Events and Membership 

Plenary Session Speakers

Who Is America’s New Sandwich Generation? Millennials and GenX


Gretchen E. Alkema, PhD, Vice President, Policy and Communications, The SCAN Foundation, Long Beach, CA

Gretchen E. Alkema serves as Vice President of Policy and Communications for The SCAN Foundation and her professional and personal interests overlap with improving the quality of life for older adults and their caregivers. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was the 2008-09 John Heinz/Health and Aging Policy Fellow and an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, serving in the office of Senator Blanche L. Lincoln (D-AR).

Rachel Hiles, Caregiver Advocate, Kansas City, MO, with The SCAN Foundation’s Do YOU give a care? Campaign

Rachel Hiles, 31, is one of 10 million Millennial caregivers in America. Growing up, Rachel’s grandmother played a huge role in raising her and championing her career aspirations. Rachel worked as a paid caregiver during undergrad, learning how to support people with disabilities to live independently at home and then continued working in the developmental disability field for nearly a decade. After a series of falls landed her grandmother in the hospital, the tables shifted. As her grandmother’s primary caregiver, Rachel works to support her grandma’s quality of life while pursuing her own future goals using practical strategies to ensure that they both have the supports they need.


Rachel knows her “day-to-day” doesn’t look like a typical Millennial’s, which is why she continues to share her story to raise awareness and support other caregivers.


C. Grace Whiting, J.D., President and CEO, National Alliance for Caregiving, Washington, D.C.

C. Grace Whiting, J.D., is the President and Chief Executive Officer at the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC). Grace led the launch of the Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 report with AARP and directed the first national study of rare disease caregiving with Global Genes. She has contributed to several national reports on caregiving, including Cancer Caregiving in the U.S. with the National Cancer Institute and Cancer Support Community, and Dementia Caregiving in the U.S. with the Alzheimer’s Association. She has spoken on caregiving at national and international conferences, including the 7th International Carers Conference and at multiple national summits at the National Institutes of Health. Grace has also served as a resource to major media on the topic of caregiving and aging, including C-SPAN, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Oprah Magazine, Women’s Health Magazine, and Kiplinger’s Retirement Report. In addition to her leadership role at NAC, Grace represents the U.S. on the Governing Board of the International Alliance for Carer Organizations.

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