Nationwide — The African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME Church) and the Alzheimer’s Association recently announced it is renewing their nationwide partnership, aimed at educating and engaging more than 2 million U.S.-based AME Church members in the fight against Alzheimer’s, for five more years.
Since the partnership began in 2019, more than 1,600 AME Church members have attended dementia education programs. In addition, more than 5,000 AME Church members have participated in Connectional Purple Sunday events, which provide AME members with disease-related information and care and support resources available through the Alzheimer’s Association.
“Diversity, equity and inclusion are fundamental to the pursuit of our mission,” said Dr. Carl V. Hill, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Alzheimer’s Association. “Our work with the AME Church and other organizations that represent and advocate for underserved communities enables us to expand our outreach, providing more people with resources and support to address the Alzheimer’s and other dementia crises.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, older Black Americans are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than White Americans. Black Americans are also less likely to receive a timely diagnosis, with many receiving a diagnosis much later in the disease, when their medical needs are greater.
“It is our desire to create forums that educate while shining a light on the abundance of AME professionals who are trained and qualified to lead, guide and direct us on a wide variety of (holistic) health topics,” said Dr. Miriam Burnett, Medical Director, AME Church International Health Commission. “We are grateful that we are positioned and excel in providing health education and promotion activities as well as potential services. As a result of this collaboration there would be expanded community outreach efforts; expanded awareness of support services for families affected by Alzheimer’s; expanded opportunities to promote and influence dementia related public policy; expanded awareness to increase knowledge of Alzheimer’s risks and symptoms; and expanded support for Alzheimer’s programming and research.”