Caregiving in the Time of COVID: One Year In


What have we learned about taking care of our loved ones during one of the worst health crises of our time? Today we talk to three caregivers who share how they’ve coped with a wide array of challenges. Then we talk to two leaders in the field to discover what they’ve learned: Grace Whiting the President and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving, and Jennifer Olson – the executive director of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers.




GRACE WHITING At thirty-two, Grace was named the President/CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving, after previous stints as the COO and the Director of Strategic Partnerships. In her work at NAC, Grace led the nation’s first national policy study of 1,400+ rare disease caregivers with Global Genes. She has supported two nationally representative studies on caregiving, Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 released this past May with AARP, and the previous version in 2015. She has led new policy research on families managing cancer, autoimmune disorders such as IBD, cancer, dementia, mental illness, and chronic disease. She has provided testimony to Congress on caregiving programs and provided policy analysts to national media outlets such as C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. In addition to her role at NAC, Grace represents NAC and the United States on the Governing Board of the International Alliance for Carer Organizations and offers ex officio support for NAC’s role as Secretariat.

DR. JENNIFER OLSEN, an experienced epidemiologist, serves as executive director of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers (RCI), which promotes the health, strength, and resilience of caregivers throughout the United States. Prior to joining RCI, Olsen managed the Ending Pandemics in Our Lifetime initiative at the Skoll Global Threats Fund – whose mission was to drive large-scale change by investing in and connecting with those dedicated to solving five of the world’s greatest threats: climate change, pandemics, water security, nuclear proliferation, and conflict in the Middle East. Olsen also served as Fusion Division Director in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Olsen has also directed disease surveillance activities for large scale special events, including the G-8 and G-20 summits, State of the Union Addresses, the 2009 Presidential Inauguration, and Democratic and Republican National Conventions. She was advisor on the development of a Federal Interagency Information Collection Plan for the 2009 H1N1 Influenza outbreak. She also served with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, where she conducted modeling and simulation analysis with a focus on epidemiological scenarios. Olsen holds a B.A. in biomathematics from Rutgers University, an M.P.H. in Epidemiology from The George Washington University, and a Dr.P.H. from the University of North Carolina.