Kansas Unites Against Alzheimer’s: Statewide Coalition and Updated Plan to Tackle Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias

By Trish Svoboda

Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) are taking steps to gather professionals, as well as individuals with lived experience, to update the state’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia state plan.

In response to this public health care crisis, in May 2019, Governor Laura Kelly signed Executive Order No. 19-08, establishing the Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force. Task Force members divided into committees that studied, researched, and documented the following topics for the plan: Public Awareness, Access to Care, Family Caregivers, Training and Workforce, Safety and Legal, Research and Data, Dementia Care, and Rural.

In 2024, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) was granted funds by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The purpose of this funding was to involve members of the 2018 Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Working Group and the 2019 Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force in the formation of a Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Coalition. This coalition was established to tackle issues related to Alzheimer’s Disease and associated dementias (ADRD).

In addition to transforming the Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Working Group and Task Force into a statewide coalition for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias, and updating the state plan to incorporate related diseases and initiatives from the CDC’s Healthy Brain Initiative, the program will begin public education on brain health and ADRD issues. It will also highlight the wide range of measures required to comprehensively address ADRD across Kansas.

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