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Assisted living

Above: Vintage Westward Ho, Phoenix’s landmark hotel in its early years. Today, it is home to an innovative ASU community partnership.

Students and residents help each other at the Westward Ho

When Lisa VanBockern’s mother was in an assisted living facility, she had a caregiver
who wanted to go to college but couldn’t afford it. “My mother asked if she could give the aide some money for school. We told her ‘You need your money for your own care,’” says VanBockern, an ASU alumna who owns Skin Script Skin Care in Phoenix. “That always touched my heart that mom wanted to give her caregivers money for education.”

Later, VanBockern learned about a service-learning program in which ASU students provide health care and social services to Phoenix’s elderly, called ASU’s Community Collaborative at the Westward Ho.

The more she learned, the more she realized the program was improving life for tenants and students, much as her mother had wanted to do.

“It resonated with me how each worked collaboratively for the best interests of everyone,” says VanBockern, who gave a gift to support its work.

The program is a partnership between ASU, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Westward Ho, a former landmark hotel that now houses low–income elderly residents

The collaborative includes a teaching clinic for colleges and disciplines on ASU's Downtown Phoenix campus including nursing, nutrition and school work

ASU students provide psychosocial and health care to Westward Ho residents, many of whom have experienced poverty and untreated health disorders.

“What a perfect combination of ASU colleges and the tenants who need their services,” VanBockern says. “ASU really has become part of the solution.”


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