Older adults on the South Side have unique health care needs and require a unique approach to care. There are too few geriatric specialists to meet the current and future needs of older South Side residents, and many providers and community members lack training to meet the health care needs of older adults.

The SHARE Network brings older adults, caregivers, primary care providers, and geriatric specialists together to share knowledge and resources. Through workforce education and community outreach, we bridge the gap between geriatric specialty care and the community.


The Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) is an innovative model to train community-based providers to deliver state-of-the-art medical care through tele-conferencing technology at no cost to the provider.

The SHARE Network uses ECHO-Chicago to supplement the training of providers on the South Side of Chicago in two tracks:

ECHO-Chicago Geriatrics trains interdisciplinary primary care providers in best practices for older adult care.

ECHO-Chicago Geriatrics SNF trains skilled nursing facility providers on the essentials of working with a geriatric population.

This program gets to the heart of mission behind the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) — addressing the needs of a growing older adult population and the workforce that cares for them.

Healthy Aging Events

The SHARE Network hosts educational presentations, free and open to the community, across a wide range of important aging-related health topics each month. These “Healthy Aging Events” are led by handpicked experts and are tailored to provide older adults, families, and caregivers with quality information. The informal setting of Healthy Aging Events often allow for open discussion. Events are held at a number of locations throughout the South Side — check the calendar for upcoming dates. Transportation is free to older Chicagoans through Chicago Hyde Park Village; simply call (773) 441-8457 or email [email protected] with 48 hours’ notice.

Dementia Resource Champions

In 2018, the SHARE Network piloted an innovative train-the-trainer program aimed at establishing community experts in dementia at faith-based organizations on the South Side. Dementia Resource Champions –as trusted members of the church community– serve to connect people with important resources and knowledge about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The 5-week course empowers the Champions with resources and training provided by medical experts at the University of Chicago and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Leadership & Faculty

Katherine Thompson, MD
Principal Investigator / Program Director

Dr. Thompson is a national leader in geriatrics and medical education. As principal investigator and project director of the SHARE Network, Dr. Thompson provides guidance, leadership, and strategic vision to all key aspects of the SHARE Network project. Her clinical and educational expertise is on interdisciplinary care of older adults with frailty and multimorbidity. Dr. Thompson currently provides care to patients at the University of Chicago’s Outpatient Senior Health Center at South Shore.

Stacie Levine, MD
Co-Investigator and Educational Advisor

Dr. Levine is the Section Chief of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine and Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine. A national leader in geriatrics and palliative medicine, Dr. Levine advises on project development efforts, and facilitates medical training sessions with both clinical and community-based learners. Dr. Levine also leads the Older Adults as Teachers program, and facilitates educational modules in primary and long-term care environments, as well as leading Healthy Aging programming at SHARE Network community-based partner sites.

Daniel Johnson, MD

Dr. Johnson is Section Chief of the Section of Academic Pediatrics and an Associate Professor of Infectious Disease at the University of Chicago. Dr. Johnson serves as co-investigator, and advises on bringing subspecialty expertise to primary care providers and best practices in distance learning and videoconferencing. He has significant expertise and proven outcomes in this area through his leadership in the ECHO-Chicago project.

Shellie Williams, MD

Co – Investigator

Dr. Williams is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago and a geriatrician who provides care at the University of Chicago’s Outpatient Senior Health Center at South Shore. Dr. Williams brings her expertise on dementia and other important health topics to SHARE Network’s Healthy Aging Events as a community educator. She is also responsible for developing the Dementia Resource Champions Program as well as other ongoing health initiatives.

James Mastrianni, MD, PhD

Co – Investigator

Dr. Mastrianni is Professor of Neurology and the Director of the Memory Center at the University of Chicago. His team is a multi-departmental group that performs comprehensive evaluations of people with memory and cognitive disorders. He sees patients with all forms of dementia, although he has a special interest in atypical forms of dementia. Dr. Mastrianni is also a dedicated educator who teaches and mentors undergraduate, graduate, and medical students, in addition to medical residents and post-doctoral fellows.


Renée Kroplewski, LSW

Administrative Director


Renée is a passionate licensed social worker who has always loved working with older adults and their families. She has spent her career addressing complex issues of older adults in various roles, be it creating online programming to being a Memory Care Director, even working with Chronic Care Management within a leading healthcare network. She sits on the Steering Committee for the Illinois Women Conquer Alzheimer’s board and is an active member of the advisory council for AgeGuide.

Monica Long, MSN-Ed, CDP, RN
Nurse Educator/Project Site Coordinator

Monica is an advanced practice registered nurse and Certified Dementia Practitioner who works as a clinical research nurse educator with the Share Network.  Monica currently serves on the National Association for Geriatric Education and Chicago Hyde Park Village Board of directors  to advocate for older adult health initiatives.  She has also created geriatric curriculum to expound on evidence-based practices to transform clinical environments creating equitable healthcare for all.  Monica has also taught dementia education to faith-based community members with goal to ensure inclusion and empowerment to maintain healthier lifestyles.


Jeff Graupner, MPH
Program Development & Evaluation Manager

As Program Development & Evaluation Manager  for the SHARE Network, Jeff helps develop, implement, and evaluate various health initiatives targeting Chicago’s older adult population. He also oversees ongoing projects such as the South Side Aging Resource Guide.

Jenil Bennet 

Community Health Worker


As a Community Health Worker Jenil helps to bridge the gap between health disparities and optimal health of older adults. Jenil focuses on listening to the interest and needs of the Community to present educational programs and resources to older adults, their caregivers, primary care providers, and geriatric specialists. She is responsible for creating the curriculum for the 4M’s Framework: What Matters, Medication, Mentation, and Mobility. Jenil encourages the use of the 4M’s Framework to guide the intention of care for older adults; throughout healthcare systems.

Ashley Mensik

Project Coordinator


Ashley is a dedicated professional who loves working with older adults and making sure their needs are met. As Project Coordinator for the SHARE Network, Ashley is responsible for overseeing various projects, planning meetings, and ensuring project logistics are met. Some projects include managing Dementia Resource Champions (DRC) Online workshops, receiving Health Aging presentation requests from the community, creating our monthly newsletter and coordinating SHARE Network’s South Side resource guide distribution.