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Elaine Alquist, Willie Brown and Kim Belshe Convene Purple Ribbon Panel, Task Force on Alzheimer's

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Former California Assembly Speaker and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown is among members of a Purple Ribbon Panel and Task Force starting work today to develop a California State Plan for Alzheimer's, a disease estimated to double among Californians by the year 2030. The state has not effectively addressed policies and practices regarding Alzheimer's since 1987.

Brown will be joined by Lloyd Dean, Jonathan Fielding, Leeza Gibbons, Robert Lagomarsino, Kirsten Mangers, Arnold Millstein and Fernando Torres-Gil. Convening on World Alzheimer's Day, the eight-member Panel and State Alzheimer's Plan Task Force will address how California can best respond to this impending epidemic.

A report released by the Alzheimer's Association in February predicts that by 2030, the number of Californians age 55 and older living with Alzheimer's disease will double to 1.1 million.

"The data indicates the economic and human costs of Alzheimer's disease will be insurmountable for our State if we don't act now. Procrastination is simply not an option. We need to take advantage of the opportunity we have today to make choices that will alleviate the worst impacts of a disease that's already unimaginably tragic," said Senator Elaine Alquist, author of SB 491.

The Task Force will convene subcommittees and community meetings throughout the state. Brown and other Purple Ribbon Panel members will work to maintain high awareness of Alzheimer's in California, enhance implementation of recommendations stemming from a completed plan and serve as advocates for long-term policy change.

Completion of the California State Plan for Alzheimer's disease is scheduled for late 2010. In early 2011, a series of policy briefings will be held to communicate the Plan's findings to the new governor, Legislature and other policy makers and leaders.

Financial support for the Plan is already in place. It was provided through a collaboration composed of The SCAN Foundation, The California Endowment, Archstone Foundation and The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation.

The Alzheimer's Association's five California chapters are part of the national Alzheimer's Association. For more information and to download a copy of Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures in California: Current Status and Future Projections from February, visit

SOURCE Alzheimer's Association
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