GERBER MEMORIAL NURSE RECEIVES ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD
As a community nurse educator, Sally Wagoner is proud to provide care and support for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers
Muskegon, MI - Sally Wagoner recently received the distinction of being named the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year in the Michigan Great Lakes Chapter’s West Shore Region. Sally received the award during a Volunteer Recognition Night on April 19, where she was honored for her outstanding contributions to furthering the mission of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Sally is a community nurse educator at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Hospital. When she saw how beneficial a peer support group can be for people who face the challenges of a life changing event or diagnosis, she promoted the initiation of an Alzheimer’s support group to her employers. Sally has been volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Association for...
...about a year, where she promotes and coordinates monthly one-on-one appointments with Alzheimer’s Association staff, organizes craft-making sessions, fundraisers, and resource sharing and referrals. For Sally though, the most rewarding part about being a volunteer is the chance to facilitate an Alzheimer’s support group. Through this opportunity, she has taught caregivers and those suffering from the disease valuable skills to help them cope, but has also learned a great deal about Alzheimer’s herself.
“Each year, we present this prestigious award to a volunteer who goes above and beyond in support of our mission,” says Jennifer Howard, Executive Director for the Alzheimer’s Association, Michigan Great Lakes Chapter. “Sally has helped support the chapter in every aspect of our mission, and has become an important member of our team. We are grateful for her work and non-stop dedication to our goals, and are pleased to recognize her efforts with this year’s Volunteer of the Year Award.”
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and fatal disease which affects over 5 million Americans and 180,000 Michiganders. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the state, which is home to more than 510,000 caregivers. According to the 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report released earlier this year, nearly two-thirds of those with Alzheimer’s disease – 3.3 million – are women.
“I’m truly honored to receive this recognition for doing something I’m passionate about, and that’s helping families and their loved ones on their journey through Alzheimer’s,” says Sally. “As a volunteer, I’m humbled to be part of their lives, learning not only more about the disease but also about the changing needs of the people who are afflicted. Volunteering is one small way we can provide support and peace of mind to many people in our community.”
The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. For more information, call our 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900 or visit alz.org.