Our mission is
building empathy—
one story at a time

MemoryWell grew out of our founder Jay Newton-Small's experience caring for father.

Jay's story

Moving my dad into long-term care was one of the hardest days of my life. In the months and years that followed I was desperate to find better ways to ensure his care staff understood him like I did.

MemoryWell grew out of that experience. As a TIME Magazine correspondent, I wrote his story down. His caregivers loved it because now they could understand my father so much better and soothe him in tense moments by recalling for him family names or poignant details about his life. His near-daily rages subsided, and he got along better with those around him. Capturing his story made all of that possible.

There are so many great stories out there that we are losing every day. Our web-based platform creates connections, whether with paid care givers or grandchildren. We build bonds and empathy, start conversations and preserve history.

Here's the story I wrote for him that transformed his care. We're eager to chronicle your loved one's life and hear their unique story. Everyone has a story to tell, we help you tell it.

Jay Newton-Small, Founder of MemoryWell

Don’t just take our word for it…

“This former journalist helps caregivers get to know who their patients once were, before dementia took hold”, Tara Bahrampour

“This Startup Is Transforming Alzheimer's Care One Story At A Time”, Alana Matos

“Caregivers, Researchers Recount Toll of Alzheimer’s, But Remain Optimistic”, WTTG, Kristen Thometz, September 12, 2018

“How Storytelling Can Improve The Care Of People With Alzheimer’s”, 1A, WAMU, July 2017

“Embrace Life by Aging with Grace, Gratitude, and Memoirs”, Rita Watson MPH, December 2016

“A way to preserve life stories before it's too late"

“Telling your story well can improve care"

“DC Inno’s 50 on Fire 2018”, Kieran McQuilkin, October 2, 2018

2018 MIT Solve Award: One of the 10 Best Innovations to Improve Brain Health

2019 Technical.ly’s DC 20 Startups to Watch

2019 Washington Life Magazine’s the Tech 25

Our Team

Jay Newton-Small, Founder and CEO
Jay has been a national journalist for more than 15 years, writing for TIME Magazine and Bloomberg News. When her father moved into an assisted living facility, the staff asked her to fill out a 20-page questionnaire about his life. Instead, she wrote down his story. His caregivers loved it, and MemoryWell was born.

Michael Chandler, Managing Editor
Michael was a reporter at the Washington Post for 13 years where she covered education, gender, and family issues. One of the most meaningful stories she ever produced was a radio documentary about her grandparents. She chronicled their 66 years of marriage and their struggle to find a nursing home where they could live together in their final years as Joe's dementia progressed. You can hear it on NPR

Ben Sollenberger, Director of Product and Operations
Ben is a career entrepreneur with experience launching and building ventures in the food + beverage, sports, and education industries. Before MemoryWell Ben worked at Gartner Technologies and Venture for America, a rigorous fellowship program designed to train and develop the next generation of entrepreneurs. A believer in the power and ritual of storytelling, Ben is proud to be part of a team building a platform to empower seniors to tell their stories.

Faran Negarestan, Director of Engineering
Faran is a technologist with 10+ years of experience in implementing information systems in diverse domains using different technologies. Before joining MemoryWell, Faran was a tech lead at Capital One. He is passionate about making positive social impact using cutting-edge technology.

Maggie McCarthy, Sales and Marketing Specialist
Maggie began her sales and marketing career at WeddingWire focusing on B2B sales and business development. With a background in and passion for healthcare as well as dealing with the experience of her family navigating her grandmother's Alzheimer's diagnosis, MemoryWell's mission stood out to her. She is excited for the opportunity to help improve patient centered care through storytelling!

Steve Gettinger, Editor
Steve Gettinger recently retired as deputy editor of Congressional Quarterly's weekly magazine. He served as an editor and reporter for CQ for 20 years, around stints as managing editor at National Journal magazine and as news editor at Bloomberg News. He authored a book about the revival of capital punishment in the U.S. His favorite piece of personal writing was a reminiscence about his mother, "The Zen of Alzheimer's," for The New York Times Magazine.

Theo LeCompte, Advisor
Theo is a skilled operations executive who has managed complex projects for corporations, nonprofits, and the U.S. government.