Home Work Biz Scoop Hospice care and soccer highlighted at Mesa chamber event

Hospice care and soccer highlighted at Mesa chamber event

Lin Sue Cooney and Mesa Mayor John Giles speak during the April segment of Mesa Morning Live. Cooney, a longtime Valley TV anchor, is director of community engagement for Hospice of the Valley. The hospice was highlighted in the community spotlight portion of the Mesa Chamber of Commerce monthly TV program. (Shelley Ridenour/MyNewsMesa.com)

The continued increase in the number of East Valley people – and people throughout the United States – who need hospice care evoked passionate comments from two Valley leaders.

Mesa Mayor John Giles and Hospice of the Valley Director of Engagement Lin Sue Cooney discussed hospice care during the April segment of the Mesa Chamber of Commerce’s Mesa Morning Live TV program.

Both Cooney and Giles said nearly every person in the room and the viewing audience would eventually find a need for hospice care. It may be for a friend, a family member or themselves.

Hospice has become an integral part of end-of-life medical care options, they said.

Currently, Hospice of the Valley is focusing on dementia care, Cooney said.

The existing programs to help people with dementia aren’t adequate for what the future holds, she said, so Hospice of the Valley is preparing for its role in future dementia care.

Among the services the hospice now offers for caregivers of dementia patients are a 24-hour-a-day phone hotline and follow-up calls to hotline users. Hospice of the Valley officials expect to continue increasing their care options for dementia patents.

Hospice of the Valley doesn’t require its patients to pay for care, if they’re not able to afford it, Cooney said. Last year the hospice program provided the equivalent of $9.3 million in charity care.

“We never turn a patient away,” Cooney said. So, for 40 years the hospice has relied on contributions from the community to operate. One simple way to help the hospice, she said, is to shop at the White Dove Thrift Stores in the Valley. All of the proceeds of sales at those stores goes to Hospice of the Valley.

Soccer fever

Mesa’s new professional soccer team provided Giles with another opportunity to boast about the successes of the community at the chamber event.

“Not everyone has heard Mesa has a professional soccer team,” the mayor said as he introduced Scott Taylor, owner of the F.C. Arizona team.

Taylor, an insurance agent in Gilbert, said Mesa was chosen as the home for the club because “we needed a stadium and you guys had one.”

The matches are played at John D. Riggs Stadium at Mesa Community College on Southern Avenue.

A schedule, and other information about the club, can be found at: http://www.fcarizona.com. Most home games are on Saturday nights, Taylor said. Admission is $12 for adults and $5 for kids.

Taylor said his children play soccer and he’s a fan of the sport.

Working in insurance is a “quite boring,” he said.

“I had to think of something fun to do.” So, on a flight with his family he “sketched out a business plan,” and created the team.

Soccer is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, Taylor said.

“There’s a real void for soccer here, and as we become more international and diverse,” more sporting options for the East Valley become more important. He’s well aware that soccer will probably never rise to the level of popularity enjoyed by American football, but he’s convinced it will become a bigger deal in the U.S.

The team is off to a 6-0 start. On the day the TV show was filmed, the F.C. Arizona team hadn’t even allowed an opponent to score. That finally occurred the following day, when the Sports Club Corinthians USA scored one goal in their match in Chino, Calif. The Arizona squad won that game, 4-1, bringing their number of goals to 15 for the season, while holding opponents to a single point.

“Defense wins championships,” Taylor said.

– Shelley Ridenour is a freelance reporter for MyNewsMesa.com.

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