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The Care Team® concept began in 1985 when Interfaith CarePartners founders Earl Shelp, Ph.D. and Ronald Sunderland, Ed. D. joined to care for a colleague who was diagnosed with AIDS. While working in the Texas Medical Center, both men saw firsthand the needs of persons with AIDS—many of whom had no support system to offer such care.
They realized that through a network of congregation partnerships they could provide compassionate care through a volunteer program. Over time, the news spread about this congregational caregiving model, spurring the creation of specialized AIDS ministries across the nation.
The Care Team® concept flourished, and in time it was applied to serve persons with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (1992), the elderly or those with disabling conditions (1994), and families with impaired children (2000).
These volunteer support activities are complemented by educational conferences and support groups (Common Ground) for family caregivers.