From Washington, D.C.

Senators Collins, King announce MaineHealth to receive nearly $1M for Alzheimer’s treatment

Posted:  Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 3:30pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, and Angus King announced today that the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration on Aging has awarded MaineHealth a grant of $957,096 to provide additional training to Alzheimer's caregivers and expand the reach of dementia-capable health care services.

"There are approximately 27,000 people in Maine living with Alzheimer's disease today, and that number will continue to rise as the state's population ages," said Senators Collins and King. "That's why the work of organizations like MaineHealth is so vital. By investing in an infrastructure of caregivers and building partnerships between different facets of our health care system, our state will be able to provide quality care to dementia patients and improve outcomes for Mainers. We're grateful for MaineHealth's work in this field and look forward to working alongside them while continuing to champion investments for research that can cure this devastating disease."

Dr. Heidi Wierman, Medical Director for Healthy Aging for the MaineHealth system and Division Director for Geriatrics at Maine Medical Center, said, "Building on the strong system and community partnerships and great work related to dementia already occurring in Maine, this grant expands the reach of the critical work identifying those individuals with dementia and improving their access to assistance. As important, it focuses on support for caregivers in our communities who often juggle children, work and their own health issues in addition to having a loved one or friend with dementia."

The grant will support caregivers in both Lincoln County and Greater Portland. MaineHealth, the largest health care organization in Maine, is a not-for-profit organization that focuses on improving health care outcomes within communities.

Earlier this year, the Senate Health Committee passed legislation introduced by Senator Collins, the founder and Co-Chair of the Senate Alzheimer's Task Force, to establish a national strategy to support family caregivers. The RAISE Family Caregivers Act will now be considered by the full Senate.