“June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month. Could there be a better way to recognize the importance of this month than to have the Governor sign a major piece of legislation?”
On June 18, Governor Rick Scott signed into law House Bill 709 relating to Alzheimer’s. Representative Matt Hudson, Naples, and Senator Garrett Richter, Naples, were sponsors of this legislation.
This new law creates the Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program that funds and promotes research in Florida designed to improve diagnosis and treatment for Alzheimer’s patients. However, the ultimate goal is to find a cure and prevent this debilitating disease. The 2014-15 State Budget included an additional $3 million for the Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer's Disease Research Program.
This law also requires the Department of Elder Affairs to develop minimum performance standards for memory-disorder clinics, as well as performance goals beyond the minimum standards to encourage clinics to strive for the highest levels of performance. Finally, the new law improves the registration and management of special need shelters and emergency operations to better help and serve Floridians with Alzheimer’s disease and caregivers during a disaster.
House Bill 709 was a result from the recommendations made by the Purple Ribbon Task Force which was spearheaded by the Alzheimer’s Association during the 2012 Legislative Session.
The 2014 Legislature and the Governor also approved:
* $4 million additional funds for Alzheimer/respite services to reduce the number of individuals on the wait list.
* $35,000 to include cognitive impairment questions in a statewide survey conducted by the Florida Department of Health. Data from the survey can help advocates and state policy makers increase public awareness about Alzheimer's and guide decision making and funding.
About the Alzheimer’s Association Southeast Florida Chapter
The Alzheimer's Association, Southeast Florida Chapter is a local 501 (c) 3 organization committed to helping the families of Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. For more information or to make a donation, please call the Southeast Florida Chapter at (800) 272- 3900 or visit www.alz.org/