Welcome to A Mind For All Seasons- “AMFAS” for short! We are a growing network of professionals who passionately believe that better brain health is possible in all seasons of life and are committed to enhancing lives…one brain at a time.
WHERE TO START?
All members of the AMFAS team are highly dedicated to assisting each other, our clients, their families, and the professionals who serve them by leveraging the power of great research and root-cause medicine and translating it into a personalized process that makes it as straightforward as possible for everyone to optimize their health.
A Mind for All Seasons was founded May 18, 2016 when Eric Collett, our CEO, saw a need for family and professional caregivers to receive support, coaching, education and guidance in the latest dementia care techniques. After studying interpersonal communication and psychology, Eric began a career in assisted living in 2000, first as a program director, then as an administrator. He took over as the executive director of a struggling memory care community in 2009 and developed innovative techniques that leveraged the best of social science and dementia research, practical experience, and industry training to provide a better experience for the residents of the community. As the community’s reputation expanded, requests began coming for Eric to train families and industry professionals, and after 7 years he took a leap of faith and founded AMFAS as a solo consultant.
A Mind For All Seasons grew rapidly and, as Eric began speaking and training healthcare professionals around the country, he had an opportunity to consult with an assisted living company in Arizona that was interested in refining their memory care approach. That opportunity- and a series of incredible events in 2017- led to Eric meeting Randy Vawdrey, a brilliant nurse practitioner, scientist, researcher, and businessman.
Randy obtained his nurse practitioner license in 2002 and soon started an urgent care clinic and primary care practice. He also developed a mental health practice, a med spa, and became the director of psychotropic drug review at the Idaho State Veteran’s Home in Pocatello. A pharmacist friend brought him an article about a pilot trial published by UCLA neurologist Dale Bredesen, MD in 2014 which demonstrated significant reversal of dementia symptoms in 9 out of 10 participants. Intrigued, Randy combed through the footnotes, read everything he could find on the techniques described, and began using the approach with his own patients. By the time Eric met Randy in 2017, Randy had a huge binder of collected research and many direct experiences helping his own patients improve their cognitive functioning in spite of having Alzheimer’s and dementia diagnoses.
Speaking of their first meeting in Randy’s living room one night, Eric said, “I had read Dr. Bredesen’s paper in 2014 and thought, ‘That’s pretty impressive. I’ll have to keep an eye on his research.’ I had no idea anyone had decided to apply the research outside of a research trial. Randy and I stayed up till after midnight discussing his work and actual cases of people right in our own state who had made impressive gains. I left Randy’s house 100% convinced that we could make a bigger difference for people living with dementia. We sensed immediately that we each had 50% of a puzzle and would get much further by combining our efforts.”
Enter The Enhance Protocol®
The process Eric, Randy, and associates in Arizona worked hard to create was christened “The Enhance Protocol” one day in meetings at the Mesa Country Club. As assisted living and memory care residents began participating in The Enhance Protocol, Eric and Randy witnessed incredible improvements and so did the families of the residents. Some of them began asking if the protocol could help them prevent decline since they had a family history. Alzheimer’s usually starts 10 to 20 years before symptoms show up, so prevention is a far better strategy than waiting until the damage is done. As more people began participating and the power of The Enhance Protocol helped them change their lives for the better, Eric began offering the protocol to families in Idaho.
Things began getting so busy by the end of 2018 that Eric and Randy needed more help. The day after they decided to find someone to join the adventure, Christine Bubb, then a 6-year veteran education director for the Alzheimer’s Association, called Eric to ask if AMFAS might need some help. Within days, Christine came on board as the company’s first memory coach. Known for her easy, fun nature and caring, empathetic style, Christine set the standard for others who would follow. In one famous episode, she famously showed up unannounced with a homemade zoodle lasagna for an early client who needed to lose about 80 pounds but thought he could never give up traditional lasagna. He loved it, and with Christine’s encouragement and guidance he lost 30 pounds in three months.
In those early days, AMFAS was headquartered at Eric’s home office. He, Randy and Christine have great memories of inventing the future- often with one of them sitting on the floor.
The First Brain Therapy Studio
As A Mind For All Seasons helped larger numbers of clients, Randy, Christine and Eric recognized that some people improved their cognitive functioning in dramatic ways while others quit declining but failed to show impressive gains. They looked for other interventions that may help clients improve further and began purchasing and experimenting with medical devices to improve blood flow, calm inflammation, increase energy production, and more. Christine began driving devices around and providing services to clients in their homes. The additional therapies proved to be very helpful to many clients and driving all over town quickly became unsustainable, so Eric, Randy and Christine looked for office space to create a sort of ‘brain gym’. It was then that our office at 7655 W. Riverside Drive was born.
With AMFAS offering Red Light Therapy, Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy, Audio-Visual Entrainment, Exercise with Oxygen, and Infrared Sauna, they quickly found need to add another member to the team. Gar Malcom was an easy choice and joined the team as Chief Therapy Coordinator. Gar and Christine had gotten to know each other through the Alzheimer’s Association where Gar volunteered regularly. Her passion for the cause of better brain health, along with decades of experience in project management and running global teams at Micron Technology, made her a perfect fit for figuring out how to structure and grow the Brain Therapy Studio concept.
In 2020 Erin Westfall, a talented Speech-Language Pathologist, approached Eric and expressed a desire to learn more about the techniques used at AMFAS. She joined the team on an internship basis and very quickly made the rest of the team wonder how they ever survived without her, so she was hired as the Chief Clinical Coordinator. Erin came with years of experience as a medical-based SLP, and took on the baseline assessments, adding to them and turning them into the assessment package we now offer for baseline and progress information on each client. Her efforts are instrumental in our ability to quantify outcomes for our clients. Erin was also able to add to the Memory Coaching, as she had previously been a Memory Care Mentor and Certified Dementia Practitioner.
AMFAS began to grow rapidly, and the team found themselves needing additional help in the brain therapy studio. A Therapy Technician role was added and Kirsten Arrate, a recent kinesiology graduate, did a great job filling the role for several months before pursuing an out-of-state opportunity. Albina ‘Abby’ Beshirova, a talented and warm 16-year veteran of assisted living memory care management, joined the team as a therapy technician and to help further grow the Brain Therapy Studio.
Matt Fisher, RN Cognitive Specialist, met Eric Collett in 2017 when they were both volunteering for the Idaho Alzheimer’s Planning Group. He ended up taking a class that Eric taught on advanced dementia care, and In Matt’s own words, “I’d been following AMFAS ever since with fingers crossed they would someday need a nurse on staff.” Matt joined AMFAS in 2021 to help expand our reach, services, and collective experience. He provides memory coaching and consultation, along with helping to develop our outreach to various healthcare providers. His electronics experience is pretty handy to have around when a device breaks, too!
As The Enhance Protocol developed and our client base grew to include people living with mental health challenges, ADHD, post-concussive disorder, and other brain-related health challenges, the AMFAS team realized our digital presence was in need of a major overhaul and ongoing support. Stephen Beacham joined the AMFAS team as Chief Technology Officer and quickly helped to lead a substantial upgrade to our website. He continues to improve our digital offerings to make it as easy as possible for people all over the world to learn what they can do to improve brain health for themselves and those around them.
To Be Continued...
The story of A Mind For All Seasons is an incomplete one- a tale that is being written every day in the lives of professionals, families and individuals all over the world who have chosen to take a stand and fight for better brain health. We invite you to become part of our story by learning what you and those you love can do to optimize brain health now…and for all seasons of life.