist our care managers in staying informed and ahead of the curve on issues and timely industry developments, as well as provides them with access to resources and outside expertise to maintain the highest level of service for our clients and their families.