Eli Lilly Promotes Discussion of Alzheimer’s Impact on US Communities at National Mayor’s Conference

Ana de Barros, PhD avatar

by Ana de Barros, PhD |

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In an effort to promote education about Alzheimer’s disease and help local communities plan for this emerging public health crisis, Eli Lilly and Company has started an expansion of its “Community Conversations on Alzheimer’s” series with a panel discussion at the U.S. Conference of Mayors June 24-27 in Indianapolis.

Alzheimer’s disease is projected to triple by 2050. As a result, a greater awareness of the economic and social impact of this disease on families, communities, and health systems is extremely urgent.

The Community Conversations panel discussion was moderated by Phyllis Ferrell, vice president and head of Eli Lilly’s Global Alzheimer’s Disease Platform Team. The panel debated several topics, including how local governments can prepare for the fiscal and social impact of Alzheimer’s together with healthcare and advocacy groups.

Panelists included Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett; Randi Chapman, from the Alzheimer’s Association; Malaz Boustani, M.D., professor of medicine and research director at the Indiana Center for Aging Research; and Mike Simmons, DBA, director of Advocacy and Professional Relations at Eli Lilly.

“With the prevalence of Alzheimer’s in Indiana slated to increase by 18 percent by 2025, the U.S. Conference of Mayors seemed like a critical opportunity to highlight Alzheimer’s services and discuss the broader impact this disease has on our communities,” Hogsett said in a press release. “Through the Community Conversations program, I’m hopeful we’ll not only continue to educate and activate residents, but share insights with other cities to encourage similar action across the country.”

The Community Conversations program is part of the Alzheimer’s Readiness Project, an initiative designed to inspire action by fostering a deeper understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, its related science, and the public health crisis it might pose if nothing changes. Since its inception in 2012, local Community Conversations have triggered action in 13 U.S. cities. Among the cities where events are planned for 2016 are Santa Clara, California; Philadelphia; Atlanta; and Miami.

The program was developed to promote the sharing of information and resources that may help improve outcomes for Alzheimer’s patients, as well as for those taking care of them. It brings together a heterogeneous group of stakeholders to create dialogue and action plans that focus on improving awareness, detection, and care practices, as well as supporting Alzheimer’s-related services.

“For more than a quarter of a century, Lilly has been continuously working toward identifying meaningful solutions to help those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families,” Ferrell said. “We’re hopeful that by helping organizations work together to identify the issues and challenges within their communities that may impede detection and diagnosis, we’ll be able to shift perceptions of the disease as a whole.”