About

The Montana Gerontology Society (MGS) was formed in 1982. A group of professionals, volunteers and educators founded the organization in order to provide opportunities for individuals interested in gerontology to share common concerns and ideas. MGS is governed by a 12 member Board of Directors.

The Montana Gerontology Society is dedicated to enhancing professional development and understanding among providers of services, seniors, volunteers, researchers, educators, students, and others associated with the field of aging.

Objectives of MGS

  • To stimulate and encourage networking among persons in the field of aging
  • To develop regional training for professionals, paraprofessionals, and the general public in the field of aging
  • To present an annual conference and membership meeting that brings together national and state leaders in the field of aging
  • To recognize significant involvement with MGS

Board of Directors

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Pamela Longmire, President

Pamela Longmire, BSHA, RT, CDP is an aging and long-term care specialist focusing on direct-care training and Quality Improvement with sustainability. She has over 30 years’ experience in health care, including meeting patients’ needs in emergency, surgical, medical, NICU, ICU and LTC. She is certified in Positive Approach to Care, Music and Memory, a Dementia Practitioner and Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia Care Trainer®. Pamela combines her training and experience with validation methods to bring internationally recognized skills to Montana. Pamela’s has a strong personal interest in connecting with individuals living and those caring for persons living with dementia. Her desire is to improve the lives of elders. She is an avid proponent of culture change, educating and empowering staff, quality improvement and sustainability.  Pamela serves on many gerontology related boards and consults regularly.  In her time off, Pamela enjoys spending time with her husband, their children and many grandchildren in the great outdoors doing activities from riding in the mountains or chasing cows on horseback to diving all over the world.

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Daniel J Koltz, Ph.D., President Elect

Daniel J Koltz, Ph.D., Gerontologist, is an Assistant Professor and FCS MSU Extension Gerontology Specialist at Montana State University in Bozeman. Dan completed his doctorate degree in Gerontology from Concordia University -Chicago and his research is focused on improving the lives of older adults who reside in dependent care environments. Additionally, he is the founder and President of a local non-profit, Summit Well Inc that utilizes student interns to provide activity for older people living in affordable housing apartment complexes. Dan enjoys being in the outdoors camping, backpacking, hiking, fishing, and watching sunsets with his life-long partner and spouse.

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Laurie Miller, Past President

Laurie Miller has worked as a registered nurse in Montana since 1990. She has enjoyed working in various roles in healthcare throughout her career ranging from acute and long term care nursing, to community based services, and healthcare management. Her passion has always been working with and advocating for seniors and individuals with disabilities. Laurie is currently an active member of the Montana Alzheimer’s and Dementia workgroup, the Montana Gerontology Society and the Alzheimer’s Association Montana Chapter Board of Directors. When not working, Laurie and her husband, Tim, dedicate much of their time to their busy family which includes very active parents, four children and their spouses, and ten grandchildren.

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Joe Purcell, Treasurer

Joe Purcell is a Montana native. Born and raised in Helena, he now lives in Hardin for the past 29 years. Joe is a registered nurse and the Director of Nursing of Big Horn Senior Living (formerly Heritage Acres). He started his career in geriatrics in 1994 as a CNA and completed LPN school in 1995. Joe continued in the geriatric field as a charge nurse, MDS manager and interim Director of Nursing. He completed his RN in 2006 at which time he began his career as a Director of Nursing. Through experience, training and certifications Joe has gained vast knowledge related to elder care and the field of geriatrics. He has been actively involved in community leadership roles ranging from Marketing Committee Chairman, to 4-H Leaders Council President, to current Mayor elect of Hardin. Joe looks forward to bringing his experience, knowledge and leadership to the MGS board and giving back to his profession.

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Maja Pedersen, Secretary

Maja Pedersen, M.S., is a PhD candidate in Public Health at the University of Montana. Maja’s training is in physical education and health behavior intervention, and her research area is health promotion and chronic disease prevention/management for aging populations. She is currently a trainee for a research project exploring physical activity behavior among American Indian and Alaska Native older adults living in rural and tribal communities. Prior to starting in this PhD program, Maja was a diabetes educator and clinical exercise physiologist for cardiac rehabilitation programs in Alaska, Arizona, and Montana.

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Jeri Delys, Communications

Jeri Delys holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Communication from the University of Montana. Jeri has a background in Sales and Marketing, as well as Development. She is committed to her community, and is active in board and community service. When she is not at work, you will most likely find her training for triathlons, playing racquetball, continuing her training in martial arts, gardening, and spending time with her family and friends.

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Aubrey Hancock, Public Relations

Aubrey Hancock, MSW, SWLC, CDP, holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Montana and is currently undergoing supervision to prepare her license as an LCSW. Aubrey has a background in teaching, both children and adults and now focuses on providing support services to older adults and their families through her private business, Elder Tree. Through her business and volunteer activities, Aubrey focuses on supporting individuals and families confronting Alzheimer’s and other Dementias, as well as, promoting the health and well-being of older adults from pre-retirement to end-of-life.

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Joanna Legerski McCormick, Ph.D., Provider Representative

Joanna Legerski McCormick, Ph.D., joined the Montana Gerontology Society in 2019. She is a clinical psychologist and received her Ph.D. from The University of Montana, Missoula, MT. Dr. McCormick holds a Bachelor of Science in Family in Human Development from Utah State University in Logan, UT. She has a strong background and interest in rural mental health, trauma treatment and family systems. Dr. McCormick joined the Montana Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in 2012. Currently, she is a Staff Psychologist and Director of Psychology Training Programs at Fort Harrison Medical Center. Since joining the VA, Dr. McCormick completed specialized training in geropsychology and is recognized as a Veterans Affairs Advanced Geriatric Scholar.

Carol McKenzie

Carol McKenzie, Student Representative

Carol McKenzie retired from the U.S. Navy and started at University of Montana in 2016. She is in the third year of the pharmacy program and studied Gerontology as a minor. Due to the anticipated increase in number of older patients, she is interested in improving their understanding of medication therapy for better health outcomes. She participates in several organizations such as Missoula Aging Services, Alzheimer’s Association and the UM Gerontology Society. She is interested in enhancing intergenerational activities in communities around Montana through tree and flower planting activities.

Renee Brooksbank, JD, MA, LNHA

Renee Brooksbank is the Associate Director of the Montana Geriatric Center at the University of Montana.  She is also a Montana licensed nursing home administrator, with a masters degree in aging services and a law degree from the University of Baltimore.  Renee has operated as a change agent at life plan communities, assisted living and skilled nursing communities, acting as an advocate for a dynamic shift in the delivery of aging services for residents, families, and staff alike.  Her approach includes swinging the paradigm of aging services from hospital to hospitality, building vibrant innovative teams to reach pioneering goals, and always trying to find a way to get to ‘Yes’.  Renee’s family calls Missoula home.