How Community Partners Bring Oakwood’s Mission To Life
January 22, 2024

Before evolving into today’s leader in dementia advocacy and community support, Oakwood Creative Care was once known as Sirrine Adult Day Health Services. Dating back to 1975, the founders of Sirrine dreamed of establishing a nonprofit that would provide an innovative solution to helping older adults remain in their homes for as long as possible while staying connected to the community as their healthcare needs were being met. Almost 50 years later, Oakwood Creative Care has had the immense honor of providing creative care options to Arizona’s older adults and their care partners with help from fellow community leaders and trailblazers. On today’s special anniversary, Oakwood is looking back on one of the most pivotal moments of partnership that ultimately led us to where we are today.

Making History With Community Partners In Innovation

oakwood creative care and community partners advocating for seniors with dementia

Sirrine Adult Day Health Services was licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services in 1987. Seeing the benefits of developing a solid partnership with the community, Sirrine aimed to band together cornerstones of the East Valley under one shared cause — supporting and enhancing the quality of life for older adults with cognitive and physical challenges.

Together, the City of Mesa and a collective group of women volunteered under this cause to create fundraising events and raise support for the organization. Later, in 2013, Sirrine’s leadership changed, and with it came a rebrand and revitalization, including the organization’s name change to Oakwood Creative Care.

Newly refreshed, Oakwood’s Board of Directors and staff leadership felt it was important to remain close to our deep roots in the community – however, they also wanted to offer a more innovative approach to the services being offered. After all, Oakwood’s rich history and ability to adapt to the needs of our members is a testament to the community that supports this amazing organization.

Putting The “Unity” In Community

Then, during one of the most pivotal times in the organization’s history, Oakwood was selected by the Mesa Leadership Training & Development Program for a gardening rehabilitation project at our Town Center Day Club location. This team not only brought to life a newly improved garden space for day club members to enjoy but also brought with them something extra special: a newly forged tribe of Oakwood advocates. These initiators of change would go on to spearhead Oakwood’s brand change, name change, and a $600,000 renovation project following the organization’s need to relocate.

What makes this anniversary even more special is that Sherri Friend, Oakwood’s President and CEO, was a part of the 2013 class that put this mission into motion! Now, 10 years later, Oakwood is pleased to welcome back the 2024 Mesa Leadership class, who have delegated their current class project to fundraising for new patio furniture and garden supplies for our Town Center and Red Mountain Day Clubs.

ageism and treating seniors and aging adults with respect

“Spearheading change with the incredible support of Mesa Leadership has been an enriching journey for Oakwood Creative Care. The Mesa Leadership program holds a special place in my heart, forging deep friendships that have elevated OCC’s mission. The legacy of our past collaboration in 2013 continues to shape the trajectory of our organization. The fact that the class of 2024 has chosen OCC as their project is a testament to the enduring impact of our shared history. I am profoundly thankful for Mesa’s unwavering support and for the remarkable opportunity to collaboratively create a special place for those we serve.”

— Sherri Friend, Oakwood Creative Care President & CEO

Partner With Oakwood In Advocating For Community Changes

One night can make a huge difference for an entire community. Become a part of the change and join Oakwood Creative Care and Mesa Leadership for Monte Carlo Night on Friday, January 26th. Help us raise support for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias by coming out to enjoy a buffet dinner, music, and games, including blackjack, craps, and roulette! To purchase your ticker and learn more about sponsorship opportunities, visit:

Mesa Leadership & Oakwood Creative Care Presents Community Advocacy For Seniors

Did You Know?

Oakwood Creative Care is bringing back the JOY in aging! We believe a diagnosis should not have to define your life. Instead, we have devoted our mission to reigniting hope for caregivers and older adults with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other age-related challenges. Click the button below to learn more about how we do this through our research-based, cutting-edge, creative care model found at each of our Day Clubs.

Learn more, contact us, and get started with the Guide Program today, at:

oakwood creative care and community partners advocating for seniors with dementia


We're a nonprofit organization based in Mesa, Arizona with three senior day club locations (and a fourth on the way) which serve older adults with Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's, and various other physical or cognitive challenges. Life does not end with a diagnosis. Our members continue to learn new skills, enjoy new discoveries, make friends, laugh, and live a joy-filled life. Our team of dementia experts lead support groups, events, classes, and private sessions with caregivers and families, guiding them on the best methods to care for their loved ones while also caring for themselves.

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