North Carolina Volunteer Named Alzheimer’s Association 2023 ‘Advocate of the Year’

An Alzheimer’s Association volunteer from North Carolina received this prestigious National honor, given to one advocate each year for their leadership and passion in advocating on behalf of all who are impacted by Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) have named Jay Reinstein, of Raleigh, the 2023 Advocate of the Year. Jay was recognized on March 20 during the 2023 AIM Advocacy Forum, the nation’s premier Alzheimer’s disease advocacy event, for his more than five years of involvement and leadership with the Alzheimer’s Association in North Carolina and nationally.  

The AIM Advocate of the Year award is given to the top advocate in the country based on their engagement with their members of Congress and their dedication to the cause. 

“Receiving this award is truly an honor. I advocate because it gives me, and other individuals living with cognitive issues, a voice — which is key in reducing the stigma so many in the Alzheimer’s and dementia community face. That voice truly is critical. Because if people in our community do not have any interactions with people living with Alzheimer’s, it does not give them a perspective of someone living with the disease, and it does not allow them to understand the complexities of living with or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.”

Jay reinstein, honoree and advocate

Before being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at 57, Jay enjoyed a 25-year career in local government, working in several cities across North Carolina, including Durham and Fayetteville. Most recently, he was Assistant City Manager of Fayetteville. Taking early retirement due to his diagnosis, Jay began his volunteer work with the Alzheimer’s Association. He’s been a State Champion, which are advocates that engage with state elected officials on legislative priorities. On a federal level Jay has been an Alzheimer’s Ambassador, the Association’s in-district contacts for a member of Congress. He has served as an ambassador for several congressional members, most recently for NC-04’s Representative Valerie Foushee. Offering perspective as someone living with Alzheimer’s, he has spoken before panels of the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Jay is also a former early-stage advisor to the Alzheimer’s Association’s national Board of Directors.

“Jay is the living embodiment of what it means to be an advocate. He has courageously shared with the world his journey with Alzheimer’s, and harnessed his unrelenting passion to educate the public, elected officials, and other decision-makers about the urgency of this health crisis. It has been an honor to fight alongside him for true change.”

Katherine L. Lambert, Regional Leader for NC, SC & GA

Not only does Jay volunteer his time as an advocate, but he is also a supporter of the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research programs. His Walk team, the Jay Walkers, have raised more than $150,000 to date. And, he invests time in raising awareness for the disease and for the Alzheimer’s Association mission, events and resources by telling his story in the press and on social media.

On March 19-21, Jay joined advocates from across the nation, including 24 from North Carolina, in Washington, D.C. Nearly 900 Alzheimer’s Association advocates from across the nation attended a rally outside the White House before meeting with their members of Congress on Capitol Hill during the 2023 AIM Advocacy Forum. Advocates called for a reversal of the CMS decision to deny people living with Alzheimer’s access to FDA-approved drugs.

Jay was honored during the 2023 AIM Advocacy Forum’s National Alzheimer’s Dinner alongside other honorees that included Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine who received AIM Humanitarian of the Year awards. CNN anchor and correspondent and Alzheimer’s Association Celebrity Champion Amara Walker served as emcee.

To learn more about the policy priorities of the Alzheimer’s Association, visit

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