Alzheimer's Foundation of America Seeks Input on National Plan to Beat Brain Disorder

Public Invited to Join September 12 National Conference Call

NEW YORK, Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As experts begin to craft a national strategy to defeat Alzheimer's disease, Christopher Nadeau, executive director of the New York Memory Center in Brooklyn, NY, strongly believes that a plan must include funding for local providers to adopt best practices in caregiving from across the country as well as provide care planning to families so they "can get in front of the disease as opposed to putting out fires."

Nadeau's comments will be among those that Eric J. Hall, founding president and CEO of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA), delivers to government and industry leaders as part of AFA's input into the development of a national Alzheimer's disease plan mandated by the National Alzheimer's Disease Project Act.    

Hall has been collecting feedback from the public and AFA's 1,600 member organizations, like Nadeau of New York Memory Center, for several months via phone and e-mail.

He will hold another national conference call on September 12 at 3 p.m. (ET).

The upcoming "listening session" is the first since Hall was appointed last month by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to sit on the National Advisory Council on Research, Care and Services.

To participate on September 12, call (toll-free) 888-324-9356 and enter pass code 4475639#. Participants are asked to RSVP by 10 a.m. that day to saustin@alzfdn.org.

For this call, Hall is asking the public and AFA member organizations to focus on clinical care, research, long-term care and drug development. For example, he seeks input on increased funding for research and drug development and how doctors can more effectively diagnose the brain disorder.

"One of the best ways to tackle this escalating public health crisis is to listen to ideas from folks who have their ears to the ground and know the day-to-day needs of families in the throes of Alzheimer's disease," Hall said. "It's our obligation to do right by these families. I intend to seize this opportunity to represent the growing number of Americans who are relying on the public and private sector for care and cure."

In order to provide the most expansive input from all stakeholders, Hall is also assembling experts in various fields to consult with on an ongoing basis. Experts include renowned members of the research community.

Hall is among 12 federal and 12 non-federal designees who HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius named to the advisory council. They are tasked with providing input into the National Alzheimer's Project, which will coordinate government efforts to prevent and treat the disease as well as create a national strategy for defeating the brain disorder.

The National Alzheimer's Project Act was passed by Congress in December 2010 and signed into law by President Obama in January 2011. 

The advisory council will provide an initial evaluation of all federally funded efforts in Alzheimer's disease research, clinical care, and long-term services and supports and their outcomes; recommendations for priority actions to expand, eliminate, coordinate or condense programs; recommendations to reduce the financial impact of Alzheimer's disease on Medicare and other federally funded programs as well as on the families living with Alzheimer's disease; and recommendations to improve health outcomes.

Alzheimer's disease, which results in loss of memory and other intellectual functions, currently affects more than 5.1 million Americans and is the sixth leading cause of death. With advanced age the greatest risk factor for the disease, the incidence is expected to triple by mid-century in line with the nation's aging population.

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 by licensed social workers via a toll-free hot line and Skype, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers, National Memory Screening Day 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



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