In the midst of a $1.4 trillion spending bill for 2020, a $10 million item might not seem like a big deal. But that small investment made by Congress will have a significant impact on the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
Last month Congress, including Rep. Liz Cheney, Sen. Mike Enzi and Sen. John Barrasso, approved the $10 million needed to fund the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act which passed in December 2018. The BOLD Act, which was co-sponsored by Barrasso in 2018, is a significant step in creating the infrastructure needed to fight Alzheimer’s disease.
The BOLD Act will direct the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to strengthen the public health infrastructure across the country by implementing effective Alzheimer's interventions focused on public health issues such as increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk and preventing avoidable hospitalizations.
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The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act will accomplish this by establishing Alzheimer's and Related Dementias Public Health Centers of Excellence; providing funding to state, local and tribal public health departments; and increasing data analysis and timely reporting.
This $10 million investment will pay huge dividends in the long run, especially for the 10,000 Wyomingites living with this disease and their 28,000 unpaid caregivers. By 2025, the number of Wyomingites living with dementia is expected to increase by 30 percent.
The BOLD Act is a vital component of ensuring those with the disease are able to receive an early diagnosis so they can be active participants in planning their future, and the necessary support for them and their caregivers are in place well before they develop this disease.
We at the Alzheimer’s Association - Wyoming Chapter wish to thank Sen. Barrasso for being a long-time co-sponsor of the BOLD Act, and to Sen. Enzi and Rep. Cheney for voting to fund this important step in supporting those living with the disease.
RAMSEY SCOTT, Public Policy Manager Alzheimer's Association - Wyoming Chapter, Cheyenne