FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | OCTOBER 22, 2003
Alzheimer's Foundation of America Holds Second Annual Conference; Members Gear Up To Meet Increasing Demand for Services
NEW YORK, NY – The Alzheimer's Foundation of America's (AFA) second annual conference in Phoenix, AZ in mid-October pulled together members from across the country and special guests who emphasized that private and public agencies are being pressed into action like never before to provide care to individuals affected by Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and who shared their ideas about further bolstering support services for those with the brain disorder and their families.
Representatives of organizations from coast-to-coast and members of AFA's board of trustees attended the two-day conference, which was limited to AFA membership. The AFA invited several guests to make presentations: Leeza Gibbons, broadcast personality and founder of The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation, and Elisabeth Koss, PhD., assistant director of the Alzheimer's Disease Centers Program of the National Institute on Aging.
AFA was founded in February 2002 to band together organizations to advocate for “care in addition to cure” on the national front, and to collaborate on programs that meet the needs of the estimated five million Americans with Alzheimer's and their families.
“What we thought was a dream has become a reality,” said Eric J. Hall, AFA's chief executive officer, in reviewing AFA's explosive growth over the past 20 months. “We have been successful in building a national forum because every one of our member organizations has been sharing and giving us input.”
He added: “It's been an incredible growth curve. It's clear that there are issues that an organization such as ours can begin answering because we're the hands-on care aspect of Alzheimer's. The other sad part is that this disease is ravaging our country and everyone is scrambling for resources to meet the need.”
Hall reviewed AFA's accomplishments during the past year, including its formation of strategic partnerships with Sunrise Senior Living and The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation. Other national alliances are in discussion.
Looking ahead, Hall announced that AFA would be hosting its inaugural cocktail reception fundraiser and two national initiatives, a Commemorative Candle Lighting and Memory Screening Day, in November in recognition of National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month. In addition, AFA in collaboration with The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation plans to open the nation's first Leeza's Place next month at its new corporate offices in Manhattan.
During the conference, attendees had the opportunity to gain insight into members' programs that could be replicated in their communities, to suggest new services and to learn about how other members are dealing with issues on the local level. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.
Contact: Carol Steinberg