PROVIDENCE, RI – Lt. Governor McKee today announced $30,000 in grants secured by his office and the Rhode Island chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association to update the state’s five-year plan on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders. Tufts Health Plan Foundation and the Rhode Island Foundation each pledged $15,000 to support the initiative.

The State Plan is a comprehensive blueprint for how Rhode Island will continue to address the growing Alzheimer’s crisis. It creates the infrastructure and accountability necessary to build dementia-capable programs and services for the growing number of Rhode Islanders with the disease. The Plan explores the current impact of Alzheimer’s disease in Rhode Island and outlines what steps the state must take to improve its services for people with Alzheimer’s and their families.

The Plan is the result of a collaboration between the Rhode Island chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the Division of Elderly Affairs and the Office of the Lt. Governor. In 2012, the General Assembly directed the Long-Term Care Coordinating Council to serve as the organizational umbrella for a work group that oversaw the plan’s development. The existing Plan was adopted in 2013. The updated Plan will be delivered to the legislature for adoption in 2019.

In 2015, McKee, who Chairs Rhode Island’s Long Term Care Coordinating Council, convened the Executive Board on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders, a group of distinguished researchers, advocates, clinicians and caregivers, to oversee implementation and revision of the State Plan. The Executive Board will seek legislative and regulatory changes to carry out the recommendations of the updated Plan to ensure that it is more than just a document—that it comes to shape the state’s public policies on Alzheimer’s.

“Rhode Island has been a national leader in Alzheimer’s research. Each day, we make great strides in expanding clinical trials and innovating treatments. Over the last few years alone, the local landscape of prevention and treatment has changed dramatically and positively. The updated State Plan will be an invaluable tool for local leaders, researchers, physicians, advocates and families as we work together to build momentum in the fight against Alzheimer’s. I look forward to continuing the important work being done in Rhode Island to ensure that Alzheimer’s patients get the best care and treatment and that their families have the supports and resources they need,” said Lt. Governor McKee.

“We face an emerging crisis with the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease projected to increase to as many as 27,000 Rhode Islanders by 2025. Alzheimer’s disease is a pivotal public health issue that Rhode Island’s policymakers cannot ignore. With the rapidly growing and changing extent of the Alzheimer’s crisis, it is essential that Rhode Island’s State Plan becomes a living document that stakeholders regularly consult and re-evaluate. We will continue to work diligently to ensure that the vision of our state’s Alzheimer’s Disease Plan is translated into actual public policy,” said Donna McGowan, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association, Rhode Island Chapter.

“Communities have greater interest in age-friendly initiatives. There’s a growing understanding of the critical role older people play. They are an asset to community, and their voices and insights are invaluable to the public discourse on what communities need,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, vice president, corporate citizenship for Tufts Health Plan and president of its Foundation.

“A coordinated, strategic approach to Alzheimer’s will lead to better outcomes and healthier lives. Working with generous donors, we’re proud to partner with Tufts to fund this crucial work,” said Jenny Pereira, the Rhode Island Foundation’s vice president of grant programs.

The Alzheimer’s Association will act as the project’s fiscal agent and will issue a Request for Proposal seeking a research consultant to revise and update the State Plan.