About Us

Our mission is to improve access to quality dementia care in our community.

D-CAN Staff & Board of Directors

Patrick Zook, MD

Patrick Zook, MD

Founder & Board Chair

Read Dr. Zook's Bio

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio and medically trained at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, Pat and his wife, Penny have lived in St. Cloud since 1977.  As a family physician there for over 40 years, he has seen and learned a lot from the great relationships he was privileged to enjoy with his family, patients, colleagues and neighbors. These relationships and his own family’s dementia story with both his parents have instilled in him a passion to make sure that our community’s dementia care system provides the best care for our older adults living with dementia and for their families. His brother, sisters and he lived with the gaps in care that still exist today, but our community now has the power and talent to change that kind of story with our Central Minnesota Dementia Community Action Network (D-CAN) nonprofit. Our mission is to improve access to quality dementia care in our community. With the resounding community support we have felt so far, he is now very optimistic about our prospects for transformation to a better, more hopeful model of community dementia care that we have been working on for the past 3 years.

Patrick K. O'Rourke, MPA/CFRM

Patrick K. O'Rourke, MPA/CFRM

Executive Director

Read O'Rourke's Bio

Following 20+year career as a top-level (CEO-equivalent) entrepreneurial leader and executive in commercial finance portfolio lending with specialties in entrepreneurial start-ups and having served in multiple board leadership roles, transitional executive management, and consultancies in other health, environmental, economic development, media, and arts organizations, Patrick had an epiphany that resulted in his dedication to full-time service via leadership and executive management of a nonprofit organization that is doing ongoing good. After having recently lost his mother after a 2+year bout with dementia, he states that discovery of this “wonderful opportunity” to serve as Founding Executive Director of D-CAN, and its DRC, is the answer to his search for the ideal organization to serve with his nonprofit organizational foundation and growth experience.  These experiences have prepared him to ensure administrative, management, fund development, and service excellence toward improving access to quality dementia care throughout central Minnesota and leading D-CAN in the creation of a model of excellence in patient-centered and coordinated dementia care that serves patients, caregivers, families and loved ones, while facilitating similar work in other communities – all in collaboration with our community clinicians.  

Patrick holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from Indiana University, with a specialty in Nonprofit Management (2007); a Certification in Fund Raising Management (CFRM, 2012), with the addition of Capital Campaign Management (2016), from Indiana University’s Center of Philanthropy-The Fund Raising School; he completed all coursework, exams, an extensive literature review on philanthropy/fund development and volunteerism, and dissertation proposal on Creating a Culture of Philanthropy in Nonprofit Organizations for a Ph.D. (A.B.D.) in Mass Communication with a specialty in Public Relations and a cognate in Organization Communication Management. His B.Sc. Degree is in Communication, with specialty in Electronic Media Management (2005).  He has taught and published at several universities, and completed practice-based research in communication, corporate & nonprofit entrepreneurial leadership, public relations, marketing, and multiple camera television/media production.

His wife, Terry, and cat, Megan, and Patrick are loving their new home in St. Cloud and look forward to meeting and serving the greater Central Minnesota community.

Tami Kolbinger, BS, ADC/MC, CDP, CADDCT

Tami Kolbinger, BS, ADC/MC, CDP, CADDCT

Care Navigator/Educator

Read Kolbinger's Bio

I am so thrilled to become the first care navigator/educator for D-CAN at the new Dementia Resource Center.  I look forward to continuing my work and passion in helping people diagnosed with dementia and their care partners and helping to educate and provide resources to those whose lives are affected by dementia.

Tami has worked on the front lines of dementia care for 14 years in socialization, education, and consulting for people living with dementia in memory care, assisted living, and long-term care community settings. She is a Certified Dementia Practitioner, and a Certified Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Trainer. She is a trained support group facilitator. She was the Co-chair for the St. Cloud Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s for two years, the lead for Act on Alzheimer’s in Becker, MN, a regional member of the Act on Alzheimer’s (Central Minnesota) group, and President of the Becker Area Senior Center Board. She was a care partner for her father for five years on his journey with Alzheimer’s disease and is currently a caregiver for her father-in-law on his journey with Parkinson’s.

Chris Tacl, MD

Chris Tacl, MD

Medical Director/Board Member

Read Dr. Tacl's Bio

Chris is a semi-retired family physician who grew up in Minnesota. He completed his undergraduate work at St. Thomas, medical school at the University of Minnesota, and residency at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. For 21 years, he served as president of St. Cloud Medical Group and continues to work part-time with CentraCare. Chris’s interest in dementia stems from his father’s personal battle and the many interactions with patients and families over the past 40+ years. His practice grew to have a large geriatric component providing additional motivation to become involved in providing a vital community resource for those with dementia and their families. He is excited to be part of the team delivering this model of community dementia care. Chris has lived in St. Cloud with his wife, Karen, since 1983.

Karin Pauly

Karin Pauly

Board Director

Read Pauly's Bio

Karin Pauly is the founder of Caring for Nancy, a website resource for family and informal caregivers. Karin is passionate about the journey and challenges of caregivers as she was the primary caregiver for her mother for 14 years. Karin is a volunteer community educator for the Alzheimer’s Association, and is certified for Advanced Dementia Capability Training by the Minnesota Board on Aging. Karin is a Director of Marketing for Microbiologics, Inc. and the co-owner of Bluestone Grill in Monticello, MN.

David Tilstra, MD, MBA

David Tilstra, MD, MBA

Board Director

Read Tilstra's Bio

David currently serve as Community Transformation Officer of CentraCare, an integrated healthcare system based in St. Cloud, MN. He has been with CentraCare since 1995 practicing pediatrics and medical genetics and has served in the roles of Medical Director and President of CentraCare Clinic. His experience has taught him that the systems of where we live, work, and play are often the crucial link for patients, families, and residents to be able to live healthy lives. Dementia care is one of the important systems that is needed by many members of our communities to extend healthy lives and allow people to live in their own community for as long as possible.  

Bradley W. Hanson

Bradley W. Hanson

Board Director

Read Hanson's Bio

Brad Hanson is a shareholder at the St. Cloud law firm of Quinlivan & Hughes. He has been practicing for over 30 years and concentrates in the areas of estate planning, probate and trust administration; income, estate, gift and generation skipping transfer tax planning; family business succession planning; medical assistance and nursing home planning; charitable giving and non-profit organizations. Brad’s interest in dementia comes from his experience working on estate plans for clients with dementia and their caregivers. Brad has had a personal exposure to dementia in watching his mother experience the effects of dementia for many years.

Tami has worked on the front lines of dementia care for 14 years in socialization, education, and consulting for people living with dementia in memory care, assisted living, and long-term care community settings. She is a Certified Dementia Practitioner, and a Certified Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Trainer. She is a trained support group facilitator. She was the Co-chair for the St. Cloud Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s for two years, the lead for Act on Alzheimer’s in Becker, MN, a regional member of the Act on Alzheimer’s (Central Minnesota) group, and President of the Becker Area Senior Center Board. She was a care partner for her father for five years on his journey with Alzheimer’s disease and is currently a caregiver for her father-in-law on his journey with Parkinson’s.

Marie Primus, CPA, CGMA

Marie Primus, CPA, CGMA

Board Director

Read Primus' Bio

Marie was born and raised in Pierz, Minnesota and now resides in Sartell, Minnesota with her husband (Jason) and two children (Sienna and Landry). Marie has been a CPA for over 18 years and works exclusively with not-for-profit organizations at BerganKDV, in St. Cloud, Minnesota. We are so fortunate to have so many great organizations locally, including Central Minnesota Dementia Community Action Network (D-CAN). In 2019, she was approached by Pat Zook about becoming involved with D-CAN and from the start she knew his passion and the strong network he had created had the potential to significantly change the dementia care system. The mission of D-CAN is personal as well, her dad’s oldest sister has dementia. She’s seen first-hand how quickly lives change for those with dementia, as well as those caring for them. She is proud to be a part of the team that will provide necessary and improved dementia care resources to our community.  

Rick Tanler

Rick Tanler

Board Director

Read Tanler's Bio

Rick Tanler admits to loving data. His vision is to merge Medical Care data with Personal Health data to improve population Health Outcomes. Tanler managed a data analytics venture from start-up to a successful IPO, earning him recognition as the Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst  & Young. He also is author of a book that described how analytic systems would migrate to the Internet, the Intranet Data Warehouse. Tanler has a passion for helping people who struggle with dementia. His passion was sparked by working with the University of Minnesota on a project “Care to Plan”, an online tool offering tailored support to Dementia caregivers.  

Merryn Jolkovsky, MD

Merryn Jolkovsky, MD

Board Director

Read Dr. Jolkovsky's Bio

Originally from Indiana, Merryn graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine and completed Internal Medicine Residency and Nephrology Fellowship at Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis. She and her husband Rick, a cardiologist relocated to St. Cloud in 1996 to practice at CentraCare. Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology, Merryn practiced Nephrology in St. Cloud MN for 14 years, then, recognizing a need for improved care for those facing serious illness, she followed her passion for caring for elders and developed the physician-led Palliative Care service at St. Cloud Hospital in 2010. She attained Board Certification in Hospice and Palliative Care in 2012.   Palliative Care services have since expanded to include outpatient consults at their newly opened clinic space in Marketplace Shopping Center and the Coborn Cancer Center.  She was appointed to the position of Physician Section Director of the Transitions of Care Section at CentraCare Health March 2016. She co-founded and serves on the Board of Directors of Light the Legacy, a nonprofit organization working to promote Health Care Directives in Central Minnesota. Through her experiences with her own family members suffering with dementia and working with patients and families, she recognized the toll dementia is taking on patients and caregivers in our community and inspired by Dr. Zook’s vision and passion, was thrilled to be able to contribute to the creation and development of the Central Minnesota Dementia Community Action Network.

Eric Linn

Eric Linn

Board Director

Read Linn's Bio

Born and raised in central Minnesota, Eric and his wife (Joyce) both grew up on farms. They also raised their two children on a small farm near Avon. Joyce and Eric are both small business owners. He served in their community as a fire fighter for 22 years, and Fire Chief for 15 of those years. Their family has become advocates of those with dementia and their caregivers. They have strived to always take the time to listen to the stories of families and support them any way they can. Eric’s mother, Irene, was diagnosed at age 58. Her young age, and the challenges they faced, made them realize the great need for all affected to have a clear path to navigate such a difficult journey. He is forever grateful to have met Pat several years ago. Eric shares Pat’s passion and the mission of D-CAN to improve access to quality dementia care in the Central Minnesota community.

James Romanowsky, MD

James Romanowsky, MD

Board Director

Read Dr. Romanowskys Bio

Dr. Romanowsky is a neurologist, currently practicing at CentraCare. He is originally from Illinois, completed his undergraduate work and medical school at Indiana University, internship in Providence Rhode Island, and neurology residency at Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis. When he came to St. Cloud, in 1978, he was the first neurologist to actually live here, and work full time in the community. He co-founded The Neurology Clinic of St. Cloud, and built it up to five neurologists before joining CentraCare. He became fascinated with human behavior in his undergrad psychology classes, and remembers pondering the photos of brains of patients with dementia, and wondering how the pathology happened, and what could be done about it. Medical researchers all over the world are still looking for the answers to those questions. Dr. Romanowsky enjoys collaborating with others who share these interests. After being a neurologist for over 42 years, he still finds it interesting. Besides being a neurologist, he also a medical acupuncturist. In his free time he loves to fish, play music with his friends, snowshoe, cross-country ski, and take part in a meditation group, and book group, with his wife, Ann.

Bob Mahowald Sr.

Bob Mahowald Sr.

Board Director

About D-CAN

Dementia Community Action Network and our supporting partners are on a mission to improve access to quality dementia care in Central Minnesota. We believe that collaborating with a patient, their family and their dementia clinician can slow progression of dementia symptoms leading to more life to live. We start with a thorough dementia risk assessment and evaluation in our office, then formulate a diagnosis and management plan. A patient’s referring primary care or specialty clinician remains in charge of their care, but we partner with them to provide a more thorough and successful management. Through personalized recommendations for diet, exercise, sleep, relaxation, personal connection, health habits, and therapeutics can be effective in slowing progression.

Together, we are ending the fear of dementia.

Community Partners

We are thankful for the support and engagement from representatives of Alzheimer’s Association, Central Minnesota Council on Aging, St. Cloud State University, Stearns County Social Services, St. Cloud Veterans Hospital, Diocese of St. Cloud, Congressman Tom Emmer’s office, United Health Care, St. Cloud Hospital, Whitney Senior Center, ACT St. Cloud, Minnesota Medical Association and Foundation, and others.

Central MN Dementia Community Action Network

Call: (320) 640-6726
Fax: (320) 774-1238
Email: contact@dcan-mn.org
Hours: by appointment only

All content on this website is intended to be informational only and does not create a patient-client relationship and does not intend to constitute medical advice.