How We Serve:
Community Outreach and Professional Education
Using our motto “meet the people where they are,” we foster partnerships to deliver culturally appropriate education, training and outreach programs to providers, those living with dementia, and family caregivers. Annually the WAI Regional Milwaukee Office reaches over 30,000 individuals and households through our programs and activities. Our efforts focus on dementia-related early detection/risk reduction, treatment, psycho-social management, and caregiver interventions. Professional training offers state-of-the-art education around best practices to provide culturally-sensitive care to patients and effectively address community and family needs.
Example of Activities:
- Annual Minority Health Month Event: Breaking the Silence: Addressing Dementia in Communities of Color
- Breaking the Silence “Block by Block” dementia-specific community workshops
- Inclusion-training professional education workshops, and on campus lectures
- Urban Church Wellness Initiative: Roadmaps to Health Faith-based Intervention
- Taking off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) Community Chapter creation
- Dementia Lunch and Learn clergy partnership with the State Baptist Convention
At the inception of the WAI Regional Milwaukee Office in 2008, the Community Advisory Board (CAB) was formed to be a voice to, and from, the community. This Board serves as counsel to the University of Wisconsin (UW) and WAI Regional Milwaukee Office team on outreach, research retention/recruitment strategies, and advises on barriers to research participation.
- Provide a voice for the community
- Counsel the UW and WAI team on outreach and research recruitment strategies that are culturally sensitive
- Identify and address barriers to research participation by under-represented populations
- Support the recruitment and retention of research subjects
- Become a conduit for supporting Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) in the community
Example of Activities:
- Provides meaningful insight and support to UW investigators on research projects; resulting in funding for those projects provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Recognized by the UW and Aurora researchers for its expertise and recommendations on innovative research proposals for the African American community
- Guidance was instrumental in UW ADRC hiring an African American scientist researching Alzheimer’s disease
Service and Access to Comprehensive Care
By reducing barriers that impede access to information and services, the WAI Regional Milwaukee Office has connected families to health care services through more than 500 in-home care visits and 500 memory and health screenings–resulting in at least 175 individuals obtaining an accurate memory diagnosis. More than 200 families have been connected to social services, ultimately allowing people living with dementia to remain at home–safer, longer. Our lifestyle intervention program focuses on community members at risk for dementia. Our signature program, the Amazing Grace Chorus®, improves the quality of life of its participants and caregivers through socialization and music while integrating the pillars of education and service.
Examples of our services:
- In-Home Memory Assessment
- Community-Based Dementia Screening and Cognitive Testing
- Personalized Care and Treatment Planning
- Dementia Care Service and Resource Connectors
- Amazing Grace Chorus®
- Milwaukee Health Services Diagnostic Memory Clinic
- Community-Based Dementia Care and Programming
Local Memory Clinics:
We partner with several local clinics that serve as memory clinics including:
Amazing Grace Chorus® Program
The Amazing Grace Chorus® is a Milwaukee-based diverse chorus made up of people living with dementia and their caregivers. The goal of the Chorus is to increase social engagement for those living with dementia. The Chorus began in 2014. Read about the chorus, how to join, and more.
Research – WRAP Milwaukee Site
Today, there is no known cure and there are no survivors of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. It is the 6th leading cause of death in adults and affects all demographic groups regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic status. But despite the extent of illness in all community sectors, communities of color are at 1.4 to 2 times greater risk of developing the disease and are generally under-represented in research and in the groups involved in receiving services for dementia.
Recognizing the emerging public health crisis this poses for the African American community, the WAI Regional Milwaukee Office is advancing dementia and health disparities research by actively engaging under-represented populations in more scientific studies. Today more 1,500 participants are enrolled in the WAI’s Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP), the world’s largest study of its kind. Retention of research participants in WRAP is vital to unlocking the answers of why communities of color are at a higher risk of developing the disease, thus this remains a high priority for our program. Read about how to participate on the WRAP website.
- Focus on early detection of Alzheimer’s, and elucidating factors that make a person more resilient or more at risk
- Understanding why African Americans and Latinos are at increased risk for Alzheimer’s
- Advance health disparities and memory disorders research impacting African Americans and communities of color by actively facilitating and engaging under-represented populations in scientific studies
- Increase public awareness and understanding of the importance of health disparities and Alzheimer’s research
- Present the latest news and resources on research strategies, results and dissemination
Example of Activities:
- Cognitive testing every 2 years
- Early detection and elucidating factors that make a person more resilient to Alzheimer’s or more at risk
- Outreach and recruitment
- WRAP Updates and Newsletters to research participants
- Biennial information sessions on research findings and new studies for participants and guests throughout Wisconsin