The 2012 Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum has started off on an exciting note: This is the largest Advocacy Forum in the history of the 24 years of the event and the first time ever we have had every single state and the District of Columbia represented! And even more exciting news: 300 of the 700 advocates here today are first-time participants, which just goes to show our movement is growing by leaps and bounds.
The first general session Advocacy 101 focused on these new advocates and giving them more background about why we advocate as well as offered some basic training.
Matthew Baumgart, senior director of Public Policy at the Alzheimer’s Association tackled the question about why we advocate. He explained that the Alzheimer’s Association is a voluntary health organization (VHA). The rule of thumb is that a VHA is doing a good job if it is reaching 10 percent of the people affected by the disease.