The Eastern Tennessee Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is returning to its original independent status to ensure that even more area resources support top research and local services for individuals and families struggling with Alzheimer’s disease.
The local organization is now known as Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Inc. and will focus even greater attention on East Tennessee and the Cumberlands through the valuable community partnerships and trusted reputation for service it has developed during the past three decades.
“To ensure that more funds raised in East Tennessee and the Cumberlands go to individuals and families in this area, our local Board of Directors decided unanimously that it was time to return to our original independent status,” said Board Chairperson Mary Lyn Goodman. “The organization’s name has changed, but its services, staff, Board, and supporters remain committed to serving those affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia in East Tennessee and the Cumberlands.”
Janice Wade-Whitehead, who has led the local organization for 20 years, will continue as executive director. She can now be reached at email@example.com
The local group is noted for supporting caregiver programs and research through Alzheimer’s WALKs. Volunteers with Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Inc., will raise funds through four regional WALKS this fall, as well as the Knoxville Alzheimer’s WALK in the spring of 2012.
“We want to guarantee those dollars – made possible by generous area individuals, families, foundations, companies, and countless volunteers committed to grassroots fundraising against Alzheimer’s – will directly benefit local families as well as the most promising research,” Wade-Whitehead said.
Wade-Whitehead said the Chicago-based national Alzheimer’s Association has been increasing its demands for locally raised funds to re-distribute nationally.
“We became increasingly concerned that funds raised in East Tennessee were going out of the area and limiting our ability to fund the vital programs we offer locally,” Wade-Whitehead said. “The fund-raising format the national organization recently put into place redistributes significant money raised through East Tennessee’s great volunteer spirit.”
Other U.S. chapters have ended their relationship with the national organization due to similar concerns.
Local families founded the Eastern TN Chapter in 1983 and two years later became a Charter Chapter with the national organization. However, it always remained incorporated in the State of Tennessee and governed by a local Board of Directors.
Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Inc., will support research into causes and treatments to attack Alzheimer’s, a fatal brain disease that has no cure. About 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. In Tennessee, more than 120,000 Tennesseans have Alzheimer’s disease, and an estimated 400,000 Tennesseans are caregivers for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
With offices in Knoxville and Cookeville, Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Inc. will continue serving Knox and 25 other counties from Putnam in the west to Hancock in the northeast part of the state.
Area families receive assistance through such programs as the agency’s locally-staffed Helpline, consultations on care for persons with the disease, adult day program in Knox County, at least 42 support groups, help with local resources and referrals, financial assistance, in-service training opportunities for staff at area facilities, advocacy aimed at enhancements in law and policy, an annual research symposium for physicians and healthcare professionals, and educational materials and programs such as caregiver training workshops for families and professionals featuring local specialists and nationally-renowned experts.
Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Inc. has a new website: www.alztennessee.org and can still be reached through their Helplines at 865.544.6288 in Knoxville and 931.526.8010 in Cookeville.
“We like the fact that people from East Tennessee and the Cumberlands will be making the decisions about how to best help their neighbors,” Wade-Whitehead said. “As always, people will still be able to rely on us for the information and assistance they need to help family members with Alzheimer’s and related dementias.”
Kay Watson, Director of Communications/Constituent Relations