707.246.3206 brooke@brookerusso.com P.O. Box 20266 Castro Valley, CA 94546

Meet Our Team

Contact Us

P.O. Box 20266 Castro Valley, CA 94546-8266
(707) 246-3206 – cell • (510) 886-6685 – fax

 

Brooke Russo, MSW, President:
brooke@brookerusso.com

Brooke has been in long-term care since 1989. She graduated from Santa Clara University in 1989 with a bachelors in psychology and in 1993, graduated from San Jose State University with a Master’s in Social Work. In 1997 she received her Activity Director Certification and began consulting to both social services and activities.  
Brooke also has experience working the homeless, mentally ill, dual-diagnosed, and HIV/AIDS population during a hiatus from long-term care in New York City. Her passion is teaching facility staff how to manage residents with difficult behaviors while implementing creative and person-appropriate interventions.  When staff learn new methods and interventions for working with challenging residents, not only does staff’s confidence level and skill set rise,  residents have an improved quality of life.  Her Behavior Management trainings are well known for their simplicity, effectiveness, and “fun”. Brooke has been a member of the Quality of Life Subcommittee for CAHF and has presented in panel format on Depression, Falls, and Workforce Shortage. Brooke has also been a frequent presenter for CAHF and QCHF on Managing Psychotropics, Working with Difficult Behaviors at quarterly meetings and the D.O.N. Conference in Las Vegas. She has also been a presenter for California Association of Long-Term Care Medical Directors in Anaheim.
Throughout the year, Brooke is a regular educator for the RAI process for social services and activities personnel and she also provides educational workshops for various corporations.   Since her original start in long-term care, Brooke has been committed to improving the standard of practice in social services departments as well as raising other departments’ awareness of the true capabilities of this discipline.  The metamorphosis that has occurred with this postion over the past two decades is significant.  This position is much more clinical as well as revenue-producing which many clinical and operations individuals are beginning to recognize and embrace.  Brooke teaches an online social service designee certification course to current and future social service professionals three times a year.  She is tenacious in her approach to improving their knowledge base and skill set so these newly educated individuals can enhance residents’ quality of lives. One of Brooke’s core values is her belief that “one of the successes in life is making your vocation your vacation,” Mark Twain.   She practices this paradigm routinely and incorporates it into training sessions.  By January 2015, Brooke will have completed her Postive Approach to Care certification with Teepa Snow and will be looking forward to training others using this amazing technique. 

Mayo Rasmussen, MSW, PhD

mayo@brookerusso.com

Recieved advanced degrees from Cal Berkeley. When completing her graduate program, Mayo was involved with a group of community advocates for the elderly. Together they presented before the California State Legislature concerns regarding abuse of the elderly.  Out of this presentation, the current SOC reporting form was developed.
Mayo was also involved with the early development of senior nutrition sites and the home delivered meal systems in Northern California.  After working with elderly population struggling to stay in their own homes, Mayo began working with long term care facilities and became the first nursing home social worker in Contra Costa County.Over the course of 23 years in this industry, Mayo served on several committees; one of which developed the standard California admission agreement. Her next endeavor was participating in the design, development, and programming of Alzheimer’s units which lead to her activity director certification. Discharge planning also became an area of expertise. After working in several active rehab facilities and four years exclusively with a Kaiser Contracted Unit, discharge planning became her niche. Mayo has written articles for healthcare and social work journals and has published two books on elder abuse.Along her journey, Mayo has also obtained her Nursing Home Administrator license. 
She is currently working with a publisher on a careplanning book.
Mayo Rasmussen, MSW, PhD

Mary Anne Weeks, MPH
maryanne@brookerusso.com

What began 25 years ago as a part time job doing assessments on new patients in a local nursing home became,over the years, a fulfilling career.
Mary Anne Weeks graduated from UC Berkeley with a Master’s in Public Health and began her professional life working with allied health professionals to develop educational material to be used at the junior college level.  Following a brief retirement to have her children, a happy circumstance allowed her to resume work part time thus allowing her family time.
The field of long term care evolved, along with the job responsibilities/expectations. Mary Anne worked for 22 years in facilities as the SSD.  In addition, she also facilitated a community-based Alzheimer’s Support Group for 18 years.
Following “retirement”, Mary Anne has been using her extensive knowledge of the dynamics of residents and families in the crisis of placement into long term care by consulting with new professionals in the field.  She also brings to them a comprehensive knowledge of psychotropic medications and the guidelines necessary to maintain facility compliance of this special category of drugs.A book, LONG TERM CARE…, which she co-authored with 2 others, is in it’s third printing.
Mary Anne Weeks, MPH

Joni Berke, MS, RT

joni@brookerusso.com

Joni is an accomplished consultant to the long-term care industry with a highly successful track record spanning twenty five years. She has extensive experience in every level of care including skilled nursing, acute rehab services, residential and assisted living, and group homes for the developmental disability. Widely recognized for innovative program planning and expertise in regulatory compliance, she was a member of the Hillhaven western regional consulting team, and Marketing Director for a pioneering national brain injury rehabilitation company. She also assisted in writing the Pleasure of Your Company, an in-room visit manual, now in use throughout the industry.
Joni graduated from Washington Universtiy in St. Louis, magna cum laude and obtained her masters degree in Recreation Therapy from San Francisco state University. She is a long time champion of culture change in long-term care that empowers clients toward greater respect, choice, and dignity.
Joni Berke, MS, RT

Lysa Atondo, LMFT

lysa@brookerusso.com
 

Lysa provides consulting and  interim social services for facilities. She is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist who has worked with our group for the past few years.  She provides an unsurpassed caliber of work and is quite skilled at managing the workload required with a  high Medicare census.  She easily integrates herself into the existing team and produces outstanding results.

 

Lorie Rodriguez, BSW, EdD

lorie@brookerusso.com

 

Andrew Rose, MA

andrew@brookerusso.com

Andrew obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara and his Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. He is registered with the Board of Behavioral Sciences as a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern and recently completed his clinical hours. He expects to be licensed soon as a Marriage and Family Therapist.

Andrew is a dedicated professional and is well known for quickly establishing rapport with families, residents, facility staff, and outside vendors. In addition, he is excellent with formulating new community partnerships which serves him well as he is able to consistently add new resources and referral sources from his community connections. He is a skilled communicator which makes him an ideal conduit between residents, families, and facilities.

Andrew successfully completed numerous complex discharges. He is well organized, able to multi-task and possesses strong leadership abilities. This allows him to effectively manage the needs of both short term and long term residents. He has experience leading the social services department in both large and small facilities.

Due to his training as a therapist, Andrew is able to problem solve important matters quickly and efficiently. He is able to identify residents in need of psychosocial support and obtain support for those residents expeditiously. He adapts swiftly to challenging situations.

Andrew has worked with diverse populations. He has wide-ranging knowledge of the mental health population, cancer population, and the geriatric population, which he believes is his “calling”. He has extensive work experience with individuals, families, and facilitating groups.

Andrew’s skills compliment and support any facility. He is dedicated to bettering the lives of people and he demonstrates this every day with the quality and compassionate care he delivers to the residents and facilities he serves.

 

 

Christina Balboni, MSW
christina@brookerusso.com
 
 
Nikki Love, MA
nikki@brookerusso.com