2020 Alzheimer's Day at the Capitol
What is Alzheimer's Day at the Capitol?
It's a one-day event where people who are passionate about making the fight against Alzheimer's and other dementias a priority in Colorado come together to help make that happen. Alzheimer's advocates gather to learn how to effectively advocate for legislation to improve the lives of individuals and families struggling with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and ask state legislators to take specific actions toward those goals.
Increasing Awareness at the Capitol
To increase awareness of the fight to end Alzheimer's at the Colorado Statehouse, we arranged a Walk to End Alzheimer’s promise garden flower ceremony on the House floor. Thank you to Representatives Dafna Michaelson-Jenet, Chris Kennedy, Alex Valdez, Lois Landgraf and Shannon Bird for leading your colleagues in our effort to spotlight Coloradans struggling with dementia or caring for a loved one with it. Our advocates were able to take part in the ceremony from the gallery as well. It was a powerful recognition that the end of Alzheimer’s begins with all of us, including our state legislators (watch the video of the ceremony here).
Meetings with Legislators
After the training ended, advocates met with their legislators in person. Alzheimer’s advocates met with 18 state legislators who represent their home community. Did they meet with the legislators who represent you? If you don't know who represents you, find out here.
- State Senators: Chris Holbert, Julie Gonzales, Chris Hansen, Nancy Todd, Jeff Bridges, Larry Crowder, Jack Tate, Jessie Danielson, Joann Ginal and John Cooke
- State Representatives: Stephen Humphrey, Mary Young, Brianna Titone, Richard Champion, Steven Woodrow, Alex Valdez, Perry Buck and Kevin Van Winkle
What Did We Ask State Legislators to Do?
In our morning training, advocates learned about the legislation we would be advocating for and how to use their personal stories with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia to influence their state legislators to support the bills. We asked state legislators to support the following bills. If you would like to learn more about these bills, you can read the bill summaries we left with legislators.
1. A Late Bill to Create a Dementia Program Manager position in Colorado’s public health department. This bill would create a position in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to do several things, including: 1) Serving as a clearinghouse for information and community services, 2) Helping to identify and improve access to services for Colorado families who need them, and 3) Assessing current service gaps and identifing ways to fill those gaps. Thank you to the following legislators who are sponsors (i.e., leaders) on this bill: Senator Joann Ginal, Senator Larry Crowder, Representative Dafna Michaelson-Jenet and Representative Lois Landgraf.
2. SB20-022, Increase Medical Providers for Senior Citizens. This bill builds on CDPHE’s successful Health Service Corps Program that provides student loan repayment for health care professionals who work in underserved areas in Colorado. The bill would expand this benefit so nurses and physician assistants who receive additional training in geriatrics could participate. This bill is important because Colorado already has a shortage of these professionals, and that shortage will grow as the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another dementia grows. Thank you to the following legislators who are sponsors (i.e., leaders) on this bill: Senator Jessie Danielson, Representative Brianna Titone and Representative Monica Duran)
3. HB20-1232, Equity in Access to Clinical Trials in Medicaid. Alzheimer’s is the only top 10 cause of death in the United States with no prevention, treatment, or cure. This bill would authorize Medicaid to cover routine costs associated with participating in qualified clinical trials, enabling Coloradans on Medicaid to participate in them. The availability of clinical trial participants is the greatest obstacle, other than funding, to developing treatments for Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Thank you to the following legislators who are sponsors (i.e., leaders) on this bill: Representative Dafna Michaelson-Jenet, Representative Larry Liston and Senator Nancy Todd.
Climbing Mountains (and big ones!) for Alzheimer's
We gathered to hear Alan Arnette speak to us about his experience climbing Mount Everest in honor of his mother, Ida, who passed of Alzheimer’s. You can read more about Alan and his incredible story here. Thank you, Alan, for inspiring us to move mountains to end Alzheimer’s!
Advocacy Happens All Year - Join Us!
Alzheimer's Day at the Capitol is a concentrated effort to communicate with as many state legislators as possible in one day during the legislative session. But advocacy happens all year. The Alzheimer’s Association has volunteer opportunities for you if you are interested in doing advocacy work on Alzheimer’s and other dementias issues year-round. Volunteer with us today!
Do you have questions about Alzheimer’s disease or need help connecting to resources in your community?
Contact our 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900 or at www.alz.org/co.