Ronkonkoma, March 2, 2011 - "There is no one more worthy of this award than Karen Henley," states Mary Ann Malack-Ragona, CEO for the Long Island Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. "Karen has put a face on Young Onset Alzheimer's Disease and is leading the way for change." On March 2nd, 2011, the Coalition of New York State Alzheimer's Association Chapters, Inc. will present Mrs. Henley with the 2011 Frank Carlino Outstanding Advocate Award in recognition of exemplary service to the Alzheimer's community and for her public policy efforts on behalf of all Long Island families who are coping with the challenges of Alzheimer's Disease.
Mrs. Henley is being recognized for her Public Policy efforts in Washington, DC during 2010 - efforts that helped the Alzheimer's Association pass the National Project Act (NAPA), a legislative initiative that will create a coordinated national plan to overcome the Alzheimer crisis and will ensure the coordination and evaluation of all national efforts in Alzheimer's research, clinical care, institutional, and home and community-based programs and their outcomes. President Barack Obama signed NAPA into law on January 4th, 2011.
Mrs. Henley's husband, Mike, was diagnosed with Young Onset Alzheimer's Disease in 2001 at the age of thirty-seven. Mrs. Henley has become a spokesperson for all individuals in this country who have a diagnosis of Young Onset Alzheimer's Disease, appearing on local TV, sharing her story with Newsday and speaking at the Chapter's Annual Education Conference. The family also raises money every year for the Chapter's Annual Walk To End Alzheimer's helping to support the full Mission of the Association - Research, Care and Cure.
Currently 5.3 million people in this country have Alzheimer's Disease and more than 200,000 individuals under the age of 65 have a diagnosis of AD. By the middle of this century, it is estimated that approximately 14-16 million people will have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease; one out of eight baby boomers is at risk. The annual cost of Alzheimer's disease will soar to at least $375 billion, overwhelming our health care system and bankrupting Medicare and Medicaid. Alzheimer's disease does not happen overnight; it begins to attack the brain of its potential victims 10 to 20 years before the first symptoms appear. To protect today's baby boomers from the ravages of Alzheimer's Disease, we have to find ways to stop this disease process now, while there is still time to prevent the damage.
The Alzheimer's Association is the nation's leading voluntary health organization dedicated to supporting families and caregivers by providing vital programs and services in local communities nationwide. The Association is the largest private funder of Alzheimer's research, having committed more than $200 million to research. A minimum of 75% of every dollar raised by the Alzheimer's Association funds programs to promote research, find effective treatments, and improve the lives of those affected by Alzheimer's.
For more information about the Alzheimer's Association, please contact Mary Ann Malack-Ragona, Executive Director/CEO at (631) 820-8068 or visit us at www.alz.org/longisland.