Harry Johns, Alzheimer's Association CEO
To illustrate the fact that Alzheimer’s is a bi-partisan issue, Harry Johns started today’s lunch session by asking the Democrats in the room to applaud. He then asked Republicans to applaud. It became evident pretty quickly to everyone in the room, that the number of advocates from each party was fairly even.
He then invited former Kansas Congressman Dennis Moore back up to the stage to introduce the next speaker. Dennis, who spoke at last night’s Rally to Remember, represented Kansas’ Third Congressional District from 1999 to 2011.
“A few months ago, I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s,” he said. “It’s something I didn’t want to hear but (my wife) Stephanie and I wanted to turn it around into something positive.” With that, he introduced former Kansas Governor, friend and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. Continue reading “Kathleen Sebelius: It’s not an exaggeration to call Alzheimer’s a public health crisis in our country” »
Day two of the Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum started at 4 a.m. PST. The team from California was blurry eyed but ready to tackle a program jam-packed with great speakers.
Following a rousing roll call of states in which chapters from around the country shared their advocacy successes from the past year, participants learned about the latest and most promising Alzheimer’s research breakthroughs from William Theis, chief medical officer with the Alzheimer’s Association.
“In the next eight months we are going to see some reports about stuff we really need to pay attention to,” he said. “We’re not talking about things coming in 15-20 years.” Continue reading “Don’t take no for an answer!” »
The Rally to Remember started with a poignant live rendition of Imagine by John Lennon that set a somber but hopeful tone for the rest of the evening.
Local Washington, D.C. CBS anchor JC Hayward took the stage to emcee the Rally once again put the Forum and Alzheimer’s Association advocacy into perspective for the room.
“For a moment let us just imagine… a world without Alzheimer’s disease; imagine that this is not just an issue, but a movement unified, demanding change,” she said. “Today we have gathered here because we want to move from imagining these things to actually living them.” Continue reading “The Rally to Remember: “If the love of your life is hit with this insidious disease, you cannot stand by and do nothing”” »
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.
Continue reading “Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum Day 1: Advocacy 101 highlights why public policy is the only way we can reach “all the people”” »
It was a soggy morning in Sacramento, but more than 200 dedicated Alzheimer’s Association volunteer advocates still showed up in good spirits to the 2012 Advocacy Day at the State Capitol. Among them: people with early stage Alzheimer’s, family caregivers, healthcare professionals and other Alzheimer’s champions.
Following a light breakfast and overview of the day, we were welcomed to the Capitol by Senator Tom Berryhill who thanked everyone for their work as volunteers.
“What you’re doing up here today is very important because education of these legislators in that building is so necessary.”
Training for the group continued with an overview of “legislator meeting Dos and Don’ts” by Assemblymember Holly Mitchell.
“We work for you and that can be a one sided relationship unless you make it otherwise and reach out to us on a regular basis,” she said. “That’s your responsibility as Californians. I have a job to do and you have a job to do to make us informed of issues that are important to you.
Continue reading “California Advocacy Day: rainy and inspiring!” »
Paul and Susan were college sweethearts who had lived many adventures in their 38 years of marriage, including a stint with the Peace Corps in Afghanistan and teaching for two years in Norway, where their son James was born. The couple finally chose to settle in Reno, where they spent more than 20 years building their careers, family and community.
“My first recollection that something wasn’t right was when Susan wasn’t able to do simple addition or subtraction when balancing the checkbook,” says Paul. “Things got worse so we took her to a neurologist. He was the first person to bring up the possibility of Alzheimer’s.”
Continue reading “Alz Profile: Paul Dugan, Walk Champion and Alzheimer’s Advocate” »