Panelist Biographies


Shelby Johnson, BSc, MSc (Candidate)
Student Advocate, SAPH

Shelby Johnson is a Master of Science student in Health Promotion in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. Her area of study is qualitative research around how food education influences healthy eating. She is a graduate of Dalhousie University’s Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and is published in the International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society. Shelby has been actively engaged in garnering awareness and advocating for caregivers and individuals living with dementia since her grandmother was diagnosed with the disease in 2011. Shelby sits as a member of the City of St. Albert’s Community Services Advisory Board and as the Social Representative on the School of Public Health Students Association.


Donna M. Wilson, RN, PhD
Professor, Faculty of Nursing

Donna Wilson is a registered nurse and professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. She also has an adjunct professor appointment in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta and the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences at the University of Limerick, Ireland.

Donna is also the Board Chair of the Alberta Hospice Palliative Care Association, an organization with an annual award for informal caregivers, “The Dr. Donna Wilson Caregiver Award”, which recognizes their contribution to the independence and dignity of the person they help, through their compassion and perseverance. Her research focuses on health services and health policy, primarily in relation to aging and end-of-life care. Much of her work aims to eliminate ageism, ensuring effective and accessible healthcare services for people of all ages. She has over 300 published articles, books, and other peer-reviewed communications in print. She is widely consulted for her expertise on aging, end-of-life care, health policy, healthcare services, and health system trends and issues.


Lee Cardwell
Dementia Caregiver & Advocate

Lee Cardwell spent several years caring for her mother as she slipped into Alzheimer’s disease. Then, just after the long struggle with her mother ended, her husband was diagnosed with vascular dementia. She has spent many years learning about the disease firsthand and what it is like to be a caregiver. Lee has spoken publicly many times about her battle with dementia and the challenges associated with being a caregiver. She is a strong advocate for people living with dementia and has written a book about her experiences, entitled “Dementia in the Family”, published by Self-Counsel Press as part of the Eldercare series.