What’s new at D-CAN and the DRC?
Our DRC Care Navigator/Educator, Tami Kolbinger, and I have been very busy at D-CAN’s DRC office. We are finalizing operations and setting up equipment, records, and communications. We are excited to prepare for and welcome Patrick O’Rourke, our new and our first Executive Director arriving next week. We are two weeks into the arduous process of enrolling in Medicare for reimbursement with the help of Medicare expert Randi Tapio and her colleagues. Medicare reimbursement will make us less dependent on grants and donations but grants and donations will likely always be needed until we convince them to cover the full cost of real quality dementia care.
We continue serving new and follow-up clients living with dementia symptoms, their caregivers, and families – each with a unique and interesting story as we learn so much from all of them. Feedback tells us that we are on the right course with our process and approach with our new model of dementia care. It’s hard for new and prospective clients to grasp the breadth and depth of benefits our evaluations and recommendations working with their clinicians can bring to their quality of life until experiencing it for themselves.
Some say, “but I’ve already been evaluated at X, Y, and Z major medical institutions, so what can you do beyond that?” Then, after their initial 60-90-minute intake with Tami, their 3+ hour full evaluation with our team, reading their 5-7-page report, interacting with their primary care clinician with the report, then following up with us after their primary clinician does additional testing or referrals, and after their first or second 60-minute follow up visit – then they experience and see the value in the new dementia care model we offer – that there is benefit to an ongoing relationship that fosters their adherence to lifestyle and other changes that we encourage for them and their caregivers to make.
Dr. Steve Hoover’s guided autobiography class was a big hit and more and similar classes are planned. Cristina Rodriguez’ support groups have been helpful to her clients. We won the cake seen below. We got our first referral from the VA Medical Center. Our Hiring Committee of Chris Tacl, Marie Primus, Merryn Jolkovsky, Karin Pauley and I found and hired a great Executive Director, Patrick O’Rourke who will start next week. Our new Minnesota Board on Aging Dementia Grant administrator has invited us to a virtual Meet and Greet with all 11 State grantees next week. We should be receiving our first Dementia Grant reimbursement in mid-January. So, yes! There’s lots going on. Feel free to call Tami at the DRC office at 320-640-6726 to schedule a DRC tour, find out more about our strategic plan for this coming year or just to visit.