Dementia Friends Illinois Champions are individuals who have gone through training to provide in-person one-hour conferences to engage diverse audiences to become Dementia Friends.
Below is an introduction to Tessa Garcia McEwen, AM, LSW, who works at The Memory Center as part of the University of Chicago Medicine Quality of Life & Family Support Services.
Tessa brings 17 years working with diverse populations throughout her career, doing her best to listen first before giving care. At The Memory Center, she enjoys providing patients, care partners, and families with personalized access to resources and exploring strategies together for increased quality of life. Tessa walks alongside each patient and family through their journey from diagnosis onward, offering ongoing support and continuity of care.
She values treating each unique person with dignity and respect. As a graduate student recipient of the Albert T. Schweitzer Fellowship, she created a dual-pronged project: bringing grief and loss support to local communities, and cultural competence and compassionate care education to medical settings.
Tessa is a Certified Dementia Communication Specialist and member of Social Workers in Memory, the IL Cognitive Resources Network, and the Dementia Friendly IL Subcommittee – always eager to learn best practices and serve in the field of memory care and healthy aging. She is also a Dementia Friends Champion, providing education on Dementia care in the community. Tessa completed her B.A. in sociology at The University of Notre Dame and a masters degree in clinical social work at The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.