Jed A. Levine has been appointed the new President and CEO of CaringKind, NYC’s leading expert in Alzheimer’s and dementia care for more than three decades. In making the announcement, CaringKind also announced the retirement of Lou-Ellen Barkan who was at the helm of the organization for more than 14 years.
Levine has been with CaringKind since 1990 and served most recently as Executive Vice President with responsibility for all programs and services.
Formerly known as the Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter, CaringKind offers a 24-hour Helpline (646-744-2900); hundreds of free support groups, workshops and educational seminarsfor caregivers and people with the disease; social work services; dementia care training programs for homecare workers and other healthcare professionals; the MedicAlert®NYC Wanderer’s Safety Program; diversity outreach effortsto the African-American, Latino, Chinese, and LGBT communities; recreational and cultural programming; and many other services.
The author of numerous articles on Alzheimer’s and caregiving, Levine has dedicated his career to improving the lives of New Yorkers who are affected by a dementia diagnosis. Over the course of his 28-year career at CaringKind, he helped develop some of the organization’s most innovative, creative and leading-edge caregiving initiatives, including the Wanderer’s Safety Program, a program that works with the New York City Police Department and other agencies to help locate individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s who go missing.
Levine said, “With no cure and no effective medications, Alzheimer’s continues to take an unprecedented toll on those who have the disease as well as their families and caregivers. The dedicated and compassionate professionals who work here at 360 Lexington Avenue strive tirelessly to create and deliver comprehensive and effective programs. Together, we are committed to providing any New Yorker facing a dementia diagnosis with the help and care they need, when they need it.”
Added Barkan, “Jed’s reputation in the field of aging services is unparalleled. I can think of no one more qualified to steer this organization at a time when the Alzheimer’s epidemic is fast becoming the greatest healthcare crisis this nation has ever seen.”
Barkan, who will remain at CaringKind in a part-time capacity to help with the leadership transition, oversaw the vast expansion of the organization’s programs and services, including Athletes to End Alzheimer’s®, the annual technology expo for caregivers, an audiology conference and a program for chaplains and clergy to help them minister to people with dementia and their caregivers. She also spearheaded the disaffiliation from the national Alzheimer’s Association in 2015 and CaringKind’s return to its roots as a stand-alone, independent charity.
Tony-Award winning actor, tireless Alzheimer’s advocate, and friend to CaringKind, David Hyde Pierce, said, “For more than a decade, I have been privileged to work with Lou-Ellen and Jed – two of the most passionate and accomplished Alzheimer’s professionals I know. I wish them both the best as they embark on new and exciting phases of their careers.”
Levine holds a Master’s degree in Applied Human Development with a specialization in Gerontology and Community Recreation Services from Columbia University's Teachers College. He has post-graduate training in group process from the Center for the Advancement of Group Studies, and is currently pursuing certification in a psychoanalytic training program at the Center for Human Development.
He has taught at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and Hunter College, School of the Health Professions. He was appointed to the New York State Coordinating Council for Services Related to Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias, serves on Senator Gillibrand’s Working Group on Aging and was recently appointed by Mayor de Blasio to the Age-Friendly New York Commission at the New York Academy of Medicine.
About CaringKind: CaringKind is New York City’s leading expert on Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiving. With over 30 years of experience, we work directly with our community partners to develop the information, tools and training to support individuals and families affected by dementia. We offer a 24-hour Helpline run by professional staff, individual and family counseling sessions with licensed social workers; a vast network of support groups; education seminars and training programs; early stage services and a wanderer’s safety program. We believe in the power of caregiving and seek a world where everyone dealing with dementia has the support they need, when they need it.