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Public Health Mission

Alzheimer’s disease is a major public health issue and will increasingly affect the health and well-being of the population. Unless the disease can be effectively treated or prevented, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease will increase significantly in the next two decades. The number of people age 65 and older in the U.S. is expected to grow from 40 million in 2010 to 72.1 million in 2030. The prevalence of people with Alzheimer’s disease doubles for every 5-year interval beyond age 65. The significant growth in the population over age 85 that is estimated to occur between 2010 and 2030 (from 5.5 million to 8.7 million) suggests a substantial increase in the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease.” National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease 2014 update, Department of Health and Human Services


Whether your life is touched by Alzheimer’s disease directly or indirectly through increased insurance and medical costs, access to facilities and services or work-related concerns, every American will have an Alzheimer’s connection.


The National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease stresses the critical need for timely and accurate diagnosis with the broader goal of enhancing care quality and efficiency and improving quality-of-life for people with dementia and their families.


To improve accurate and timely diagnosis requires:

  • An adequately trained health care force in place to recognize the signs and symptoms of dementia.
  • Individuals and families with adequate knowledge of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease to overcome any stigma and fear associated with seeking a diagnosis.

The WAI Public Health Program addresses both of these requirements by offering educational opportunities for physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychologists, residents, medical students and other health professionals to learn about the diagnosis and management of dementing disorders. WAI offers continuing medical education, lectures, web casts and other information options. The program also offers education, preceptor, service learning and internships for health profession students.

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