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Calif group splits from Alzheimer's Association

January 8, 2016
by Pamela Tabar, Editor-in-Chief
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The Los Angeles regional chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is choosing to leave the national body and form its own association, the LA chapter announced late Friday.  The departure is linked to the national organization's restructuring, in the after-math of the national association’s balloted move last fall to consolidate the financial and administrative efforts into one centrally managed entity, notes an article in Kaiser Health News.

Prior to the October 2015 vote for national consolidation, the Alzheimer’s Association had been a conglomerate of regional chapters—where each of its 54 regional chapters had been considered an independent nonprofit organizations that governed its own funds.

"We need to be taking care of more people, we need to be raising more money for research and we need to increase awareness and concern about the disease," said Stewart Putnam, chair of the national board of directors, in the KHN article. "By working together as one organization, we believe we can be more effective at that."

Susan Galeas, president and CEO of the new LA organization, known as "Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles," says striking out on their own will enable more flexibility, especially in attention to region-specific needs. "There was a legitimate concern that would diminish over time," she said. "It was in the best interest of the communities that we serve –and the growing number of people who are going to be affected by this disease—to make a change."

The former LA chapter includes the state’s counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside. The recent departure joins four other chapters who have chosen to leave the national organization to date.

Following its October vote, the national Alzheimer’s Association board has given all regional chapters the option to join with the new national organizational structure or strike out on their own, with a deadline of Jan. 15.


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