The Mayor's Council on African American Elders has announced it will hold health education sessions the fourth Thursday of every month to educate African American elders and their adult children on issues related to senior African Americans in Seattle and King County.
Established in 1995 by then Mayor Norman B. Rice to oversee the development of a comprehensive continuum of services to serve the needs of African American elders, the 12-member council is chaired by Roger Moore, administrator of the Leon Sullivan Health Care Center in Seattle.
Appointed to the MCAAE board in January, Moore comes to the council with extensive experience in the long-term care industry. He earned his bachelor's in business from Evergreen State College in 1986, has 15 years experience in the industry and is on the board of directors for Cancer Lifeline.
"Being in the long-term care industry is important because it allows me to have a positive impact on people's lives including residents, patients and their loved ones," Moore says. "People want to know that they're loved one is receiving the best of care in a quality, warm, structured environment which can assist them in terms of making their lives easier."
Of being on the council, Moore says education is a top priority.
"Our mission is to advocate for and educate the African American elders as well as educate their adult children who are often the decision makers," Moore said. "We feel as a council one of the most effective ways to do this is through education and that's why were having these health education sessions to help educate those in need."
MCAAE members include Sherry Catlett-Jones, LPN and clinical operations manager for Odessa Brown Children's Clinic; and Dorothy Wiitala, secretary; Merlin Rainwater, ARNP, treasurer and one of the founders of the Diversity Outreach Project at Providence Hospital.
Margaret Boddie, director of the African American Elders Program; George Dicks, BA, GMHS, RCMHP, who supervises the Geriatric Psychiatry Service clinic at Harborview Mental Health Services; and Juana Royster, Ph.D., CFCS, community health educator at the Washington State University Extension also are on the council.
As are Charlotte Ruff, RN, retired nurse and member of the Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Association and Jonathan Warren, M.A., Ph.D., an associate professor of Latin American and International Studies at the University of Washington who has expertise in understanding structural racism and how it affects African Americans, including the elderly.
"We want to make sure that those seniors and their families with concerns or questions get all the available help and assistance they need. We're here to assist you and encourage those that need more information to call or come to the education classes," Moore says.
The health education workshops will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. every fourth Thursday of the month at the Central Area Senior Center, 500 30th Ave. S. The workshops will feature experts to speak at each class. Pre-registration is not required.
The first class, "Medicare and Medicaid: What's the Difference?" begins April 26.
Future classes include:
"Healthy Hearts: What's New About Hypertension & Strokes" in May;
"The Health of Our Older African American Men" in June; and
"Fruits and Veggies, More Matters: Nutrition & Healthy Aging" in July.
For more information on the MCAAE call 206-684-0660; or call Karen Winston at 206-684-0706, or email her at [email protected].