WAUKESHA, WIS.— A partnership between Waukesha's Interfaith Senior Programs and Carroll University was recognized by the Medical College of Wisconsin with a President's Community Impact Award. The $5,000 award is in the Light the Way category, in recognition of exemplary service to the community and dedication to improving the health of Milwaukee-area residents.
This award supports a Faith in Action Program partnership initiated as a 2005 Healthier Wisconsin Project. Partners included Interfaith, Carroll, Medical College of Wisconsin and a neuropsychologist, Dr. Trevor Hyde, then a Carroll faculty member. The project, "Cognition and Outreach Service Delivery to Aging Seniors," provided services to independently living seniors who experienced some level of dementia. MCW provided geriatricians with expertise in maintaining independence in noninstitutional seniors. Carroll provided nursing student volunteers and Hyde, a geriatric behavioral health specialist. Interfaith provided the client population and expertise in providing community outreach services.
A tool was developed for in-home assessments of prospective Interfaith clients and re-assessments of current clients, to identify health history, psychosocial information and levels of dementia. Staff, including Carroll nursing students, continue to use the tool to properly match trained volunteers with those clients for a higher level of care management. Each year, an average of 350 assessments and 200 re-assessments are conducted.
In 2010, Faith in Action served 1,185 individuals, including 632 clients age 75 or older. Many of these older clients have outlived their natural support system, have adult children with disabilities or chronic diseases, have extremely limited financial means, and now rely on Faith in Action as their way to remain independent and part of the community.
"We are pleased to be among the recipients of this award. Our outreach in the community continues to yield positive results years after the initial impact," said Jane Hopp, dean of Carroll's College of Natural Sciences, Health Sciences and Business.