In this issue:
Kicking off a new three-year strategic plan
At the Alzheimer’s Association Oregon Chapter, we know how important it is to do a little big thing; every click on our website, every call to our 24/7 Helpline (800-272-3900) and every donation adds up to something big in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. We also know how important it is to think big. To that end, we are excited to embark on a new three-year strategic plan, the foundation of which is a significant growth in research, as well as in care and support. To achieve these goals, we will increase our efforts in advocacy work and in raising concern and awareness — and we will double revenue in the next five years.
We are dedicated to accomplishing all of these big goals, and our inspiration is simple: To help those who are living with Alzheimer’s, as well as their loved ones, and to change the trajectory of this devastating disease through research. But we can’t do it without you; we’re counting on your partnership in the fight to end Alzheimer’s. You can do a little big thing today: Sign up for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at alz.org/walk, become an advocate, volunteer with us or make a donation today to support so many who are participating in our largest signature fundraising event. Because of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, we are able to provide exceptional programs and services to those in need — and we are able to do more to advance research. Thank you for all that you do and for sharing our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s disease!
Meet our development team
Tracy has been leading the way at the Oregon Chapter as executive director since May 2014, and she was hired as the development director in March 2012. Before that, she owned an event-planning business for 10 years. As an undergraduate, Tracy triple-majored in accounting, marketing and management, and she has a master’s degree in business administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Tracy’s passion for her work is second only to her dedication to the vision of the Alzheimer’s Association. "It is an honor to partner with Oregonians who have been touched by this devastating disease," she says. "Our families provide such inspiration to continually work toward a world without Alzheimer’s."
Kate has been at the Alzheimer’s Association Oregon Chapter since August 2012, having worked at a nonprofit charter school for eight years. She grew up in the Portland area, and she has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Oregon, as well as a master’s in business administration from Marylhurst University. Kate oversees relationship events at the Alzheimer’s Association Oregon Chapter, including Reason to Hope, the Memories in the Making Art Auction and The Longest Day, as well as corporate initiatives. "I really enjoy building relationships — with the families we serve and our other partners who are helping us fight Alzheimer’s disease," she says. "It’s been an honor to meet so many amazing people across the state."
Kara has been at the Alzheimer’s Association Oregon Chapter since November 2012, but her involvement in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s goes back much further; over the years, the Portland native and Warner Pacific College alumna has been a walker, a team captain and a vendor. Today, she oversees the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Oregon, with a focus on growing the Portland Walk. "The Walk provides an element of hope for a disease that can seem hopeless, and it ensures people’s stories will always be honored," Kara says. "What I look forward to the most is when we can have a survivors’ lap at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s."
Oregon’s state and federal legislators are listening to you!
Whether in Salem or Washington, D.C., your elected officials are stepping up for families affected by Alzheimer’s.
In February, about 50 advocates came together in Salem to meet with their state legislators, and all 90 were contacted. As a result of our advocacy, the Oregon Legislature added funding for Alzheimer’s training for caregivers and public safety professionals, and it created the Office of Public Guardian and Conservator. In addition, the Legislature unanimously passed Senate Bill 1577, often called the “Silver Alert bill,” which requires all police and sheriff’s departments in Oregon to adopt formal plans for when a person with dementia goes missing. We thank Sen. Tim Knopp for his leadership on this critically important legislation.
Oregon’s members of Congress have also shown leadership in supporting a world without Alzheimer’s. In January, after hearing from hundreds of Oregonians via phone and email, Congress added $100 million to the Alzheimer’s research budget and $22 million for education, caregiver supports and data collection. In April, 10 Oregonians traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with our members of Congress and ask them to support another $200 million increase in research funding, as well as to sponsor the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act (H.R. 4351, S. 2192). Since meeting with our Oregon advocates, Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader and Greg Walden have all co-sponsored the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act. In addition, the committee Sen. Jeff Merkley sits on has supported adding another $100 million in research funding.
Thanks to all of our members of Congress for their leadership — and to all of you for raising your voices in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease!
Alzheimer's Association Ambassadors in Washington, D.C., in April 2014.
BACK ROW: Nicole Easley, Wendy Bond, Sarah Calvert, Doug Peck & Mark Donham.
FRONT ROW: Marya Kain, Claire McGinnis, Former Alzheimer's Association Public Policy Director Jon Bartholomew, Claire Agner & Karen Peck.
Paint, sing, move and connect with early-stage engagement programs
The Alzheimer’s Association Oregon Chapter is excited to offer a variety of programs for individuals with early memory loss, including those with mild cognitive impairment and those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Registration and screening are required. If you have questions about the programs or would like to register, please call 800-272-3900.
Memories in the Making®
Memories in the Making is fine-arts program specifically designed for people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. MIM transcends traditional arts-and-crafts classes, as it provides a creative and nonverbal way to communicate and capture precious moments through art. The program is proven to be beneficial and therapeutic, and it can stimulate the brains of individuals with dementia. With MIM, the creative process and the stories that evolve from it are as important and meaningful as the artwork itself. No art experience is necessary.
Sing Here Now
Sing Here Now is a community choir that provides an opportunity for people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as their care partners, to enjoy music and socialize with other people living with Alzheimer’s. Although the focus of the choir is social interaction, participants also benefit from the wellness benefits of singing, such as reduced stress and improved mood. No musical experience is necessary.
Staying in Motion*
Staying in Motion is a four-week program focused on movement and flexibility. Research has shown that staying active can improve mood, memory, and cognitive functioning, and this program promotes overall health through physical activity. Staying in Motion is designed for both people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and their care partners, and all participants will learn about the health benefits of exercise, as well as how to initiate a fitness plan and carry it out safely at home.
Staying Connected is a four-week program based on social support, i.e., being with and talking to others. Through social support, people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease learn how to cope — and live — with having a diagnosis of dementia. Program participants also receive tools, such as memory aids, and learn strategies, such as breaking down an activity’s steps, to help them remember and enjoy familiar pastimes. Staying Connected also provides support for social aspects of the disease, including how to communicate memory changes and how to tell others you have Alzheimer’s.
*Staying in Motion and Staying Connected are funded in part by a grant from the Administration for Community Living and are provided in partnership with Oregon’s ADRCs.
Memories in the Making program participants create
Valentine's Day-themed artwork.
Members of the Beaverton Sing Here Now choir
belt out a tune during rehearsal.
Oregonians share stories in 'Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer's & Other Dementias'
Earlier this year, we were excited to learn that W. Bond of Lake Oswego, Kala Cota of Vernonia, Samantha Ducloux Waltz of Lake Oswego and Richard Weinman of Corvallis were selected as published authors in the new edition of “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias.”
For more than 20 years, Chicken Soup for the Soul has published inspirational books with extraordinary stories. The Alzheimer’s Association and Chicken Soup for the Soul collaborated to create this important collection to support the more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s and their 15.5 million caregivers. The personal submissions provide practical advice, encouragement, insight and support to readers.
Out of thousands of submissions, these Oregonians’ stories were among only 101 chosen to be published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias.”
“We at the Alzheimer’s Association Oregon Chapter believe everyone has a story to share, and we also believe in the power of sharing stories, especially as it relates to the effects of this devastating disease,” says Tracy Morgan, interim executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association Oregon Chapter. “We are honored Wendy, Kala, Richard and Samantha decided to share their stories, and we are delighted they were published in this important book.”
'Chicken Soup for the Soul' contributors
Samantha Ducloux Waltz (left) and
Wendy Bond (right) at our
2014 Portland Reason to Hope.