An Update on NPWH’s Efforts to Support Brain Health Initiatives

Julia Knox is NPWH’s Communications and Outreach Associate and represents NPWH at several legislative briefings per year. Below is information about one she attended in honor of Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month and why brain health is important to NPWH and WHNPs. Julia has been at NPWH for close to two years and holds an M.S. in Public Relations and Corporate Communication. 

On Wednesday, June 20, NPWH attended an UsAgainstAlzheimer’s legislative briefing on the CHANGE Act of 2018. The CHANGE (Concentrating on High-Value Alzheimer’s Needs to Get to an End) Act is a bipartisan bill that “encourages timely and accurate assessment, detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, supports innovative approaches to support family caregivers, and removes regulatory barriers to disease modifying treatments.” NPWH also signed on to an UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Congressional letter, urging all members to support the act.

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Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), cosponsor of the CHANGE Act, addresses the audience

Alzheimer’s disproportionately affects women: of the approximately 5.5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, nearly two-thirds are women[1]. In addition to the patients themselves, the disease also has a devastating effect on unpaid family caregivers, the majority of which (63%) are women. [2] NPWH believes WHNPs are an important resource for monitoring brain health. With greater awareness, knowledge and tools, providers can support earlier detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other brain diseases.

Last year, NPWH partnered with WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s to survey WHNPs regarding their knowledge and treatment of brain health. The survey, Brain Health is Women’s Health, found that the vast majority of WHNPs want more knowledge, training, and tools to assess brain health. NPWH is working to provide this knowledge and training: brain health was the focus of a dedicated breakout session at the 2017 annual conference, and a topic of the second annual Healthy at Any Age Summit this April. We are also preparing to launch an updated version of our well-woman visit mobile app that includes a brain health section.

To read more about the CHANGE Act, click here. To read the full report from Brain Health is Women’s Health, click here.

[1] https://alzheimersnewstoday.com/alzheimers-disease-statistics/

[2] https://www.usagainstalzheimers.org/networks/women