Notes from the Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum: Day 2 & 3 Training and to the Hill

Our advocates study up on the HOPE and Breakthrough Acts

Following yesterday’s inspiring opening comments by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, my fellow advocates and I were in store for an intense day of learning, training and sharing.

We first heard from members of the Obama administration, who assured us that Alzheimer’s is a national priority. Several more members of the current administration stayed to hear from more than 50 of our advocates who spoke up about their concerns regarding the nation’s struggle with Alzheimer’s. Their very personal stories reflected this country’s deficits in the areas of long term care insurance, Medicare reimbursement, social security eligibility, health care professional training, awareness and more.

We then spent some time brainstorming ways to make advocacy a year-round activity. We came up with some great ideas – ideas I’m sure you’ll hear more about in the coming months. From there it was two hours of detailed training about how to talk to legislators and their staff about this year’s two key priority issues: the Breakthrough Act and the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act.

The day was full, but we have been well-prepared for our legislative visits taking place today. With five advocate teams from the Northern California and Northern Nevada Chapter about to storm every one of our legislative offices, I’m sure I’ll have much success to report upon our return from D.C.

See more photos on flickr: 2011 Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum, Day 2 Photos