UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Announced New Brain Health Equity Solutions
Dr. Jonathan Jackson Named as First Brain Health Equity Research Scholar
Washington, D.C. (December 3, 2020) – UsAgainstAlzheimer’s today announced several new efforts to improve equitable access to brain health for communities of color, including naming Jonathan Jackson, PhD, as the organization's first Brain Health Equity Research Scholar—an award that recognizes the health equity achievements of researchers in the Alzheimer's community.
Dr. Jackson is the founding executive director of the Community Access, Recruitment and Engagement Research Center (CARE) at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. CARE investigates the impact of diversity and inclusion on the quality of human subjects research and leverages deep community entrenchment to build empowerment and overcome barriers to clinical trial participation.
As part of the award, Jackson will conduct research using the National Alzheimer’s Disease Index™ to develop new models for equitable research engagement and recruitment with a focus on expanding access to research into underserved communities.
“Building a science of engagement and retention in Alzheimer’s research is critical to developing long term solutions rooted in justice and health equity,” Jackson said. “I’m thrilled to do this work in partnership with UsAgainstAlzheimer’s and I’m honored by this recognition.”
“Jonathan Jackson's commitment to health equity as a scientific imperative in the field of brain health makes him more than deserving of this award," said Jason Resendez, executive director of the UsAgainstAlzheimer's Center for Brain Health Equity. "His leadership has been instrumental in the development of the National Alzheimer’s Disease Index™ and our work to harness community data to drive access and inclusion in Alzheimer's research and health services."
The Brain Health Equity Research Scholar Award is part of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s larger strategy for driving brain health equity through community capacity building and data innovation. This work builds on UsA2’s recently established Center for Brain Health Equity, which is supported, in part, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
UsA2 also has launched an online brain health equity hub to house data and insights on the impacts of Alzheimer’s communities of color and women. The data hub includes the recently-issued report by UsA2 and the Urban Institute that highlighted the effects of where people live on their brain health.
That report found deep social inequities in counties most highly impacted by Alzheimer’s disease among Latinos and Blacks in the Medicare Fee-for-Service program. It compared counties with the highest prevalence of Alzheimer’s among Blacks, Latinos, and non-Latino Whites against counties with the lowest prevalence among these populations to identify trends related to the social determinants of health and risk factors for Alzheimer’s.
UsAgainstAlzheimer’s (UsA2) is a disruptive advocacy and research-focused organization that is pushing for expanding treatments and accelerating towards a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. UsA2’s transformative programming is laser-focused on proactive brain health across the lifespan and understanding what matters most across the lived experiences of those affected by Alzheimer’s in the service of preventing, treating and curing this disease. We are working to ensure that all communities have their voices heard and get a chance to be brain healthy from the earliest years while building resistance against possible cognitive decline.