HHS Secretary Sebelius lauds goals achieved under National PlanMay 16, 2014
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius addresses the Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services.
The 2014 update to the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease was unveiled at the April 29 meeting of the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services in Washington, DC. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke briefly to the Council, which meets quarterly to advise the Secretary on the national effort to overcome the burden of dementia on people with the disorder, their families, and the health care system.
“I wanted to spend a few minutes to first of all say thank you,” Sebelius said. “[The Plan] informs policy and budget and strategic initiatives. We face huge challenges, and the work is far from over, but I don’t think there is any question that advances have been made.”
Updated annually since it was introduced in 2012, the Plan focuses on five goals: finding ways to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025; enhancing care for Alzheimer’s patients; expanding support for people with dementia and their families; improving public awareness; and carefully tracking data to support these efforts.
“With the third anniversary of the Plan, it’s time to reflect upon and think about what we’ll do going forward,” said Helen Lamont, of the HHS Office of Planning and Evaluation, who presented the Plan to the Council.
The revised plan includes detailed milestones that provide the Council and research community with a framework for tracking and reporting progress in critical research areas and translating results into clinical care and services for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.
Highlights HHS cited during the past year include:
- Identification of 11 Alzheimer’s risk genes, providing new insights about disease pathways and possible drug targets
- Dementia training and support to more than 23,000 health care providers
- Focused and coordinated public-private efforts that reduced by nearly 14 percent the inappropriate use of antipsychotics among long-stay nursing home residents with dementia
- Funding to states to develop dementia-capable long-term services and support system
The Plan also identifies the following action steps led by HHS to better research, treat, and prevent Alzheimer’s disease:
- Accelerate efforts to identify the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease and to develop and test targets for intervention
- Move research and care forward by increasing collaboration in science, data sharing, and priority setting among Alzheimer’s disease experts, health care providers, and caregivers
- Expand current work to strengthen dementia-care guidelines and quality measures, including meaningful outcomes for people with dementia and their families
- Help health care providers to better address ethical considerations related to caring for people with dementia, including how to balance privacy, autonomy, and safety
- Enhance support for global collaboration on dementia, including hosting a February 2015 follow-up meeting to the December 2013 G8 Summit on Dementia
The 2014 update to the National Plan is available at http://aspe.hhs.gov/daltcp/napa/NatlPlan2014.shtml.
Page last updated: May 20, 2014