HARRISBURG – Secretary of Aging Brian Duke and members of the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Disease Planning Committee on Friday held their first meeting, kicking-off the development of a Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Disease State Plan.
Gov. Tom Corbett established the 26-member committee by executive order on Feb. 7, 2013. The group will work to design a state plan to address the Alzheimer’s disease crisis in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania has the fourth-largest older adult population in the nation and that number is expected to grow. By 2030, it is anticipated that one in four Pennsylvanians will be over the age of 65.
“Alzheimer’s disease has an impact on every single person in this state,” Duke said, who serves as the committee chair. “The incidence of the disease is rising in line with our aging population and it is alarming to consider that one in three older persons with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia dies. A comprehensive state plan of action will provide guidance in dealing with this devastating disease.”
Dr. Ronald Petersen, professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic and Director of the Mayo Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) was guest speaker at the meeting. Dr. Petersen spoke about current treatment and research being offered at the Mayo Clinic, as well as his experiences as director of the Mayo ADRC.
The committee includes representatives from various state agencies as well as those personally impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. It will look at needs and research trends, study existing resources, and formulate an effective response strategy to the rising number of those affected by the disease.
Proposed meeting dates and locations have been set around the state to gain input from the public in all regions. Committee members have until Feb. 7, 2014 to deliver recommendations to the Governor regarding a planned approach for Pennsylvania.
For more information on the Executive Order, committee’s meeting dates, agendas and minutes as well as, information on committee members, visit: www.aging.state.pa.us