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Denali Center at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital receives prestigious award


FAIRBANKS, Alaska (July 9, 2012) – Denali Center was recently awarded the prestigious “Master Gardener Award” at the International Eden Alternative Conference earlier this month.

One of only three recipients to ever receive this prominent award, Denali Center was recognized for its commitment to bringing the Eden Alternative Principles to life throughout our organization and community.  These principles include identity, connectedness, security, autonomy, meaning, growth, and joy.

The Eden Alternative is an international non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of senior citizens (elders) and their caretakers by transforming the communities where they live and work. With a vision to eliminate loneliness, helplessness, and boredom, the Eden Alternative’s core belief is that aging should be a continued stage of development and growth, rather than a period of decline.

Part of a select group, Denali Center is one of 300 organizations worldwide to reach the milestone of becoming an Eden Alternative facility. “We have an amazing facility, but more importantly, we have a community – which includes elders, employees, family, children, volunteers, and neighbors.” said Tina Rein, director of Denali Center.

Patricia Wiltse, a Denali Center employee says, “The residents at Denali Center want to be involved with their community. This involvement alleviates the possibility of boredom and gives them a feeling of self-worth.” 

One of the many community-based projects that the residents of Denali Center are involved with is creating and maintaining a strong relationship with their neighbor, Hunter Elementary School. Denali Center residents, employees and volunteers have enjoyed making mittens and have a project in the works to provide backpacks filled with food items to fight weekend hunger for students.

Denali Center offers many unique and resident-focused programs.  One program is the Native Culture Group which encourages residents to participate in and enjoy traditional Native meals, such as Moose Soup.  Another popular program is the Denali Center Dream Team, made up of Denali Center residents and staff.  The sole purpose of the Dream Team is to grant resident wishes.  Carol Switzer, Denali Center Activities Supervisor and Eden Alternative Educator, says, “These dreams can be simple or complex. They’ve included the purchase of a swing, visits home to remote Alaskan villages, train rides, baseball games in Seattle, a ladies night out, and everything in between!”

Denali Center is 90-bed comprehensive short and long-term care facility adjacent to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. 

For more information on the Eden Alternative please visit the website:

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