SURPRISE, ARIZ., Jan. 23, 2018 – Sun Health has added a social services expert to its staff to meet a growing demand for its Memory Care Navigator (MCN) program, which helps patients, family members and caregivers navigate the emotional, psychological and physical effects of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Cheryl Ortega

The MCN program is provided at no cost to recipients thanks to funding from Sun Health Foundation donors. Recent donations enabled Sun Health to hire Cheryl Ortega as its second Memory Care Navigator. Ortega has amassed almost three decades of human-service experience in Arizona, including working as a social services director at Plaza Del Rio Care Center in Peoria, a social worker at Banner Boswell Rehab Center in Sun City and a human services specialist for Arizona Adult Protective Services.

She joins Marty Finley, M. Ed, who started as the program’s first navigator in 2013. The MCN program served 241 clients in fiscal year 2017 and it’s on pace to surpass that number this year. The program has helped more than 1,400 individuals since its inception.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5.5 million Americans are living with dementia, a figure projected to grow to 8.5 million by 2030. Arizona is expected to see a sharp uptick in Alzheimer’s cases over the next decade, due to its aging population.

Ortega brings personal experience to the job. She helped care for her father who had Alzheimer’s disease.

“Cheryl’s an experienced and compassionate professional who is a perfect fit for the Memory Care program,” said Debra Richards, director of Care Transitions and Supportive Services for Sun Health, who also oversees the MCN Program.

If you, or someone you know can benefit from the Memory Care Navigator program, call 623-832-9300 or visit www.sunhealth.org/memorycare

About Sun Health
A long-standing champion of healthy living and superior health care, Sun Health is a community-based nonprofit providing pathways to population health through philanthropy, community wellness programs and services, and senior-living programs and communities. Learn more at www.sunhealth.org

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