On July 1, 2001, three West Virginia Chapters of the Alzheimer's Association merged into one Chapter. The chapters, North Central West Virginia (Morgantown), Greater Mid-Ohio Valley (Parkersburg), and Southern West Virginia (Charleston), had a strong history of collaboration and as a part of an effort from the national Alzheimer's Association, combined resources and joined together.
The Southern West Virginia Chapter was incorporated on September 12, 1984, the culmination of a three-year effort by families and other concerned volunteers to establish a chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. It was an all volunteer chapter until a bequest in late 1989 allowed the board of directors to hire a part-time Executive Director.
In 1990, the Parkersburg area was chosen as the site of an innovative federally funded Alzheimer's disease study of patients and their care, partly because of the age demographics of the area. During the study, healthcare professionals involved saw the devastating effects the disease had on both patients and caregivers. A family support group was formed and a Helpline phone number established. In 1996, the organization became a chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.
In 1994, Mrs. Nellie Black's husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. When she discovered there were no community resources for caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, she approached the West Virginia University Center on Aging. A support group was formed and continues to meet monthly. The volunteer group became a chapter of the Alzheimer's Association in March 1994.