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About: JoAnn Westbrook, N.H.A.

  • Role : Director of Education
  • Experience : 28 yrs
  • Specialist in : Gerontology, Dementia Care Education


JoAnn is a highly creative entrepreneur with a long track record of founding and growing successful businesses.

A Florida-native, born and raised in Sarasota, she spent the first 30 years of her professional life on her toes, literally. An avid ballet professional, JoAnn spent 18 years in Greensboro, NC, where she created and ran a classical ballet company, two dance schools, and the dance department at Greensboro College.

She returned to her home state to care for her mother who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma; a journey that prompted her to learn more about aging and its intricacies.

She received her degree in Gerontology at University of South Florida and expanded her professional career as a Nursing Home Administrator and a certified Assisted Living Administrator. As the Author of “Do You Know Where Your Parents Are?”, Mrs. Westbrook offers crucial information families need to choose the best health care option for a loved one.

In 1996 she opened a secure dementia care unit at Pines of Sarasota, named “The Garden.” To address the needs of professionals and caregivers in the home, she founded the Pines of Sarasota Education & Training Institute in 2007.

To further advance her Florida State-Certified Alzheimer’s training, JoAnn became a “Positive Approach to CareTM” certified trainer in Teepa’s Snow’s techniques in 2014.

When she’s not in the office or travelling the state to train caregivers in Positive ApproachTM techniques, JoAnn and her artist husband K.C. Higgins can be found plotting their next adventure.


Personal motto?

Determination is the key to success

Secret power or talent?

Great talent for finding the right person for the right job, for greatest impact

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Happy. And surrounded by the arts.