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Thanks to the 2017 Alzheimer's Association Advocacy Forum, Alzheimer's advocates were the talk of the town in Washington, D.C., from March 27-29. This year's Forum marked the largest number of attendees ever, with 1,300 advocates from all 50 states. NARFE member support is instrumental to the success of this event and to all of the Association's advocacy and research efforts year round. Thank you for your continued partnership in the fight to end Alzheimer's.
Highlights from the record-breaking 2017 Alzheimer's Association Advocacy Forum
This year's Alzheimer's Association Advocacy Forum included in-depth advocacy training, more than 500 visits with congressional offices and a celebration of our recent policy successes. In addition to our dedicated network of advocates, Celebrity Champions including journalists Maria Shriver and Richard Lui, actor Peter Gallagher and Access Hollywood host Liz Hernandez lent their voices to the cause. Read highlights from the Forum here.
Maryland Federation member is a longtime advocate in the fight to end Alzheimer's
Kathy Siggins of NARFE Chapter 409 in Frederick, MD attended the 2017 Alzheimer's Association Advocacy Forum to continue her fight against the disease that took her husband's life. Alzheimer's forced Kathy's late husband Gene into early retirement after 23 years of dedicated service to the U.S. Postal Service — and drew Kathy into the role of caregiver and advocate. Kathy joined NARFE as a surviving spouse in 2001. Kathy explains, “This disease robbed Gene and me of our future and of our life savings, and we must use every means possible to find a cure. NARFE is helping me protect my survivor's benefits and helping me in my personal fight to end Alzheimer's.” During the National Alzheimer's Dinner, Kathy chatted with Dr. Richard Hodes, Director of the National Institute on Aging and Alzheimer's Association CEO and president Harry Johns.
Alzheimer's Association advocates paint the Capitol purple
During the Advocacy Forum Hill Day, advocates met with their elected officials to advocate for necessary research funding and care and support services. Advocates asked Congress to increase funding for Alzheimer's research by at least an additional $414 million in fiscal year 2018 and requested support for the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), legislation which would increase palliative care and hospice training for health care professionals, launch a national campaign to inform patients and families about the benefits of palliative care, and enhance research on improving palliative care delivery. As part of Hill Day, Maria Shriver testified before a Senate Special Committee on Aging Hearing. Read more.
Congressional champions receive awards for their leadership
Two congressional champions were honored for their contributions in the fight to end Alzheimer's. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee, received the Alzheimer's Impact Movement® (AIM) Humanitarian Award. AIM Board Member Bob Thomas presented Cole with the award and thanked him for his role in securing the historic $350 million increase in Alzheimer's research funding at NIH for fiscal year 2016. Alzheimer's Association Zenith Society member and advocate Jane Cahn of Hudson Valley, New York, presented Lowey her award. Lowey said that while it's an honor to be an elected official, constituents play the larger role in creating change: “I always say that when people come in to see me that I'm privileged to serve in Congress, but never forget that you are the power. You are the ones that make it happen.” Read more.
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