S. Micheal Pope
Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay, Berkeley, California
This award recognizes adult day center administrators/directors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership within their centers and their communities. This award is given to an administrator or director who has given at least five years of service to an adult day services center.
Micheal Pope is the lead spokesperson to State Government for preservation of adult day health care in California. She is indefatigable and articulate in the face of an unenthusiastic Executive Branch that, having failed to dismantle this critical service, is now starving it.
Micheal joined Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay (ASEB) 20 years ago as an Activity Director. She worked her way up through the organization as Program Director, Deputy Director and, in 2007 to Executive Director. She was appointed two years ago as CEO to the $3 million non-profit. ASEB provides adult day services in Berkeley and Hayward to about 150 participants per week and will shortly be opening a new site licensed for 50 participants in Fremont.
The story of the Fremont site encapsulates Micheal’s leadership skills. Their Health Services Department approached ASEB to see if it would be willing to partner with the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose (MSJ) to provide adult day health care services on their campus. Working with the Sisters, Micheal led design and conversion of the ground floor of a residence and its grounds to a state-of-the-art adult day health care center. Together ASEB and MSJ raised the $3 million building conversion cost. Micheal herself raised $250,000 for the enclosed garden that contains safe footpaths and only edible plants.
Micheal is not the typical professional care provider. When working as a part-time CNA with someone who was most reluctant to take a shower, she succeeded by stripping and joining her! Micheal spreads ASEB’s care philosophy internationally. For each of the last two years, ASEB has hosted, and Micheal has personally mentored, four international interns through San Francisco-based Collabriv. These bright and highly educated young women and men conduct projects for ASEB ranging from development to helping navigate into the digital age. Micheal hosts an award-winning weekly show on Blog Talk Radio, now in its second year, covering elder issues with knowledgeable guests, attracting over 48,000 listeners.
Dr. Guy Micco, Clinician-Educator at UC-Berkeley and UC-San Francisco, said, “Since first hearing Micheal speak, I knew I had to expose our medical students to her. I have subsequently invited her many times to speak and have placed students as interns under her supervision.” Micheal’s energy and vision have benefitted thousands of individuals living with memory loss.