Who We Are
Cherie Rosemond, Director
Dr. Rosemond brings almost three decades of experience working on the social, physical, and political aspects of aging in the United States. Cherie views later life as a time for continued growth, contribution, and vitality. As such, she is a champion of interdisciplinary, intergenerational, community engagement as a way to ensure our homes and neighborhoods are great places for people of all ages to live. She also focuses attention on the arts and humanities as a way to expand and re-imagine new possibilities for later life.
In 2009, Cherie completed her PhD in Health Behavior at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. Cherie also holds a master’s degree in physical therapy from Duke and a bachelor of arts degree in biology from Wake Forest. She has worked as a geriatric physical therapist within many practice settings, including large health systems, senior centers, nursing homes, and retirement communities.
Since 2012, Dr. Rosemond has served as a consultant to the Orange County Department on Aging. In this capacity, she has worked with a team of aging services providers, UNC students, and community members to develop and implement Orange County’s Master Aging Plan. Her focus areas include senior housing, transportation, and caregiving.
In her free time, Cherie loves to dance, bike, and make beauty out of second-hand “stuff.”
Ryan Lavalley, Community-Based Occupational Therapist
Ryan Lavalley is a community based occupational therapist with the Orange County Department on Aging and a Doctoral Candidate in Occupational Science at UNC – Chapel Hill. Ryan supports older adults in the community by offering dementia education and training, home safety assessments and fall prevention strategies, and other general occupational therapy consultation. Ryan currently provides mentorship in supporting access to aging services for Spanish speaking older adults in Orange County.
Benjamin Ruiz Rosado, Bilingual Coordinator
Benjamin is a mental health, immigrant, and youth advocate. He received a BS in Psychology and Global Studies, and is currently pursuing a dual Master’s degree in Social Work and Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill. With Partnerships in Aging, Benjamin is assisting as a Bilingual (Spanish) Coordinator in collaboration with Orange County Department of Aging to enhance communication and engagement efforts with older Latinx adults. Benjamin aspires to become a clinical social worker and is interested in promoting mental health/illness literacy among the Latinx community.
Megan Peters, Program Evaluator
Megan is a MPH candidate in Health Behavior at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her background is in public health, and she has worked several years across various communities in NC. Most recently, she worked with the Orange County Department on Aging as a summer intern to develop an Older Adult Employment Plan for the county. She joined the Partnership in Aging team in September 2017 to assist with evaluation of the Partnerships initiatives.
Alli Little, Beyond Clinic Walls Coordinator
Alli Little is thrilled to be the new Program Coordinator for Beyond Clinic Walls. She will support the program by helping with logistics and communication, and she will connect teams with resources and strategies for problem solving along the way. Alli graduated with a degree in Sociology from Maryville College in 2012, and she has spent the last five years working closely with older adults and people living with dementia. In the fall, she will begin UNC’s Occupational Therapy program to pursue her master’s degree where she hopes to further develop her passion for Gerontology.
Peggy Cohn, RN, PhD, Beyond Clinic Walls Mentor Leader
Peggy oversees the Beyond Clinic Walls mentorship team from Carol Woods Retirement Community. She has been a voice for wellness approaches, interdisciplinary teamwork, and “deeper” mentorship of student teams. Prior to her retirement, Peggy was faculty at the Nursing School, and served communities of older adults as a Private Geriatric Care Manager.
Elizabeth Olson, PhD, Beyond Clinic Walls Planning Mentor
Elizabeth Olson is a Professor in Geography and Global Studies and founder of the Bookend Caregiving network. Her research focus on family caregiving and care support that is provided by children, adolescents and young adults. She serves as a member of the Beyond Clinic Walls planning team, and is also a group mentor for that program.
Sarah Parkins, Master Aging Planning Intern
Sarah joined the Partnership in Aging team in October 2017 to assist with the planning of the Orange County Affordable Housing Summit. She is a 2nd year master’s candidate in City and Regional Planning, focusing on housing and community development. Her background is in architectural design and has a passion for event planning. She hopes to pursue a career in affordable housing development in the triangle region after completing her degree program.
UNC Health Behavior Capstone Team, 2017-18
A Capstone Team of 2nd year MPH students are working collaboratively with the Chatham County Council on Aging to produce a comprehensive plan supporting an inclusive and healthy environment for older adults in Chatham County, North Carolina. By engaging residents, public officials, health and human services organizations, community groups, and other stakeholders, the team aims to provide strategic recommendations to realistically achieve an optimal and healthy future for older adults in Chatham County by building upon the identified needs and strengths of the community.
Karla Jimenez-Magdaleno, Webmaster
Karla is a health communication practitioner and an MPH/MA candidate in Health Behavior and City and Regional Planning. Her background is in psychology and media creation. Karla has spent the past few years working on national public health campaigns and financial literacy tools. She joined the Partnerships in Aging team in August 2017 to assist with web content management.