Extending help and hope to all communities


‘REAL TALK’ offers much-needed
support by engaging in transparent,
open and honest dialogue nationwide.

Banner Sun Health Research Institute and Banner Alzheimer’s Institute diversity initiative gets real

Did you know that African Americans and Hispanic/Latinx populations are at the highest risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease? Although these populations are at greater risk, statistics show they are less likely than Caucasians to receive a diagnosis of the condition and to access care and supportive resources.

Recognizing the critical need for culturally sensitive dementia education, diagnosis, and treatment in our diverse communities, Banner Sun Health Research Institute and Banner Alzheimer’s Institute received generous funding from the Arizona Community Foundation, Arthea China, CopperPointAcadia Pharmaceuticals and individual donors to fund a new webinar series called ‘REAL TALK.’

‘REAL TALK’ offers much-needed support by engaging in transparent, open and honest dialogue nationwide among communities of color, caregivers, clinicians, and medical providers about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Since Dec. 2021, the virtual program offers a series of two-hour sessions that includes storytelling by caregivers, presentations by dementia experts, a question-and-answer panel, and an online “resource room” filled with information.

The idea for ‘REAL TALK’ blossomed from a conversation between Dr. Danielle Goldfarb, Banner Sun Health Research Institute dementia specialist, and her patient’s wife and primary caregiver, Grace Wright. Wright was candid in her discussions about the challenges that she and friends, members of First Institutional Baptist Church, face as African American women struggling to find and access dementia caregiver support and resources. Inspired to make meaningful change, Dr. Goldfarb and Wright brought together thought leaders from Banner and FIBC/FIBCO to start the conversation. Watch a segment from the Arizona Daily Mix featuring Dr. Goldfarb and Dr. Allen below:

“I wanted more clarity about what the disease is,” Wright said. “With this new series, we are opening the doors to our community with the hope that others like me will share the desire to understand more about Alzheimer’s and dementia and learn what and where resources are available.”

Banner Sun Health Research Institute and Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, national leaders in the care and research of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, have partnered with FIBC and FIBCO Family Services, Inc. along with the Alzheimer’s Association – Desert Southwest Chapter to create ‘REAL TALK’ to engage the community in important conversations around Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Arizona currently has the highest projected growth rate for the disease in the country. By 2025, the state is expected to have more than 200,000 people aged 65 and older diagnosed with the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

“As a physician, we’re very focused on our patients and the clinical aspect of Alzheimer’s,” Dr. Goldfarb said. “But building trusted community partnerships within Black and Brown communities and supporting candid conversations are the first steps toward brain health equity.”

“REAL TALK is a new beginning of education, access, and support for caregivers,” said Ernie Urquhart, Chair of the Board and COO of FIBCO. “Health disparities and equity issues prevalent include those of brain health among our elderly in historically underserved communities of color. We must do a better job of education, raising awareness and access to care and support.”

With the goal of improving understanding and awareness among the broader community, the REAL TALK series is accessible to everyone. Visit the REAL TALK website for more information and to watch the series on demand at easthillmedia.com/FIBCO-Real-Talk.

This special initiative depends on ongoing philanthropic support, as insurance does not cover outreach to underserved populations nor staff training. Philanthropic partners will enable our team to reach underserved populations and implement efforts to improve access to culturally appropriate dementia care throughout our community. Gifts at all levels are welcome.

Invest in the health of our communities, now and in the future, with a tax-deductible gift to the Banner Alzheimer’s Foundation. Donate online by visiting the link below (under Gift Designation, select BAI Family & Community Services in the drop-down menu).

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