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March 9, 2018
By Taylor Middleton, media relations assistant
Northwest Missouri State University alumna Cameo Hofpar Rogers recently was named the 2017 Dementia Care Practitioner of the Year by the National Council for Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP) in recognition of her outstanding efforts to meet the challenging standards of dementia care.
“This award is a direct reflection of her exceptional talent and commitment to serving others,” Dr. Terry Long, the director of Northwest’s School of Health Science and Wellness, said. “We are certainly proud of Cameo’s accomplishments, and she has always been a great advocate and supporter of our therapeutic recreation program.”
Rogers was nominated by peers, who provided examples of her dedication, passion and transcendent delivery of the NCCDP’s Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia Care curriculum.
“Cameo was a memorable student because of her dedication to excellence from day one,” Long said. “She has always recognized the significant responsibility that comes from being in a caregiving profession and now is a leader in communicating this message to others in her profession.”
Rogers entered the profession in 2004, and her work with the Nebraska Health Care Association (NHCA) has made an impact. According to NHCA, professionals drive from other states to her workshops, with more than 275 individuals who work in Nebraska nursing and assisted living facilities attending her seminars since 2013. She also helped implement a comprehensive dementia training program to better the long-term living environment for residents through an individualized approach.
She is a certified therapeutic recreation specialist, a certified dementia practitioner, a certified Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care trainer, and a certified dementia care manager. She serves as vice president of the Activity Professionals Association of Omaha, a role she also held in 2012, and she was its president in 2013.
Recently, she started work at Home Office at Immanuel in Omaha, Nebraska, as its corporate lifestyles manager. In the role, she provides support, resources and training to recreational therapists and lifestyle managers, who include other alumni of Northwest’s therapeutic recreation program.
Rogers knew she wanted to be a recreational therapist when she was a young girl. She chose to attend Northwest after connecting with alumni and friends who spoke highly of its therapeutic recreation program.
“I think that leisure, recreation and social interaction are how we are able to cope through the difficult times in our life and illnesses and disabilities,” Rogers said. “It’s connections that you have with people and things that give you purpose, pleasure, and peace and allow you to move forward.”
Rogers received her bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation and corporate wellness from Northwest in 2004. She has remained connected with Long and contributed to his textbook.
“One of the things that I really valued at Northwest Missouri State University, especially in the recreation department, was how close-knit everyone was and how supportive of each other the students were, but also the faculty,” Rogers said.
She says Northwest provided a supportive network of peers and opportunities within a special and unique environment. Two summers ago Rogers and her husband, Jason, a 2003 Northwest graduate, passed through Maryville with their kids and noticed it still felt like home.
“The one thing about Northwest that I really appreciate is that they are fully invested in their students’ success beyond the time that they are University students,” she said. “They really want to see you grow, learn, succeed and then be able to share your experiences with others.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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