Funding will strengthen supports for Kansans with Alzheimer’s


Governor Laura Kelly announced that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) will receive $1,185,000 over five years to build public health infrastructure and increase capacity to treat Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Kansas was one of 43 recipients of funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. 

The funding will be used to reestablish an Alzheimer’s disease coalition in Kansas, which will use the CDC’s Healthy Brain Initiative State and Local Road Map for Public Health to revise and implement proven strategies in the Alzheimer’s State Plan. It will also support KDHE and its partners to implement activities to support the revised state plan. 

“My administration continues to be laser-focused on providing resources fundamental to the health of all Kansans, including those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias,” Governor Kelly said. “This funding is a step in the right direction as we work to expand quality, affordable health coverage to more Kansas families.”

These efforts are part of a KDHE initiative that helps clinicians refer patients to community supports. The project will work with Kansans with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, caregivers, and health care providers.

“We are excited that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has been awarded this grant to assist with the work that’s already being done across our state to care for the 55,000 Kansans living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias,” said Ken Jackson, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association – Heart of America Chapter. “We look forward to the advancement of new and cutting-edge approaches to address this public health crisis in order to provide support to the people caring for a loved one with this disease.”  

Alzheimer’s disease is the eighth leading cause of death in Kansas. In 2019, about 335,000 Kansas adults 18 years and older reported the experience of worsening or more frequent confusion or memory loss. This is one of the earliest noticeable symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. People with Alzheimer’s disease are more likely to have other chronic diseases like hypertension, depression, diabetes and hearing loss. They are also more likely to experience depression, mental illness and increased financial burden due to health care costs.

“As the number of Kansans living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia continues to rise, it is important that we establish systems to support them and their caregivers through early detection and diagnosis,” said KDHE Secretary Janet Stanek. “These funds will target all levels of prevention – primary, secondary and tertiary – to ensure that Kansans and their caregivers maintain a healthy quality of life before and after diagnosis.”

This project will strengthen and expand community partnerships, data availability for decision-making, and public knowledge about brain health and support services. The project will also reduce stigma and bias about cognitive decline. The project will emphasize coordination across community and clinical systems to strengthen Kansas’s basic foundations of health and health equity.

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