Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia and the most rapidly increasing cause of death in the US. Effective strategies are urgently needed to prevent and treat this major public health threat, including better diagnostic tools and treatments and more information on AD in diverse populations.
Recent evidence confirms that AD is a major health concern for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. A 2014 report by the US Census Bureau projects that the proportion of AI/ANs aged 65 and older will more than double in the next 3 decades, from 9.2% of the overall AI/AN population to 22.9%. Compared to the US general population, AI/AN elders are at greater risk of numerous acute and chronic health conditions. They also suffer more physical and mental health comorbidities and have limited access to timely healthcare.
Emerging needs of the aging AI/AN population must be identified, and improvements must be made in dementia screening and diagnosis.

Partnerships for Native Health addresses AD disparities by expanding outreach, research recruitment, and educational activities on AD and dementia. For clinics and community org- anizations, we offer the following:

  • Clinic Outreach Presentation – a 45-minute in- person presentation for clinic leadership and staff to learn about research opportunities and improve their knowledge of AD diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
  • In-Service Presentation – a 30-minute interactive presentation for patients, especially Elders Groups and other wellness group meetings. We will provide lunch and educational materials for participants.
  • Educational materials on AD and dementia, including culturally tailored brochures and clinic posters.
    We can also help your organization host a memory screening event, and we can arrange training to improve providers’ skills in diagnosing dementia.

Funding Agency: National Institute on Aging
Project Name: Satellite Core, University of Washington Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (P50AG005136-35): Outreach, Research, and Education Core
Project Years: 2016 – 2020
Partners: Washington State Tribes, Tribal Health Clinics, Urban Indian Health Organizations
Project Leaders: Dedra Buchwald, MD; Meghan Jernigan, MPH