Advocate

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Join the cause

The Alzheimer’s Association invites you to become an Alzheimer advocate. Join us and speak up for the needs and rights of people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families.

Add your voice to ours — become an advocate today.

Act Now

Alzheimer’s disease is the most expensive disease facing our nation today. In 2014, the direct costs to American society of caring for those with Alzheimer's will total an estimated $214 billion, including $150 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. And while those numbers are high, they're expected to skyrocket to $1.2 trillion by 2050.

While Congress provided a much needed addition of $100 million in Alzheimer's research for fiscal year 2014, a chronic underinvestment in Alzheimer's research persists. For every $100 that the National Institutes of Health spends on Alzheimer's research, Medicare and Medicaid spend $26,500 caring for those with the disease. Smart investments in other diseases have shown great success and are paying off, both in terms of cost and lives saved. 

Please call 1.800.687.3813 and urge Senator Tester to help address the staggering costs of Alzheimer's disease by supporting increased funding for Alzheimer’s research by $200 million in fiscal year 2015.

 


News & Events

Sen. John Walsh, who has cosponsored the HOPE for Alzheimer's Act and Alzheimer's Accountability Act, recently hosted a hearing on Alzheimer's on Wednesday, August 13.

What is an advocate?

Alzheimer advocates play an important role in improving the quality of care and quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families by working to improve dementia care and services; improve access to community-based care; improve quality care in residential settings; and expand funding for research and public programs serving people with dementia.

As an advocate, you will:

  • Receive regular updates about current legislative and public policy issues.
  • Stay on top of policy and legislative issues through alerts and updates.
  • Make calls or write to legislators to forward public policy priorities to improve quality of life for those living with Alzheimer’s.


Ambassadors
Alzheimer's Association Ambassadors work to make legislative change on Capitol Hill and implement federal advocacy activities at the community level. Their commitment helps bring us closer to realizing our vision of a world without Alzheimer's disease. 

Kristina Davis
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The Montana chapter's newest Ambassador, Davis serves as a liaison between the Alzheimer's Association and Senator John Walsh. She most recently worked as the Childrens Defense Fund State Director, and prior to this, she was a field representative for Sen. Max Baucus. In addition to state and federal politics, Davis's background also includes health education through women's care and lamaze instruction. She currently is a long-distance caregiver to parents in San Francisco. 

Joan Tooley
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Tooley serves as a liaison between the Alzheimer’s Association and Sen. Jon Tester. With an extensive media and communications background, she worked for two decades at The New Republic, the national magazine of current affairs, books and the arts. She currently is a partner at Tooley Communications, Inc. in Billings with her husband, Chuck, who is a former Billings mayor. Joanie’s mother and Chuck’s father both died of Alzheimer's disease. 

Frank Vinton
Vinton serves as a liaison between the Alzheimer's Association and Congressman Steve Daines. Originally from Ringling, he currently lives in Hi-Line and is caregiver for his wife.

Montana advocacy

At the Governor's Conference on Aging in May, Heidi Gibson, Alzheimer's Association Montana Chapter Executive Director, gave a presentation on forming an Alzheimer's State Plan in Montana. Click here to learn more. 

During the 2014 Advocacy Forum in April, the Montana delegation visited with legislators at a Congressional Coffee. Pictured from left to right: Senator Jon Tester, Montana Chapter Executive Director Heidi Gibson, Alzheimer's Association Ambassador Joanie Tooley, Congressman Steve Daines and Senator John Walsh.

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Federal advocacy