Reps. Vern Buchanan and Nanette Barragán and Elizabeth Fowler, Ph.D., J.D.,CMS Innovation Center, receive the AIM 2024 Humanitarian Award

Washington, D.C., April 9, 2024 — The Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) honored retiring Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) with the Alzheimer’s Association Lifetime Leadership Award. The Alzheimer’s Association and AIM also honored Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) and Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.) and Dr. Elizabeth Fowler, Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMS Innovation Center), with the 2024 AIM Humanitarian Award for their significant contributions to the Alzheimer’s and dementia community. These policymakers were recognized at the National Alzheimer’s Dinner during the AIM Advocacy Forum in a ceremony emceed by actor and Alzheimer’s Association advocate David Hyde Pierce.

“As innovative Alzheimer’s treatments bring new opportunities and challenges, we need to recognize leaders who have been instrumental in bringing us to this moment and are committed to improving the lives of those impacted by this devastating disease,” said Robert Egge, Alzheimer’s Association chief public policy officer and AIM president. “On behalf of the Alzheimer’s community, thank you to Senator Stabenow, Representatives Buchanan and Barragán, and Deputy Administrator and Director of CMMI Dr. Elizabeth Fowler. Because of your leadership, our nation is improving access to care and support for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia.”

Sen. Stabenow, who will retire from the U.S. Senate at the end of the 118th Congress, has been a steadfast champion for those impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementia throughout her time in office. Among her notable efforts, she was the lead sponsor on the bipartisan HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act, the Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act, and the Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer’s Act. Additionally, Sen. Stabenow cosponsored the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act, the ENACT Act, the NAPA Reauthorization Act, the Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act, and the BOLD Reauthorization Act.

Recognizing the broad bipartisan congressional support for the Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer’s Act, in July 2023 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a test initiative, the Guiding an Improved Dementia Experience (GUIDE) Model, which will be run through CMMI. GUIDE is consistent with the bipartisan Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer’s Act. 

Dr. Fowler has been a key leader in making GUIDE a reality. GUIDE’s innovative dementia care coordination approach will improve health outcomes for people living with dementia and their caregivers. 

Reps. Buchanan and Barragán introduced the bipartisan bill Mandating Exclusive Review of Individual Treatments (MERIT) Act in 2023 to ensure coverage of potentially life-saving drugs and new treatments for Medicare beneficiaries. This legislation was introduced following the actions by CMS that restricted access to FDA-approved Alzheimer’s treatments. Throughout their time in Congress, they have advanced policies that support those living with dementia and their caregivers, including ensuring access to FDA-approved Alzheimer’s treatments and support of historic federal research funding.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2024 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts & Figures report, direct costs to American society of caring for those with Alzheimer’s are projected to cost an estimated $360 billion, including $231 billion in Medicare and Medicaid payments. Families of those living with the disease will spend $91 billion on out-of-pocket costs to care for their loved ones this year, representing 25% of total costs for Alzheimer’s treatment.

The Alzheimer’s Association continues to lead the way in alleviating this burden on families, advancing research funding and improving care for people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association works with elected officials throughout the nation to advance legislation and increase research funding critical to the fight against Alzheimer’s and other dementia.