In a gathering Tuesday of over 200 Alzheimer’s advocates representing the entire state of California, Senator Ben Allen was presented with the 2016 Legislator of the Year award by his constituent in the 26th Senate District, Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns, a former local and national board member of the Alzheimer’s Association.
As a freshman state senator, Allen distinguished himself immediately as a champion for the 610,000 Californians livings with Alzheimer’s disease and the 1.5 million family members and friends who provide care and support to a loved one battling a fatal condition with no known cause, cure or prevention.
Allen introduced Senate Bill 613 (link below), a measure signed into law by Governor Edmund G. Brown in 2015, requiring an update to California’s outdated physician guideline for Alzheimer’s disease management. According to the Alzheimer’s Associations’ state policy director, Susan DeMarois, “an astonishing 55% of all patients affected by Alzheimer’s or a related dementia have not been informed of their diagnosis by a doctor.” With passage of SB 613, DeMarois applauds Senator Allen for offering new hope to patients and families “cast adrift in a complex, confusing health care system.”
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer’s Association advances research to end Alzheimer’s and dementia while enhancing care and support for those living with the disease. The organization provides a toll-free, 24/7 helpline (1-800-272-3900) with local offices in Los Angeles and throughout the nation.