Counselor

Julie Feuer, LCSW

Social Worker

Julie Feuer earned a Master of Science degree from Columbia University School of Social Work and is certified as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She relocated from the East Coast several years ago and is happy to have found a new home in San Francisco and the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. Julie’s work typically focuses on mental health, wellness, and interpersonal communication and roles. For more than 15 years she has worked closely with families and individuals in their homes, the community, and within hospital and clinic settings. She describes ‘coming of age’ professionally at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City, and remains drawn to models of care that build upon people’s internal strengths, social supports, and community resources. Before joining the Care Ecosystem study in 2015, Julie provided clinical and administrative supervision to therapists and case managers serving adults with severe and chronic mental illnesses. In a previous role as a therapist with the NYU Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Study, she worked to help people alleviate psycho-social-spiritual distress as they approached the end of life.

Joanne Taylor, MS, LCGC

Genetic Counselor

Joanne Taylor received her bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and her master’s degree in genetic counseling from UC Berkeley. She worked at Stanford University for more than 20 years in a prenatal clinic advising patients about inherited diseases and testing options.

Joanne joined the Memory and Aging Center at UCSF in 2016 as part of the genetic counseling team. She helps families understand the genetic component of neurodegenerative diseases.

Cathy Wang, ASW, MSW

Clinical Social Worker

Cathy earned a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University in New York. She has worked with adults and seniors in hospitals, patients’ homes, and clinics. She is also a consultant who trains and supports social workers in long-term care facilities to maintain state licensure and accreditation. Before joining UCSF, she was a social work discharge planner, ensuring that patients had services in place upon leaving the hospital. She is an advocate for patients, families and caregivers through supportive education and linking them to appropriate resources to meet their needs.

Jamie Fong, MS, LCGC

Genetic Counselor

Jamie Fong received her bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley and her master’s degree in human genetics at Sarah Lawrence College. Jamie is a board certified genetic counselor.

Jamie arrived at the Memory and Aging Center (MAC) by way of Weill Cornell Medical Center, where she previously provided genetic counseling to individuals about thoracic aortic aneurysms in a cardiology research setting. Jamie has maintained a long-standing interest in neurogenetics and previously volunteered at the MAC in 2002. To this day, she remembers vividly the moving stories and experiences of MAC families she met many years ago. Jamie is delighted to return to the UCSF team.

Jamie returned to the MAC in 2011. She provides genetic counseling to individuals and families who are affected by or at risk for neurodegenerative conditions. She is intimately involved in the MAC’s efforts to understand the genetic underpinnings of dementia.

Anna M. Karydas

Biospecimen/Genetics Programs Manager

Anna Karydas is the Biospecimen/Genetics Programs Manager at the Memory and Aging Center. She serves as primary subject expert for the acquisition, characterization and management of biological materials. Karydas works directly with the clinical staff, including nurses and genetic counselors, to ensure accurate and efficient collection, delivery and reconciliation of biologic materials.

Jenny Ogar, MS

Speech Pathologist

Jennifer Ogar received her masters of science degree in communicative disorders from San Francisco State University in 2000.

She has been consulting with the MAC clinic since 2001, evaluating patients with progressive speech and language impairments. Ms. Ogar also participates in ongoing research in the area of aphasia and related disorders. Ms. Ogar is the Acting Chief of the Speech Pathology Service at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Martinez, California, where she sees patients with a range of speech, language and swallowing disorders.

Natasha Boissier, LCSW

Social Worker

Natasha received her master's degree in social work from San Francisco State University in 1996 and became licensed as a Clinical Social Worker in 2003. Natasha has worked extensively in community agencies addressing the needs of the elderly. Prior to joining the MAC team, she was a family consultant and clinical supervisor at Family Caregiver Alliance, a center dedicated to providing information and support to family members caring for someone with a dementia related disease. Natasha joined the Memory and Aging Center in 2007 as a part-time social worker.

Natasha primarily works with families of patients to assist them in identifying comprehensive care plans, which include connecting family caregivers with resources in their communities, providing information on how best to manage challenging behavioral symptoms, as well as providing support and education on how to maintain one's health and well-being while providing care to their loved ones.

Nina Dronkers, PhD

Speech Pathologist

Dr. Dronkers received her doctorate degree in neuropsychology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1985.

Nina Dronkers is a consultant to the UCSF Memory and Aging Center and specializes in adult speech and language disorders. Dr. Dronkers assists in the evaluation of those individuals with progressive changes in their speech or language skills and participates in ongoing research concerning language abilities in dementia.

She is currently the Director of the Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders and the Chief of the Audiology and Speech Pathology Service at the Department of Veterans Affairs Northern California Health Care System. She also holds an appointment as Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Linguistics at the University of California, Davis.

Dr. Dronkers' expertise is in the field of Aphasia and in understanding the language and communication deficits that can occur with neurological disease. She has conducted extensive research in this area and in the localization of language functions in the brain.

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