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Champions for Healthy Aging Awards 2018


We are excited to announce the first Champions for Healthy Aging Awards. 

This award recognizes distinguished service to UC San Diego in the field of healthy aging. Our director Dilip V. Jeste, MD, the Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences David Brenner, MD, and Vice Chancellor for Research Sandra A. Brown, PhD, presented the awards, acknowledged the significant contributions of these champions, and personally thanked these tireless supporters.

The event was held on October 10, 2018, at 4:45 p.m. in Garren Auditorium, preceding the Stein Institute Public Lecture on Osteoporosis with Dr. Gina Woods.

We are extremely grateful for the many generous supporters who have helped us serve older adults locally and nationally. This exceptional group has demonstrated an unmatched kindness and dedication to our mission and programs.

Donald M. Ambrose

Donald M. Ambrose is a philanthropist and the president of Del Mar Healthcare, Inc., a nonprofit that funds programs addressing the health, housing, and financial security of older adults. His engagement with issues of aging follows forty years of experience as a healthcare executive and investment banker in the senior housing industry. Mr. Ambrose founded Del Mar Healthcare in 1995. In 1989, Mr. Ambrose founded San Diego-based Ambrose Capital Group, a financial advisory firm serving owners and operators of healthcare and seniors housing communities. Mr. Ambrose retired from Ambrose Capital Group in December 2016. Prior to 1989, Mr. Ambrose financed commercial real estate in New York and served as vice president of a Philadelphia-based company originating health care financing nationally. He opened the San Diego office for that firm. Out of graduate school, Mr. Ambrose served in the U. S. Naval Medical Service Corp and then in various administrative capacities at Richmond Memorial Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. Mr. Ambrose received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Albion College and a Masters in Healthcare Administration from the University of Michigan.

Mr. Ambrose has been critical to the growth and development of the Center for Healthy Aging. He has used his expertise to guide the Center in senior housing projects. Additionally, he has served a critical role on the Center’s senior living symposium planning committee which included countless planning meetings, valuable input, access to sponsors, and important speakers. He has supported public lectures through generous donations which have had a tremendous impact on community members and the field of healthy aging. He has championed the Center by providing important connections and introductions to area leaders and stake holders.

Chip Gabriel

Chip Gabriel has worked in institutional real estate since 1986. For the past 28 years, he has been a principal of Generations LLC, a nationally recognized owner and operator of retirement communities.  Chip has overseen the development, design, entitlement, and financing of over 3,500 units, valued at approximately $500,000,000. Mr. Gabriel currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Pacific Union College, Board Member on the National Investment Center (NIC) Operator Advisory Board, and Board Member of the Del Mar Health Care Foundation.  He is past President and Board Member of the Oregon Health Care Association. He received his Masters In Management from the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University, and Bachelors in Business Administration from Pacific Union College.

Mr. Gabriel has supported the mission of our Center in numerous ways. Far too many to count. To start, he graciously served on the Centers senior living symposium planning committee which, included countless planning meetings, introductions to speakers, and valuable input into the development of the agenda. Additionally, he has generously sponsored important Center events. Mr. Gabriel  and other staff members at Generations have been instrumental in supporting innovative research in senior living communities. In fact, it is Mr. Gabriel's vision and leadership that has helped us launch a large-scale study in one of his communities that is aimed at helping older adults live independently longer. 

Susan Hoekenga

Susan Hoekenga got her masters Gerontology and Public Administration at the University of Southern California and her undergraduate degree in Public administration at Michigan State University. She is Retired Executive Director ElderHelp of San Diego.

Ms. Hoekenga has been volunteering with the Stein Institute and now the Center for Healthy Aging for over 25 years. She has played major leadership roles with our group including helping us develop and chair several of our leadership advisory boards such as Friends of Stein and various Community advisory boards. She has led development campaigns for Stein Institute in the community, including presenting information about our mission at various community centers, hosting salon events at her home, and calling supporters on our behalf. She is also a member of our Seigmeiller Society, which is bestowed upon those that donate more than $25,000 to our Institute. In addition to this, she is an absolutely amazing human being, giving her time and resources to a number of other important non-profits in San Diego County. Susan provides invaluable leadership, guidance, and stewardship.

Natasha Josefowitz

Natasha Josefowitz, Ph.D. was a professor of management for 30 years and is an internationally-known business consultant and keynote speaker. For ten years she had her own weekly program on public radio and a monthly television segment. She has been a guest on numerous radio and TV shows including All Things Considered, The Larry King Show, and The Dr. Ruth Show, to name a few. Dr. Josefowitz is the best-selling author and award-winning poet of 20 business and poetry books. Her articles and poems have been published in over a hundred journals and magazines including the Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, London Times, and most major newspapers in the U.S. She is also a regular blogger on the Huffington Post. Her 20th book, Living Without the One You Cannot Live Without: Hope and Healing after Loss, was named to Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2013. Natasha was inducted into the San Diego County Women's Hall of Fame in 2015.

Dr. Josefowitz is another one of our recipients that has volunteered with the Center and the Stein Institute for over 25 years! Our guess is that if you have been to any of our events through the years, you remember meeting Natasha, as she is simply unforgettable. She accomplishes more in a week at the young age of 90 than most of us do in a year. She has made so many important contributions to our Institute over the years that it is simply too many to count. She has provided valuable guidance on our steering committees, she has written interesting, funny, and provocative articles for our newsletter, she has served as a panelist at our symposium, she has provided important connections to donors and other aging stakeholders, she has generously supported our mission financially, and she has provided valuable input into research projects for older adults—being a voice for her peers. Additionally, she is simply a joy to be around and inspires all of us every day.

Paula Lemkuil

Paula Lemkuil is a community relations associate at Belmont Village Senior Living, which has two communities in San Diego County. She has been in the senior industry for nine years, following her mother's diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease.

Ms. Lemkuil has been an invaluable contributor to our Center for the past 5 years. She has been a true champion of healthy aging and continually goes above and beyond to make a difference in the field. She has facilitated an innovative partnership between Belmont Village Senior Living and the Center by sponsoring symposiums and serving as a liaison to champion innovative research in Belmont's communities in San Diego. She has served an important role in the development and launch of an intervention which aims to enhance resilience in older adults living in senior living communities. 

Jane Sawyer

Jane Sawyer is a writer and editor focused on healthy aging, health care, and business and career development. She volunteers as a writer for the "Successful Aging" Newsletter. Her passion, enthusiasm, and voice areinstrumental in connecting with successful agers from the community and capturing their important stories to share them with our audience. Her important work helps us promote healthy, active life at any age, and share the positive attitude toward aging with several thousand readers of our newsletter, locally and all over the world. Ms. Sawyer interviewed several successful agers from San Diego and it is thanks to Ms. Sawyer and her writing that we were able to connect with these amazing successful agers.

Mary Anne Stro

Mary Anne Stro, PhD, currently serves as President of the Resident Council at her senior living community. In that role has implemented quarterly open forum Parlor Meetings for residents, developed a booklet for new residents on "How To Survive the First Ten Days," implemented a major annual fundraiser for the Employee Fund, and has established a collaborative relationship between Resident Council and the management of Paradise Village. Mary Anne has more than 40 years of experience in public education. She has served as a high school and middle school teacher, middle school counselor, middle and high school assistant principal, middle and high school principal, and district office administrator. Dr. Stro has also been a consultant with the San Diego County Office of Education where she coordinated the California School Leadership Academy and served as a trainer for AB 430 – Principal Training.  In addition, she was an adjunct professor for National University where she taught courses for students in the MS program for Educational Leadership.  She currently serves as a lead auditor for Williams Legislation for the San Diego County Office of Education. She holds a BA in Spanish and Education along with a minor in English from Northeastern Illinois State University, an MS in Counseling from San Diego State University, and an Ed.D. in Educational Administration from United States International University. 

Dr. Stro has been a critical liaison between the Center and her local senior living community. She provides insight, advice, and guidance into the needs of older adults. She is always ready at a moment's notice to contribute, give feedback, solve problems, and rally the troops. She is brilliant and a valuable connector between residents in her community and our research team. She has served on a panel for senior living, has led focus groups which recently led to a poster presentation and a first place award, and provided a critical infrastructure for innovative research within senior living community residents.

Clinton and Maggie Spanglers 

Clinton and Maggie Spanglers moved to San Diego for retirement in 1989 after raising their four children in Rancho Palos Verdes. Clinton retired from the aerospace industry and volunteered at UC San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Maggie volunteered at Los Angeles city libraries and libraries in La Jolla, Clairemont, and Scripps Ranch. She began volunteering with the Stein Institute for Research on Aging in early 1990 and contributed to the development of the Stein Institute video library. The Spanglers generously supported the Stein Institute, contributing to the annual fundraising campaign and supporting the Public Lecture Series. Lifelong learners in their eighties and nineties, they still attend lectures.

Please contact Danielle Glorioso at if you would like to support our mission.