WASHINGTON, D.C., June 29, 2023
— Today, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the fourth edition of the Healthy Brain Initiative (HBI) Road Map
. Healthy Brain Initiative: State and Local Road Map for Public Health, 2023-2027
provides public health officials throughout the nation with a set of strategies to promote brain health and improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and their caregivers.
“I’m extremely proud to join with the CDC to present the fourth edition of the HBI Road Map. This edition builds on the progress being made in addressing brain health, with a greater emphasis on partnerships and health equity,” said Kristen Clifford, chief program officer, Alzheimer’s Association and co-chair of the Leadership Committee. “With the HBI Road Map as their guidebook, public health professionals will continue to lead with urgency and help people impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementia in their communities.”
Over 100 experts working in health departments, nonprofits, academic institutions, health systems and the private sector provided feedback and guidance during the development of the HBI Road Map. In this new edition, the HBI Road Map includes 24 actions to promote brain health, improve diagnoses, and maximize care, with a larger focus on partnerships, evaluation and health equity. These actions are grouped into four domains:
- Strengthening partnerships and policies.
- Measuring, evaluating, and utilizing data.
- Building a diverse and skilled workforce.
- Engaging and educating the public.
Data and examples are included throughout to help state and local health departments achieve outcomes both individually and collectively. This Road Map advances equity by fully integrating brain health and caregiving into state and local public health practice and addressing social determinants of health that impact brain health across the life course. The Road Map provides public health practitioners with opportunities to reach diverse communities and reduce health disparities.
The overarching vision of the HBI is that everyone deserves a life with the healthiest brain possible. Since the HBI was formed in 2005, HBI partners have worked together to implement public health strategies that promote this vision and support people living with dementia and their caregivers. The HBI Road Map Series guides this effort by creating a framework for public health action across the life course.
“After working with such a knowledgeable group of experts from across the field to develop this new edition of the HBI Road Map, we are confident it will serve as a valuable resource for the thousands of public health practitioners working to improve brain health in their communities,” Clifford said. “Thank you to all those who participated for your commitment to addressing this devastating disease. We remain dedicated and look forward to working with public health practitioners to address the Alzheimer’s crisis in their communities.”
For over 15 years, the Alzheimer’s Association and the CDC have jointly developed the evolving Healthy Brain Initiative Road Map Series. The CDC has advanced Road Map implementation by supporting public health programs through BOLD Program awards. Currently, there are 23 BOLD Program awardees in state and local public health departments and tribal health organizations. The next round of BOLD program awards will begin in the fall, reaching even more communities. Lisa McGuire, Ph.D., is the Lead of the Alzheimer’s Disease Program at the CDC and serves as the co-chair of the Leadership Committee, a group of experts who worked together to develop the HBI Road Map.
Each year, Alzheimer’s and other dementia increasingly impact millions of Americans, their families, and communities. Today, an estimated 6.7 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and more than 11 million are providing unpaid care for someone with the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association 2023 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures
report. These numbers are expected to rise as our nation ages and, more than ever, public health has a critical role to play in changing the course of dementia.
The Alzheimer’s disease continuum spans decades, providing opportunities for public health to change outcomes in communities across the nation. Just as with other chronic and degenerative conditions, public health efforts can work across the life course to reduce risk, expand early detection and diagnosis, improve safety and quality of care for people living with cognitive impairment, advance health equity, and attend to caregivers’ health and well-being.
For more information and to read the new HBI Road Map visit alz.org/HBIRoadMap
The Healthy Brain Initiative and the development and dissemination of the HBI Road Map is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $3,045,933 with 100 percent funding by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.
Healthy Brain Initiative
The Healthy Brain Initiative improves understanding of brain health as a central part of public health practice. The initiative creates and supports partnerships, collects and reports data, increases awareness of brain health, supports populations with a high burden of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and promotes the use of its Road Map series. The HBI Road Map series provides actionable steps to promote brain health, address cognitive impairment, and meet the needs of caregivers.
About the Alzheimer's Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia®. Visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.