Caregiving & Aging Staff Bios

FamilyMeans Caregiving and Aging Team

Our Caregiving & Aging staff provide a range of areas of expertise to make sure that you get the services you need delivered in the manner that will help you best. Experienced social workers, community educators and volunteer coordinators are all on site and in the community, ready to make a difference in your life, whether you are a caregiver, older adult, or volunteer. Feel free to browse our staff biographies below and contact FamilyMeans to let us know how we can help you.

Key to Credential Acronyms

These letters can refer to educational degrees:

  • MA – Master of Arts
  • MFT – Master of Marriage and Family Therapy
  • PhD – Doctor of Philosophy
  • PsyD – Doctor of Psychology
  • BSW – Bachelor of Social Work
  • MSW - Master of Social Work

Or to professional licenses:

  • LAMFT – Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, practicing under supervision of another independently licensed provider
  • LMFT – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
  • LGSW – Licensed Graduate Social Worker, practicing under the supervision of another independently licensed provider
  • LICSW – Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
  • LPCC – Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
  • LP –Licensed Psychologist
  • LISW- Licensed Independent Social Worker
  • LCSW – Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • CSW- Certified Social Worker

 

Beth Wiggins, MSW, LISW

Beth Wiggins, MSW, LISW

Director of Caregiving & Aging

Beth has more than 25 years of experience in developing and administering community-based supportive services for older adults and their families. With a broad understanding of gerontology, family caregiving, community involvement issues and nonprofit management, she has provided leadership in a number of collaborative entities and multi-sector partnerships to champion aging as a positive and integral part of family and community life. Beth holds a BA in Psychology from Carleton College, and a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota.


Sarah Gavin, LSW

Sarah Gavin, LSW

Caregiving & Aging Social Worker

Sarah joined FamilyMeans in 2015 following five years as a long-term care social worker and three years as a Community Support Specialist at the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. Sarah provides Coaching and Consultation, facilitates support groups, is a Powerful Tools for Caregivers leader, and is certified to use the REACH method of supporting dementia caregivers.

 


Lauren Miller

Lauren Miller

Social Work Intern

Lauren joined the Caregiving & Aging team in September 2020 as a Social Work Intern. She is currently working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Wisconsin: River Falls, with plans of graduating in May 2021. She one day hopes to attend graduate school to obtain a Master of Social Work degree with an emphasis in gerontology. Lauren found a passion for gerontology while helping her 92 year old grandmother care for her grandfather who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Lauren is excited to work with the FamilyMeans Caregiving & Aging team through the spring of 2021!


Deb Newton, LSW

Deb Newton, LSW

Caregiving & Aging Social Worker

Deb comes to FamilyMeans with a broad range of experience working in senior housing, county social services, and in the addiction and behavioral health field.  She is the newest member of our Caregiving & Aging team joining in March 2021.  As a social worker, Deb will focus on coaching and consultation, facilitating support groups, and education. She holds a BS in Social Work from Winona State University and has previous experience supporting clients with memory loss and their caregivers.  


Heidi Ricks, COTA/L

Heidi Ricks, COTA/L

Dementia Program Coordinator

Heidi joined the Caregiving & Aging team in 2020.  Heidi is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, having worked over eight years in the adult day healthcare program of the Veterans Administration. She focuses on FamilyMeans' early-stage dementia programming including Community Connection, Journey Together, memory loss support and discussion groups, and consultations. She has a BA from Luther College and an Associate’s Degree in Occupational Therapy Assistantship from St. Catherine University.


Jenny West, BS

Jenny West, BS

Community Educator

Jenny has been on staff since 2010. During that time, she has educated thousands of metro-area caregivers in their workplaces and community settings, using both evidence-based and original curricula.  Jenny facilitates support groups and Saturday Connections, leads Memory Club and Memory Cafés, and is a Powerful Tools for Caregivers facilitator and Master Trainer. Jenny holds a BS in Therapeutic Recreation from University of Wisconsin La Crosse and has previous experience in housing services for older adults and long-term care.