Our History

Efforts to develop a volunteer board to support the Adult Protective Services (APS) Program in the Houston district began in 2001 by Imogen Papadopoulos, a local elder law attorney, and Jan McLaughlin, the Department of Family and Protective Services lead administrator. The non-profit Houston district board was developed to improve the lives of older adults and people with disabilities through education and awareness of issues effecting those two populations of residents. The founding members of the board established goals and objectives to improve social and human services to vulnerable adults through advocacy and the development of resources to support APS caseworkers in the field. Board objectives included the development and promotion of intervention strategies with public and private sector partners designed to prevent and alleviate occurrences of abuse, neglect and exploitation to vulnerable adults.

The board officially became a 501(c)(3) in 2003 and has worked with public and private organizations to educate the Houston community about issues effecting vulnerable adults through conferences, community presentations and outreach. The board has established seven resource rooms throughout the Houston district. These rooms provide fans, heaters, clothing, toiletries and various other items for vulnerable adults in need. Members advocate for laws, policies and services that improve the lives of vulnerable adults living in the community including healthcare, social interaction, financial stability and safety. By establishing partnerships with elder service providers, financial institutions, law enforcement, courts and other social services organizations the board has improved the ability of APS staff to provide better services to vulnerable adults.

Board Members

Jason Burnett, PhD
UT Health Houston McGovern Medical School

Vice President
Christopher Cole Forbes, JD
Christopher Forbes & Associates, PLLC

Tammy Mermelstein, JD, MSW, Collaboratory of Aging Resources & Education (CARE)

Monica James, BHS, CHES
Houston Hospice

Mark Black, BDD
Sacred Oak Medical Center

Linda Meyer
SUN Behavioral Houston

Kelley Lavallais, Pharm D,
Strawberry Family Drug and Pharmacy

Suzanne Terry
Harris County Area on Aging

Keely Jones, CAPM, BDD
Brookdale Senior Living

Angela Goins, DSW, LMSW
University of Houston Downtown (UHD)

Cornelius Blackshear
United Way of Greater Houston

Fred Washington
Retired VP of Auxiliary Enterprises, Retired Major-United States Army