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It feels like things have come full circle after just finishing up a week serving at Back Bay Mission (BBM) in Biloxi, MS. This is where I first began to question my career path 10 years ago after working at BBM for a week. Although I thought it may lead me in a different direction, I never could have predicted the journey or that I would step away from the corporate world two years ago and enter the arena of business owners.


So much has changed in the last two years and every day feels like a roller coaster ride that can change in an instant, beginning with the excitement of launching a new business at the same time the entire world shut down in March 2020. The fluctuating highs and lows occurring simultaneously often leaves me with whiplash but has also helped me realize the incredible blessings that are always present. Although the first year proved challenging, this second year became even more so; however, the blessings grew as well.

This last year has taught me perseverance, trust, faith, and most importantly, hope. Hope allows me to see the bigger picture and not get stuck in the circumstances that seem unfavorable or obstacles that feel insurmountable. I’ve learned the importance of having a good network and support system and knowing who to go to when I need assistance. I also realized that my journey as a new business owner feels a lot like working with people on addressing social determinants of health (SDoH) issues.


Like running a business, addressing SDoH issues is complicated. We’re dealing with human beings, not numbers. The data analytics help us determine where to focus and concentrate our limited resources, but we must keep the person at the heart of everything we do. We’re about human care. It starts with learning someone’s story and helping them first see that their situations are not impossible and to look for creative solutions. It’s about developing a network of support, and ultimately, providing that sense of hope that allows someone to continue to make another step forward.


While I was in Biloxi, one of the non-profit leaders introduced me as her ‘matchmaker’. I hadn’t thought about that before, but it is an accurate description of what we do at achi. We focus on connecting the dots and bridging gaps to create stronger and healthier communities. Those communities represent patients, families, employees, and members. When we do this right, we not only positively impact individual lives, but we can also see the ripple effect through our communities in decreased expenses and turnover, and increased productivity and well-being.


So, has the roller coaster ride over the past two years been worth it? Absolutely! We’re building a great team that not only has technical expertise but has the heart and passion to help people. It can be hard work and progress can take a while, but the ultimate results are more than worth it. It’s a blessing to be a ‘matchmaker’ for both individuals and organizations and I look forward to another year of continued connections across communities.

 

About achi

achi is a holistic care management company that lowers overall expenses by actively engaging people and connecting them to organizations to address the social determinants of health. Through innovative partnerships, cross-sector collaboration, and creative solutions, we equip organizations across multiple industries to educate the people they serve and connect them with resources to improve their lives from the ground up. By partnering with health systems, educational institutions and corporations, achi empowers lasting transformation in individual lives— resulting in an overall healthier population and data to transform our healthcare payment models. To learn more about achi and its mission, visit www.achi.solutions.

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Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.


Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.


Happy International Women's Day!


Learn more at www.internationalwomensday.com.

 

About achi

achi is a holistic care management company that lowers overall expenses by actively engaging people and connecting them to organizations to address the social determinants of health. Through innovative partnerships, cross-sector collaboration, and creative solutions, we equip organizations across multiple industries to educate the people they serve and connect them with resources to improve their lives from the ground up. By partnering with health systems, educational institutions and corporations, achi empowers lasting transformation in individual lives— resulting in an overall healthier population and data to transform our healthcare payment models. To learn more about achi and its mission, visit www.achi.solutions.

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Photo Reminiscence Therapy (pRT) Improves Quality of Life for Dementia Patients Pilot Study Conducted by NIDE, CERTUS Institute, Vivid-Pix, Tellegacy, & achi “Cognitive Benefits of Photo Reminiscence Therapy for Dementia Patients” pRT Study at: https://nid.education/nide-publications.html

February 1, 2022, Orlando, FL -- The National Institute for Dementia Education (NIDE) announced today results from the “Cognitive Benefits of Photo Reminiscence Therapy for Dementia Patients” research study that concluded that Photo Reminiscence Therapy can improve the quality of life for those living with dementia or related forms of memory impairment. Conducted by a coalition of organizations, including the National Institute for Dementia Education, the CERTUS Institute, Vivid-Pix, Tellegacy, and achi, the group studied the healing power of photos and concluded that Photo Reminiscence Therapy (pRT) can minimize social isolation and improve medication compliance and general cognitive performance. The complete pRT study is available at: https://nid.education/nide-publications.html. Videos about the study are available at: https://www.vivid-pix.com/reminisce/.

Over 8.8 Million Americans Currently Have Dementia

Over 8.8 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. This number is expected to triple within the next few decades. In addition, Alzheimer's disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, with one in three seniors dying from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Experts have been using Reminiscence Therapy for years to help Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and depression. As reported by Shirley Wang, NPR, “Researchers find that dementia patients who engage in activities, such as gathering photographs and talking about family, see improvements in their quality of life and are less agitated.” Researchgate also reported that Reminiscence Therapy is an effective way to increase self-esteem and decrease behavioral disturbances in those with dementia, and their research proved that photography was the best therapy.

“We concluded that the power of engaging with personal photos, matched with a high-quality care curriculum and living environment, may improve the quality of life for those with dementia by stimulating the brain and fostering neurogenesis as well as neuroplasticity. This may improve quality of life and, in some cases, temporarily diminish dementia symptoms during therapeutic sessions,” said Joshua Freitas, PhD(c), M.Ed., BC-DEd, Chief Research Officer, CERTUS Institute.

How pRT Research was Conducted

The Photo Reminiscence Therapy research study identified photos that foster reminiscence and looked at the behavioral and somatic responses of older adults in senior living care through pRT. The study was conducted in 2021 in three five-week phases comparing the influences of viewing different types of photos at four CERTUS Senior Living communities in Florida. CERTUS oversaw the care and clinical assessment, with participants ranging in age from 67 to 92 years, who were living with a diagnosis of dementia or memory impairment and had diverse work backgrounds, from engineers to stay-at-home mothers. The study employed the Tellegacy/achi program, which uses social prompts that foster human connection through focused questions as part of an evidence-based curriculum.

The Effects of Different Photos

The pilot group studied the effects between viewing generic stock photos, personal photos, or no photos. Photo types included family, self-portraits, pets, landmarks, newspaper articles, nature, and abstract themes. Aged or faded personal photos were enhanced using Vivid-Pix technology to digitally enhance and restore images, improving color, contrast, clarity, and overall quality. This allowed photos to be more recognizable and relatable. Vivid-Pix’s knowledge of how people emotionally connect and interact with photos was also essential to the research. “This study highlights the emotional, mental, and physical health benefits that looking at photos provide to the young and young-at-heart alike,” said Rick Voight, CEO of Vivid-Pix.

The pilot study was led by Joshua Freitas, Chief Research Officer at CERTUS and an award-winning expert, researcher, and author on memory care, Dr. Jeremy Holloway, Founder, Tellegacy and Professor and Director of Geriatrics Education at University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Rick Voight, CEO, Vivid-Pix, photo researcher, and Hayley Studer, CPA, FHFMA, Founder of achi, a holistic care management company.

“Our findings were robust, insightful, and beneficial for participants,” said Dr. Jeremy Holloway, Tellegacy. “Through engagement with personal photos, pRT can help patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and provide healthy neurological and action-based benefits to those with dementia, especially in supportive care environments.”

“As a percentage of population, individuals over age 65 will double by 2050. How we care for our aging is of social and economic importance,” describes Hayley Studer, achi. “As a bright light shines on how the social determinants of health are affecting communities, many want to take action to create healthier communities and reduce overall healthcare costs.”

To view the full pRT pilot study, see: https://nid.education/nide-publications.html

To view videos about research, see: https://www.vivid-pix.com/reminisce/

About The National Institute for Dementia Education (NIDE)

NIDE works to enhance the quality of life for those living with dementia through research, case studies, education, collaboration, and advocacy. NIDE works with senior care facilities, memory care units, hospitals, and universities studying memory disorders to create unique certificate programs that improve the way we care for seniors who have dementia. The NIDE Standards of Excellence Council offers free dementia training and certification for participating students and caregivers. For more information, see: https://www.nid.education/.

About Vivid-Pix

Vivid-Pix helps people relive photos and documents by connecting individuals, families, and friends with their most treasured memories, restored through Vivid-Pix technology. The U.S. Patent Office has awarded two patents to Vivid-Pix for its image processing techniques used to automatically correct faded images. Vivid-Pix founders brought Kodak’s “You Press the Button, We Do the Rest” philosophy to the design of Vivid-Pix RESTORE. Vivid-Pix RESTORE is available at: https://vivid-pix.com/restore/buy.html, with a free trial at: https://vivid-pix.com/restore/free-trial.html. For more information about Vivid-Pix, visit: www.vivid-pix.com. About CERTUS Senior Living

CERTUS Senior Living is a research-based senior living community specifically designed for people living with dementia. The CERTUS Senior Living research division, the CERTUS Institute, works with organizations to create pilot programs, research products’ effectiveness, and help improve the delivery of services following best practices with the mission of making memory care better. CERTUS Senior Living is a leader in memory care research and lifestyle accommodations through their evidence-based approach to memory care, endorsed by the National Institute for Dementia Education, as well as a number of nationally recognized organizations. For more information, see: https://www.certusseniorliving.com/.

About Tellegacy

Tellegacy is an intergenerational program created to combat loneliness and social isolation among older adults, keeping them connected and engaged through weekly phone or virtual visits with university students. As research shows, loneliness and social isolation can result in long-term negative health outcomes. Tellegacy founder Jeremy Holloway, PhD is determined to change that narrative with his flexible, relationship-oriented, mindfulness, goal-setting and guided imagery curriculum. To learn more about the Tellegacy program and how it can save lives, visit www.tellegacy.com.

About achi

achi is a holistic care management company that lowers overall expenses by actively engaging people and connecting them to organizations to address the social determinants of health. Through innovative partnerships, cross-sector collaboration, and creative solutions, we equip organizations across multiple industries to educate the people they serve and connect them with resources to improve their lives from the ground up. By partnering with health systems, educational institutions and corporations, achi empowers lasting transformation in individual lives— resulting in an overall healthier population and data to transform our healthcare payment models. To learn more about achi and its mission, visit www.achi.solutions.

Contact: Karen Thomas/Eva Yutani, Thomas PR 631-549-7575 Emails: kthomas@thomaspr.com / eyutani@thomaspr.com http://www.thomasprsocial.com http://www.thomaspr.com Vivid-Pix website: https://vivid-pix.com/ Vivid-Pix free trial download: https://vivid-pix.com/restore/free-trial.html Research and reliving memories video: https://www.vivid-pix.com/reminisce Photos: Study Logo: http://www.thomas-pr.com/136/photos/CognitiveBenefitsPhoto.jpg Don’t Let Your Memories Fade Logo: http://www.thomas-pr.com/136/photos/DontLetYourMemoriesFadeLogo.jpg Vivid-Pix Logo: http://www.thomas-pr.com/136/photos/vividpixlogo.html

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