‘It’s Never 2 Late’ Right On Time At La Loma Care Center

It's Never 2 Late, a computer designed for ease of use has become a big hit at La Loma Care Center.

It’s Never 2 Late, a computer designed for ease of use has become a big hit at La Loma Care Center.

La Loma Care Center is the proud owner of an adaptive computer system called It’s Never 2 Late. The system features user-friendly technologies such as touch-screen monitors and an adaptive keyboard, which allow individuals with cognitive or physical limitations to play games, listen to music, or watch videos. It’s kept on a rolling cart making it easy to move from room to room.

“We’ve been using it since May and have had a very good response from our residents and their families,” Ione Murray, Life Enrichment coordinator, said. “It was exciting to see how interested people were in it right from the start and that they took the initiative to learn how to use it.”

Some of the most popular activities with residents include playing games such as Hearts or Scrabble and watching shows such as “The Andy Griffith Show,” or exercising to yoga videos. “Families are really interested and engaged in it and want to learn the process to be able to use it with their loved ones,” Murray said.

“It’s Never 2 Late appeals to people of all ages and at all levels of computer literacy,” Murray said. “The wide variety of choices means there’s something for everyone, and it can be used in group settings or for single use. It seems like the sky’s the limit and we are so excited to see where it will go.”

Student Nurses Make A Good Impression

Students from the Grand Canyon University nursing program on the Banner Boswell campus,   cared for Sun Health Senior Living residents this summer as part of their clinical rotations.

Students from the Grand Canyon University nursing program on the Banner Boswell campus, cared for Sun Health Senior Living residents this summer as part of their clinical rotations.

Nursing students from the Grand Canyon University program on the Banner Boswell Medical Center campus spent two months this summer honing their clinical skills at Sun Health’s three senior communities. They were assigned to work with residents who had health concerns.

The students worked up health profiles on participating residents and consulted with Sun Health nurses, other health professionals, and in some cases, the resident’s physician on how to help them.

The student nurses wrapped up their rotation with a “show and tell” class held at Sun Health earlier this month. It was attended by administrators and managers from The Colonnade, Grandview and La Loma. The students shared their experiences, findings and suggestions on how to improve health services on each of the campuses.

Teresa Brulé, director of Resident Services at The Colonnade and a nurse, admitted to being initially “reticent” about how the students would fit in but she quickly learned they had much to offer. “What you have given us is invaluable,” she said to the students. “You’ve done wonders for our residents.”

One of those students was Jeff Miller who proudly described how he and another student helped a resident learn how to manage her high blood pressure more effectively. The students evaluated the resident’s medications and consulted with her doctor, who recommended a new timetable for taking her medications. “It was a nice experience being able to go to resident’s homes and work with them to improve their health,” Miller said.

The next group of student nurses will begin on Sept. 10.

Packing It In

About 60 foster children living in Surprise received new, fully-stocked backpacks compliments of Sun Health residents and employees.

About 60 foster children living in Surprise received new, fully-stocked backpacks compliments of Sun Health residents and employees.

Nearly 400 foster kids from the Northwest Valley, ages 7 to 18, headed to school this month with new backpacks filled with school supplies, compliments of the Sun Health SHINE (Sun Health Involvement Never Ends) summer backpack drive.

The drive was done in cooperation with OCJ Kids, a Valley-based foster and adoption agency. What started last year as a SHINE drive to donate 60 stock backpacks to area foster kids took on a life of its own as Sun Health residents, volunteers and employees gave well beyond expectations. The result was 242 backpacks.

This year, the SHINE Committee set a stretch goal of 300 backpacks, and once again the community rallied for the cause. A total of 384 backpacks were distributed to local children living in foster care.

“It means the beginning of a positive school year for these kids,” said Shevaun Sullivan, project manager with OCJ Kids. “The fact that they get new backpacks and not old ones; the fact they get to go in with new supplies and not a trash bag or no supplies, means they have a better chance of success at school this year. They are already labeled, and this takes one more label away that they are in foster care.”

The Wal-Mart Super Center in Surprise worked with SHINE to order the packs and supplies in bulk. Sun Health employees volunteered over a lunch time to stuff the 384 packs. The drive culminated with a party in late July at The Colonnade for about 60 local foster children. Several employees hosted the party and provided the guests with refreshments, an art project, games and line-dancing. Each child picked out their own backpack available in seven solid colors.

Eleven-year-old Esteban (last name withheld) choose a red one, his favorite color, and he expressed appreciation for the party and the gift. “This is very nice,” the affable 6th grader said. “It shows that people care about us.”

July Employee Showcase: Tracy Garrett

Tracy Garrett - Sun Health Center For Health & Wellbeing New HirePlease join us in congratulating Tracy Garrett for earning her certification as a diabetes educator!

Issued by the National Board for Diabetes Educators, Tracy’s new certification showcases her significant experience in pre-diabetes, diabetes prevention and management.

It’s a fantastic fit for her role at Sun Health as a Registered Dietitian. It also complements her other certifications in adult weight management and personal training.

Tracy Garrett - Albertson's eventTracy teaches Community Education classes on a wide variety of topics such as the Diabetes Connection Support Group, Navigating Food Labels and Grocery AislesMindful EatingPass The Salt? Living A Low Sodium Life, and more.

Tracy also leads structured class series’ at the Center For Health & Wellbeing, including Diabetes Self-Management and Diabetes Prevention.

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3D Mammography Units at Banner Del E. Webb Made Possible by Donors

Sun Health Foundation donors recently enabled Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center to purchase two low-dose 3D mammography units for the hospitals breast imaging center, which is part of the Louisa Kellam Center for Women’s Health.

The Hologic 3D Tomosynthesis units provide:

  • A greater than 25 percent improvement in overall cancer detection rates – finding 40 percent more invasive cancers than conventional 2D mammography alone
  • Better visualization of masses, distortions and asymmetric densities
  • A significant reduction (up to 40 percent) in false-positive readings
  • Lower dose and faster testing, resulting in less exposure and greater comfort
Sun Health Foundation Donors Fund 3D Breast Imaging Equipment

With one of the new 3D Mammography units are (L-R) Nancy Horskey, breast cancer survivor; Barbara McGeeney, radiology technologist (mammographer); and Claudine Shelley, nurse and certified breast patient navigator in imaging and cancer care.

On a related note, the breast imaging center at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center was recently designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.

For all who have donated to the Sun Health Foundation through one of our many programs, THANK YOU. Together, we are making our community a better place.

Sharon Grambow Makes List of ‘Who’s Who in Business 2014′

Sharon Grambow, COO, Sun HealthSun Health Chief Operating Officer Sharon Grambow was recently recognized as a top leader in “Who’s Who in Business 2014,” a special online publication of Republic Media, highlighting the top 10 Arizona companies in 50 business categories, including senior living.

The publication named Grandview Terrace as one of the “top 10 Arizona assisted living facilities” and Sharon as one of the top executives working in the state’s senior living market.

She derives most of her job satisfaction from getting to know residents. In the publication, she’s quoted as saying:  “The residents are definitely what I love the most about my work. Coming to work every day and knowing I’m truly making a difference in the lives of people is really fulfilling.”

She added that residents often express their gratitude to her and other staff members. “I love that they often end up thinking of us as family.”

Sun Health & Benevilla Working to Improve Transportation in NW Valley

PrintSun Health and Benevilla, a regional nonprofit social service agency, conducted a community needs assessment in 2013 to identify ways to help Northwest Valley seniors remain independent and age in place. Focus groups, community meetings and a survey mailed to 20,000 residents revealed that transportation was a major issue for many seniors.

To address the issue, Sun Health and Benevilla created Northwest Valley Connect (NVC) a non-profit mobility and transportation organization dedicated to serving older adults. Through a grant, NVC created an executive director position, which has been filled by Kathryn Chandler, a transportation executive with more than 10 years of experience in designing and operating transit and para-transit services. Previously, Kathryn was the mobility manager for the Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transit Authority.

Kathryn Chandler

Kathryn Chandler, Northwest Valley Connect

Later this summer, NVC will launch a Mobility Management Center, a one-stop transportation resource to help residents access available public, private and volunteer transportation. Assistance will be available online and by phone. “We are excited about the opportunity to work with Benevilla to support and launch Northwest Valley Connect,” said Jennifer Drago, Sun Health executive vice president of Population Health and board chair of NVC. “Kathryn will partner with local transportation providers to increase awareness of available transportation resources, while helping fill identified gaps in service through a new volunteer-based transportation service and advocacy efforts.”

For more information on Northwest Valley Connect, call Kathryn Chandler, executive director/mobility manager at (623) 282-9300.

Sun Health Care Transitions and Banner iCare Join Forces to Improve Care

Holding Hands with Elderly PatientSun Health Care Transitions (SHCT) and Banner iCare™ have formed an alliance to serve chronically ill patients in the Northwest Valley.

The two programs will be sharing one hospital liaison at Banner Boswell and Banner Del E. Webb medical centers so that only one person is approaching patients to introduce each program. Additionally, eligible patients will receive services from both programs for continuity.

“The goal of both programs is to improve the quality of life of members while reducing the total cost of care,” said Jennifer Drago, Sun Health executive vice president of Population Health. Tom Snyder, director of Banner iCare echoed Drago, “This collaboration serves to achieve Banner’s mission of existing to make a difference in people’s lives through excellent patient care.”

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Sun Health’s Care Transitions Program Earning High Praise

Sun Health Care Transitions Program

Representatives from the Lewin Group, a health care consulting firm working for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), visited Sun Health in June to learn what the Care Transitions team is doing to help Medicare beneficiaries make a smooth transition from hospital to home and to keep from being readmitted.

Studies show that 18-20% of Medicare
patients discharged from a hospital – approximately 2.6 million seniors – are readmitted within 30 days at a cost of over $26 billion every year. In contrast, Sun Health’s Care Transitions Program has been able to dramatically reduce hospital readmissions an average of 7% for its enrolled patients.

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Three Most Common Questions About Alzheimer’s & Dementia

CC: Kamalakanta Jena via Wikimedia Commons

CC: Kamalakanta Jena via Wikimedia Commons

Today is the summer solstice – the longest day of the year, but it also marks the Alzheimer’s Association’s national awareness movement celebrating the strength of those facing Alzheimer’s disease.

“On The Longest Day, teams around the world come together to honor the strength, passion and endurance of those facing Alzheimer’s with a day of activity.

Held on the summer solstice, June 21, 2014, this event calls on participants to raise funds and awareness to advance the efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.”  ~ thelongestday.org

If you’d like to join the activities, head over to the Find A Team page to identify which of the 19 Arizona participants might be near you.

In recognition of the awareness day, we spoke to Marty Finley, M.Ed., who manages Sun Health Memory Care Navigator Program - a free service for those in the West Valley struggling to cope with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

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