News Release, Alzheimer’s Association®

[McLean, VA]  March 3, 2020 – Two Charles County residents and 21 Prince George’s County residents were among a statewide team of more than 100 Alzheimer’s State Champions who traveled to Annapolis on January 30 for the Alzheimer’s Association annual Maryland State Advocacy Day. Attending this annual advocacy event were:

  • Margarett Baltimore
  • Romaine Brandford
  • Fran Braxton Downs
  • Marian Dickson
  • Anna Friday
  • Pat Harrison
  • Josephine Herring
  • Vanessa Hooker
  • Harriett Irving
  • Annette Jackson
  • Carlotta Jackson
  • Lorna Jones
  • Vivian McAllister
  • Lizbeth McManus
  • Irma Nicholson
  • Dr. LaRah Payne
  • Reitha Ray
  • Barbara Roberts
  • Briana Slater
  • Vivian Suggs
  • Shirley Young
  • Jane Washington
  • Carmella Watkins

Working with staff and fellow advocates representing both the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter and the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Maryland Chapter, these State Champions shared their experiences and challenges in caring for family members and friends with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and asked legislators to support four key pieces of legislation focusing on:

  • Increasing public awareness, early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Building a dementia-capable workforce
  • Increasing access to home- and community-based services
  • Enhancing the quality of care in residential settings

According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts & Figures report, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. An estimated 110,000 Marylanders have Alzheimer’s, with a projected increase to 130,000 by 2025 barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or cure the disease. More than 293,000 caregivers in Maryland – family members and friends – provided 334 million hours of unpaid care valued at $4.2 million in 2018.

In addition to the human toll of the disease, care for Alzheimer’s cost the nation $277 billion in 2018, with projections to reach $1.1 trillion by 2050. State governments are increasingly on the front lines in addressing the Alzheimer’s crisis, the care and support needs of families facing the disease and its impact on local economies.

Maryland State Champions Dr. LaRah Payne and Carmella Watkins also will attend the upcoming Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) Advocacy Forum in Washington, D.C. from March 22 – 24, 2020. The AIM Advocacy Forum is the nation’s premier Alzheimer’s disease advocacy event. More than 1,000 advocates from across the country are expected to attend. Watkins also volunteers as the Alzheimer’s Association Ambassador to Congressman Steny Hoyer, Majority Leader of the United States House of Representatives.

Maryland residents interested in learning more about the Maryland State Core Bill Priorities may visit Those interested in learning more about the AIM Forum and/or advocacy opportunities may contact Sadaf Ahmad, Senior Advocacy Manager, at 410.885.1978 x1977 or at

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...