To the Editor:

The full Rhode Island Senate voted unanimously, 37-0, Tuesday evening to pass Senate Bill 223 to establish a program within the Department of Health to address Alzheimer’s disease. And the House of Representatives is on the precipice of doing the same. 

This bill not only creates a directive for an individual within the Department of Health to coordinate a program but also forms an advisory council made up of community partners and stakeholders as well as requires Alzheimer’s and dementia training for physicians and nurses and calls for medical facilities to have a written Alzheimer’s plan. 

Massachusetts has passed a similar law in 2018, and the time is now to continue to lead and show the country that our state is addressing this public health crisis head on.  We thank House Majority Leader Joseph Shekarchi for sponsoring and providing leadership to the comprehensive House Alzheimer’s and Dementia legislation -- H5178. We hope this bill passes the House of Representatives in RI, and, once enacted, we will be a leader in improving the quality of care and advance detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Eric Creamer

Alzheimer’s Association 

Rhode Island Chapter

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