January 5, firstname.lastname@example.orgContact:
National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease: 2021 Update. “We see firsthand as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease devastate families in tribal and urban American Indian and Alaska Native communities,” says Dave Baldridge, executive director of IA2. “Just this past year, we’ve participated in more than 80 virtual and in-person listening sessions, presentations, local meetings, and actually sat down and talked with elders and caregivers. We hear over and over stories of the impact of memory loss and dementia, worries about limited or no access to diagnostic resources, and the scarcity of services and supports. We also heard repeated requests from across the country for training, resources, interventions, and support to help tribes and urban communities address these problems,” according to Baldridge. Funded in 2020 as a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthy Brain Initiative awardee, IA2 actively contributes to advancing the National Plan, including the new 6th goal focused on risk reduction. IA2‘s CDC-specific project activities are focused on three major areas that include:To improve Alzheimer’s disease-related outcomes, the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) promotes coordination across federal agencies. NAPA mandated the development of an Advisory Council and The National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease. Combined, this is an integrated national strategy to overcome Alzheimer’s disease, with originally five, and now six, ambitious goals to guide federal efforts in addressing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). Notably, IA2 past and present work and accomplishments are documented throughout the
~ Ongoing meaningful assessment of tribal community needs related to brain health and cognitive impairment
~ Identification, development, or adaptation of culturally informed and relevant information resources
~ Promote awareness and implementation of the Road Map for Indian Country
In the first fourteen months of the CDC award, IA2 reached more than 1,500 people through webinars, live presentations, listening sessions, discussions with key federal and non-federal key players, and, most importantly, one-on-one meetings to talk about tribal community needs and available resources.AIANBrainHealth.org resource library (which features 91 resources) and content pages have seen more than 7,000 page views since the release in August 2021. Nearly 400 subscribers now receive a monthly e-news. IA2 year one highlights under the cooperative agreement:The
~ A new website, AIANBrainHealth.org, features a robust online brain health resource library focused on housing materials by and for American Indian and Alaska Native populations.
~ Collaboration with the national Dementia Friends USA Program to provide tribes, urban Indian organizations (UIOs), and Alaska Native communities with culturally relevant content adaptation and training for tribal community Champions: Dementia Friends for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities.
~ Monthly Native Healthy Brain e-news that includes: featured promising practices from Indian Country and Alaska, community voices blog that offers personal and professional perspectives on ADRD, new resources and news available in the online resource library, and more.
~ Training host for the evidence-based Savvy Caregiver for Indian Country program by Dr. J. Neil Henderson.
~ Ongoing collaboration to ensure there is a voice for AI/AN people and communities represented in national ADRD conversations, workgroups, and during public health resource development initiatives.
IA2 activities are guided by a multidisciplinary advisory group of tribally-enrolled members and tribal allies. This group includes consumer and caregiver representatives that reflect the lived experiences of tribal and Alaska Native people. Authentic community engagement strategies are a cornerstone of the IA2 project team’s approach, including systematizing the cultural adaptation of information products.“Goal 6 and Strategy 6.E. may be the first time the National Plan has gone on record to recognize the role of racism, discrimination, and other root causes of health inequities in the profound disparities in dementia diagnosis and care for American Indian and Alaska Native peoples,” notes Dr. Jolie Crowder, IA2‘s CDC project principal investigator. “These are decades or really centuries-old problems that plague Native communities and impact virtually every current health issue. There isn’t an easy fix or single resource to combat these issues. Though, we believe to be successful that future efforts must focus on capacity building and take a strengths-based approach, working one community at a time in recognition of individual tribal sovereignty,” says Dr. Crowder. William Benson, IA2 President adds, “We are humbled to be at the forefront of on-the-ground work on these issues with tribal communities and urban Indian populations, and excited about the added focus on primary prevention strategies.”