My name is Cindy Harris and I am a volunteer ambassador in Alaska for the Alzheimer’s Association. I am an advocate for individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
There are over 5.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s Disease, including 7,500 here in Alaska and more than 16 million American caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, including 33,000 here in Alaska.
I’m grateful that U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young have taken decisive action in the fight against Alzheimer’s by cosponsoring the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act.
This legislation would create an Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure across the country to implement effective interventions, including increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk and preventing avoidable hospitalizations.
I am pleased to see the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act continue to gain strong bipartisan support in Congress. It is my hope that Murkowski will work with her colleagues on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to ensure the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act is included in the next public health markup, and with Senate leadership to ensure passage of the bill this Congress.
Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the U.S. and will cost our country an estimated $277 billion in 2018. If we are going to end Alzheimer’s disease, then we must start treating it like the public health threat it is.
Join me in thanking Murkowski, Sullivan and Young for seeing the urgency of the disease and for cosponsoring the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. Together we can be part of the first survivor.
My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.