A n enormous thank you to all our 5,000+ advocates for their unyielding efforts to get the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) signed into law. Alzheimer advocates were instrumental in moving NAPA through congress. More than 50,000 e-mails, nearly 10,000 phone calls and more than 1,000 meetings by the Alzheimer’s Association and its advocates led us to the historic legislative victory for the Alzheimer community. Following its unanimous approval in the Senate and the House, NAPA will create a National strategic plan to address and overcome the rapidly escalating crisis of Alzheimer’s in the United States. To follow the progress of NAPA’s Strategic Plan, visit: www.friendsofnapa.org
T he passing of NAPA marked the beginning of a new movement in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. To continue the momentum and to ensure Congress keeps Alzheimer’s on their agenda, the Alzheimer’s Association has developed a program to train one advocate per Congressional district to become Alzheimer Ambassadors. The role of the ambassador is to develop a relationship with their assigned Congressional district office so that eventually every member of Congress will have an ambassador reminding them of the impact of this disease on their constituents. The ambassadors become an extension of our staff, helping expand outreach in ways that the Chapter cannot do on its own. The facts and figures of this disease are staggering and they speak for themselves. What the facts and figures cannot do, the Ambassadors do. They tell their stories.
To date, The New York City Chapter has four talented ambassadors that are part of the seventy-five nationwide. Every month, ambassadors sit in on calls with our Public Policy staff to learn new ways to approach their representative and stay up to date with what is happening on The Hill. They also hear from guest speakers discussing the mission of the Alzheimer’s Association. Ambassadors participate in webinar trainings throughout the year and meet in person at the Annual Advocacy Forum in Washington, D.C. — arriving a day early to receive special training and a chance to meet with their fellow ambassadors.
With a limited number of Congressional districts available for ambassadors, our advocates still play a huge roll in our success. The passing of NAPA is a great example of how a little bit of effort from a large group of people can have an enormous impact on the future of Alzheimer’s disease. We thank our current advocates for all of their hard work in the passage of NAPA and urge those of you who have yet to sign up to become an advocate to do so. We all want to see a world without Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association will work every day until this happens, but we can’t do it alone. There are millions of people in this country with a connection to this disease. Now is the time for all of us to join together in one voice and demand that Congress gives Alzheimer’s disease the attention it deserves.
If you or someone you know would like to become an Alzheimer Advocate and/or Ambassador, please contact Christina Keller (646.744.2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit www.alznyc.org/advocate to find out more.