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'REAL TALK' Alzheimer’s workshops highlight important brain health equity conversations

Phoenix-area organizations partner to provide national awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias among communities of color

PHOENIX (Nov. 23, 2021) – African Americans and Hispanic/Latinx populations are at the highest risk of developing Alzheimer’s and are not accessing needed care and resources. A new workshop series called ‘REAL TALK’ hopes to offer much needed support by engaging in an open and honest dialogue nationwide among Black and Brown communities about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The virtual workshop is a monthly series of two-hour sessions and include storytelling by caregivers, presentations by dementia experts, a question-and-answer panel, and an online “resource room” filled with information. The next session, Understanding Behaviors in Dementia, will be held at 10 a.m. (MST) on Saturday, December 4.

The idea for ‘REAL TALK’ blossomed from a conversation between Dr. Danielle Goldfarb, Banner Sun Health Research Institute dementia specialist, and her patient’s wife and primary caregiver Grace Wright. Wright was candid in her discussions about the challenges that she and friends, members of First Institutional Baptist Church (FIBC), face as African American women struggling to find and access dementia caregiver support and resources. Dr. Goldfarb and Wright, inspired to make meaningful change, brought together thought leaders from Banner and FIBC/FIBCO to start the conversation.  

“I wanted more clarity about what the disease is,” Wright said. “With this new series, we are opening the doors to our community with the hope that others like me will share the desire to understand more about Alzheimer’s and dementia and learn what and where resources are available.”

Banner Sun Health Research Institute and Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, national leaders in the care and research of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, have partnered with FIBC and FIBCO Family Services, Inc. along with the Alzheimer’s Association – Desert Southwest Chapter to create ‘REAL TALK’ to engage the community in important conversations around Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Arizona currently has the highest projected growth rate for the disease in the country. By 2025, the state is expected to have more than 200,000 people aged 65 and older diagnosed with the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association

“As a physician, we’re very focused on our patients and the clinical aspect of Alzheimer’s,” Dr. Goldfarb said. “But building trusted community partnerships within Black and Brown communities and supporting candid conversations are the first steps toward brain health equity.”

“REAL TALK is a new beginning of education, access, and support for caregivers,” said Ernie Urquhart, Chair of the Board and COO of FIBCO. “Health disparities and equity issues prevalent include those of brain health among our elderly in historically underserved communities of color. We must do a better job of education, raising awareness and access to care and support.”

All people are encouraged to join the series regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, socio-economic, or other factors as the community at large will benefit from real conversations aimed at making a measurable difference in these inequities. 

Discussion topics will vary per workshop. Please visit the REAL TALK website for more information and to register for individual sessions:

Understanding Behaviors in Dementia presented by Angela Allen, PhD, Banner Health
10 a.m. – noon (MST) Saturday, Dec. 4

Understanding Caregiver Challenges (part 1)
10 a.m. – noon (MST) Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022

Understanding Caregiver Challenges (part 2)
10 a.m. – noon (MST) Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022

About Banner Sun Health Research Institute
Since 1986, Banner Sun Health Research Institute, part of nonprofit Banner Health, has been a leader nationally and internationally in the effort to find answers to disorders of aging including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The institute’s Cleo Roberts Center for Clinical Research takes laboratory discoveries to clinical trials that foster hope for new treatments. Banner Health is Arizona’s leading health care provider and largest private employer. For more information, visit or visit us on Facebook.

About Banner Alzheimer’s Institute 
Since its inception in 2006, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI) has sought to find effective Alzheimer’s disease prevention therapies without losing another generation, establish a new model of dementia care for patients and family caregivers, and forge new models of collaboration in biomedical research. It has made groundbreaking contributions to the unusually early detection, tracking, diagnosis and study of Alzheimer’s, and aims to find an effective prevention therapy by 2025. It includes the pioneering Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative (API), an extensive profile of research studies and clinical trials, comprehensive clinical, family and community service programs, a leading brain imaging research program, and strategic partnerships with public and private research organizations around the world. Learn more at

Since 1986, FIBCO Family Services, Inc. has operated from the campus of First Institutional Baptist Church as a beacon of hope to the city from the city center. Through its program offerings, FIBCO provides affordable food, clothing, housing, and immigration assistance to those with limited access to such essential resources. FIBCO is a 501(c) tax exempt organization with a legacy of meeting the needs of the community.

About Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia®. Visit or call 800-272-3900.

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Banner Health
[email protected] (business hours)
602-727-3080 (nights, weekends, holidays)

Ernest Urquhart
[email protected]

Editors’ Note: Dr. Goldfarb and caregiver Grace Wright can be available for media interviews. To schedule, please contact [email protected].

Alzheimer Banner Alzheimers Institute Banner Health Disease Health Senior Citizens

For further information contact us at: [email protected]