Alzheimer's Advocacy in

The Alzheimer's Association, Desert Southwest Chapter is the largest group in advocating on behalf of those living with Alzheimer's disease.

Take Action! Become an Advocate

Conquering Alzheimer’s is as much a matter of public policy as scientific discovery, and we need your help to change the future of this devastating disease.

As an advocate, you will be invited to engage public officials and policymakers in a variety of ways, urging their support for critical Alzheimer's legislation and policy changes. Whether you prefer sending emails to legislators, posting updates to Facebook, or hosting events or even meeting in-person with your elected officials, there are many ways you can make a difference as an Alzheimer's Association Advocate.

Become a part of our advocate community today.

Current Action Alerts


Federal Policy

Alzheimer's is a devastating disease that cannot be ignored by federal policymakers. Our goal is to see that the federal government takes bold action now to confront this growing crisis. Urge your elected officials to enact public policies that provide better health and long-term coverage to ensure high-quality, cost-effective care for the millions of people who face this disease every day. Learn more


For More information on your Congressional and Legislative districts, elected state officials and the status of state bills, please visit the Arizona State Legislature website.

If you need to register to vote in Arizona please visit the Arizona Secretary of State website.

For more information on the Arizona Alzheimer's State Plan, please view this PDF document.

The Arizona Alzheimer's Task Force Work Teams need members! Please read the overview of the Task Force and the four Work Teams. If you are interested in serving on one of the Work Teams please contact James Fitzpatrick at 602-528-0545, or


For more information on your Congressional and Legislative distrcits, elected state officials and the status of state bills, please visit the Nevada State Legislature website

If you need to register to vote in Nevada please visit this website.

For more information on the Nevada State Plan To Address Alzheimer's Disease visit this website.

For information on the Nevada State Alzheimer's Task Force please visit this website.


What is the BRFSS?
The Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the world's largest continuous public health survey, conducted annually in all states and U.S. territories as a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state departments of health. The BRFSS asks questions about health behaviors, access to care, and other health related topics and provides state-specific information. 

What is the BRFSS Cognitive Module?
The module asks the respondents abuot "confusion or memory loss that is happening more often or is getting worse" in the past 12 months, and thus captures subjective cognitive decline (SCD) that is more frequent or worse over time. If a respondent answers "yes" to this question, other questions from the module are asked to help understand whether cognitive decline affects the work and function, and what kind of assistance the individual needs.

Why did the name change from "Cognitive Impairment" to Cognitive Module?
The Cognitive Module was formerly called the "Cognitive Impairment" Module. In the years since the questions were developed, new diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease were released that included the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). To avoid confusion surrounding the word "impairment" - and to ensure that the results of the BRFSS survey are in no way interpreted as indicative of medical diagnosis - the name of the module was changed, and it is more accurate to characterize the data as reflecting subjective cognitive decline, not impairment. 

What is meant by subjective cognitive decline (SCD) and why is it important?
The Cognitive Module does not - and was never designed to - measure the prevalence of MCI or Alzheimer's disease. Instead, the module measures the prevalence of people who may be early in the "continuum" of Alzheimer's and other dementias - that is, individuals who in the previous 12 months self-report that they have experienced memory loss or confusion that is happening more often or is getting worse, some of whom have even started to have difficulties as a result of their memory problems. Not all of these individuals will go on to develop Alzheimer's or another dementia or even MCI. But, with worsening memory problems being one of the first warning signs of Alzheimer's - and with SCD being increasingly seen as a risk factor for future dementia - this data provide a snapshot of the potential future crisis, allowing states to plan for future needs.

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Advocate Spotlight

katie mullen

Katie Mullen, ACT – 1st Congressional District Arizona (Rep. Kirkpatrick)

Katie Mullen first heard about Alzheimer’s advocacy when she was completing her undergraduate degree, and a representative from the Alzheimer’s Association came and spoke to her class about The Longest Day. Katie decided to start a team for The Longest Day due to a number of her family members having fought or were currently fighting Alzheimer’s. During the event she was amazed by how many people came up to her and her family and shared their experiences with Alzheimer’s. It was that day Katie realized just how many people wanted and needed to talk about the disease. On why she is an Alzheimer’s Congressional Team member Katie said, “I decided to get involved with the Desert Southwest Chapter, so I could keep that conversation going” 

Larry Kempton

Larry Kempton, Ambassador – Arizona State Senator John McCain

Larry is an Arizona native, born in Tucson living on a ranch in Amado. After years of working in the agriculture business, Larry and his wife, Tammy decided to open their own business. They opened Homewatch CareGivers of Green Valley in 2011, providing non-medical home care in Sahuraita, Green Valley, and the entire Santa Cruz Valley. They received the Chamber of Commerce award for New Business of the Year for 2012 and Large Business of the Year for 2014. Larry has been Chairman of the Green Valley/Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is currently the Secretary; he is past-president of the Valle Verde Rotary Club and is a director of the Valley Assistance Services Board of Directors.  On why he is an Alzheimer’s Ambassador Larry said, “I am an Alzheimer's advocate because I feel I must speak up for those who have lost their voice.”

Mikaela Bissel

Mikaela Bissel, ACT– 9th Congressional District Arizona (Rep. Sinema)

Mikaela is 16 years old and attends Bioscience High School in Phoenix. Her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s seven years before she was born, and since the day she was born her grandmother has lived with her and her family. Mikaela watched her grandmother forget who she was and herself, how to swallow and eventually breathe. Mikaela advocates for her grandmother, who lived with Alzheimer’s for 23 years, and for other teenage caregivers. On why she is an Alzheimer’s Congressional Team member Mikaela said, “I advocate because this world needs to open their eyes and see this horrible disease, and actually discuss it.”

Stephanie Lowrey2

Stephanie Lowrey, Ambassador – 1st Congressional District Nevada (Rep. Titus)

Stephanie Lowrey is currently the Community Outreach Director for Heritage Springs Assisted Living and Memory Care in Las Vegas, and has been working with seniors and health care professionals since 2010. Stephanie is actively involved in her community, most notably as an Ambassador for the Desert Southwest Chapter. She is passionate about being an advocate because she sees first-hand the affect of Alzheimer's on individuals and families alike. On why she is an Alzheimer’s Ambassador Steph shared, “It’s not enough to just raise awareness, we need to advocate so we can trigger action from our leaders. Our residents who suffer from Alzheimer’s can't advocate for themselves, their memories are worth protecting.”

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Chapter Contact(s)

Chapter Headquarters
Desert Southwest
1028 East McDowell Road
Phoenix, AZ 85006-2622
Phone 602.528.0545