THRIVE Network Team

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension, in collaboration with partners associated with the University of Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center (MADC), Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology (IOG) and the MSU College of Human Medicine, received grant funding in January 2018 through the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to build an innovative dementia-specific, wellbeing network called THRIVE (Tailoring Healthy Resources through In-Person Instruction & Virtual Education).

Together, the THRIVE Network partners will identify, develop and implement curricula through an in-person and virtual training network addressing caregiver resilience to stress and promoting wellbeing and self-management throughout the entire caregiving journey, while simultaneously creating an integrated and cohesive wellness model through inter-agency collaboration. 


 Michigan State University Extension

Michigan State University Extension helps people improve their lives by bringing the vast knowledge resources of MSU directly to individuals, communities and businesses. For more than 100 years, MSU Extension has helped grow Michigan’s economy by equipping Michigan residents with the information that they need to do their jobs better, raise healthy and safe families, build their communities and empower children to dream of a successful future. MSU Extension offers a variety of programs to help caregivers take care of themselves, which in turn makes them better caregivers.

THRIVE Contacts:

Dawn Contreras

Dawn Contreras, PhD

Email: contrer7@msu.edu


Joan Ilardo, PhD

Email: joan.ilardo@hc.msu.edu

More information at:  



Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center 

Established at Michigan Medicine and based in the Department of Neurology, the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center (MADC) aims to conduct and support research on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders; promote state-of-the-art care and wellness for individuals and families affected by memory loss; and increase dementia awareness through collaborative education and outreach efforts.

To reach its goals, the MADC supports recruitment for memory and aging research, connects interested volunteers to research opportunities, provides programs focusing on whole-body health and wellbeing through it’s Wellness Initiative, and collaborates with three local chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association to enhance community outreach through education programs.  

THRIVE Contacts:


Renee Gadwa, MBA

Email: rgadwa@med.umich.edu


Laura Rice-Oeschger, LMSW

Email: lerice@umich.edu

More information at: 



 Wayne State University’s Institute of Gerontology

The Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology is dedicated to research on issues of aging and urban health, educating tomorrow’s leaders in aging issues and research, and connecting older adults and their families to current knowledge in aging.  

THRIVE Contact:


Donna MacDonald 

Email: DonnaMacDonald@wayne.edu 

More information at: