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Shawnee State University and Chillicothe Veterans Affairs receive outstanding partnership of the year award

Date

January 22, 2018

Information

SSU and the Chillicothe VA were awarded Outstanding Area Agency on Aging Partnership of the Year Award

AAA7 Partnership Award

Pictured (left to right) at the Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging Annual Conference during the Partnership of the Year Award presentation: Mandy Kenz, Chillicothe VA Medical Center; Merritt Sessor, Area Agency on Aging District 7; Keisha Kelley, Chillicothe VA Medical Center; Dr. Christine Raber, Shawnee State University; and Chelsey Wemmer, Nina Keller and Kaye Inoshita from the Area Agency on Aging District 7.

 Shawnee State University and the Chillicothe Veterans Affairs (VA) were awarded the Outstanding Area Agency on Aging Partnership of the Year Award at the Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging Annual Conference held in Columbus.

Both organizations were nominated by the Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7), which covers ten counties in southern Ohio, including Adams, Browns, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton.

The Chillicothe VA and SSU’s Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) students partnered up with the AAA7 Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (RLTCOP) and the AAA7 Department of Community Services to provide Ohio’s veterans, their caregivers, as well as those with cognitive impairment at home and community-based care settings with the Music and MemorySM Program.

The Music and MemorySM Program is a person-centered approach to people with dementia that utilizes custom playlists on digital music players and connects people with the world around them. Although the program has mainly been used in residential based care settings for many years, the state of Ohio was the first state to deploy the Music and MemorySM program in a community-based setting, which served to become one of the most successful projects in the state. The Music and MemorySM Program has shown to help individuals feel happier and be more social, which helps build stronger relationships between the caregivers and recipients.

Through the partnership, SSU MOT students would provide on-site Music and MemorySM training for the staff of the Chillicothe VA Medical Center for adult day care and residential care facilities. Training included hands-on demonstrations, showing deployment sites how to conduct individualized music assessments, use an i-Pod, purchasing i-Tunes, creating playlists and loading the i-Pods with the individualized music.

The MOT students worked with primary care team members, recreational therapists, pain psychologists and nurses at the VA Medical Center, as well as various groups/deployments sites. Together the Chillicothe VA and the SSU MOT students placed individualized playlists into the hands of 165 veterans and others with cognitive impairment living in the community in over a year and a half. The Music and MemorySM Program continues to be a part of the Chillicothe VA Medical Center and the AAA7 Veteran-Directed and Caregiver Support Programs.

The partnership between SSU and the Chillicothe VA also created a unique opportunity that brought together generations of individuals of many ages to experience the benefits of the Music and MemorySM Program.

The individuals who attended the conference to receive the award on behalf of each of the organizations were: Dr. Christine Raber (SSU MOT), Mandy Kenz and Keisha Kelley (Chillicothe VA), and Kaye Inoshita, Nina Keller, Merritt Sessor and Chelsey Wemmer (AAA7).

“The MOT program is honored to receive this award, which highlights the importance of building our students’ skills in inter-professional collaboration, as well as the power of partnering with community organization. We have been so fortunate to partner with AAA7, which has resulted in so many benefits for clients, other professionals and our students. The Music and MemorySM project with the Chillicothe VA initiated a series of rich, experiential learning opportunities for our students, as they have supported the successful implementation of the program in both the VA and the eight additional sites,” said Dr. Raber. “We will be working with interested sites this semester to provide resources that support their ongoing implementation of the Music and MemorySM program.”

For more information about SSU’s MOT program, please contact Dr. Raber at craber@shawnee.edu or at 740.351.3530, or go online at http://shawnee.edu/academics/rehabilitation-sports/master-occupational-therapy/index.aspx.

For more information about the Music and MemorySM Program, contact AAA7 at 1.800.582.7277 or at info@aaa7.org.

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