About Us - ACTS 2 - African-American Alzheimer’s Caregiving Training and Support

ACTS 2

Is a faith-based, skills-building and support program that includes seven major components:

  1. overview of the basic characteristics of progressive dementia,
  2. relaxation training integrated with prayer and meditation,
  3. effective thinking about the challenges of caregiving coupled with self-care messages from sacred scriptures,
  4. 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,
  5. using assertive communication with family members and health professionals,
  6. developing problem-solving skills through personal goal setting, and
  7. building a social support network.

Participating Organizations

The ACTS 2 Project is funded by grants from:

  • Dave Groves, VALIC, Inc.,
  • 11th Episcopal District African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Florida State Primitive Baptist Convention
  • Sandy Halperin Alzheimer's Research Fund

We also work closely with the following:


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ACTS 2 Team Members

The ACTS 2 project includes both a coordinating team and lay pastoral care facilitators. The ACTS 2 coordinating team is responsible for outreach in the community, caregiver recruitment, supporting the lay pastoral care facilitators and program evaluation. The lay pastoral care facilitators are faith workers from the African-American community who lead the ACTS 2 skills-building and support groups for dementia caregivers.

Rob Glueckauf, Ph.D. is Director of the African-American Alzheimer’s Caregiver and Support 2 (ACTS 2) Project and Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine at the Florida State University College of Medicine. He is also Research Director of the Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Memory Disorder Clinic. Dr. Glueckauf obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology at Florida State University. Dr. Glueckauf’s primary interests lie in the development and evaluation of skills-building and support programs for family caregivers of older adults with dementia and spirituality and health. He is actively involved in his faith community and is a daily practitioner of prayer and meditation, a discipline which guides and positively influences all phases of his life.


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 17 years. She has served as a caregiver for several family members with chronic conditions and has a passion for helping others.


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.


Michelle M. Kazmer, Ph.D. is Professor in the School of Information at the Florida State University College of Communication & Information. She has been working with ACTS 2 and ACTS since 2007, coordinating the collection and analysis of qualitative interview and focus group data that help us understand and improve ACTS 2.


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.


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.

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.


Maple S Jones, B.A., is Lay Pastoral Care Facilitator with the ACTS 2 Project. Her professional career as a social worker began upon graduating from Edward Waters College with a degree in Sociology and Education. As a social worker/supervisor in the Child Abuse and Neglect Program, she assisted many individuals who needed protective services. Her entire career with the State of Florida spanned 45 years. Her faith experience mirrored her social work experiences, as she chaired her church’s Commission on Mission and Welfare where she visited the sick and shut-in members and determined their needs for services. Her participation in the ACTS 2 Project has been a most rewarding experience, as she has been able to share her love and knowledge with family members who give their all to care for their loved one with dementia.


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 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.


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.


Loretta S. Coppock, M.S., is Lay Pastoral Care Facilitator with the ACTS 2 project. She is a retired educator and has an undergraduate degree from Bethune-Cookman University,and a masters degree from Florida A&M University. She also holds an Educational Specialist Degree from the University of South Florida. Mrs. Coppock is very active in her church where she serves as Chair Pro Tem of the Steward Board, Coordinator of the Class Leaders Council, and the Women’s Missionary Society. Mrs. Coppock was primary caregiver for her mother with dementia.