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About Our Chapter
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The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. 

Our mission

To eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

Our vision

A world without Alzheimer's disease.

Our History

Three decades ago, a group of caregivers gathered around a kitchen table in Columbia to discuss caring for persons with Alzheimer’s disease. Together, they created a support network that grew each year until in 1985, the Alzheimer’s Association Mid-Missouri Chapter signed an official charter and agreed to serve those with Alzheimer’s and their families as a 501(c)3 non-profit.

The Southwest Missouri Chapter was incorporated in 1987 with a group of volunteers dedicated to reaching out to the needs of people in southwest Missouri trying to cope with Alzheimer's disease.  Volunteers and part-time staff provided services to families.  In 1998 a part-time Executive Director and a full-time office manager were hired.  In January 1999 a full-time education coordinator was hired and finally in July 1999 a full-time Executive Director was hired.

After merging these two chapters in July 2013, the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Missouri Chapter was created and offers services and support to the 33,000 individuals living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia in central, northeast and southwest Missouri. The chapter has grown from a group of dedicated volunteers to a full-time operation, employing 10 inspired individuals and serving the community 24 hours a day.

“Through efficiency, hard work, and inspired dedication to this cause, the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Missouri Chapter provides a wealth of services to so many in central, northeast and southwest Missouri,” said Jessie Kwatamdia, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association  Greater Missouri Chapter.

While the Alzheimer’s Association grew and developed over the last 28 years, so too has our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. What was once considered a natural result of aging is now understood as a progressive brain disease which destroys brain cells, causing memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior severe enough to interfere with daily life. Researchers now agree that Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. Recent studies are unraveling this mysterious disease, including improved diagnostics, treatments and preventative techniques.

"The Alzheimer’s Association will continue to work tirelessly to provide services and support to those with Alzheimer’s and their families while advocating for investments in Alzheimer research in order to find that cure,” concluded Kwatamdia.

Annual Report

Click here to see our Annual Report


Board of Directors - Columbia

Kay Niemeier, President
Linda Fisher, Secretary

Richard Oliver, Ph.D
Lisa Pilkington
David Tomlinson
Jerry W. Kiesling
Matthew Hayes
Mary Joan Wood
Linda Butterfield Cupp
Lenard L Politte, MD
Becky Stocker, MSW, DBA, NHA
Jackie Walters

Board of Directors - Springfield

Abby Akin
Kim French
Cameron Jones, Esquire
Ryan Jones, Psy. D. Joy Pitts
Marcia Rauwerdink
Bruce Robison
Jennifer Seiwert

Columbia Staff

Executive Director-Jessie Kwatamdia

Associate Director, Programs-Joetta Coen

Associate Director, Communications-Janie Elson 

Early Stage Care Consultant, Alzheimer’s Educator-Janie Bonham

Special Events Coordinator - Megan Schwedtmann


Springfield Staff

Senior Associate Director-Marie Murphree

Associate Director, Events-Nate Reed

Outreach Coordinator-Rob Hulstra

Communications & Office Coordinator-Betty Thomas Johnson

Education Consultant-Lisa Thompson



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Alzheimer's Association

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.