NEW YORK, Nov. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) announced today that it has appointed Eric W. Sokol of Washington, D.C., an attorney and leading healthcare advocate with in-depth knowledge of regulatory and legislative issues, as vice president of public policy.
Sokol joins AFA effective November 28 after an extensive career in government relations, marked by a strong track record of advising top government agencies and achieving significant accomplishments on issues related to the long-term care needs of people with disabilities and chronic diseases.
Sokol served for more than six years as director of the Power Mobility Coalition, a nationwide coalition of manufacturers, providers and beneficiaries of power wheelchairs and motorized scooters; and for nine years as deputy director of government affairs at the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, a 6,000-member trade association whose membership includes home care and hospice providers, home medical equipment suppliers and caregivers.
In both leadership roles, serving as a powerful voice for the often-unheard, Sokol strategically pioneered reforms and strengthened provisions that have advanced care for beneficiaries with long-term care needs.
"Eric Sokol's wealth of knowledge and insight into healthcare issues will undoubtedly be a tremendous asset to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. His expertise will enable us to build on our accomplishments in Washington, and ensure that we strategically move forward to meet the current and emerging needs of American families as we face this healthcare crisis," said Eric J. Hall, AFA's founding president and CEO.
Hall also noted that Sokol is joining AFA at a critical time—when federal leaders are developing the first-ever national plan to defeat Alzheimer's disease and when Congress is struggling with financial issues that could dramatically impact the care of the dementia population and their families.
Based in Washington, D.C. with the primary responsibility of overseeing AFA's advocacy efforts, Sokol will develop the national organization's public policy initiatives, provide strategic guidance on regulatory and legislative issues at the federal and state levels, and serve as AFA's liaison to public officials and numerous industry coalitions.
"I look forward to giving voice to this vulnerable population as health reform is being debated and implemented," Sokol said. "It's an honor to represent people with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers to ensure they have the necessary services in both the current health environment and in the future."
Sokol holds a J.D. from Washington College of Law, The American University, Washington, D.C. and is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
The Alzheimer's Foundation of America, based in New York, is a national nonprofit organization that unites more than 1,600 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families. Its services include counseling and referrals by licensed social workers via a toll-free hot line, e-mail, Skype and live chat; educational materials; a free quarterly magazine for caregivers; and professional training. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.
SOURCE Alzheimer's Foundation of America