President & CEO of CaringKind, NYC’s leading expert in Alzheimer’s and dementia care for more than three decades
Lou-Ellen Barkan serves as President and CEO of CaringKind (formerly known as the Alzheimer's Association, New York City Chapter). Ms. Barkan -- whose father and mother both had dementia -- has skillfully led this 60-person, $10-million nonprofit since 2004.
CaringKind is NYC's leading expert in Alzheimer's and dementia care. It is New York City’s leading charity singularly focused on caregiving support for individuals and families living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. With more than 30 years of experience developing and implementing innovative, creative and leading-edge caregiving initiatives, CaringKind provides an unprecedented platform of programs helping New York’s entire Alzheimer’s community to care with confidence.
CaringKind broke away from the national Alzheimer's Association in December 2015 to return to its roots as a stand-alone, independent charity.
During her tenure, Ms. Barkan has overseen significant expansion at the organization. Office space has tripled and grown from 10,000 sq. ft. to 30,000 sq. ft. In addition, new satellite offices in Brooklyn and Queens have opened. She also spearheaded the creation of an innovative center to serve those with early stage dementia. Diversity and outreach programs have expanded to include African American, Chinese and Latino programs as well as programming for the Orthodox Jewish, Russian and LGBT communities.
CaringKind's Helpline is operational 24/7, 365 days a year. The Wanderer's Safety Program has grown tenfold in Ms. Barkan’s tenure, each year, saving the lives of hundreds of people with dementia who wander from home and become lost. Today, more than 23,000 New Yorkers are protected by this critical resource.
Prior to her work with Alzheimer's, she spent three years at UJA-Federation of New York as Vice President for Administration. Ms. Barkan joined UJA-Federation from City Hall, where she served Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in a number of high level positions including Director of Fiscal and Administrative Management for the Office of the Mayor, Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Operations, Randy Mastro, and Special Advisor to the School Construction Authority. Ms. Barkan previously enjoyed a successful career on Wall Street holding senior executive positions at major financial institutions including Lehman Brothers, Citicorp and Paine Webber.
She holds a BA, Summa Cum Laude from Hunter College and an MA from Teachers College/ Columbia University and has served on the Boards of the Bottomless Closet, the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations and on the Advisory Committee of One to One, a national mentoring organization.
Ms. Barkan resides in Manhattan with her husband, attorney Mel Barkan. She has two grown children and four grandchildren.