National Alzheimer’s Summit Will Mark Major Escalation in War against Disease Affecting Millions of Americans


New Analysis on Alzheimer’s Drug Development and the Disease’s Impact on Communities of Color, Women and Caregivers will be Highlighted

WASHINGTON, DC, September 27, 2016 – Launching an energized offensive against a disease that is devastating too many lives, the 2016 National Alzheimer’s Summit, hosted by UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, will convene members of Congress, researchers, global industry leaders, individuals living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, caregivers and advocates to press for greater investments in research, health system improvements and actions to address cultural and socioeconomic disparities.

The National Alzheimer’s Summit, which takes places September 27-29, embodies UsAgainstAlzheimer’s unique advocacy model, powering philanthropy, revving up research, partnering with industry, engaging diverse audiences and energizing a bipartisan movement to spur the medical progress needed to defeat Alzheimer’s by 2025.

 “This is not just another conference because this is not just any disease; Alzheimer's is a cancer-sized problem demanding a cancer-sized solution,” said George Vradenburg, Co-Founder and Chairman of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. “Today, over five million Americans are victims of a cruel illness that takes away their independence, their memories and, ultimately, their lives. Yet, even with these numbers projected to triple, we haven’t seen the level of national urgency that should accompany a health crisis of this magnitude. This summit is being convened to say that accelerated movement toward an Alzheimer’s cure is not an option, it is an immediate necessity.”

Today, the Summit commences with an all-day event at the Barbara Jordan Conference Center called “Diversifying the Race for a Cure and Care: the 2016 Alzheimer's and Dementia Disparities Convening.” The program will leverage the UsAgainstAlzheimer’s diverse partnerships and deep community connections to formulate the first-ever community driven action plan to increase awareness, understanding and action on Alzheimer’s disease among minorities.

The event will be followed up with a National Alzheimer’s Summit kickoff reception on Capitol Hill, featuring toasts from U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and leadership from Volunteers of America, Balm in Gilead and AARP.

On Wednesday, during a host of panels and presentations at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, the Summit will highlight a new analysis being released on the status of Alzheimer’s treatments in the drug development pipeline and where we are on the path to 2025. Other sessions, which will uniquely emphasize the voices of individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia and caregivers throughout, will focus on prevention and risk reduction, the economic impact of Alzheimer’s on communities of color and on women, who disproportionately fill the role of caregivers.

Among the many distinguished speakers at the Summit will be U.S. Representatives Joe Kennedy (D-MA), Peter Roskam (R-IL), Linda Sanchez (D-CA) and Xavier Becerra (D-CA), as well as experts hailing from an array of companies and institutions, including Eli Lilly and Company, GE healthyimagination, AARP, the University of North Carolina, Boston University, New York Presbyterian Hospital, the Milken Institute and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions.

“For nearly 30 years, Lilly has worked to become a trusted partner in the global fight against Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dave Ricks, current President of Lilly Bio-Medicines and incoming President and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company, the underwriter sponsor of the Summit. “And while the path has been challenging, I’m inspired everyday by the commitment of our scientists and doctors to discovering the next potential scientific breakthrough in Alzheimer’s research, and those I consider to be true heroes: the roughly 10,000 clinical trial participants and their loved ones who have volunteered to be a part of our clinical studies.”   

Headlining the second day will be the “Out of the Shadows” dinner, featuring appearances by former First Lady Laura Bush, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). In addition, Greg O’Brien, author of On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s, will receive the inaugural Bea Lerner Valor Award for the hope and bravery exhibited in his personal battle against the disease.

 “The tremendous interest in this Summit is coming because virtually everyone has been touched by this disease. It’s bringing pain and sorrow to every community in the country and to far too many families and circles of loved ones,” said UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Co-Founder and Vice Chair Trish Vradenburg. “Our mission is to translate this pain, fear and loss into tangible, meaningful, game-changing action. We can see an Alzheimer’s cure in the foreseeable future, but only if we demand a full-out sprint to that finish line.”

During the Summit, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s will also launch the “Alzheimer’s Party,” a platform through which the next president and newly elected members of congress, without regard to political affiliation, can join together in a call to action to advance progress toward effective Alzheimer’s treatments and stronger policy action to improve the lives of patient and caregivers.

Relatedly, a significant component of the three-day event will be devoted to the organization of hundreds of activists from around the country fanning out across Capitol Hill on Thursday, September 29, when they will meet with members of the U.S. Senate and House, insisting that progress against the disease, on behalf of patients and caregivers, be given greater priority on the federal health care agenda.

The Summit will mark the first UsAgainstAlzheimer’s event since U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher was named to the board of the UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Network. He will join an esteemed group who work tirelessly to procure solutions and encourage investment to defeat Alzheimer’s disease. Click here to view quotes from a few UsAgainstAlzheimer’s board members, highlighting different Summit themes.

In addition, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s is pleased to recognize the voices of all its Summit sponsors. Click here to view quotes from spokespeople representing AT&T, Axovant Sciences, Eisai, Janssen, Merck and Volunteers of America.

Click here for Summit resources.


UsAgainstAlzheimer’s (UsA2) is an innovative non-profit organization demanding – and delivering – a solution to Alzheimer’s. Driven by the suffering of millions of families, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s presses for greater urgency from government, industry and the scientific community in the quest for an Alzheimer's cure – accomplishing this through effective leadership, collaborative advocacy, and strategic investments.

Founded in 2010, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s has worked across sectors to: (1) secure the national goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025 and help secure nearly $500 million in additional public funding for Alzheimer’s research over the past few years; (2) drive global efforts that resulted in the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations, the G7 group, to embrace a similar 2025 goal and to call for greater levels of research investment and collaboration; and (3) forge industry commitments to improve efficiencies for an expedited drug discovery and approval process.

Contact: Tim Tassa

Phone: 202-263-2580