San Diego County Board of Supervisors

Contact: Steve Schmidt, 619-206-9108,


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­NEWS RELEASE





The Alzheimer’s Project, the county-led effort to combat the region’s third leading cause of death, has been awarded a $1 million federal grant to boost patient and family services.

The grant money will also be used to bolster training for social workers who assist Alzheimer’s caregivers and to better identify those with the disease and other forms of dementia.

“Families dealing with Alzheimer’s are often under a lot of stress and they need all the assistance we can give them. These federal funds will help us do that,” said county Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who led the creation of The Alzheimer’s Project in 2014. “The grant is the latest breakthrough in our efforts to tackle a disease that is nearing epidemic levels in San Diego.”

County Aging & Independence Services will oversee the grant-funded improvements, with assistance from Alzheimer’s San Diego.

Both are lead partners in The Alzheimer’s Project, along with Jacob, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the region’s top health care systems and research institutions.

“Alzheimer’s can be devastating on families and caregivers, which is why grants that allow us to provide additional services and care are so important,” Mayor Faulconer said. “This grant will help us improve care for patients and lift the spirits of those who care for them. It inspires San Diego's continued momentum toward addressing the Alzheimer’s epidemic and finding a cure.”

The project was created to accelerate the local search for a cure and to boost care and clinical services for the 62,000 San Diego County residents with the disease. Details on the initiative can be found on its new website -- .

“At Alzheimer’s San Diego we are committed to providing free care, support and resources for the thousands of San Diegans suffering from Alzheimer’s or another dementia and those who love and care for them,” said Mary Ball, the organization’s president and CEO. “Through strong local partnership and the leadership of Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Supervisor Dianne Jacob and San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore, together, we are making great progress in improving care and advancing critical local research for cure. However, as the number of those affected is skyrocketing, there is still much work to be done.”

The $1 million grant was awarded by the Administration on Aging, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Under the grant, Aging & Independence Services will develop a case management program to better serve dementia patients and will improve the ability of social workers to connect patients with resources. It also plans to expand respite services for family caregivers.

Since the creation of The Alzheimer’s Project in 2014, it has:

■ Developed the region’s first standards for the screening and management of dementia. These standards are being made available to 3,500 local primary care doctors to help them diagnose and assist Alzheimer’s patients.

■ Strengthened the safety net for those with dementia, through improvements in the Sheriff’s Department’s Take Me Home program and the region’s missing persons alert system.

■ Launched Collaboration4Cure, a research incubator on Torrey Pines Mesa, to help pave the way to a cure. Alzheimer’s San Diego is working with San Diego’s best and brightest brain researchers on the initiative.

■ Teamed up with the region’s largest public universities to boost training for the next generation of geriatric health care workers, with the help of a $2.5 million federal grant awarded to San Diego State University.