August 23, 2016

The Stearns Benton Medical Society has been working collaboratively with the Central MN Council on Aging since February, 2016 in preparation to launch a new community public health campaign centering on dementia, dementia care and resources and community and provider education.  The center piece of the campaign will be the creation of a permanent Central MN Dementia Resource Center that will be located in St. Cloud, MN.  Although Alzheimer’s disease makes up the majority of dementia cases, there are also several other types of dementia, but we will use the more inclusive term – dementia – to include reference to all dementia types.

Drs. George Schoephoerster and Pat Zook of the Stearns Benton Medical Society have been working with Kathy Gilbride of the Central MN Council on Aging since February, 2016 along with 30 or so other area professionals to clarify a vision for how the Resource Center will work.  The goals of our Central MN Dementia Campaign and the Resource Center will be to 1) Improve access to and quality of care for dementia in our area, 2) Improve quality of life for dementia patients, their caregivers and loved ones, and 3) Move our Central MN community culture towards becoming dementia-friendly and dementia-capable.  We plan to invite all interested community members to the Fall Meeting of the Medical Society along with our member physicians and will announce the formal beginning of our Campaign.  This meeting will be October 11, 2016 at the St. Cloud Holiday Inn, most likely at 5-8 PM.  We will have a nationally recognized expert,  Dr.  Terry Barclay speaking about dementia and community action to ensure best care.

Last Saturday, August 20, the Stearns Benton Medical Society with the help of several area professionals hosted a booth at the Senior Health Expo at the St. Cloud, MN River’s Edge Convention Center.  We provided over 70 free cognitive screenings and received hundreds of completed questionnaires filled out asking attendees for feedback on the concept of a local Dementia Resource Center.  We received an enthusiastic response and shared stories with many patients and caregivers.  We will seek further public input on our campaign and the Resource Center up to and after the kick-off meeting on October 11.  Please call Medical Society Executive Director, Mandy Rubenstein at 320-252-8550 or Pat Zook, MD at 320-492-8207 if you have questions or would like to work on the Campaign or participate on one of the Resource Center’s development committees.

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