Laura C. Jalbert, LCSW – Owner & Clinical Director
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Laura is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been professionally working with Older Adults since 1999. Her dedication and concern for the elderly extend beyond her professional work. She has worked with families of different backgrounds for many years, including her own, as an advocate to ensure safety, mental health, and quality care for seniors.
Laura’s extensive experience includes the creation and ongoing clinical direction of the Mindful Transitions Team, managing an Assisted Living Alzheimer’s unit, inpatient work with seniors in crisis needing emergency medical/mental health assessment, stabilization, intervention, and discharge planning as well as outpatient work in an office setting, and clinical work with seniors in independent and assisted living settings. Laura also has experience with case management, group and individual psychotherapy, support groups, activity program design and implementation for Alzheimer’s, family therapy, community staff and family education on a variety of topics, intervention on behalf of the patient with family, physicians, and residence facilities.
Laura also frequently speaks to professionals, graduate students, and family audiences on a variety of topics ranging from psychotherapy techniques to emergency clinical interventions. Laura works with both elderly clients and their caregivers to help the client “age in place” and prevent premature placement whenever possible. She is an active member of NASW (National Association of Social Workers), GSCSW (Georgia Society for Clinical Social Work), and NAIPC-GA Chapter (National Aging in Place Council) and she has been Intensively Trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) since 2003. She also supervises geriatric focused LMSWs toward LCSW licensure.
Laura is a very proud graduate of The University of Georgia School of Social work for both her BSW and MSW degrees. Both Mindful Transitions as a company and Laura individually have been recognized by the University of Georgia Alumni Association for their accomplishments and commitment to the University. Laura has been recognized in the UGA Alumni Association 2014 Class of “40 Under 40.” Mindful Transitions was listed in both the 2017 and 2018 UGA Alumni Association “Bulldog 100” list of the fastest growing Bulldog Businesses. In addition, Laura is part of the “Women of UGA Leadership Council” and sits on the Mentorship Committee.
She works with her clients and their families in an open, direct, and collaborative manner to thoroughly assess the issues at hand and develop treatment goals so that progress can be measured. The type of counseling provided depends on the individual issues of each client. Often, she utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to help clients change their thinking and behavior to more effectively interact with their world. As the company’s name suggest, Mindfulness is a core value for Laura’s work with all clients, and in her life as a whole, and Laura teaches clients how to explore and enjoy the moments life presents-just as they are.
John Jalbert – Practice Manager
Contact John: firstname.lastname@example.org
John Jalbert moved to the Atlanta area in 2004 from Southern California. He studied engineering and business at Cal State Long Beach and worked for several years in logistics and project management. With a grateful appreciation for the Older Adult population John was easily swayed to come work for Mindful Transitions in 2013.
John’s interests include music, the arts, hot rods, chess, cooking, and he also enjoys working with his hands. In his free time, John spends his time with his wife Laura working on their house in East Cobb and looking for all of the new experiences that life has to offer.
Jill C. Jenkins, LCSW – Assistant Clinical Director and Clinician
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Jill is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been practicing social work since 1995. From an early age, Jill knew she wanted to help people in some capacity, especially through counseling. She was always there to listen, help those in need, and offer support, guidance, and resources as needed.
She started off her career working with clients who had developmental disabilities. Many of them were institutionalized, while others were mainstreamed and in work-type programs. She then moved into an internship at the Georgia War Veterans’ Home in Milledgeville, Ga. It was there that she formed a strong desire to counsel and help the elderly population. She thoroughly enjoyed listening to the hundreds of stories from the veterans themselves and provided extensive counseling services to those residents. She has the utmost respect for the geriatric population and recognizes the hardships that were endured during their lifetime and the incredible work ethic created in this generation.
She then went to work at a local hospital, gaining experience in multiple areas, including Emergency Room, Extended Stay, Short Stay, Orthopedics, and Oncology. Jill also worked on developing a patient advocate program that would function in the Emergency Room. She learned of the importance of advocating for patients and their families, especially those in crisis. She realized that a kind word, a caring gesture, and even a warming blanket could make a huge difference in one’s life. In addition, while working in oncology, Jill learned about the area of hospice, which became her next endeavor.
Jill spent the next 18 years in hospice, providing counseling and emotional support to the terminally ill and their families. She spent 8 years in the home care setting, 7 years at an inpatient unit, and 2 years providing care in Assisted Living, Independent Living, and Nursing Home Facilities. Jill’s extensive hospice experience includes end of life care, grief and bereavement counseling for children, teens, adults, and seniors, assisting with advance directives and funeral planning, linking with community resources, alternative placement for patients who are no longer hospice appropriate, and providing clinical supervision for MSW’s seeking licensure. She co-led several grief and caregiver support groups and volunteered at family bereavement camps.
In the past few years, Jill has been more focused on the aging population and acknowledges the importance of people “aging in place”. She wants to prevent placement when possible and provide resources to help clients and their families “age in place” and stay in their homes. Jill is a strong advocate for the elderly population and recognizes the many people in this population that struggle with anxiety, depression, adjustment issues, grief/bereavement, and multiple life transitions. Jill’s main focus in counseling is to be mindful of what clients feel is important to them. The type of therapy utilized depends on the individual issues of each client. She often utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness to help clients alter their thinking into a more productive and positive manner. She incorporates the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of one’s life and provides interventions based on client strengths. She also utilizes Family Systems Therapy, Crisis Intervention, and Goal-Directed Therapy as appropriate. Communication and follow-through are extremely important to Jill, as well as to successful therapy.
Christina Fisher, LCSW – Intake Coordinator
Contact Christina: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christina Fisher, LCSW is the Intake Coordinator for the Mindful Transitions Team. She is a Licensed Clinical Social worker with a strong background in medical and psychiatric hospital work and has a lifelong commitment to the field of human services, particularly the older adult population.
Christina received her Master’s of Social Work from the University of Georgia and began to work in the inpatient acute hospital and inpatient psychiatric settings. She has experience working in emergency services, neonatal intensive care, medical and surgical services, women’s services, as well as orthopedic and spinal services. She also served as the Director of Social Work services for a number of years at a local inpatient psychiatric hospital where the primary population of service was older adults. Christina has extensive experience in assessment and evaluation, group psychotherapy, individual psychotherapy and crisis intervention. During her years in the acute care and inpatient psychiatry setting, she gained strong case management, utilization review, and clinical social work management skills while working with the interdisciplinary care team.
Christina also has a great deal of experience working in the realm of dementia and cognitive disorders. She served as a facilitator for a caregiver’s support group held for families and caregivers with a loved one diagnosed with dementia through the Alzheimer’s Association in addition to her clinically diverse direct practice experiences with older adults.
Christina practices a primary approach of solution and strengths based theories in her work with clients.
Kristi Sullivan, LCSW – Clinician
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Kristi is a clinical social worker with over 12 years of experience in case management, counseling, and patient advocacy with seniors and their families in the acute hospital setting. Kristi works with seniors from a strengths perspective in helping them navigate through overwhelming issues that can present during the later stage of life. Although interpersonal and cognitive behavioral therapies are the basis for her work, the theoretical approaches she employs are integrative and individualized for each client. Empowerment is a key component in Kristi’s work with seniors. She teaches them how to identify and utilize the strengths and resiliency within themselves in coping with challenging transitions in life.
Robin Raflo Hurtado, LCSW – Clinician
Contact Robin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Robin Raflo Hurtado is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over ten years of experience working with older adults. Robin’s areas of expertise include individual, family, and group psychotherapy, case management, client advocacy, crisis intervention, and assessment and evaluation with diverse populations. She also facilitates caregiver support groups and workshops within the community.
Robin is committed to helping people maximize their quality of life through supportive collaboration, open and objective communication, and tailored treatment goals focused on promoting positive change and self-empowerment. Robin’s nonjudgmental and authentic manner aims to provide a safe environment for each client. She provides gentle guidance to obtain a more balanced perspective on challenging life events, with specific focus on the intricacies that the late stage of life can often present.
Robin’s therapeutic framework is grounded in the strengths based perspective, Problem Solving Therapy (PST), and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) techniques. However, each client’s treatment plan is unique and individualized, developed with mutual respect and collaboration.
Maria R. Walker, LCSW – Clinician
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Maria is a clinical social worker who discovered her love for working with seniors in undergraduate school, while pursuing her BSW. Upon finishing her undergraduate degree her first job was with an Area Agency on Aging where she provided case management, advocacy, and authorized payment for services to maintains seniors and children and adults with disabilities in their homes in a safe and feasible environment.
Maria continued to grow professionally and continued to serve seniors but also pursued other areas of social work to compliment her skill set. Maria has worked in hospitals, long term care, home care, geriatric psychiatry, residential treatment for adolescents, administration, and in academia. Yet after pursuing other areas of practice, Maria has returned to her first love of working with seniors.
Maria’s clinical orientation is based in cognitive behavioral as well as solution focused therapeutic approaches. Finally, Maria uses a strengths perspective with every significantly unique patient she encounters.
Denise Greenberger, LCSW, ACHP-SW – Clinician
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Denise Greenberger is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has been practicing since 1985. She has a Certificate in Gerontology and certification as an Advanced Clinical Hospice and Palliative Care Social Worker (ACHP-SW). Her passion to connect with seniors began at a very early age as she was very close with her neighbors which comprised of four generations residing in one home.
When working with seniors, Denise establishes a connection with them and focuses on their strengths. Furthermore, when providing therapy, loss is a central theme that surfaces. Seniors have often had tremendous losses that mount up over the years and can cause great challenges and struggles. Denise uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Family Systems in her work. She also utilizes Life Review and Grief Therapy with her clients. Denise focuses on her clients being mindful of their thoughts and behaviors. Communication is an important aspect of therapy as well.
Denise’s experience has been in the nursing home setting, assisted living facilities, senior independent living facilities, geriatric hospital settings, as well as home based settings. For over twenty years she worked in hospice with terminally ill and chronically ill patients and their families in their homes and inpatient settings providing counseling on family and end of life issues. She continues to serve as the social work consultant for a local Continuing Care Retirement Community. Since 1997, she has worked as a psychotherapist with individuals and groups with children, adults and families.
Denise provides clinical supervision to licensed Masters level social workers who want to continue develop their skills in order to receive their LCSW clinical licenses.
Her volunteer work over the years has included facilitating family support groups for the Atlanta Alzheimer’s Association, training DeKalb County Police Recruits on working with individuals with dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease and actively participating on the Education Committee for the Atlanta Alzheimer’s Association. Denise was instrumental in starting and developing Camp STARS, Family Bereavement Camp. She continues to volunteer for Camp STARS as well as Camp BIAG (Brain Injury Association of Georgia).
Tina Powell, LCSW – Clinician
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Tina Powell is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with more than 20 years of experience working in the field of Social Work in hospitals, home health, mental health, schools and residential settings; providing case management, counseling, crisis intervention and discharge planning for diverse populations.
Tina is committed to working as a team, with a client by listening to what is important to them and addressing those issues. She has a passion for working with the senior population that developed at a young age. She was raised in a small town where she and her great-grandmother, who passed away at 109, would visit the elderly on Sunday afternoons to offer support, help with a meal or with a household repair. Through these visits she developed respect for the senior population as well as an understanding of the difficulty that our elderly face each day as they grow older.
Tina’s style of therapy is based on each client’s needs. She often uses cognitive behavioral therapy, problem solving and mindfulness. She includes the client’s strengths in order to develop interventions for positive change and success. She believes in working with the client and their different support systems in order to connect them to needed community resources.
Tina’s experience includes working in hospitals for fifteen years and home health for two years. She served on the Cancer Committee at Grady Hospital and learned that showing empathy and compassion for those in need can make a difference in their lives. She has also worked at residential treatment homes for adolescents, in schools and with clients that have disabilities. She has provided counseling, case management, crisis intervention and advocates for different needed services for each client including hospice and grief support. In her career she has also provided individual, couple and family therapy and has led different groups on a wide range of issues.
Andrea Moody, LCSW – Clinician
Contact Andrea: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea is a clinical social worker with over 15 years of experience in care coordination, counseling, and providing patient-centered care to the elderly. She has a strong passion for aging-in-place and connecting families with resources to achieve their goals. Andrea works with seniors from a strengths perspective, helping them to build hope and resiliency throughout the transitions in late life. She uses an integrative and individualized approach for each client and applies the family systems theory in her work. Andrea primarily sees clients in Cobb, Douglas, Cherokee, and Paulding Counties.
Keith Hartman, LCSW – Clinician
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At some time in their lives, everyone needs help navigating challenging situations, understanding and resolving issues, and building satisfying relationships. Keith is a seasoned Licensed Clinical Social Worker with additional certification in Marriage and Family Therapy who assists individuals, couples and families in the process of emotional healing and growth.
He has extensive experience working with older adults to help them deal with chronic pain, grief, loss, difficult family issues, depression, and other mental health issues. He provides support to caregivers and works with families to help older adults stay in their homes and avoid nursing home placement.
Keith’s practical approach, humor, and patience supports individuals with both short-term interventions and longer-term therapy to enhance their lives and resolve barriers to success. Keith possesses special sensitivity to meeting diverse needs and uses a strength-based approach to empower individuals, couples, and families in building communication, promoting strong decision-making choices, repairing relationships, and developing support networks. Keith delivers compassionate care to clients with mental and physical health issues, including Alzheimer’s/dementia, crisis intervention, and trauma.
Irit Lantzman, LCSW, ACHP-SW – Clinician
Contact Irit: firstname.lastname@example.org
Irit Lantzman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and holds degrees in Psychology and Linguistics from University in Russia and Social Work degree from Israel. After earning her Masters in Social Work from the University of Georgia, Irit worked as a Palliative and Hospice social worker. Irit holds an Advanced Clinical Hospice and Palliative Care Social Worker certificate (ACHP-SW).
Through various training programs, Irit has offered counseling and support in preparation for retirement, grief and bereavement, unemployment, addiction, domestic violence, immigration, and mental health issues. As a Hospice and Palliative Social Worker, Irit worked with terminally ill patients and their families, offered bereavement counseling to the bereaved families, co-facilitated bereavement support groups and volunteered in a family bereavement Camp STARS. This work included providing care in Personal Care homes, Assisted Living Facilities and Skilled Nursing Facilities, as well as private homes assisting terminally ill and chronically ill clients and their families with necessary planning, accessing community resources, and supporting them through their grief work.
At a very young age, she found herself listening to people’s stories and offering emotional support – people who were thirsty for someone to listen to them were often older lonely neighbors. There was always knowledge in abundance and a lesson to learn through a neighbor’s or, later in life, a client’s story. Admiration and respect for the older generation’s human resilience, hard work, and strength only grew with more exposure through professional encounters with older clients who shared their stories of how they have lived their lives, taking care of their families, building and protecting their country, surviving through hunger, The Great Depression, abuse, persecution, wars, struggles with immigration, retirement, learning to rely on others, and adaptation to life.
As we age, we endure many losses that become a challenge and sometimes can feel overwhelming in the life of an older person. In working with seniors, it is important to tap into strengths and tools that have been created over the years and have proven effective. Life is a story we create every day every minute and some parts can be re-written or changed to meet the new challenges. Irit utilizes Life Review, Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solution Focused Therapy and relies on Family Systems in her work. Compassionate listening and communication are the key components to therapy as well.
Rebecca Marder, LCSW – Clinician
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Rebecca is a clinical social worker with over 20 years of experience providing mental health services. Born in England, Rebecca moved to New York in 1998 and then to Georgia in 2001. She began her social work career providing crisis intervention and emergency psychiatric assessments. Before joining Mindful Transitions, Rebecca worked for 11 years as inpatient social worker in a psychiatric hospital. She has a strong background in substance use disorder, psychosis, personality disorders, and mood disorders.
Although not the only forms of therapy Rebecca provides, she is experienced in solution focused therapy, person-centered counseling, motivational interviewing, and cognitive behavioral therapy. The chosen methods of interventions for each client are dictated by the client’s problems, and Rebecca combines different methods, as the situation requires. She is committed to the empowerment of clients and has clients actively contribute to this process by involving clients in formulation of treatment plans. Working with differences is an underlying theme which informs her practice; she has experience working with a multi-cultural client group and actively supports the need for equal access to services. Rebecca promotes a non-judgmental approach, whilst also demonstrating appropriate empathy and warmth. She primarily sees clients living in Dekalb and Fulton Counties.
Lynn Lane, MDiv, LCSW – Clinician
Contact Lynn: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lynn is an LCSW with years of experience having an MSW from Smith College for Social Work in Northampton, MA and a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville Tennessee. With over 25 years working in hospital settings, hospices, psychiatric hospitals, with cancer survivors, in community mental health settings and by maintaining a private practice over the years, Lynn has learned that the stories that connect us are far more powerful than the fears we let divide us.
Lynn believes that our life stories are where we find our resources for strength and our capacity to cope with changes as we age. It is often through our making meaning out of our losses that we are able to make peace with life’s inevitable transitions. As we age we are constantly face changes and often need some guidance to help us find our way.
Therapeutic connections allow us to learn from each other with empathy and compassion finding hope for our journey. Our elders have traditionally been the keepers of the stories for a family. When transitions evolve that can seem to overwhelm our capacity to cope, she believes we work within our emotional, spiritual, and physical strengths to find balance again. Lynn uses an eclectic theoretical approach from grief theories, family systems, cognitive behavioral, and mindfulness to help the client find the comfort and hope that they seek for each day and for their unique circumstances.
Stacy Ekmark, LCSW – Clinician
Stacy is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) with a passion for geriatric mental health and wellness. She has prior career experience that includes adult and geriatric behavioral health and medical case management, assessment, individual and family psychotherapy.
Stacy attended the University of Georgia where she earned her Masters degree in Clinical Social Work. She has had a strong desire to advocate for others since an early age and has worked with older adults in a volunteer capacity as well. Through her volunteer and career roles, Stacy has gained extensive experience in inpatient, outpatient, emergency room and community healthcare settings with patients coming from a wide range of backgrounds with medical and psychiatric diagnoses and psychosocial needs.
Stacy values the treatment of the whole person; using a holistic approach paired with traditional psychotherapy, she often brings in the teaching of techniques such as breathing and mindfulness to help with issues, such as anxiety and depression. She also has a clinical background in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as well as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) which she uses to help clients by examining how making changes in their thinking and behavior may impact their outlook and well-being. Stacy’s work also incorporates solution-focused and strengths-based models of psychotherapy to support individuals through difficult life transitions or stressors. Stacy promotes empowerment as an important focus in working with her clients, and her approach is tailored toward the individual needs and goals of each client while they work together with mutual respect and collaboration.
Cynthia Jones, LCSW – Clinician
Cynthia is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been practicing in the field of Social Work since 1973 after graduating from the MSW program at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Throughout her life, both personally and professionally, Cynthia’s goal has always been to facilitate a positive difference in the lives of those with whom she comes in contact. She has worked in both a clinical and a management capacity, and her professional experience includes providing comprehensive mental health assessment and counseling services for a wide range of clients. One of her areas of expertise is to assist people in navigating successfully through life’s transitions. She has worked in dialysis, home health care, community outreach, relocation consulting, managed care, substance abuse, information and referral, school, adolescent residential treatment, and hospital settings. Her therapeutic approach is to be present in the moment, and to take a holistic view, encompassing mind, body, and soul. Cynthia works from a strengths perspective and her approach is individualized for each client.
Cynthia’s interest in working with the elderly was cultivated initially during her experience as a dialysis social worker, and later solidified when she began to provide care for her aging mother who was experiencing multiple physical issues as well as Alzheimer’s Disease. She became familiar with the myriad challenges of caring for a loved one, including negotiating and managing the emotional and financial aspects involved in locating, securing, and ensuring appropriate, supportive, and loving care both inside the home and in care facilities. Throughout her personal journey with her mother, she became a strong eldercare advocate, gaining immeasurable respect and compassion for our seniors, recognizing, acknowledging, and understanding the emotional and painful realities that they and their families and caregivers face as they negotiate and find their way on this new and sometimes daunting path.
Cynthia’s philosophy is that life is not static but is instead always in transition, presenting us with many challenges, some of which may feel insurmountable. Sometimes help and guidance are needed along the way, and Cynthia sees it as her role to assist clients in navigating these challenges more successfully, helping them to establish realistic goals, and providing encouragement and a growing sense of empowerment as they move forward through their therapeutic process. Cynthia works with clients to guide them along life’s path by identifying their needs, building on their strengths, and collaboratively discovering, reinforcing, and optimizing the resiliency within each person. Cynthia’s philosophy is encapsulated in her following words: “Our seniors have so much to teach us, and they are an essential part of the cycle of life. Let us hold hands together in support of love and kindness and engender in each living person the respect and love that each one of us deserves.”
Jennifer Kelly, LCSW – Clinician
Jennifer A Kelly, LCSW took a “roundabout path” to working with older adults and ultimately has found her passion! Jennifer is a Georgia native who began her social work journey assisting others as a family independence case manager with the Division of Family and Children Services in both Athens Clarke-County and Oconee County. With her undergraduate degree in psychology and art she was interested in human behavior and creative ways to use theory/models in working to assist others seeking relief from conflict. To further grow in her knowledge and experience Jennifer obtained her Master’s degree in Social Work in 2005. At then end of her studies Jennifer was hired by her foundation practicum non-profit organization where she worked as a mitigation specialist in the felony court system. When the non-profit dissolved Jennifer was fortunate to continue her mitigation and advocacy for marginalized clients for nearly a decade with the Office of the Public Defender, Atlanta Circuit.
While with the Public Defender Jennifer traveled often and far to assess incarcerated clients including Georgia Regional Hospital, Decatur, and Central State Hospital in Milledgeville. Too often the clients were considered as a sum of their parts and not their wholeness or worth. This experience working in the complex judicial system that often times saw clients for their crime not their humanness, deepened Jennifer’s desire to continue the social work mission, “The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.” This desire continued as Jennifer worked for a large Atlanta hospital on the adult and geriatric behavioral health units. Again, in a very complex, and at times overwhelming system, she worked hard to best serve her patients taking on the role of case manager, care coordinator, discharge planner, psychotherapist, group leader and social worker. It was while working on the geriatric behavioral health unit Jennifer found her passion for working with seniors. This experience furthered Jennifer’s understanding of the complexities we encounter as we age and the importance of treatment with dignity and respect.
Working with older adults was a career path she had not considered as a young social worker but Jennifer fell in love with this population and had a desire and commitment to continue this important work by joining the Mindful Transitions team. Jennifer uses a variety of therapeutic interventions to assist her patients with humor tucked in for good measure. She believes in honesty, respect, and compassion when working with seniors to affect the changes they want to make. At times, a bit “geeky” by her own description, Jennifer enjoys reading and watching webinars to further her knowledge and experiences. Jennifer finds that the greatest teaching gifts have been given to her by her clients.
Professional bios are provided as a description of clinician experience and personality. Actual clinician assignment to a particular case is determined based upon the primary clinical needs of a client, staff availability, and geographical location.