PITTSFIELD — State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield, has been re-appointed to the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Advisory Council, according to a statement released Thursday by her office.
The council was established in August 2018 as part of an integrated state plan to address Alzheimer’s disease, the statement said. It requires that content about Alzheimer’s and related dementias be incorporated into continuing medical education programs that are required for the granting or renewal of licensure for physicians, nurses and physicians’ assistants.
“The work of the Council is both important and impactful.” Farley-Bouvier said in prepared remarks. “I am pleased to be able to offer my services on behalf of the many people in the Berkshires and throughout the Commonwealth who are impacted by Alzheimer’s and related diseases.”
There are about 130,000 people in Massachusetts living with dementia supported by over 340,000 family caregivers, the statement said. An estimated 50 percent of Americans living with dementia are undiagnosed, meaning at least an additional 130,000 residents are living with this condition without a formal diagnosis.
The council is charged with advising the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the Legislature on Alzheimer’s disease policy. It is comprised of the secretary of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs and a diverse panel of public health professionals, clinicians, health care providers, researchers, legislators, dementia advocates, and caregivers.
Farley-Bouvier co-chairs the Diagnosis and Services Navigation Workgroup with Jim Wessler, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter and New England Regional Leader. In the last year they created recommendations and implementation strategies for diagnosis and service navigation.
Farley-Bouvier’s mother was diagnosed with early onset dementia when the representative was a child.
“Like many on the Council, I seek to bring a perspective of lived experience that can take policy and craft it into action plans that have a genuine impact on individuals living with dementia and the people that care for them,” she said.