University of Southern Indiana
Mid-America Institute on Aging

Keynote Speakers

Diana Nyad

Nyad _CAASpeakers _Photo2At the age of 64, in her fifth and final attempt, Diana Nyad successfully fulfilled her life-long dream of completing the 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida on September 2, 2013. Upon completing her grueling 53-hour journey, a breathless Nyad told the world, “I have three messages. One is we should never ever give up. Two is you are never too old to chase your dreams. And three is it looks like a solitary sport but it takes a team.”

Nyad has never been one to quit. In July of 2010, at the age of 60, she began her “Xtreme Dream” quest of swimming from Cuba to Florida, a task she had failed to finish 30 years previously. When asked her motivation, she replied, “Because I’d like to prove to the other 60-year-olds that it is never too late to start your dreams.” Nyad was unsuccessful in her quest in 2010 and tried two more times 2011 and 2012 before completing this year’s historic swim.

Back in the 1970′s, Nyad was the greatest long-distance swimmer in the world. Her world records, such as circling Manhattan Island and crossing the 102.5 miles between the Bahamas and Florida, have led to inductions to many Halls of Fame, such as the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Nyad became a prominent sports broadcaster, filing compelling reports for NPR, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, Fox Sports, and the New York Times. She has written three books and speaks French and Spanish fluently. Nyad has also earned the reputation of a uniquely passionate and entertaining public speaker, earning standing ovations with a broad spectrum of audiences.

Watch Diana's TEDTalk videos


Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA

Cropped Teepa -Snow _300dpiTeepa is an occupational therapist currently working as a dementia care and dementia education specialist. She has an independent practice. She has clinical appointments with Duke University's School of Nursing and UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine. Teepa provides educational and training sessions to organizations and providers throughout the U.S. & Canada. She lectures for gerontology and health professional programs at colleges and universities across the continent, working closely with a variety dementia specialty service providers in both nations is to develop, improve, and optimize programs and services to people living with dementia, their care partners, and family members. Additionally, she works with individuals and support systems to help problem solve challenging situations.

Teepa has over 33 years of experience in geriatrics. Previously, she served as the education director and lead trainer for the Eastern NC Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. She has also been a program director and an instructor for community college and a clinical associate professor at UNC's School of Medicine, Program on Aging. She has a strong and varied clinical background. She was the OT director in a head injury facility, a clinical specialist in geria­trics at a Veteran's Administration Medical Center and has worked as a restorative care coordinator for long term care facilities, as well as providing direct care in community, home health, long term care, assisted living, and rehabilitation settings. She has worked collaboratively to conduct clinical research in a variety of settings and on a variety of geriatric topics throughout her career.

Teepa attended Duke University as an undergraduate, graduating with a degree in zoology. She earned her master's in Occupational Therapy from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. A Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association, she has received many awards for her clinical and teaching skills.


 Mimi Guarneri, M.D.

Guarneri Hi ResBoard-certified in cardiovascular disease, internal medicine, nuclear medicine and holistic medicine, Dr. Erminia “Mimi” Guarneri, M.D., is president of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine and serves as Senior Advisor to the Atlantic Health System for the Center for Well Being and Integrative Medicine. Dr. Guarneri founded the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine and served as Medical Director for 15 years. Dr. Guarneri is now founder and director of Guarneri Integrative Health, Inc. and Taylor Academy for Integrative Medicine Education and Research located at Pacific Pearl La Jolla in La Jolla, California.

Dr. Guarneri is the author of The Heart Speaks, a poignant collection of stories from heart patients who have benefited from integrative medicine approaches. Her book and clinical work have been featured on the NBC Today Show and the PBS documentary, The New Medicine.

She has served as chair of the Bravewell Clinical Network for Integrative Medicine and has received many awards for her national leadership, including:

  • ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Foundation Scientist of the Year – 2009
  • Bravewell Leadership Award – 2011
  • Institute for Functional Medicine’s Linus Pauling Functional Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award – 2012
  • American College of Nutrition’s Grace A. Goldsmith Award – 2012

Watch Mimi's TEDTalk video


Breeda Miller

Breeda MillerFinding humor in days filled with dementia, incontinence, insomnia, and pain management is not for the faint of heart. Add to that mix the parent/child dynamic and the experience becomes a roller coaster ride like no other.

Breeda Miller poses the question, “Are you in the Caregiver Sandwich?” You might be if you can’t decide which is worse: handing over your car keys to your 16-year-old driver on a Friday night ... or thinking about ways to take away the car keys from your 90-year-old driver.

Breeda is a talented writer, skilled comedic actor, and successful executive. She is also a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. She states that her most fulfilling role was caring for her frail mother until the end of her life. As a member of the Sandwich Generation, Breeda managed to run a household, manage a business, raise three teenagers (two with special needs) while providing round the clock care for her mother. All without the assistance of drugs (mostly).

A graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy with a degree in Communication Studies and Business, Breeda began her career in the Detroit Media where she worked at a number of radio and television stations for over a decade. After her children arrived (all adopted from Korea), she began a speaking and acting career that included teaching the Dale Carnegie Course in Effective Speaking. An invitation to audition for the role of a funny nun in a one-woman comedy led to performances across the country.

Breeda has skillfully woven her experiences as a caregiver into a highly entertaining and engaging program that promises laughs and inspires caregivers to commit to caring for themselves


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