What can you do with your lived experience and expertise? For Sherril Gelmon, being a health services researcher, a research study partner, and a care partner for many years inspired her to donate to the Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at OHSU and motivate her friend and family network to do the same. So far, they’ve donated nearly $20,000.
“I’ve reflected a lot on my experiences,” says Gelmon. “How can I harvest my lived experience and direct my energies and intellectual curiosity to do something positive?”
Gelmon is a Professor at the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. As a health services researcher, she studies and teaches about health systems policy and delivery of health services. Working in academia, she knows how much research is dependent on grant funding and philanthropy.
“Funding through philanthropy gives researchers more flexibility to do things that may not be able to with grant funding alone,” says Gelmon.
She was first introduced to the Layton Center when her husband, Phil Kreitner, became a patient and research participant there in 2010. Over the years Phil participated in multiple studies, including clinical trials and some technology-related studies. Gelmon was his study partner when one was needed, as well as his care partner throughout his 11-year journey with Alzheimer’s disease.
On Phil’s 75th birthday in 2014, Gelmon designated the Layton Center for gifts from friends and family. When Phil passed away in August 2021, she again asked those who wished to celebrate him to donate. She has also given on her own over the years.
“I’m hoping to bring more focus to care partners,” she says. “I value the clinical services we received and also learned there were many other social supports I needed to identify to support us as we navigated life with Alzheimer’s.”
Gelmon hopes others give to the Center as well, so it can continue its mission of advancing care and treatment of Alzheimer’s. She has recently redirected her own research program and received a grant from the PSU Institute on Aging to collaboratively work together with the Layton Center’s Dr. Walt Dawson and Dr. Allison Lindauer to expand its resources for care partners of people living with dementia.”
“I wanted to bring together my lived experiences and my deep appreciation for the Layton Center to help do something new,” she says.
Help us find promising treatments for Alzheimer’s disease by making a donation. OHSU Foundation exists to secure private philanthropic support to advance OHSU’s vital missions, and to invest and manage gifts responsibly to honor donors’ wishes.
To make a donation to support the OHSU Layton Center, please call OHSU Foundation at 503-228-1730 or visit https://give.ohsufoundation.org/.