Hearthstone Research Team
Michael Skrajner, Director of Research and Innovation
Michael Skrajner is the Director of Research and Innovation at Hearthstone. Mike oversees federally-funded clinical trials of non-pharmacological interventions for dementia. He also designs and implements internal research projects for Hearthstone to develop the evidence base for the company’s programs and operations. As a senior faculty member of the Hearthstone Training Institute, Mike trains professionals and care providers nationally and globally on the I’m Still Here® Approach and Procedural Interval Learning, about which he has co-authored more than ten peer-reviewed articles.
Research topics about which Mike has managed funded research include: testing and developing reading materials adjusted to the cognitive levels of persons with dementia; creating a drama-based intervention for persons with dementia; developing Resident-led activities for persons with dementia in long-term care and adult day centers; and increasing medication adherence monitoring delivered via videophone to HIV-positive persons.
Gregg Gorzelle, Associate Director of Research
Gregg has extensive experience in non-pharmacological and clinical gerontological research, as well as the I’m Still Here® approach. Gregg is currently the Principal Investigator on a Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute on Aging entitled, HOME 4 CARE. This project seeks to improve dementia care and training in the field of home health through an evidence-based mobile application. While at Hearthstone, Gregg has also managed an NIH-funded study called the Hearthside Book Club Study, in addition to numerous administrative, departmental, regulatory, and grant-writing duties.
Gregg has co-authored a number of peer-reviewed journal articles, a manual on dementia programming, and a book chapter on assessment of persons with dementia. He has managed both federally- and privately-funded grants over the past 17 years.
Drew Walker, Research Assistant
Drew is a valuable member of the Research Team who truly embraces the essence of Hearthstone and consistently shows compassion to those we are all so dedicated to serving. She wears many hats in the Research Department, spending some of her time at the Home Office in Woburn, where she completes data entry and other research-related tasks, and the rest of her time at research sites, where she collects data, conducting natural observations of participants and implementing one-on-one assessments with persons with dementia and their caregivers.
Drew particularly enjoys interacting with study participants, noticing the staying-power of small details from their individual character and the insightful lessons they teach her.