About the ACTS 2 Program

The ACTS2 Project offers free skills-building and support services to caregivers of loved ones with dementia. Our program of services includes:

  1. telephone-based, faith-integrated, group skills training and support for distressed African-American caregivers of older adults with dementia residing in Florida,
  2. telephone-based, problem-solving consultations to dementia caregivers across the U.S.,
  3. telephone-based, nationwide referral to dementia care resources, and
  4. dementia awareness training through social media and in-person presentations across Florida and the U.S.


Faith-Integrated Group Skills Building and Support

The ACTS 2 faith-based, skills-building and support program includes seven major components:

  • overview of the basic characteristics of progressive dementia
  • relaxation training integrated with prayer and meditation
  • effective thinking about the challenges of caregiving coupled with self-care messages
  • building in pleasant daily activities as a guard against emotional distress, such as brief chats with phone buddies, prayer breaks, and listening to inspirational music
  • using assertive communication with family members and health professionals,
  • developing problem-solving skills through personal goal setting, and
  • building a social support network

Smiling People
Mother and Daughter

Brief Problem-Solving Consultation

The primary purpose of ACTS2’s problem-solving consultation services is to assist family members in implementing strategies to address caregiving and self-care challenges.

Information and Referral

The objectives of ACTS2’s information and referral services is to assist caregivers and other concerned parties in identifying community-, regional- and state-based caregiving and self-care resources.

Dementia Awareness Training

ACTS2 conducts dementia awareness training through social media and in-person presentations across Florida and the U.S.


Participating Organizations

The ACTS 2 Project is funded by grants from:

  • Health Resources & Services Administration Geriatric Workforce Partnership Program
  • Joseph G. Markoly Foundation
  • Synovus Corporation
  • Florida State Primitive Baptist Convention
  • Middle Florida Georgia Primitive Baptist Association
  • WinterFall Night of Giving
  • Area Agency on Aging for North Florida
  • Florida State University
  • Private Donors

We also work closely with the following organizations:

  • Florida General Baptist Convention
  • Progressive Missionary and Educational Baptist Convention
  • African Methodist Episcopal Church (11th Episcopal District)
  • Resources & Education for Aging, Community and Health (REACH Project)
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
  • Omega Psi Phi, Inc.
  • Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Memory Disorder Clinic
  • Mayo Clinic Florida
  • Florida Department of Elder Affairs
  • Alzheimer’s Project, Inc.
  • Community Hospice and Palliative Care
  • Big Bend Hospice, Inc.

ACTS 2 Team Members

ACTS2 team members include core staff, regional recruiters. lay pastoral care facilitators and consultants. ACTS2 staff members are responsible for organizing the delivery of caregiver services and dementia awareness training. They also train and support lay pastoral care facilitators and supervise program evaluation activities. Consultants are primarily involved in evaluating the effectiveness and impact of ACTS2 services. Regional recruiters are responsible for organizing presentations and workshops in-person and through social media across Florida.

Lay pastoral care facilitators are faith workers from the African-American community who lead ACTS2 skills-building and support programs for dementia caregivers.

The ACTS2 Advisory Board consists of clergy, community leaders and family caregivers of older adults with dementia. Their role is to guide the development and implementation of caregiver services, assist in strategic planning, and support fundraising efforts.

Rob Glueckauf, Ph.D. is Director of the ACTS2 Project and Professor at Florida State University College of Medicine. Rob obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology at Florida State University. Prior to returning to FSU in 2003, he served as Professor and Director of the Center for Research on Telehealth and Healthcare Communications at the University of Florida. Earlier in his career, he was Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at the Purdue School of Science at Indianapolis. His primary professional interests lie in the development and evaluation of culturally responsive, skills-building and support programs for family caregivers of older adults with dementia. He is actively involved in his faith community and is a strong advocate for social justice and health equity. Rob is also a daily practitioner of prayer and meditation, a discipline that guides and positively influences all phases of his life.

Jane Springer is Research Assistant for the ACTS 2 Project at the Florida State University College of Medicine. Jane previously served as a Tuberculosis Control Operations Management Consultant at the Florida Department of Health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Florida State University. She is also a certified life and wellness coach and has a passion for promoting a healthy lifestyle and helping women of faith who are going through major life transitions.

Tomeka Norton-Brown is the Project Coordinator for the ACTS 2 Project in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine at the Florida State University College of Medicine. Tomeka is currently pursuing a degree in Sociology. She has worked in the area of survey and research for the past 25 years. She has served as a caregiver for several family members with chronic conditions and has a passion for helping others.

Joshua Paredes

Joshua Paredes graduated from Florida State University with a B.S. in Psychology and a Master’s in clinical social work. He has worked with ACTS2 in various capacities since 2019 and is currently working as a research assistant on the project. He is focused on managing and contributing to the data behind ACTS2, as well as the publication efforts. His career goals consist of becoming an LCSW and running a therapeutic practice.

Kay L. Allen, M.S.W., Ph.D is Research Associate for ACTS 2. Dr. Allen is a licensed marriage and family therapist who worked in a family practice setting counseling individuals, couples and families. As a former caregiver, she understands the importance and challenges of caregiving. Dr. Allen values faith-based, skills-building and support programs for caregivers and she serves as a partner to lay pastoral care facilitators in the program.

James Proctor, D. Min., M.S.W. Community Liaison for the ACTS 2 project, former ACTS facilitator and family caregiver. He is currently President of Ecumenical Vision Ministry, Inc. (Consulting Agency) and on the Board of Directors for DART (Direct Action Research and Training Organization), Miami, and an Itinerant Elder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Floyd B. Willis, M.D. obtained his medical degree from the Morehouse School of Medicine in 1986 after graduating from Yale College in 1982 with a B.S. degree in Biology. He completed the Mayo Clinic Family Practice Residency in 1989 and is licensed to practice in Georgia, Florida, and Arizona. In May of 2007, Dr. Willis was appointed as Chairman of the Department of Family Practice at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville and served in this capacity until 2017. Dr. Willis has been honored to receive the Teacher of the Year Award for Full Time Faculty, Florida Academy of Family Physicians. His interests focus on the health and well-being of persons of minority origin, especially those with dementia and related conditions.

Keithen Mathis

Keithen Mathis, M.S.W. is Facilitator Consultant for the ACTS 2 Project and Teaching Professor at Florida State University College of Social Work. His primary areas of interest are social work practice with communities and organizations, diversity, equity, and social justice. Keithen serves as a deacon and vice-president of the Men of Action Auxiliary at his church. He has been a long-distance caregiver for his sister and is currently serving in this capacity for his brother-in-law. Keithen’s strong religious orientation and faith are the bedrock for him both personally and professionally.

Alma Howell

Alma Howell received her bachelor’s degree in Middle Grades Education and a Master's in Instructional Technology from Valdosta State College (1990) and Valdosta State University in 2002. She was a primary caregiver for her father with dementia. She is a statewide recruitment coordinator for the ACTS2 Project.

Tracey Mills

Tracey Mills received a B.A. from Tennessee Wesleyan, an M.A. in Human Service, and an M. Div. in Executive Leadership from Liberty University. She is the Outreach Program Manager for Community Hospice and Palliative Care. She serves on the board of the Council of Key Community Influential Leaders for the Alzheimer’s Association. She strongly collaborates with the Jacksonville-based NAACP Health Initiatives, Urban League Community, and Pastor Leadership Roundtable. She is a statewide recruitment coordinator for the ACTS2 Project. Pastor Mills’ motto is “Think big, Live big, Love big, Serve big, but be faithful in the small.”


Esperance graduated from the University of New Hampshire in Recreation Management & Policy in 2010. After college, she joined the AmeriCorps NDMV (Notre Dame Mission Volunteers) in the Fall of 2010 and moved to Watsonville, CA. She served in AmeriCorps for 2-years doing work as Agency Outreach Coordinator for Second Harvest Food Bank and a Teacher’s Aide at Starlight Elementary. In 2016, Esperance started her Master’s degree in Digital Marketing from Concordia College. She completed her online Master’s program in 2018. She created her digital marketing agency in 2019 called Earthian Digital Marketing. The digital marketing agency aims to promote small businesses/organizations with consulting digital marketing campaigns, social media management, search engine optimization, content marketing, video production, web development, and email marketing. She’s currently working with the ACTS2 program as the Social Media Coordinator. She aims to work in promoting ACTS2 services to family caregivers in the state of Florida and the United States.

Nik M. Lampe, Ph.D

Nik M. Lampe, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Affiliate for the ACTS 2 Project at FSU College of Medicine and a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Lampe obtained their Sociology Ph.D. degree at the University of South Carolina in 2022. They previously served as a Graduate Research Assistant for the ACTS 2 Project from 2019 to 2022. Dr. Lampe currently works with the ACTS 2 Project's research team to evaluate the effectiveness of the ACTS 2 skills training and support program and to obtain community feedback on how to better support people with dementia and their family care partners.

Xan Nowakowski, Ph.D., MPH is Associate Professor in the Departments of Geriatrics and Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine at FSU College of Medicine. Xan is a medical sociologist and program evaluator whose work centers on health equity and social justice for persons with chronic health conditions. Before transferring to FSU College of Medicine’s Orlando campus in 2016, their work focused on increasing access to comprehensive health services for African Americans and Black Caribbeans in Gadsden County. For ACTS2, Dr. Nowakowski amplifies the voices of black caregivers and facilitators using qualitative analysis of their one-on-one interviews. Xan’s passion for this work comes from a strong commitment to the well-being of underserved minority groups with chronic health problems.

Virginia Alexander, M.S.W., M.Ed., is Lay Pastoral Care Facilitator with the ACTS 2 project. She has both undergraduate and master degrees from Florida A&M University. She has been a teacher at Rickards High School for 14 years specializing in the field of exceptional student education. Virginia is very involved in her church and has a strong commitment to community service. She is current chairperson of Students Working Against Tobacco. Virginia and her five sisters shared caregiving responsibilities for their mother with dementia.

Dwanne Clayton

Dwanne Clayton is a Lay Pastoral Care Facilitator with the ACTS 2 Project. She received a Master of Social Work from Barry University and a Bachelor of Social Work from Florida Atlantic University. She is employed at Palm Beach Neuroscience Institute as the Memory Disorder Clinic Coordinator/Medical Social Worker. She is very active as a volunteer in her community and has a passion for educating, advocating, and helping people. She believes and lives by Proverbs 3:6, NLT: Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Myrtle Collins

Myrtle Collins is a Lay Pastoral Care Facilitator with the ACTS2 Project. Myrtle received a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from Atlanta University, She is retired from 35 years of working with seniors in Employment, Training, and job development, She is active in her local church, serving as a Steward, Sunday School Superintendent, and instructor, Class Leader, member of Usher Board, Women Ministry, and officer in local Lay Organization. In the community, she is an active member and leader in ICARE (Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment.)

Connie W. Corker, B.S., M.P.A., is Lay Pastoral Care Facilitator with the ACTS 2 Project. She received her degrees from Florida A&M and the University of North Florida, respectively. She is a retired state employee with over 35 years of service, mostly in the areas of Human Resources and Employee Relations at the University of North Florida. She is very active in her church and serves as a steward (spiritual leader), vice chair of the finance committee, class leader, and secretary of the Steward and Official Boards. She volunteers on a neighborhood accountability board that hears youth offenders' civil citation cases.

Jacqueline Edwards

Jacqueline B. Edwards, B.A., is Lay Pastoral Care Facilitator with the ACTS 2 Project. She graduated from Florida A&M University and Florida State University. She is currently employed by the State of Florida as a program specialist with the Students Against Destructive Decisions program. Jackie is an active member of her church and serves in their religious education program and women’s ministry. Her favorite Bible verse is, “For God commended his love towards us, in this, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.

Brenda Frinks

Brenda Frinks holds an Associate Degree in Radiology Technology from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Edward Waters College. She also has several certifications in Business Development, Hospitality, Youth Prevention, and Healthcare. She is President of Sun City Events & Entertainment, a family-owned and operated business that produces and manages concerts, tours, and festivals. She also serves as South Africa Country Representative for Sister Cities International. Brenda was the primary caregiver for two family members with Alzheimer’s disease and is a trained ACTS 2 facilitator.

Jocelyn Hayden's love for serving and helping people led her to receive her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Social Work from Florida A&M University. Mrs. Hayden is currently Advisor/Counselor for the Florida A&M University School of Nursing. She served as project coordinator for ACTS 1, in which she was introduced to the beautiful world of care giving for loved ones with dementia. Mrs. Hayden currently is now a lay pastoral care facilitator for ACTS 2. Her life's mission is to "Love God, Love People, Love Life," which she strives to do every single day!

Debbie A.  Marshall

Debbie A. Marshall is a Lay Pastoral Care Facilitator with the ACTS 2 Project. She is currently employed as an Assistant Store Manager with InstaLoan. She is a retired State employee with over 36 years of service in Education at the University of West Florida. Ms. Marshall has a special understanding and affection for caregivers; she identifies with them especially since she has over 30 years of personal caregiving experience herself. This experience is derived from taking care of a family member with Multiple Sclerosis as well as 3 other family members with Alzheimer's. She has also served, participated, and assisted in community organizations, such as WAR&DV (Women Against Rape and Domestic Violence).

Hattie Mary Young, B.S., M.Ed., is Lay Pastoral Care Facilitator for the ACTS 2 Project. She received a Master of Education degree in Guidance and Counseling from Florida A&M University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Tuskegee University. She is a retired state of Florida employee after 35 years of service. She has been an active member of the Sunday School Ministry for over 40 years and currently serves as Assistant Superintendent for Sunday School Ministry. She has taught boys ages 12-15, the Singles/Single Parents classes and is a member of the Sanctuary Choir. Her caregiving experiences have included several generational family members.

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