August 22, 2016

A New Central Minnesota Community Health Campaign

The Stearns Benton Medical Society in Central Minnesota has been collaborating with the Central Minnesota Council on Aging to launch a new community public health campaign formally on October 11, 2016 at the Holiday Inn in St. Cloud, MN probably 5-8 PM.   Our Central Minnesota Dementia Care Collaboration Campaign will have 3 goals: 1)  Improve access to and enhance the quality of dementia care in our area.  2) Improve the lives of dementia patients and their caregivers and loved ones. 3) Move our community culture towards becoming fully dementia-friendly and dementia-capable.

Drs. George Schoephoerster and Pat Zook of the Stearns Benton Medical Society, Central MN Council on Aging’s Kathy Gilbride and a steering committee of 30 other professionals working with dementia have had several preliminary meetings since February, 2016 to plan for a community-wide campaign to create a permanent Central Minnesota Dementia Resource Center.  We have worked hard to clarify a vision for this Resource Center that we would like to present to the citizens and medical professionals of our Central Minnesota community at a kick-off program at the Holiday Inn, St. Cloud on October 11, 2016 most likely from 5-8 PM.  Besides our physician members, we plan to invite all interested community members to this, the Medical Society’s annual Fall Meeting.  We will re-activate the Central Minnesota Circle of Health public health action committee who will take over running the Campaign at that time from the steering committee.

We have invited input from several area professionals and the public.  On Saturday, August 20, 2016 the Stearns Benton Medical Society hosted a booth at the annual Senior Health Expo at River’s Edge Convention Center.  Here we conducted over 70 free cognitive screens and received more than 200 completed questionnaires asking attendees for their input on a Dementia Resource Center.  Feedback has been very supportive so far.

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 help out with this Campaign.   We will post more details later, but be sure to save the date – October 11, 2016.