Contact Us

Healthy aging is just a phone call or a key-stroke away!  We invite you to to learn more about the programs and services at the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging.

Contact WIHA:

Betsy Abramson, JD – Executive Director 

At WIHA since January 2011, a few months after WIHA began, Betsy oversees all program development and activities, budget, partner development and program advocacy. She also serves on the Executive Committee with our research partner, CAARN. A lifelong Wisconsin resident with both undergrad and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Betsy has over 30 years of experience in Wisconsin's aging network, previously as a public interest elder law attorney. | 608-243-5691  


Jane Mahoney, MD - Chief Medical Officer

In addition to serving as WIHA's Chief Medical Office, Dr. Mahoney is Professor in the UW Division of Geriatrics, Director of the Community-Academic Aging Resource Network (CAARN) and Director of Dissemination and Implementation Resources at the Institute for Clinical & Translational Research, (ICTR). She is also an Affiliate Faculty of the UW Institute on Aging.

Dr. Mahoney received her medical degree at the University of California-San Francisco, and completed her medical residency and geriatric fellowship training at the UW. She is nationally recognized for her pioneering research in falls and novel interventions to reduce the incidence of falls in community-dwelling elderly as well as dissemination research on the Stepping On falls prevention program. Dr. Mahoney's research has been supported by peer-reviewed grants from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), NIH and AHRQ.


Karen Beck - Director of Administration

Karen Beck is the Director of Administration for WIHA where she manages day-to-day office operations and the administrative staff.  Karen has over 30 years in Office Management and Operations.  Prior to joining the staff at WIHA, Karen was focused on small start-up businesses around the Madison area. | 608-243-5690  


Michelle Comeau - Director of Leader Development

Michelle Comeau is the Director of Leader Development at WIHA where she works with Master Trainers, local coordinators, and program leaders to ensure program quality and ease while offering assistance and support.  Michelle has worked with evidence based prevention programs (EBPP) since 2009 in both rural California and all over Wisconsin. She is a Master Trainer in Living Well with Chronic Conditions and Healthy Living with Diabetes. | 262-305-5948


Anthony Denu - Data Entry Specialist

Anthony Denu is the Data Entry Clerk at WIHA. Anthony is a fulltime student at Madison College where his focus is Journalism and Spanish. Along with Anthony’s part-time data entry work at WIHA he is also a DJ for the Sun Community Radio, and is one of the sportscasters for the Sun Radio as well as the Sun Prairie Girls Varsity basketball team.


Erin Eggert is a Community Research Associate with the Wisconsin Institute of Healthy Aging (WIHA) and the Community-Academic Aging Research network (CAARN). For CAARN, Erin works to facilitate the development of new evidence-based programs with researchers and community organizations. For WIHA, Erin works to disseminate evidence-based programs and is the faculty trainer for the Physical Activity for Lifelong Success (PALS) program. Erin is a Certified Exercise Physiologist and has experience working with evidence-based programs around physical activity, nutrition, and stress management. | 608-852-4303


Margie Hackbarth - Director of Business Development 

Margie Hackbarth is the Director of Business Development at WIHA. Her focus is building partnerships with health care organizations to recognize the role – and value – of evidence-based prevention programs.  In her nearly 30 years’ experience working with healthcare organizations, Margie has supported a range of areas from community relations and marketing to patient advocacy and geriatric service line administration.  She welcomes inquiries and an opportunity to discuss proven methods to give better upstream care to the complex geriatric population. | 715-571-5250


Kris Krasnowski - Director of Communications & Community Relations

Kris Krasnowski is Director of Communications & Community Relations at WIHA where she focuses on all things communications. With a BA in Journalism from UW-Eau Claire, Kris has over 25 years of experience specializing in public relations and strategic communications working almost exclusively in organizations and on projects that support and advocate on behalf of older adults in Wisconsin. | 608-333-2860


Shannon Myers - Director of Program Implementation & Community Research Specialist

Shannon Myers is the Program Implementation Director, Stepping On Faculty Trainer, and Community Research Specialist.  She works to support the leaders, Master Trainers and license holders nationally with Stepping On (SO) to build and maintain quality. She also works with CAARN (Community-Academic Aging Research Network) to develop and disseminate new evidence-based programs to meet community needs by establishing partnerships between researchers and community organizations.  Before coming to WIHA, Shannon coordinated evidence-based prevention programs in rural Wisconsin and nationally. | 608-852-0813


Jill Renken - Director of Program Provider Partnerships

Jill is the Director of Program Provider Partnerships for the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging (WIHA). She works to identify, develop and support strategic organizational partnerships that assist in expanding and sustaining the dissemination of evidence-based community health promotion programs to improve health and quality of life in Wisconsin.

Jill has a bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion and Masters of Public Health degree.  She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist.  Jill has done health education work in the university, healthcare, and worksite employee wellness setting, with most experience in community wellness programs.  She’s worked within Wisconsin’s Aging Network for over 10 years assisting statewide implementation of Evidence-Based Healthy Aging Programs. | 608-852-7251


Morgan Walsh - Administrative Assistant

Morgan Walsh is an Administrative Assistant at WIHA where she assists and executes daily office tasks to help keep WIHA running smoothly including database maintenance, planning and sending out materials for Leader trainings, and assisting with any in office projects.  Morgan is also an accomplished cellist and music teacher. | 608-243-5694


Contact CAARN:
If you're interested in healthy aging research and want to know more, contact the Community Academic Aging Research Network (CAARN).