PANELIST: Margaret Gatz, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Gerontology and Preventive Medicine
Margaret Gatz, PhD, is a Professor of Psychology, Gerontology, and Preventive Medicine. Studies in the Gatz lab encompass age-related change in depressive symptoms, personality, and cognition; risk and protective factors for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias; how families manage aging and dementia; and evaluations of the effects of interventions to treat mental disorder or to improve preventive health behavior.
PANELIST: Heather Cooper Ortner, Alzheimer’s LA President & CEO
Heather joined Alzheimer’s Los Angeles as President & CEO in Fall 2017. Since that time, she has worked with the Board of Directors and a team of dedicated staff to spread the organization’s mission to improve the lives of local families affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia by increasing awareness, delivering effective programs and services, providing compassionate support, and advocating for quality care and a cure. She is a highly respected nonprofit leader, recognized for bringing an entrepreneurial spirit to the healthcare arena. Heather’s proactive approach and passion for her work have contributed a wealth of experience for healthcare-based organizations. Previously, she served as chief executive officer of Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, whose mission is to achieve a future without breast cancer. Prior to Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, Heather served as executive vice president at the International Myeloma Foundation.
MODERATOR: Val Zavala, former distinguished KCET reporter
Val Zavala spent 30 years as a broadcast journalist at KCET public television in Los Angeles winning numerous journalism awards, including 19 L.A. Area Emmy® Awards. She retired in 2018. During her time at LA’s preeminent PBS station, she served as a reporter, anchor, producer, and V.P. of News and Public Affairs. For much of that time, she was also the anchor of Life & Times and executive producer/anchor of SoCal Connected. She covered a broad spectrum of Southern California issues including politics, education, healthcare, environment, demographics, the economy, arts, and culture. She currently serves on the board of the combined KCET and PBS SoCal broadcasting company. She lives in Altadena with her artist-husband Mark and dog Casey.