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Happy New Year! As we move into the new decade, we celebrate our successes this past year and look forward with renewed enthusiasm and energy to the new and exciting opportunities in 2020 that will bring us closer to a world without Alzheimer’s and all dementias. Our heartfelt gratitude to our volunteers, supporters and friends who made these achievements possible. 

Volunteers: Together, we can do more!

In 2019 over 1,460 people shared their time, energy and passion as Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter volunteers, providing information and support, advocating on the federal and state levels, planning events and much more. Following are just a few ways our volunteers are making a difference.

Care and Support

In 2019, we offered 349 education programs and 47 support groups, hosted 9 early stage programs and attended 91 health fairs in our community. We fielded more than 6,455 calls to our 24/7 Helpline 800.272.3900 and provided 1,386 care consultations to guide families in making difficult, yet important decisions. More than half of our care and support efforts were served by volunteers.

Advocacy

Congress recently increased research funding by $350 million, bringing annual funding to $2.8 billion, and allocated another $10 million to implement the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. These major strides towards finding a cure and improving access to care and support for families living with Alzheimer’s would not be possible without the passion and determination of our volunteer advocates

Research

Researchers from our region share their time and expertise with us as volunteer spokespersons and presenters. Several attended the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in July, joining thousands of investigators, clinicians and care researchers from around the world. This past fall, we saw an important moment in the Alzheimer’s field with the news that aducanumab – an experimental drug that appears to slow brain deterioration – would be moving to the FDA for regulatory approval. 

Investing in our Vision

Our accomplishments in care, support and research would not be possible without the investment of time and resources in our fundraising endeavors. More than 10,000 people participated in Walk to End Alzheimer’s, raising over $2 million. The success of our sixth annual Brain Ball brings the total raised through that event to $8 million. Our community held 95 events for The Longest Day, raising over $150,000, and our Blondes vs. Brunettes ranked sixth in the country, raising over $72,000. Our sincere thanks to the volunteers, donors and sponsors whose time, commitment and contributions made these successful events possible. 

National Investments, Collaborations and Initiatives

Bill Gates joined the Alzheimer’s Association Part the Cloud global research grant program with an award of $10 million to stimulate additional funding, doubling the total clinical research investments to $60 million in just one year. 

A new three-year corporate partnership with CVS Health launched with an in-store fundraising campaign that will provide $10 million to support caregiver education, care and support, and disease research. In 2020, CVS Health also will serve as a national presenting sponsor of Walk to End Alzheimer's.

The African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME Church) announced a new three-year partnership aimed at educating and engaging more than 2 million U.S.-based AME Church members in the fight against Alzheimer’s. 

Our new health systems initiative will engage more than 300 health systems across the country to offer proven solutions for improving health outcomes and more effectively managing the cost of care for people living with dementia.

Resolve to End Alzheimer’s in 2020!

While we celebrate a successful year of progress, research advancements and advocacy achievements, the fight is not over, especially for families living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. For many of us, Alzheimer’s has already touched someone we love. Alzheimer’s doesn’t rest and neither do we, but we can’t do it alone. I encourage you to incorporate us into your resolutions for 2020. Volunteer. Advocate. Donate. Together, we can make strides toward our shared vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and all dementias. 

Kate Rooper
Chapter President and CEO
Alzheimer's Association National Capital Area Chapter