Terra Vista’s Executive Director Natalie McFarland Named the 2019 Certified Dementia Practitioner of the Year

Terra Vista of Oakbrook Terrace’s Executive Director Natalie McFarland, BSN, RN, CDP has been named the Certified Dementia Practitioner of the Year by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners for her outstanding work in the field of dementia care. The award presentation is December 3rd, 2019, at Terra Vista of Oakbrook Terrace and will be attended by Chief Operations Officer Lynn Biot Gordon and Rhonda Brand, President of the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP).

The CDP of the Year award recognizes one individual in the nation whose impact on dementia care has been substantial. The NCCDP distinguishes one dementia care leader who has been able to train and motivate his or her colleagues to set higher care goals with patient care. The award also recognizes the recipient’s ability to surpass state and federal regulations regarding dementia education and care.

This year, the NCCDP received hundreds of nominations from around the country for the CDP of the Year Award. The United States currently has over 200,000 Certified Dementia Practitioners, who work in all aspects of the healthcare industry: nursing homes, assisted living communities, hospitals, and more. The CDP of the Year Award includes national recognition of the winner, a cash prize, and an announcement on a billboard in Times Square, New York.

“Natalie’s application stood out among all the nominations we received this year for the 2019 CDP of the year. Her efforts and actions superseded all other applications.  Natalie’s tireless effort and enthusiasm in creating new programs for the dementia residents speaks volumes and indicates that she is a trailblazer! Her hands-on approach is absolutely impressive, assisting care providers, coming up with solutions, and motivating everyone to remain positive to try alternative care approaches and strategies. Even families gave testimony that she has a “gift and that she thinks outside the box.” She is truly a stellar certified dementia practitioner and it is an honor to recognize her with this award,” said NCCDP COO Lynn Biot Gordon.

“Natalie has been blessed with the rare gift of merging her prodigious professional, educational, clinical training of nursing and the specialized focus of care and treatment of Alzheimer and Dementia disease with empathy and the deepest of love which touches the hearts of residents and families who struggle with this difficult diagnosis. To be recognized as the best in your profession in the entire country is a lifetime achievement,” said Moshe Bellows, a Principal of Terra Vista and Managing Member of MAC Ventures.

Laura Zung, CEO of Terra Vista of Oak Brook Terrace and the Lancaster Health Group added, “Natalie is a natural teacher, and she tirelessly offers innovative dementia training to her staff, Terra Vista families as well as the community at large. Her dedication to families and residents with dementia is unparalleled, and she is most deserving of this recognition.”

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Meet the Author


Natalie has compiled over eighteen years experience providing outstanding care to people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In addition to being a certified Alzheimer’s and dementia care trainer, McFarland is a licensed continued education instructor for nurses and social workers through the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations. She has also developed several Alzheimer’s research partnerships. Included in those projects were Dr. Virginia Cruz, Ph.D., RN, Associate Professor of SIUE and Dr. George Grossberg, M.D., Medical Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at Saint Louis University. Natalie is a graduate of Southern Illinois University.