New York State Department of Health Recognizes World Alzheimer's Awareness Day

Announces New Funding Award to Expand Dementia Public Health Program

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 21, 2023) – The New York State Department of Health is recognizing World Alzheimer's Awareness Day on September 21, during World Alzheimer's Awareness Month, by announcing a new funding award that will include a special focus on high-risk New Yorkers, as well as those living in rural and underserved communities.

A five-year cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will expand the Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure (BOLD) public health program into New York and join in a national effort to improve the response to Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia (ADRD) across the country. Under this project, the NYS Alzheimer's Disease Program plans to build on the existing Alzheimer's Disease Caregiver Support Initiative infrastructure and to increase the reach, breadth, and sustainability of the State's ADRD programs.

"I am pleased to announce additional funds to support our efforts to ensure we are reaching vulnerable and underserved communities struggling with the public health burden of dementia and, in particular, on World Alzheimer's Awareness Day," State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "Alzheimer's disease and other dementias take a heavy toll on individuals, their families and care partners, and communities across the state. Programs under BOLD funding that can provide information on brain health and risk reduction are critical to the Department's mission to protect, improve, and promote the health, productivity, and wellbeing of all New Yorkers."

Department of Health Deputy Commissioner Adam Herbst, Esq. from the Office of Aging and Long Term Care said, "The Office of Aging and Long-Term Care commends the Department's devoted commitment to actively aiding individuals in New York dealing with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. The funding allocated to expand BOLD initiatives in New York represents a crucial pillar of support for our initiatives aimed at addressing the social determinants of health and educating the public about brain health, risk reduction strategies and the importance of early detection."

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative and fatal condition that primarily affects those over the age of 65. One in 10 individuals over 65 and nearly half of those who reach the age of 85 will develop Alzheimer's disease, with African Americans over the age of 65 having the highest prevalence of the disease at 14%, followed by Hispanics at 12%, non-Hispanic whites 10%, American Indian and Alaska Natives 9% and Pacific Islanders 8.4%. Additionally, disparities associated with ADRD develop among specific racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. African Americans are twice as likely to develop ADRD compared to white people, and Hispanics one-and-a-half times more likely.

The funding award for the BOLD project will rely on and establish new partnerships with those reaching populations across the age spectrum, with a particular focus on high-risk Black and Hispanic residents, and rural and underserved communities. The goal is for project activities to expand awareness about brain health, risk reduction strategies, and the management of chronic disease comorbidities, as well as increase clinical-community connections.

New York's ongoing support for persons living with ADRD and their caregivers also includes a $26 million annual investment through the Alzheimer's Disease Caregiver Support Initiative, which funds 10 Centers of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease, 11 Regional Caregiver Support Initiative programs and the one statewide Alzheimer's Disease Community Assistance Program (AlzCAP). Collectively, these initiatives provide:

  • early detection and diagnosis
  • medical provider training
  • consultations and assessments
  • caregiver education
  • caregiver support and engagements activities
  • respite
  • 24-hour Helpline access
  • community awareness and outreach to and engagement with underserved communities

The Department's Alzheimer's Disease Program website provides many resources about brain health and assists those impacted by Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementias, including services available to individuals living with ADRD and their caregivers.

To learn more about efforts to address ADRD across New York, visit the Department's NYSDOH-funded Alzheimer's Disease Program initiatives website here.