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Mercy C.A.R.E.S. gives $400,000 to Mesa Dementia Hub at Oakwood Creative Care

photo of check for dimentia hub in mesa
From left are Mesa Mayor John Giles, Oakwood President Sherri Friend, Mercy Care CEO Lorry Bottrill, Mercy Care Community Relations Director Trisha Stuart, Oakwood board chair David Hrizak. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress)
Mercy C.A.R.E.S. is steadfast in community reinvestment pursuit
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Mercy Care, a local nonprofit Medicaid health plan, awarded a $400,000 community reinvestment grant to Oakwood Creative Care to support people living with dementia and improve access to social activities.

The Dementia Hub is a central source of dementia support in Arizona where you’ll find Memory Cafes, support groups, engagement activities, resources, connections, and educational opportunities.

“This collaboration with Oakwood Creative Care demonstrates Mercy Care’s unwavering commitment to improving the lives of the members and families we serve,” said Mercy Care CEO Lorry Bottrill.

“We partner with organizations that further our mission that everyone, particularly those who are underserved with complex health needs, deserves to live a healthier life, and achieve their full potential.”

Mercy Care awarded Oakwood the funding through its Mercy C.A.R.E.S. Community Reinvestment grant program to address Arizona’s fast-growing number of aging adults and their related health concerns, according to a press release.

By 2025, Arizona is expected to have one of the fastest growth rates of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) in the nation, the release states.

Mercy Care Community Relations Director Trisha Stuart displays the artwork created by patients at Oakwood Creative Care to thank Mercy Care for the community reinvestment grant. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress)

Mercy C.A.R.E.S. is steadfast in community reinvestment pursuit

The Dementia Hub addresses some of the common challenges that families face when caring for a loved one with memory impairment. It features a coaching program that pairs occupational therapists, family support specialists and physician assistants with caregivers to guide families on ways to provide the best care in a home setting.

It also houses a dementia-inclusive community center, where people living with dementia and their caregivers can connect with others over coffee, participate in support groups and self-care classes, and attend special events.

And, the hub offers training and education classes for workforce professionals to better understand dementia and address challenging behaviors without relying on unnecessary medication or institutionalization.

“All of these offerings aim to improve seniors’ mental health, wellness and overall abilities to achieve self-sufficiency,” said Sherri Friend, president and CEO of Oakwood Creative Care. “Our partnership with Mercy Care will strengthen our ability to serve those families so they can live meaningful lives and celebrate each moment of joy along the way.”

Mesa Mayor John Giles visited with families and caregivers at the Dementia Hub during a ceremony on Nov. 1 to celebrate the grant award and collaboration.

“I’ve watched a family member suffer from dementia and it is an awful, heartbreaking diagnosis. Mesa is so fortunate to have this incredible team at Oakwood Creative Care, who help people find joy, compassion, and much needed support as they navigate this cruel disease,” said Mayor Giles. “We’re grateful for all the nonprofit organizations, like Oakwood Creative Care and Mercy Care, that deliver such valuable services.”

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