Our Team

Dana Lambert, LSCSW, LCSW
Owner

With more than thirty years’ experience helping families and individuals in conflict or struggling with physical decline, dementia or mental illness, Dana Lambert is an expert in advocating for the rights, needs and wishes of seniors. She is an expert in navigating systems, from complex medical and care provider organizations to intricate family systems. The belief that the wishes of each individual should be respected as they age drives her to assist seniors with creating a plan for the important decisions of where to live, how to balance safety with independence, when and who to ask for help and how to thrive even in difficult circumstances. She believes that having an aging member can and should be a time for families to find ways to work together and is practiced in conflict resolution to help create consensus and peace. Helping seniors and their families find creative ways to solve problems that improve quality of life energizes her.

Dana has a Master of Social Work from the University of Kansas, and is a licensed clinical social worker in Kansas and Missouri.  She has worked in mental health settings, including private psychotherapy, for many years. She provides supervision to licensed social workers seeking clinical licensure in Kansas. Additionally,  Dana enjoys gardening, hiking, traveling and family time.

Andrea Leavitt, LMSW, C-ASWCM
Owner

Andrea dedicated her career to supporting the aging population in 2003. This passion developed from personal life experiences which led to her belief that the elder years of one’s life is sacred – rich with meaningful moments as well as unimaginable challenges. Every person and family situation is unique, requiring a personal and creative approach to meeting their needs and interests. Andrea recognizes the privilege of joining them on their journey.

Other aspects of Andrea’s earlier career include human resource management, corporate mental health and special needs populations.

She completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Kansas State University and earned a Master of Social Work degree from The University of Kansas. Andrea also holds the specialty designation of Certified Advanced Social Work Case Manager.

Andrea is an active member of the Aging Life Care Association. She is on the board of the Johnson County Commission on Aging and a former board member of Kansas Advocates for Better Care. She also enjoys being a member of P.E.O., a women’s philanthropic organization.

Together with her family, Andrea takes pleasure in many outdoor activities. Farming, beekeeping, golf, and baseball are among their favorites.

Caroline Dawson, LSCSW, LCSW

Caroline Dawson supports individuals and families in the work of living and aging wisely. As a member of AgeWise Advocacy & Consulting, she demystifies questions regarding aging, healthcare, death and dying. Caroline provides education and tools to individuals, families and facilities to enhance positive, effective communication and client quality of life.

With a focus on social work values, her collaborative approach upholds the worth and dignity of every person, and by valuing the importance of human relationships, she seeks to cultivate the success of shared goals.

Caroline has a passion for teaching.  She has provided community education on many topics regarding aging as well as providing professional continuing education programming.  Previously, Caroline served on faculty as an instructor and course director at the University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Medicine where she facilitated instruction of patient-centered interviewing techniques to medical students.

Caroline’s social work career has focused on mental health and patient/client advocacy. She has worked in inpatient psychiatric settings for geriatric, adult, adolescents, and children as well as advocated for victims of domestic violence abuse. This combination of experience has led Caroline to participate with Johnson County’s Community Violence Action Council (COMVAC) – Elder Abuse Committee.

Nicole Black, LMSW

Nicole is a licensed social worker with over 15 years of experience working with individuals with dementia or special needs and their caregivers. She believes in advocating for her clients collaboratively while navigating their unique challenges. Honoring her clients’ dignity and strengths are of utmost importance to her.

Nicole is a trained and licensed social worker, having completed her clinical practicum at the Alzheimer’s Association. She holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Kansas and lives in Columbia, Missouri where she enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and two rescue dogs.  She enjoys the privilege of working with families as a Professional Geriatric Care Manager with AgeWise Advocacy & Consulting while she also earns hours towards her clinical license as a psychotherapist. When she has free time, she enjoys hiking, bicycling, attempting to garden, reading, and movie nights.

Additionally, Nicole believes in giving back to her community.  Currently, she serves as the volunteer coordinator for the Columbia area World Cube Association and serves as a volunteer with Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia.

Barbara Chamblin, RN

Diversified is how Barbara describes her career. Her experience spans all age groups from babies to the aging.  Her work and life experiences have culminated in her desire to remain productive and satisfied in life through her support of seniors.

Barbara graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology.  She also earned an Associate’s Degree in Nursing from Penn Valley Community College and pursued a rewarding career in nursing, working in labor and delivery, pharmaceutical trials and home health.

Barbara has served as a caregiver to family members with Alzheimer’s as well as supported friends who are caregivers for their family members.  Barbara provides a “hands on” approach that, along with her diversified professional and personal experience, aligns well with the mission and goals of AgeWise.

Barbara is also active in the community by serving at a local food kitchen, sponsoring the Tea ‘N Talk group at a senior community center, volunteering with hospice and providing respite care through her church. Barbara is a member of Kansas Advocates for Better Care.

Tanya Ortman, LMSW

Tanya believes the human experience is utterly unique yet commonalities bond us together.  Holding each person’s and each family’s story in the forefront as aging and transitions take place helps us to appreciate that uniqueness and still find the commonalities that create meaning.  Tanya enjoys relationship building and also the challenge of navigating systems and creating positive change.

Tanya holds a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Washington and has undergraduate degrees in both social work and health management/human ecology.  She has work experience in care management for high risk children and families as well as hospital discharge planning.  Tanya spent three years as a volunteer with a medical NGO in the Philippines and considers that time to have been very formative in the development of her worldview and work with people.

Tanya resides with her spouse and four children.  She enjoys gardening, seasonal cooking and food preparation, running for physical and emotional well-being, and watching soccer.

Emily Jeffrey, LSCSW, LMSW

Emily is a licensed clinical social worker with a background in community mental health and healthcare. She believes compassion, understanding, and holding a judgment free stance in her work is important in her approach in working with others. She is skilled at relationship building, and does what she can to help empower and advocate for each person she works with. Communication is one of her strengths, and she does not shy away from helping to facilitate difficult discussions or therapeutic work around grief, end of life discussions, or challenges that are unique to aging.

Emily attended Kansas State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. While working in direct service with individuals with severe mental health diagnoses, she felt drawn to Social Work with its emphasis on social justice, service, integrity, and the importance of human relationships. She then attended graduate school at the University of Kansas for a Masters in Social Work. Her graduate experience includes work with Veterans, HIV Case Management, inpatient and outpatient hospital settings, and dialysis. With her clinical license she is also able to offer psychotherapy through Sage Midwest Counseling to both clients and family members. She enjoys having a blend of care management and clinical work.

Outside of work with Agewise KC she is a wife and mom of two young boys. She also has a unique interest in complementary health practices, and does some individual and group work using Vibrational Sound Therapy and Reiki. She enjoys Pilates, reading, gardening, the outdoors, quality time with her family, and travel.

Marci Michnick, LMSW

Marci focuses on each individual’s definition of aging well, helping to build upon strengths and resilience. She has extensive social work experience providing support in hospice, oncology and home health which has equipped her to address specific challenges of the aging process while promoting independence, autonomy, and dignity in later life. Marci provides support by educating and guiding individuals, and their families, and by advocating for quality of life and adaptation to change. Marci understands the multidisciplinary team approach necessary for achieving outcomes that provide individuals with quality, person-centered communication and care.

Marci is a native of the Kansas City Metro and holds a Master of Social Work degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. During her master’s program, Marci developed a passion for the field of aging and gerontology and was a recipient of the Hartford/Jewish Heritage Fellowship Internships in Aging Project. While completing practicums at the Shepherd’s Center and Landon Center on Aging, she concentrated working with supportive services and programs for older adults. Marci has served as Psychosocial Coordinator for a regionally based cancer center, as a board member for the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Greater Kansas City, and on the Professional Resource Council at Gilda’s Club Kansas City.

Marci and her husband reside in the Kansas City area with their rescue dog and cats and actively support local animal rescue organizations. Marci is a travel enthusiast and enjoys cooking and trying new restaurants with close friends and family.

Kristen Hilty, LMSW

Kristen is a licensed social worker who has worked with clients from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. She strongly believes that each person intuitively knows what they need to live their fullest lives, and she provides guidance and support in drawing out and affirming her clients’ strengths.

Kristen especially loves working with the senior adult community. Early experiences in helping her own grandmother navigate a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease led her to seek out better systems of care, both for the individual with the disease and their caregivers.

Kristen holds her master’s in social work from Washington University in St. Louis. In her twenty years of social work experience, she has worked with older adults and their families in medical care settings, such as home health, hospitals and hospice, independent senior living communities, and most recently, as a care consultant with the Alzheimer’s Association.

Kristen has a personal passion for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, with which she became intimately connected through her leadership at Common Ground Community Building in Jefferson City, Missouri. Kristen continues to volunteer with programs to address the issues of poverty and homelessness through her church community. In her free time, she loves to bake bread, bike the many trails throughout central Missouri, play games, and spend time with her family and senior dogs.

Christina Jordan, LMSW, ACHP-SW

Chris, a sixth-generation Kansan with over 25 years of experience in social work, is dedicated to preserving the autonomy of elders and helping them age in place by connecting them with local resources. Specializing in rural and small community families, she facilitates planning to uphold family history and traditions.

As a Kansas Supreme Court Approved Mediator and Mediator Trainer for a decade, and a palliative care and hospice social worker for another, Chris possesses advanced skills in family communication, end-of-life education, crisis mitigation, and conflict resolution. Her compassionate approach extends to addressing difficult issues and aiding families dealing with chronic or terminal conditions.

With a master’s degree in social work administration and a law degree in public interest law from the University of Kansas, Chris underwent advanced alternative dispute resolution training and earned an Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Care certification. She adeptly guides families through the complex interplay between the medical system and community resources to optimize their quality of life.

Having served as a parent and kinship educator for over a decade, Chris led conflict resolution workshops for high-conflict families in District Courts. She continues to teach and present on family communication and conflict resolution skills. As the mother of four grown children and grandmother to three, Chris finds creative outlets in cooking, entertaining, travel, and gardening, sharing these joys with her husband and two spoiled felines in rural Douglas County.

Stephanie McCoy

Stephanie is a dedicated Business Assistant who supports the AgeWise team by streamlining operations and improving efficiency. She is committed to helping AgeWise achieve its mission and ensure every client receives the best care.

Stephanie graduated from the University of North Georgia with a degree in Business & Finance, where she developed a solid foundation in organizational management, strategic planning, and business operations.

Outside of work, Stephanie is passionate about making a positive impact in her community. She contributes by mentoring young ladies and guiding them in their personal development. In her free time, she enjoys baking, gardening, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.