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As the population of the U.S. ages and becomes more diverse, the burden of dementia may be falling disproportionately on elderly minorities, both in terms of prevalence and severity. The Alzheimer’s Association - Heart of America Chapter is accelerating our reach by sharing and developing resources and exchanging ideas within diverse communities in order to increase momentum of awareness about Alzheimer’s and the Alzheimer’s Association. By partnering with organizations locally and nationally to advance diversity and inclusion, we strengthen the message that the Alzheimer’s Association is here for all people.

Here are a few local organizations that are partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association - Heart of America Chapter:

 

Mattie Rhodes Center

A nonprofit agency providing a holistic approach to individual and family well being through services, behavioral health counseling and the arts. The Alzheimer’s Association has recruited a Spanish speaking support group leader from Mattie Rhodes and all support group participants can return to Mattie Rhodes for free counseling.
mattierhodes.org

AME Churches

The Alzheimer’s Association and the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church are working together to combat Alzheimer’s disease and support individuals with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers who face it. This partnership aims to help communities learn more about the disease, its risk factors and the many resources available. Currently, the Heart of America Chapter is securing local partnerships with AME churches in our service area.

The Alzheimer's Association - Heart of America Chapter recruits individuals within local organizations to serve as Community Representatives (liaisons between the Alzheimer's Association and their organization or group) or Community Educators (public speakers who provide education and expand the reach of the Association's education offerings). The following organizations have a staff member who has trained, or is in training, to be either an Alzheimer's Association Community Representative or Community Educator.

 

Thrive Health Connection

A regional healthcare leader and influencer providing inclusive, holistic and integrated health and wellness services to individuals affected by HIV and other STIs, LGBTQ communities, and those seeking a welcoming and affirming health and community center.  
thrivehealthkc.org

Wyandotte County Area Agency on Aging

The Area Agency on Aging is responsible for planning, coordinating, funding and advocating for programs and services which meet the needs of Wyandotte and Leavenworth County residents.
wycokck.org/Aging.aspx

Kansas City Veterans Affairs

Their mission is to fulfill President Lincoln's promise, "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's veterans.
kansascity.va.gov

St. Anthony's

A senior living faith-based community offering continuum care.
stanthonyskc.com
 

Additional Diverse Outreach Efforts Include:
 

Community Support Groups: Community Corner and
Breakfast Club

These social engagement opportunities serve our African American communities. These virtual gatherings are opportunities for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease (whether individuals with Alzheimer’s or their care partners) to come together in a safe venue to share and learn. For more information, contact Juaquan Herron, Heart of America Chapter Diversity & Inclusion Manager, at jherron@alz.org.

Dementia-friendly Efforts

The Alzheimer’s Association – Heart of America Chapter is active in many efforts across our service area to bring dementia-friendly surroundings in our communities. This includes the new Kansas City International airport to include sensory and stimulation rooms for dementia-friendly travel. For more information, contact Juaquan Herron, Heart of America Chapter Diversity & Inclusion Manager, at jherron@alz.org.

Chambers of Commerce

The Alzheimer's Association - Heart of America Chapter works to develop safe, open, and inclusive environments for all to collaborate and co-exist. Part of this work includes working together as members of the following Chambers of Commerce:

  • Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City
  • The Black Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City
  • LGBT Mid-America Chamber of Commerce

IRIS

The Integrated Referral and Intake System (IRIS) is a web-based, bi-directional referral communication tool used to help organizations connect the individuals and families they serve to the right resources in their community. IRIS is designed to encourage warm handoffs among community partners, keeping providers updated along the way.
connectwithiris.org

For more information about any of the outreach efforts you see above, or if you have a suggestion for a local diverse partnership, contact Juaquan Herron, Heart of America Chapter Diversity & Inclusion Manager, at jherron@alz.org.