After 18 years of service, Dorothea Harris has retired as the director of Volunteers of America’s (VOA) Culturally Responsive Caregiver Support and Dementia Services.
On August 30, colleagues, peers, community leaders, elders, and state and national partners gathered at the VOA center in North Minneapolis for a brief program and celebration to wish Harris well.
Harris said she plans to relocate to Houston, Texas, and continue serving in whatever capacity God has planned for her. Stepping into her shoes as director will be Tuesday Glover, a longtime senior health advocate who was mentored by Harris at VOA.
“Dorothea is a leader who promoted health literacy, caregiver support, stress management and dementia education in communities of color and the older adult population,” said Glover. “I am also passionate about the health of the community VOA serves and will continue Dorothea’s legacy. Dorothea was an awesome leader and mentor to me.”
Glover added, “I will promote a dementia-friendly community and encourage the BIPOC population to become educated about dementia and the risk factors for dementia.
“I plan to explore creative ways to defeat the cultural health disparity and address the systematic barriers that challenge people of color. Our team will continue to use the person-center healthcare model by meeting our people right where they are at, in the community.”
VOA’s Culturally Responsive Caregiver Support and Dementia Services implements health screenings that include culturally sensitive memory screens, blood pressure screen, glucose, and cholesterol checks, and utilizes a Healthy Aging Memory & Mobile Clinic (a clinic on wheels) with culturally sensitive community health workers and a registered nurse.
Organizations interested in doing dementia education training or health screen outreach at a community event or health fair can contact the Culturally Responsive Caregiver Support and Dementia Services team by calling 952-945-4034 or visiting VOAMN.org.
Nikki Love is a contributing writer at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.