This May, advocates from across the country will join together online to share their stories and request that Congress make Alzheimer’s a legislative priority at the 2021 Alzheimer’s Impact Movement Advocacy Forum. While this year’s event may look and feel a bit different in front of a computer instead of in a sea of purple on Capitol Hill, advocates are sure to make just as clear an impact. On May 17-18 advocates will meet virtually with their Congressional representatives and/or their legislative staff, then join together on the evening of the 19th for a night of zoom-inspiration and celebration.
Alzheimer’s Congressional Teams (ACT) are groups of volunteers committed to advocacy who help to raise their elected officials’ awareness of and support for the Alzheimer’s Association’s public policy goals. Each ACT member’s efforts are crucial to the public policy success of the Association. ACT members work with their team leaders (“Ambassadors”) and Alzheimer’s Association staff on advocacy assignments to advance the Association’s state and federal legislative priorities and build relationships with a designated member of Congress and staff.
One such Congressional advocacy team participating in Forum is an all new team out of Mecklenburg County for our junior Senate seat, currently represented by Senator Thom Tillis. They may be new to the advocacy world, but they are well-trained and ready to share their stories this month! Learn more about these new advocates and join a local advocacy team to further extend their work.
Ambassador (Team Leader) – Laura lives in Charlotte, NC and works in clinical research. On weekends, you can find her exploring local parks with her rescue dog, trying new recipes, or visiting the beach. She was excited for the opportunity to become an Ambassador with the Alzheimer’s Association to make an impact. She has lost two family members to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and therefore understands the devastating effects of this disease can have on families. When asked about her work, she shares, “I believe Ambassadors and advocates across the country are essential to this movement. I am looking forward to the day when no one is affected by Alzheimer’s anymore!”
Congressional Team Member – Hayoung Cho is a graduating senior at Ardrey Kell High School. Her great-grandfather passed away with Alzheimer’s and her great-grandmother is currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s living in a Korean nursing home. In addition to this connection, her father’s research focuses on making human brain-on-a-chips to study Alzheimer’s and other neurovascular diseases. When asked how she makes an impact as a volunteer, Hayoung shares “The ability to share my story with representatives is my greatest strength as an ACT member. My memories of watching my great-grandmother as my relatives followed their routines as caregivers, despite the mentally and physically challenging patterns, continue to guide me to respect caregivers and recognize legislation that assists those who have fearlessly tended the patients, our families. Observing my father’s research progress after his endless hours applying for research grants and funding, I speak out to increase investment in Alzheimer’s research because these advancements will bring forth another passionate researcher into the field and their potential to develop preventives and effective treatments.”
Congressional Team Member – Marie Glapiak is a former staffer for the Association in North Carolina but is now a stay-at-home mom with a super cute but crazy 18 month old. She has a master’s degree in public policy from the Universitat Bremen in Germany. Marie advocates for her grandmother, who passed away from Alzheimer’s disease in early 2020. “I am most passionate about legislation that supports caregivers,” shares Marie. “Watching my mother attempt to juggle a full time job, care for her mother, communicate with her siblings, and then somehow show up and be present for her new grandson was both awe-inspiring and tough. Anything we can do at the federal level to help caregivers manage all of these jobs is a win in my book.”
Here’s the priorities our advocates will be meeting with our members of Congress on during the Advocacy Forum next week:
- $289 million increase for Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
- The Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act (S. 56/H.R.1474) would provide grants to expand training and support services for unpaid caregivers of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia.
- Funding the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act by $20 million.
- The bipartisan Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer’s Act (S. 1125 / H.R. 2517) that would ask the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to test a different payment structure for dementia care management
To learn more about the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement’s Federal legislative priorities, visit HERE.
Join fellow Alzheimer’s Association advocates next week for the virtual Alzheimer’s Impact Movement Advocacy Forum!
Participate in Congressional meetings, learn about our priorities, hear from fellow advocates & more. Register at no cost today.
With help from advocates like you, we’ve passed critical legislation and increased federal research funding seven-fold since 2011. But our work isn’t done and we need dedicated advocates like you to build on this success in Congress and in every state capital. We’ll train you to advocate in a variety of ways, some of which take just an hour or two every few months. Whatever your experience and availability, we’re eager to have you on our advocacy team! Visit HERE to get started.