Proactive planning by the Alzheimer Society’s local office is expanding a partnership that already benefits both the agency and Algoma University.
A new Alzheimer Society of Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma District Bursary will be presented for the first time this year. Annual recipients of the $600 award will be in second-, third-, or fourth-year Honours Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) studies, carry a 70 percent or greater average, and demonstrate financial need.
“Algoma University is a major partner in our community and we felt as a community support service it was important to further develop our relationship,” said Terry Caporossi, Executive Director of the Alzheimer Society of Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma District. “We feel a strong obligation to provide opportunities for education and awareness that will support bursary recipients’ career goals.
“Our Board of Directors is committed to providing a bursary that will further support the education of and internships for BSW students. We view this as a financial investment in our community that will further enhance the provision of high-quality care for those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia-related diseases, as well as their caregivers.”
An Alzheimer Society internship helps BSW students complete field placement requirements during their final year.
Meanwhile, Caporossi believes the demand for graduates will only grow as Canada’s population continues to age. In fact, the Sault service is currently increasing its staff complement and enlarging the organization’s Trunk Road facilities.
“There’s a great need for social workers in this field,” the Executive Director said. “We see a great fit with Algoma’s program.”
The Alzheimer Society currently serves about 2,600 families in Sault Ste. Marie and elsewhere in the district. Steadily growing client totals will only escalate for decades to come. National forecasts show that by 2031, the number of Canadians with the disease will have doubled from the 2011 level to nearly 1.4 million.
Alzheimer Society linkages with Algoma U could also add another dimension in the future. “Alzheimer’s-related research opportunities, particularly with the Innovation Centre [located on campus], could be very exciting,” Caporossi noted.
The University values its mutually beneficial relationship with the organization.
“We are very thankful for the generous contribution of the Alzheimer Society of Sault Ste Marie and District,” said Sean Dwyer, Vice President, Administration and Finance. “Both the bursary and the internship help our students achieve academic success inside and outside the classroom.”
Written by: Rick McGee