There comes a time when someone evolves from feeling emotional about an issue to becoming active and raising awareness. This time for me happened in response to taking care of my grandmother until her death from late stages of Alzheimer’s. It was and still is a difficult time to endure the grief, but my pain is now my passion; my advocacy turned into action. I look up to other clinicians who use their experience to raise their voices on necessary issues for public health. And, I also look up to community leaders.
Representative John Lewis, I look up to you as an Honorable change agent for Marching On, Fighting for Peace, and Global Humanitarianism, as listed on your website. Your ability to make a difference prompts the world to listen and to act.
As a Member of Way and Means Committee, I would like to encourage you to be the Marcher, Fighter, and Humanitarian you are, to cosponsor the Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act (H. R. 1873). This legislation is essential to the promotion of dementia care planning through Medicare and for training of healthcare clinicians, including future advanced practice nurses like me, to better understand Alzheimer’s through education and discussion of the needs of older Americans. Additionally, it facilitates the reporting of barriers for individuals receiving care planning services and methods of usage from the Department of Health and Human Services. It has been proven that proper training and planning leads to fewer hospitalizations, fewer emergency room visits, and improved medication management for those dealing with cognitive impairment. This is important for the residents and the multiple healthcare systems of Atlanta, GA.
As your official Ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Association and as a nursing professional, I will continue to provide the information necessary to keep you and your staff updated on the needs of your constituents for healthcare policy. Thank you, Representative John Lewis, for everything that you have already done in the name of public health, for your help in the past with Alzheimer’s research, funding, and legislation, and for the future.
Lauren R. Cummings, RN (Nurse ElleRose)
Professional Registered Nurse
Alzheimer’s Association, Georgia Chapter