Maine State Alzheimer’s Task Force Update
Brett Seekins, Healthcare Consulting Senior Manager
The Maine State Alzheimer’s Task Force (ATF) is making history by drafting the state’s first Alzheimer’s State Plan. Stakeholders have begun meeting to discuss Plan content, share ideas and strategize next steps.
Brett Seekins, Senior Manager with Baker Newman Noyes was appointed by DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew to serve on the LD 859 ATF where a motion was made in the last legislative session to “resolve” to create an Alzheimer’s State Plan.
Senator Margaret Craven highlighted the ATF progress in a recent weekly email stating to her constituents and friends:
“Last year I sponsored a successful bill to set up a task force to develop a workable state plan to provide affordable care for the growing number of people in Maine with Alzheimer’s Disease and other related dementias. Right now there are over 37,000 people in the state with Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to grow to over 53,000 by the year 2020. Yesterday that task force held a meeting and I was thrilled by all of the good ideas that were shared. Public awareness of the disease is an important part of this, and a major breakthrough yesterday was the agreement from the Maine Center for Disease Control to increase their involvement to include a public education campaign.”
On December 9, 2011 and January 4, 2012, Laurie Trenholm (Executive Director, AAMC), Jill Conover (Director of Communication and Public Policy, AAMC), Robert Armstrong (Board member, Public Policy Committee Chair, AAMC) and Brett Seekins (Senior Manager, Baker Newman Noyes, AAMC Public Policy Committee member) met with DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew and CDC Director Dr. Sheila Pinette to update them on our ATF progress and inform them about the great work of the AAMC.
The Task Force will remain very busy over the next several months finalizing a draft report through the leadership and organization of the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter. Upcoming meeting dates are as follows: March 14 and 28 and April 11.
The typical meeting is divided into three subcommittees – Public Health and Awareness, Home and Community Based Care and Residential/Nursing Facility/Long Term Care with 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. starts respectively. Participants may attend one, two or all three committee meetings.
The ATF meetings are open to care givers of persons with Alzheimer’s or Dementia related diseases and healthcare providers with experience working with patients that have been inflicted with the disease.
Subcommittees meet to discuss the Plan sections as they relate to their areas of expertise. Plan sections are as follows: Disease Background Information, Public Awareness and Public Health, Diagnosis and Treatment, Financing Long Term Care, Home and Community Based Services, Residential Services and Education and Training.
In addition to drafting the Plan, the AAMC kicked off the work session with two meetings with State officials.
Over the last two months the ATF has been meeting regularly at the Cross Building in Augusta drafting portions of the Plan. Our goal is to have a draft completed by April 2012.
If you’re interested in assisting the ATF there are several flexible ways to participate.
- We realize that traveling may make it difficult to attend meetings so a call-in number has been created for you to participate by phone at your convenience.
- If you’re already committed to other projects and can’t possibly make a meeting but would like to be included in our ATF Stakeholder registry to obtain meeting announcements, pre-work and progress reports, you may request to be included on the ATF email distribution list.
- If you’d like to review drafts of ATF progress reports, your input and feedback is welcome.
- The ATF will be hosting public input sessions starting in April 2012 and would invite you to join that forum and share your thoughts, ideas and concerns.
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