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HB 4756 passes, creates statewide Alzheimer’s Task Force

Alzheimer’s Association Celebrates Unanimous Passage

West Virginia Press Association

CHARLESTON, W.Va. –  The Alzheimer’s Association is expressing its gratitude for the passage this week of House Bill 4756, sponsored by Delegates Walter Hall, Diana Wizenreid, Heather Tully and Amy Summers. This is the third piece of unanimously-passed legislation supporting the Association’s priorities in the last three years.

The Bill calls for an update to the 2011 State Plan for Alzheimer’s and other dementia. Through passage of HB 4756, a Task Force will be created to update this plan by: 

  • Conducting an assessment to identify gaps in state policies
  • Gathering input from stakeholders, including families and government agencies
  • Developing more and improved dementia training for health care and support workers
  • Establishing measurable goals and reporting standards

“This is a great day for our state,” stated Sharon M. Covert, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association West Virginia Chapter. “The state plan was outdated and, given new available treatments, we recognized that it was time to evaluate how we address those living with Alzheimer’s as well as their caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association is grateful for the support of our legislators on this important bill.”  

West Virginia’s state plan was developed in 2011 and has not been updated since.  

“The creation of an Alzheimer’s and Dementia Task Force was our top priority for this legislative session,” said Ely Osborne, public policy director for the West Virginia Chapter. “Our state is leading the way in the exciting breakthroughs in this era of treatment. West Virginians deserve a plan for care and support that reflects our position as leaders in this fight. We are thankful for the legislators who supported it, and for the advocates who have worked tirelessly to lend their voices to this issue.”

There are approximately 39,000 West Virginians living with Alzheimer’s disease. That number is expected to increase to 44,000 by 2025. One in three seniors dies with the disease – more than breast and prostate cancer combined.

Those concerned about themselves or a loved one can contact the Alzheimer’s Association West Virginia Chapter at 304.343.2717 to schedule a care consultation and be connected to local resources. The Alzheimer’s Association’s Helpline can be reached 24/7 at 800.272.3900.

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