Formerly the WVLTCP, we are now WVPEL, Inc.
Funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation

The West Virginia Partnership for Elder Living is now incorporated!

In December of 2014, the West Virginia Partnership for Elder Living made the transition from an on-going project of West Virginia Community Voices, Inc. to becoming a non-profit corporation in its own right. We have filed for official 501(c)(3) status with the IRS and hope to gain that status shortly.  We thank WVCV for their continued support during this change.

We also thank the dedicated individuals and organizations that have supported our path and who continue to travel with us on this journey and who will join us as we continue our mission “to foster opportunities for West Virginians to live and age with dignity and purpose.” By becoming our own fully-formed entity we hope to be able to pursue additional avenues to meet this goal.

Please join us in welcoming the 2015-2016 West Virginia Partnership for Elder Living, Inc. Board of Directors.

Jane Marks, CDP – Chair

Jane Marks retired in 2012 after 12 and 1/2 years as Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Association, WV Chapter. She is a published author of multiple journal articles on aging and Alzheimer's disease, as well creator of multiple training curriculum for both long-term care and in-home dementia care workers.   She is a national speaker on caregiving and dementia topics.  In 2013 Jane completed training and received her certification from the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners, as a Certified Dementia Practitioner. She has served as the Co-Chair of the Advisory Panel of the WV Partnership for Elder Living and is a member of the WV Geriatric Society.  In July of 2014, Jane presented an academic poster at the Alzheimer’s Association, International Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. Jane is the recipient of the Alzheimer's Association's Rockefeller Award for outstanding dedication to the cause of Alzheimer's and the NASW, WV's Public Citizen of the Year Award. 

Jane now spends her time as a dementia and caregiving consultant, speaking, training, writing a blog on caregiving and managing her website,, which is dedicated to those “sandwiched” between their own lives and the task of caring for aging parents. Jane resides in Charleston with her husband John. She is caregiver for her mother and is the mother of two adult children and the proud grandmother of two.


Nancy Cipoletti, Vice-Chair

Nancy Cipoletti has worked on behalf of Alzheimer’s families for twenty-five years, first with the Alzheimer’s Association and currently as Director of Alzheimer’s Programs for the WV Bureau of Senior Services, the state unit on aging.   Nancy manages the Family Alzheimer’s In-Home Respite (FAIR) Program and Title III-E, an Older Americans Act Program.  She’s also the Bureau’s contact person for questions about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, caregiving and end-of-life issues.  Additionally, she writes and presents trainings and workshops on dementia care, healthy aging, non-verbal communication, caregiving, baby boomers and aging and other topics of interest to seniors, health professionals in the field of aging and the community-at-large. 

Nancy was an original member of the West Virginia Partnership for Elder Living Advisory Council.  She serves on the Direct Care Worker Curriculum Work Group that developed a standardized curriculum and certification process for in-home direct care workers and is a member of the No Wrong Door Steering Committee, whose goal is to develop a plan that is consistent with the federal vision of a Single Entry/No Wrong Door access system for all service recipients.

Nancy lives in Charleston with her husband, Jack.  They have two sons and three beautiful granddaughters.  She loves sports and is a huge Mountaineer fan.


Mary Skeens, Treasurer

(Picture coming soon!)

Mary Skeens is currently the Executive Director of Community Works in West Virginia, a statewide housing network with a membership of 27 nonprofit housing providers serving low and moderate income families around West Virginia.  Since becoming its Executive Director she created the Campaign for Excellence, a leadership program designed to empower nonprofit housing managers; developed an Affordable Housing Internship Program; and sponsors the work of the WV Housing Policy Group and is part of a collaboration that hosted the 1st Annual WV Housing Conference in 2014. 

Prior to joining Community Works, Mary worked for FAHE, and held various positions at the West Virginia Housing Development Fund with the HOME Program in the Commercial Business and Development Department. Mary has over 35 years’ experience in housing and community development industry.  Mary is a Board Member and past-Chairperson of the West Virginia Affordable Housing Trust Fund.  She was the West Virginia Affordable Housing Hall of Fame Inductee in 2012.

Mary and her husband Jim reside in the Charleston area.


Gaylene Miller, Secretary

Gaylene Miller has worked in the field of aging programs and services for many years and is a tireless advocate on behalf of West Virginians 50+ and their families. She currently serves as the State Director for AARP in West Virginia.

A native West Virginian, Gaylene was educated in West Virginia public schools. She received her undergraduate degree from West Liberty State College and attended graduate school at West Virginia University.

Committed to community service, Gaylene is Past President of the Charleston Vandalia Rotary Club and the Alzheimer’s Association - WV Chapter Board of Directors.  She is also an active board member of the Capitol Market, the West Virginia Partnership for Elder Living and West Virginia Community Voices.

Prior to coming to the AARP West Virginia State Office, she served as the Commissioner of the WV Bureau of Senior Services. Gaylene and her husband reside in the Charleston area. She is an avid West Virginia University Mountaineer fan and enjoys the great outdoors.


Shirley M. Neitch, MD, FACP

Dr. Shirley Neitch has been on the faculty of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University in Huntington, WV for over thirty years, and is currently the Maier Professor of Clinical Research in Geriatrics and Chief of the Section of Geriatrics in the Department of Internal Medicine. She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and the VCU School of Medicine (MCV), and trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia Affiliated Hospitals in Roanoke/Salem, Virginia.

She is Medical Director of the West Virginia Alzheimer’s Outreach and Registry Program (of the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Center) and of the Hanshaw Geriatric Center at Marshall University.

Dr. Neitch was the 2008 winner of the Rockefeller Award from the West Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.  She is also the 2010 winner of the WV Geriatric Education Center’s David Z. Morgan Award. Her primary clinical and research interest is Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

She lives with her husband L. Edwin Kahle, in Wayne, WV, where they enjoy the company of their one son and daughter-in-law, four dogs, and assorted wildlife.


Tom Sims

Tom Sims is a psychologist with an M.A. from Georgia State University.  He is retired from the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health where he served as Director of Health Promotion & Chronic Disease and formerly as Director of the Office of Community Health Services.

Since retirement, Tom has worked as Policy Analyst for the House Health & Human Resources Committee of the West Virginia Legislature and as Performance Improvement Manager for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.   In addition, he has worked on contract for Future Generations, for the WV Board of Nursing, for the WV Center for Rural Health Development, for the WVU Office of Health Services Research, for Cabin Creek Health Systems, and for the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors.

Tom is past Chair of the WVU School of Public Health MPH Advisory Committee and past Board Member of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care.   He serves currently as a volunteer legislative advocate for AARP representing issues affecting senior citizens and is actively involved in the Choosing Wisely initiative supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Consumer Reports.  For the past twelve years he has also served on the board of the WVU Center for End of Life Care.

Tom is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor for the George Washington University School of Public Health and Adjunct Assistant Professor for the WVU School of Public Health.   In past years, he has taught Quality Assurance in Health Care at West Virginia State University and the Psychology of Human Development at the University of Charleston.


Ted Cheatham

Ted Cheatham has had a varied career in the health insurance industry. His experience in the managed care arena has ranged from launching HMOs in the Los Angeles market and starting up an HMO in Mississippi, to acquisitions, mergers and integrations in West Virginia. As a former CEO of commercial health plans, he has managed Medicaid programs, Medicare programs, and all facets of commercial health insurance products. A stint as a business director and management consultant with Unisys, a worldwide technology services and solutions company provided vital experience in the technology sector.

In his current role as director of the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA), Mr. Cheatham is employing all of this experience to shape the future of West Virginia’s largest self-funded group health insurance plan. PEIA provides health and life insurance to more than 240,000 active and retired public employees and their dependents.

A U.S. Army veteran, Mr. Cheatham is a graduate of the University of Arizona, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in finance and personnel management; Troy State University, where he earned a master’s degree in business administration; and, the Whittier College School of Law where he earned a Juris Doctorate.