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Hospice making history with dementia campus

Dementia Care and Education Campus Groundbreaking. Board Chairman Dieter Gable, Mayor Kate Gallego, Medical Director Dr. Gillian Hamilton, Executive Director Debbie Shumway and Councilman Sal DiCiccio.

Hospice of the Valley celebrated the groundbreaking of its innovative Dementia Care & Education Campus at 44th Street and Indianola in Phoenix with the first shovelfuls of dirt thrown by Board Chairman Dieter Gable, Mayor Kate Gallego, Medical Director Dr. Gillian Hamilton, Executive Director Debbie Shumway and Councilman Sal DiCiccio.

The Arizona Republic
January 25, 2020
by Lin Sue Cooney

On a shiny Friday afternoon in January, nearly 200 guests gathered for the ceremonial groundbreaking of an innovative, one-of-a-kind campus at 3811 N. 44th St., in Phoenix’s Arcadia area.

Bulldozers surrounded a white tent full of excited supporters and community members anxious to get the first peek at plans for the Hospice of the Valley Dementia Care & Education Campus. The comprehensive facility will transform the way our community sees dementia, treats those living with it, and supports caregivers who are struggling to cope with this incurable disease.

“This has been a dream for many of us,” Hospice of the Valley Executive Director Debbie Shumway told the crowd of board members, staff, volunteers, donors, sponsors, neighbors, local leaders and first responders.

“We are committed to providing a model that will become the gold standard in excellent dementia care. Our experienced and passionate dementia team will lead the charge, helping educate all of us,” she said, and providing specialized care to improve the quality of life for everyone impacted by dementia.

A video (see below video) gave everyone a glimpse of Site of the Dementia Care Education Campus at 44th Street and Indianola. In addition to an Assisted Living Center and an Inpatient Care Home for those at all stages of dementia, the campus will provide an intergenerational connection by providing interaction between the Adult and Child centers. The cornerstone of the campus is an Education Center for medical professionals, caregivers, students and the community. The Dove Café, which will be open to the public, will be a dementia-friendly space for family caregivers to share experiences.

“This campus, devoted solely to dementia care and education, is an example of another initiative designed to meet what we know is a growing healthcare need in our community,” Hospice of the Valley Board Chairman Dieter Gable said. “I’m sure we’ll all be in awe when this is completed.”

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Councilman Sal DiCiccio joined Shumway, Gable and Hospice of the Valley’s medical director, Dr. Gillian Hamilton, a dementia care visionary, in throwing the first shovelfuls of dirt.

“This is a big exciting day for the city,” Gallego said. “Hospice of the Valley is a key partner for us.”

Dementia is the fourth-leading cause of death in Arizona and the projections are alarming: a 43 percent increase by 2025. Nearly a third of Hospice of the Valley patients have dementia, a disease that often lasts years and can be overwhelming for family caregivers who are seldom prepared for the challenges ahead.

Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio

“A lot of care and education will be needed,” Shumway said. “We know that every moment matters. And being able to live well with dementia is critical. We have an important opportunity to come together to support the needs of our community right here.”

Gallego shared the pain of seeing her beloved grandmother’s dementia progress to a point where she couldn’t recognize her closest relatives. She died last year.

The Dementia Care & Education Campus is a beacon for hope for thousands of families facing the same journey.

Lin Sue Cooney is director of community engagement for Hospice of the Valley. To learn more about our dementia, palliative and hospice care, visit hov.org or call 602-530-6900.