Staff & Alzheimer's Disease Caregivers

More Information

Our staff is committed to coming alongside you on the caregiving journey. Passionate about supporting caregivers, this team brings years of training and experience into their roles.

Dr. Richard Durant, Project Director

Dr. Richard Durant is Principal Investigator and Project Director for the Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver Support Initiative. He is a trained Clinical Neuropsychologist, Associate Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at SUNY Plattsburgh, and Clinical Director at the SUNY Plattsburgh Center for Neurobehavioral Health. Dr. Durant has been providing clinical services for people living with dementia and their families for over 10 years and overseeing dementia clinical and support services for SUNY since 2013. His research focuses on developing evidence-based psychosocial and educational support interventions and programs for caregivers of people with central nervous system disorders.

Valarie Drown, M.S., NCC, LMHC,  Project Co-Director

Valarie Drown is the Co-Project Director for the Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver Support Initiative.  Valarie graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling.  Her passion has always focused on how to best serve those individuals either, with a memory related difficulty, and/or supporting their caregivers.  Valarie has been working in this field for 19 years and continues to feel blessed to have a career that inspires and motivates her each day.

Kimberly Comisky, Program Coordinator

Kimberly Comisky is the Program Coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver Support Initiative. Kimberly is a graduate of Sienna College where she earned her BA in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. She has been working in human services for over 18 years and is passionate about helping families obtain the care they need.  Kimberly is a trained interventionist through the Rosalynn Carter Institute on Caregiving. She is an active member of the NY State Respite and Caregiving Coalition and is the subcontracted Co- Director of the Regional Caregiver Wellness and respite Center grant held by Lifespan of Greater Rochester. She actively participates in the Warren, Hamilton, Washington Long Term Care committees and interagency councils.  Her goal as Program Coordinator is to help caregivers feel less alone. Her hope is that anyone providing care has someone they can reach out to, whether it is through the Caregiver Support Initiative, a friend, a peer or another community agency.

Kristen Osterhoudt, Regional Coordinator for Education and Training Services

Kristen Osterhoudt is the Regional Coordinator for Education and Training Services for all counties covered within the Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver Support Initiative — which includes Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Warren and Washington. She graduated from Saint Michael’s College with a B.A. in Sociology and Education. As the Coordinator for Education and Training Services, Kristen provides free specialized education for caregivers of those with dementia. She facilitates training in group settings or on a one-on-one basis in the caregiver’s home. Kristen also facilitates the Support Groups and Memory Cafes throughout the region.  She is passionate about education, providing caregivers with knowledge, and connecting them to resources within their communities.

Tammy Morehouse, Hamilton & Warren Counties Care Navigator

Tammy Morehouse is the Hamilton & Warren Counties Care Navigator for the Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver Support Initiative. She joined the organization in May 2021 after spending nearly five years as a senior services specialist and works out of the Queensbury office. Tammy has an associate degree in human services that she earned from Northern Essex Community College and holds a community support practitioner certificate. In the position of Care Navigator, Tammy is looking forward to providing support for caregivers who are in need of assistance.

JoAnn Southworth, Franklin County Care Navigator

JoAnn Southworth is the Franklin County Care Navigator for the Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver Support Initiative. She attended Plattsburgh State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology. JoAnn has more than two decades of experience in the healthcare industry. She previously served as a social worker at a healthcare facility and as an Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program (EISEP) case manager in Clinton County. She has navigated the difficulties of caring for loved ones living with memory issues and relates well to caregivers who are on a similar journey. JoAnn wanted to become a care navigator to help others in Franklin County discover what she has learned as a caregiver.