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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | April 11, 2012

Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Disease Appoints Ian Kremer as Executive Director
Long-Time Alzheimer’s Advocate Poised to Take Coalition to ‘Next Level’

WASHINGTON, DC – Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Disease (LEAD), a national coalition of key organizations committed to sharing information and advocating for national policies related to Alzheimer’s disease research and care issues, has named Ian Kremer of Fairfax, VA as its executive director.

Kremer comes to this post after having led the public policy and advocacy arm of the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter for the past 15 years.

He joins LEAD at a critical time—when federal leaders are developing the first-ever national plan to defeat Alzheimer’s disease and when Congress is weighing budget choices that could dramatically impact the lives of the more than five million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and their family caregivers, and determine the future of scientific progress toward preventing, delaying and ultimately curing the brain disorder.

“I am looking forward to working with LEAD members and other stakeholders to advance the coalition’s efforts,” Kremer said. “LEAD is building a movement to end Alzheimer's disease. It is in our national interest and a moral and ethical imperative for every American that Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias be eradicated.”

In announcing Kremer’s appointment, LEAD’s co-facilitators noted that the new executive director has the expertise to take LEAD to the next level.

“We are excited to have someone with Ian’s knowledge, passion and leadership abilities to expand upon LEAD’s accomplishments and to ensure that LEAD strategically moves forward to meet the current and emerging research and care needs of the Alzheimer’s community,” said Eric J. Hall, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, a LEAD co-convener.

George Vradenburg, co-founder and chair of USAgainstAlzheimer’s, a LEAD co-convener, said, “We are honored to welcome Ian, a proven leader in coalition building and a real champion in advancing the Alzheimer’s cause. Through Ian’s leadership and deep commitment to building an aggressive, outcome-driven Alzheimer’s movement, we will help take LEAD to the next level in the fight to stop Alzheimer’s by 2020.”

Evident of the urgency of LEAD’s efforts, the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is rising dramatically in line with the nation’s aging population—prompting LEAD officials and others to refer to it as the public health crisis of the 21 st century. Alzheimer’s is also the only disease in the top ten leading causes of death that currently cannot be prevented, cured or modified.

The disease is expected to cost the United States $200 billion this year alone, with about 70 percent of that cost borne by Medicare, Medicaid and other government programs. Total costs to society will soar to an estimated $1.1 trillion (today’s dollars) per year by 2050.

In its comments submitted last month to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on HHS’ draft national Alzheimer’s plan, LEAD called for strengthening the goals, strategies and actions within the draft plan as well as setting meaningful metrics to mark progress.

In addition to advocating for swift implementation of the historic national Alzheimer’s plan, LEAD’s priorities include increasing government funding for Alzheimer’s disease research, accelerating the federal review process for drug development, and mobilizing the Alzheimer’s-serving community to raise awareness of the current crisis.

Kremer has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Washington University in St. Louis and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan School of Law.

Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Disease (LEAD) was convened by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and USAgainstAlzheimer’s, two leading advocacy organizations, in February 2008 to bring together key stakeholders from the government, business and civic sectors to increase attention to and awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, its care, treatment, prevention, research and eventual cure. The free-standing coalition currently includes more than 40 member organizations. For additional information, visit www.leadcoalition.org.

Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484