HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) held the 2016 Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD) forum today, which convened over 125 stakeholders to evaluate progress, strengthen partnerships, build community support, recognize excellence and identify next steps in addressing Alzheimer's and related disorders.
"The prevalence of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders is of great concern," said Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne. "This is a growing, and incredibly expensive public health crisis that is poised to touch most Americans, including hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians and their loved ones who journey with them as the disease progresses."
The inaugural ADRD forum, held in September 2014, was planned in accordance as one of seven recommendations by the Alzheimer's Disease Planning Committee, which was established by executive order in 2013. The recommendations include enhancing public awareness, promoting overall brain health, providing a continuum of ethical care, supporting family and non-professional caregivers, and fostering of research.
"According to the Alzheimer's Associations' 2016 statistics, Alzheimer's is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States," said Secretary Osborne. "In Pennsylvania, as many as 400,000 individuals are afflicted with Alzheimer's disease or a related disorder, and that number is also expected to increase markedly as the baby boomer generation reaches the age of 65 and beyond."
The forum included keynote remarks from Dr. Soo Borson titled "Treating Alzheimer's Disease with a Big Dose of Policy" and panel discussions focused on the progress that's been made in eliminating Alzheimer's and creating dementia friendly communities. Panelists included Kim Lemon, WGAL; Randi Chapman, Alzheimer's Association; Dr. Kathy Jedrziewski, University of Pennsylvania; Taafoi Kamara, University of Pittsburgh; Dr. Kelly Carney, Phoebe Ministries; Harry Urban, Founder of "Forget Me Not;" CC Donelan, Brain Health and Wellness Center; Melanie Titzel, Lake Erie College; Nancy Hooke, Friendly Community Center; MaryAnn Oakley, University of Pittsburgh; and Claire Day, Alzheimer's Association.
"Bringing stakeholders together improves awareness, cultivates knowledge, and garners the proper sense of urgency surrounding the medical, social, and financial implications of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders across the commonwealth," said Secretary Osborne. "One in twelve families in Pennsylvania are impacted by this disease and they are depending on us to ensure that we work together to realize our shared vision of a world without Alzheimer's."
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Aging