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Thursday, November 16 — November marks the official National Family Caregivers Month!

Chronic disease patients often rely on those closest to them for care of their day-to-day needs. This is a time to spread awareness of obstacles to caregiving, to educate communities, and increase support for caregivers who sacrifice so much to do what they do.

We will have the opportunity to hear best practices from caregivers as well as public policy solutions to some of the most common issues in this community that need to be addressed.

Meet the Speakers

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Cristol Barrett O’Loughlin, Founder & CEO, Angel Aid

Based in the Bay Area and operating globally, ANGEL AID CARES offers relief services to caregivers through sustainable health and wellness training, transformative retreats, and a globally connective mother-to-mother network. ANGEL AID CARES believes in uplifting the family by caring for the caregivers, particularly mothers who are the primary caregiver 82% of the time. Founder & CEO, Cristol Barrett O’Loughlin, illustrates the unthinkable realities of losing three older brothers to the rare genetic disease Mucopolysaccharidosis, as well as the family difficulties (and triumphs!) while caring for children with a life-limiting illness in her TEDx talk Caring for the Caregivers.

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Christina Thielst, Patient and Chronic Disease Coalition Ambassador

Christina Thielst, MHA, LFACHE has advocated for patients for 40+ years. More recently she advocates for those with chronic illness, especially rare diseases. A former hospital administrator, she gained in-depth knowledge of the challenges facing patients and their caregivers once she was struck with Guillain Barre Syndrome/Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy. Today, she leverages her patient experience and understanding of the healthcare delivery system to help others better advocate for themselves or those they care.

In addition to being a CDC Ambassador, she is a Rare Disease Legislative Advocate, participates in National Organization of Rare Diseases task forces and is a Patient Member of the Nevada Rare Disease Advisory Council. She also advocates for patients through her teaching of future healthcare professionals and leaders.

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Yadira Montoya, Programs Director, National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC)

In this role, Yadira oversees key organizational initiatives that focus on building health, wealth, and equity for the fifty-three million family caregivers living in the US. Prior to joining NAC, Yadira has held leadership roles in academia, healthcare, non-profit, and the philanthropic sector. In 2019, she was recognized as a Culture of Health Leader by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for her leadership in community efforts that improve aging equity and the health and wellbeing of Latinx living with dementia and their family caregivers.


Polly Peters, Caregiver

Polly is the mom to three active boys. All three of her boys are on growth hormone shots. Her oldest son was born small for gestational age and started shots when he was three. The younger two boys are both growth hormone deficient. Polly love to travel, ski, hike, ride bikes and just overall explore together.