Austin, Texas (January 13, 2016). Austin and Central Texas’ leading experts in Alzheimer’s care, education, support and the State of Texas’ preeminent leader in the advancement of state funding for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia research announced today that the organization is separating from the national organization, effective immediately.

Formerly known as Alzheimer’s Association – Capital of Texas Chapter, the nonprofit in continuous operation since 1982 will continue providing high touch, high quality informed and compassionate care in Central Texas for the thousands of families and individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.  Locally managed and controlled, the chapter has operated under a name use agreement with the Chicago office for many years while maintaining its own books and records, independent IRS exempt ruling, and annual independent audit.

“We have a new name but we offer the same service, support and commitment,” said Christian Wells, President of Alzheimer’s Texas. “By disaffiliating, we retain critical flexibility to respond quickly to community needs and we retain the authority to innovate and control our ongoing programs and service.  This action also allows us to commit to our community and donors that all funds raised in Central Texas will be retained for use in our geographic region and not shared with the National Chicago office. Retaining the Texas raised funds will allow us to better serve clients and expand our programs in Central Texas”  Under the business policy mandate from the National office 40% of all funds raised in Central Texas and 100% of all funds restricted for research were remitted to the Chicago office.

In taking this action, Austin-based Alzheimer’s Texas becomes one of six chapters to date in four states that have formally disaffiliated from the Alzheimer’s Association. Those chapters include Greater New Jersey; Orange County (CA); San Diego/Imperial Counties (CA); New York City; Greater Los Angeles (CA); and Austin (TX). They serve a collective population base of more than 38 million individuals and represent a combined annual budget of almost $24 million annually.

The move to separate began at a chapter delegate assembly last October, when the Austin-based chapter joined the majority of independently run chapters in voting down the proposed Alzheimer’s Association’s plan of merger and mandatory transfer of assets to the national Chicago office.  Despite a majority vote by the chapters opposing the measure, the national organization voted to move forward with their plan.

“The national organization has become increasingly less focused on grassroots care.  I have personally reached out to National leadership numerous times in order to give voice to a positive and supportive message of a dignified life for those with the disease and their caregivers.” said Board Chair and Board Certified Neurologist Dr. Ron DeVere. “Had Alzheimer’s Texas not separated from the national organization, the business model would have changed dramatically, making it difficult to continue doing the great work we have always done, and our local board would have been replaced by an advisory committee. This was crucial to our decision because, in the absence of a cure or effective therapy for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, the best and only ‘medicine’ is good care. That requires working with families in a close, interactive, and personal relationship that takes time and compassion.”

Mrs. Wells adds that Central Texas will be able to rely on the same quality service and programs they have come to expect for 30 years.  Over 18,000 Central Texans were reached through the various service channels in 2015, a 16% increase over 2014.

  • Alzheimer’s Texas Walks will continue to be held to build awareness and community, with 5 events planned for 2016.
  • 24-hour Helpline for support, information, referrals, and consultation.
  • Extensive educational classes and conferences are planned for caregivers, persons with dementia, members of the general public, and professionals.
  • Rural outreach will continue though the Lunch N’ Learn program, speakers requests and local partnerships.
  • A robust network of Caregiver Support Groups that meet monthly will continue to provide support to over 3,100 annually.
  • Early Stage support will continue through our Tele-Support Group, Early Stage Engagement Program, and Community Respite Development.
  • Partnerships with the entire spectrum of the care community, local and state agencies, leading researcher, and local organizations will continue to grow.
  • Advocacy effort will continue to support funding for Texas Alzheimer’s Research and Care Consortium (TARCC) through the Darrell K Royal Research Initative, and advancing the Texas State Plan on Alzheimer’s Disease.

As the leading and exclusive voice for Texas state-funded Alzheimer’s research,  Alzheimer’s Texas has spearheaded efforts resulting almost $38 million in state funds for Alzheimer’s research in Texas from the following six schools—Baylor College of Medicine, Texas A&M University Health Sciences Center, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, The University of Texas Health Sciences Center, and the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center, and most recently University of Texas at Austin.

“With the direction the national organization is taking, we simply are not confident it can do justice to or replicate the high standard of care we are providing the Central Texas Alzheimer’s population and no compelling business model was presented to justify a change of this magnitude,” said J. E. “Buster” Brown, former Texas Senator and member of the board of directors of Alzheimer’s Texas.

Alzheimer’s Texas has a seasoned, dedicated staff with decades of in-depth experience with dementia care, and a deep understanding of the many diverse populations making up the Central Texas Alzheimer’s community. In addition, the organization has long enjoyed the strong support of an extensive network of dynamic, highly dedicated community partners who are passionate about Alzheimer’s disease care and finding a cure or effective treatment.

“It is gratifying to work with a professional staff so devoted to the people it serves,” said Ava Late, Board Treasurer. “The people of Alzheimer’s Texas truly care about our patients and families. They are steadfastly devoted to helping people navigate through the difficult decisions and uncertainties people with Alzheimer’s and their families face at every stage of the disease.”

Alzheimer’s Texas remains the only organization in Central Texas singularly focused on state-funded research, quality care and support for individuals with Alzheimer’s and related dementias and their families.


About Alzheimer’s Texas

Alzheimer’s Texas is dedicated to eliminating Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research and to enhance care and support for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, their families, and caregivers. The organization provides care consultations, 24-hour help line, support groups, respite care, educational and social engagement programs, and professional training. Alzheimer’s Texas was founding in 1882 and serves Central Texas. For more information, visit www.txalz.org.

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