Employee Resource Group leads participation in Phoenix community event
PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–University of Phoenix employees support the Phoenix Pride Parade, held November 6, the annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community held in Phoenix, Arizona. University of Phoenix Employee Resource Group (ERG), Allies of Pride, with over 500 members, promotes the event to staff, students and faculty and provides volunteer support.
During the pandemic, many similar celebrations and in-person community events and support opportunities were cancelled or delayed.
“It’s important to remember that Pride is not just a parade or a specific month in which we celebrate. Pride is what we do every day. It’s what’s inside us, how we live our lives open and honestly and how we support each other. Pride is never cancelled,” shares Julie Fink, vice president of Human Resources at University of Phoenix. “However, we are excited to have a visual and in-person celebration of our community and support for each other, which is so critical as we emerge from a very difficult year and a half. This parade is an opportunity to celebrate, be together, and to support our loved ones, family members, and each other.”
The purpose of Allies of Pride employee resource group is to promote awareness within the University and community of LGBTQ understanding and acceptance. Additionally, the goal is to attract “allies” who support LGBTQ causes and rights to create a stronger support network both internally and externally of the organization.
“The University of Phoenix is dedicated to the work of advancing inclusion as part of its focus on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB),” Fink states. “It has received perfect successive scores on the HRC Corporate Equality Index. This highlights the University’s willingness to review practices to make changes or adapt to evolving nondiscrimination views.”
The HRC Corporate Equality Index is a self-reported system that evaluates workplace equality in regard to specific criteria, including workforce protections, inclusive benefits, supporting an inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility, and responsible citizenship. University of Phoenix has received a perfect Equality Index score consecutively over the past four years.
University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit phoenix.edu.
Founded by law students Katharine Nakaue (she/they) and Greg Newman-Martinez (he/him), both in the evening program at New England Law, the Identity Affirmation Project aims to assist transgender, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming people in the process of legally changing their name or gender marker in Massachusetts, including probate court filings.
When a person identifies by a name or gender other than what was assigned at birth, they may seek to legally change their name or gender marker so official documents match their identity. The project’s mission is to guide people through often overwhelming legal steps at no cost.
After months of research, building community connections, and securing final approval from the Law Center’s Director, Professor David Siegel (he/him), the Identity Affirmation Project (IAP) is officially accepting participant inquiry forms from individuals who wish to start the legal name change process. For now, participants must be U.S. citizens, Massachusetts residents, and at least 18 years of age.
Co-founder Greg Newman-Martinez says they hope to expand services as the project grows. “We are so excited to be able to fill this need and provide some peace of mind for trans, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming adults in Massachusetts. During the pilot phase, we successfully assisted several clients and also discovered that we would be able to take on more clients than originally anticipated. My hope, in addition to seeing this project continue to grow, is that similar services will be available across the country, and ultimately that these processes will become less burdensome.”
The probate filing process is often the most difficult to navigate. IAP participants receive assistance filing in probate court, and with name or gender marker changes on the following documentation:
Social Security Card
MA Driver’s License
MA Birth Certificate
Other documents as needed
Fees associated with these documents may apply. Services through the Identity Affirmation Project are provided at no cost to the participant and volunteers can assist with seeking a waiver for court fees. Student volunteers guide participants through the probate and documentation processes with oversight from the project’s faculty advisor, Director of the Center for Law and Social Responsibility at New England Law, Professor David Siegel.
Siegel explained the importance of such work for the students as well as the individuals receiving assistance. “Fostering student-initiated, student-driven, and student-led projects like this is exactly why we created the Center for Law and Social Responsibility. Students who recognize critical legal needs and develop ways to meet them become lawyers who have impact.”
For more details, contact information, and an inquiry form for interested participants, visit www.nesl.edu/IAP.
ABOUT NEW ENGLAND LAW | BOSTON
New England Law | Boston was founded in 1908 as Portia Law School, the first and only law school established exclusively for the education of women. Today, New England Law offers its co-ed student body flexible, convenient programs that combine rigorous academics, dynamic community, and early access to practical experience, as well as a diverse, global alumni network spanning 29 countries, 50 states, and 99 practice areas. For more information, visit www.nesl.edu.
The Connie Norman Trans Empowerment Center, a facility of, by and for Trans and Non-Binary individuals, will formally open in West Hollywood
Ribbon-cutting, Reception and Tours: Friday, September 10, 2021, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#CONOCenter–The Connie Norman Trans Empowerment Center—believed to be the first facility of its kind nationwide serving Trans and Non-Binary individuals and communities of, by and for Trans and nonbinary individuals—will open in West Hollywood, CA (1001 N. Martel Ave., 90046) on Friday, September 10, 2021, with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony, reception and tours of the facility between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm PT. NOTE: The ribbon-cutting event is set to take place at 4:45 pm.
The facility is named and being dedicated in honor of Connie Norman, known as the ‘AIDS Diva,’ a fearless Transgender and AIDS activist who died of the disease in 1996. The Connie Norman Trans Empowerment Center will serve as a home for several Trans-led organizations including FLUX and the Unique Woman’s Coalition (UWC). The center will focus on building capacity, advocacy and overall health and wellness of the Transgender and Non-Binary communities. Built and originally operated by AHF in the 1990s as Linn House, a hospice for people dying from AIDS, this 20,000 square-foot building is now repurposed to function as a sort of ‘WeWork’ space for Trans-led organizations to have a place to do their work, grow and be affirmed.
RIBBON-CUTTING & DEDICATION of the CONNIE NORMAN TRANS EMPOWERMENT CENTER
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), FLUX, an AHF affinity group dedicated to creating safe spaces for Trans and gender non-conforming individuals through advocacy and outreach, and Unique Woman’s Coalition (UWC), a collective voice centering on the narratives and needs of Black Trans culture and a group committed to fostering the next generation of black Trans leadership, are teaming together in this innovative center with the intention of creating a long term home for Trans-led organizations and community.
“Named after a Diva like Connie Norman, supported by an institution like AHF and lead by two respected Trans orgs like the UWC and FLUX—this is historic! An entire building where trans people are at the helm, making decisions and innovating,” said Queen Victoria Ortega, Founder and International President of FLUX. “We are committed to making sure our community has a voice. Now, we have this incredible building as a home for those voices. I believe that great things are going to happen here, really great things!”
“Unique Woman’s Coalition is excited to embark on this incredible new partnership. This facility brings us one step closer to achieving equity for Trans and Non-Binary communities here in Southern California and my hope is that it may also serve as a model for such Trans service facilities across the country,” said Chela Demuir, Pioneer, Founder and Executive Director of Unique Woman’s Coalition and International Vice President of FLUX.
Connie Norman, the self-appointed “AIDS Diva,” was a fearless ‘transsexual’ AIDS activist so far ahead of her time that her lifetime experience and tireless activism preceded widespread use of the term Transgender. A member of Act Up Los Angeles and passionate advocate for the creation of AHF’s first AIDS care facility, the Chris Brownlie Hospice, where she passed away from AIDS after admitting herself, she told the LA Weekly at the time in 1996, in a final act of “self-loving to myself.”
Director Dante Allencastre was so captivated by Norman’s trailblazing story that he researched, produced and directed “AIDS Diva: The Legend of Connie Norman,” a new documentary that recently screened at the Directors Guild as part of OUTFEST. Throughout the film, Norman’s activism, passions and larger-than-life personality—as well as her humanity—come through in remarkable archival footage and compelling interviews with many who knew and loved her. In one clip, Norman remarks: “I often tell people that I am an ex-drag queen, ex-hooker, ex-IV drug user, ex-high-risk youth, and current postoperative transsexual woman who is HIV positive” and simply “a human being seeking my humanity.”
“When Connie Norman was living her final days at AHF’s Chris Brownlie Hospice, she bequeathed her childhood teddy bear to me, asking that I please help look after her Trans sisters and brothers she was leaving behind. I can think of no better way to honor that request than with this Connie Norman Trans Empowerment Center that we dedicate today,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AHF and a good friend of Norman’s.
Norman’s teddy bear will also now take up residence at the new facility in a commemorative plexiglass display case. In addition, September 10th 2021 will also be known as Connie Norman Transgender Empowerment Day via proclamation by the City of West of West Hollywood.
The facility will also be home to a food bank opening onsite Monday, September 13th (12 noon- 2:00 pm). A ‘Clothing Closet’ to assist Trans and other individuals will also open onsite in the future and an AHF Healthcare Center serving the needs of Trans and nonbinary patients is set to open in 2022.
A prior, star-studded gala kickoff reception for the Connie Norman Trans Empowerment Center was held at Nobu in West Hollywood on Monday, August 23rd (to view photos from Nobu event, click here).
Call to Action: Donate to the trans organizations housed at the Connie Norman Transgender Empowerment Center to ensure their success. Website: www.FLUXidentity.org
In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with Joseph Barb founder of the LGBTQ+ Family Connections Center located in South Dakota that supports LGBTQ+ homeless youth.. Be sure to watch or listen to this full episode.
Joe has a career background in corporate human resources and had a moment of realization that turned his life to focus on the underserved LGBTQ+ community in South Dakota. Growing up in Connecticut where he had 3 LGBTQ+ community centers all nearby. However, where he, his husband and their son (pictured with him in the thumbnail/feature image) now live in South Dakota and throughout the Mid-West has very few if any community resources. This became blatantly apparent when one day he was at his barber. His barber shared that his transgender son was kicked out of his biological father’s home with just a trash bag of clothes and dropped on the doorstep of his barber and his wife, the son’s mother. Joe learned that the barber was having a difficult time finding supporting counseling for his family. From that, the non-profit was born. As of mid-2021, there are 1,764,000 homeless youth ages 13-24 in the United States.
The housing and economic insecurity is so great within our community (supported by studies), especially for youth. Youth today are more comfortable with who they are at much earlier ages than past generations. If they come out or show signs of being LGBTQ+ they still face rejection by family and can face getting kicked out of their family homes. They often are unprepared to live life on their own lacking basic life skills, work skills, and support resources. Sometimes their families make it even harder by not providing documentation such as their birth certificate or social security card leaving them unable to obtain driver’s license or state-issued ID cards. Some parents who reject their child have to be taken to court to be forced to provide the basic document. Without the basic documentation, they cannot get a job or if they can afford it, cannot rent a place to live.
Some find temporary shelter surfing couches. This, however, is not home security and luckily the US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) now recognize this.
Joe though the LGBTQ+ Family Connections Center non-profit has started providing virtual counseling with a growing team of volunteer social workers, referral to LGBTQ+ supportive counselors, and other services. He wants to provide stability and towards doing so, he has identified a property that has fully equipped private cabins with living space, a small kitchen, and a bedroom. The center also has buildings for a community center and counseling center.
The LGBTQ+ Family Connections Center will be doing more than providing a roof over the rejected LGBTQ+ youth’s heads. They will be providing counseling, job skill training to set them off on a career – not just a fast-food restaurant job, casual and work clothing, internship opportunities, and job search guidance. Remember, Joe is a past corporate HR professional.
Joe has established a strong working relationship with HUD and completed the first HUD grant application. All grants however can take 18-months to several years to be awarded. Joe is seeking business/corporate sponsorships as well. Not only will they accept personal clothing donations, but he hopes to gain corporate sponsors for technology, food, clothing, shoes, and all other basics the non-profit and these young people will need to exist, grow, and thrive into healthy, active, and successful people. If you happen to have a contact within a business/corporation that you feel might be open to helping, he’d love to chat with you.
There are LGBTQ+ youth who need help right now. Joe and his husband have been supporting this financially and Joe working on average 70 hours a week.
As mentioned, grants and corporate support take quite a bit of time to acquire. Therefore, Joe and the LGBTQ+ Family Connections Center are seeking to raise funds to purchase this beautiful property and are calling on the LGBTQ+ community everywhere to please donate. You may live in a city now, but like many, you may have migrated away from your hometown to a larger community. Not all LGBTQ+ choose to or have the financial ability to do the same. This may not be where you grew up, but can you identify with it? Can you empathize with these youth who need your help? The link to the fundraiser is: https://givebutter.com/gqZVcB
Learn more here: https://lgbtqfamilyconnectionscenter.net
Check out this short video on the center:
Join us on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies, and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality-focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with Stephen Crawford a Business Coach who focuses on the end game.
Stephen Crawford throughout his career has been a teacher and/or coach in some manner. For the bulk of his career, he was a vocal coach helping his clients and students be pitch-perfect while performing and guiding their careers. He has owned two successful vocal studios and has clients who have gone on to reach prestigious positions.
17:30 Document your processes – even if you are a baker, document recipes so all things are repeatable by others
19:00 Stephen shares information about the methods and their profit accelerator business survey that covers 40 areas of a business
22:50 Stephen provides a prioritized approach so that business owners can incrementally work on what is the most important and growth-oriented
25:30 In the past you may have hired a coach and didn’t get the actionable results desired. Stephen’s tools provide actionable prioritized reports and guidance.
29:00 Stephen assists professionals with their webinars, presentation, and public speaking game. We further discuss how business owners should leverage video and audio to promote their knowledge, products, and services in an informational way.
Stephen focuses on the end game of what the client is wanting to achieve and then works systematically with them to help them shift their mindset to remove the stumbling blocks that are holding them back. Stephen has taken his past and realized his skills, knowledge, passion, and expertise can help small businesses. He launched Infinite Symmetry Business Strategies as an independent small business consulting agency under a national Business Services company that provides a researched methodology to structure his consulting practice with tools and resources.
One of those tools is a comprehensive business survey that helps Stephen and the business owner uncover underdeveloped or missing core business structures, processes, marketing channels, and key business documents. There are over 40 areas of insights in this survey and its personalized report. From completing it, along with the businesses owners’ stated goals, Stephen can then make prioritized recommendations.
In our conversation, Stephen provided an example of how a business owner due to a family unexpected health issue had to sell her business. She was not prepared and basically had to walk away from all her years of working to build and sustain it. Had she previously worked with Stephen, gotten prepared with the legal documents, documented business processes, a growth plan, a solid marketing plan, insurances, clear accounting, and an exit strategy, she would have been in a much better place financially and emotionally.
Having a business exit strategy is not just a single document. Think of it as an athlete whose goal is to compete in the Olympics. Writing on a piece of paper, “I want to compete in the Olympics” is great. But it won’t get you there. An effective business exit strategy relies on all the areas of the business to be strong, documented thoroughly, and in place right now. Waiting until you need or want to exit is likely too late.
Do you think you are leaving your business to your child/ren? Have they worked in the business long enough to know how it fully operates? A great exercise would be to have them assist in the forming of the exit strategy. As they assist in process documentation and all the other aspects they’ll gain a fuller knowledge and understanding along with being able to contribute to some of the decision makings. Having an exit strategy also prepares a business to raise capital from investors or secure a good business loan.
You owe it to yourself to have your business as strong and ready as it can be. Reach out to Stephen today to set up an initial conversation.
To connect with Stephen you can find him on OutBüro here. https://outburo.com/profile/stephengetsmorecash4u/ Join us on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online networking community for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies, and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality-focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco. https://outburo.com/recommend-a-guest/
Shared Traits Common Between Patients and Providers
PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–HealthSparq, a healthcare guidance and transparency company, today announced new consumer research on how discrimination shapes healthcare interactions and provider selection. The survey found one in four people are very or extremely concerned about discrimination in healthcare due to their race or the language they speak. These and other survey findings highlight the unique opportunity health plans have to address system inequities by helping patients find providers they trust.
Notable findings include:
Nearly half of people who identify as LGBTQ feel they have been discriminated against based on sexual orientation.
Among African Americans who have experienced discrimination, 77% feel it was due to their ethnicity or race.
Shared traits are extremely common between patients and providers: two-thirds of respondents reported having a doctor of the same gender. Shared race is also frequent.
When selecting providers, location and gender are more important when it comes to choosing a PCP, while specialization, experience, affiliation, and education/training are more important when choosing a specialist.
Discrimination not only impacts the care people seek, but being discriminated against drives them to take action. When faced with discrimination, 61% report switching providers, 21% discuss the discrimination with someone else at the provider’s office, and 7% change insurance coverage.
“Both data and personal stories continue to underscore that healthcare isn’t equitable in this country. Factors such as race, income, and zip code result in lower quality healthcare and outcomes,” said Mark Menton, General Manager of HealthSparq. “With this survey, we wanted to find out what’s most important for people in historically underrepresented groups as they navigate healthcare and choose providers. We found that people often seek providers they share traits with, like common language, gender and race. In fact, shared traits seem to be a powerful indicator of the patient-provider relationship. About half of consumers feel that having shared traits with their healthcare providers assures better care and more open discussion.”
The survey revealed what people look for when selecting care, which coupled with findings related to discrimination, present an opportunity to help connect patients with the providers they want most. In addition to shared traits, respondents reported a variety of characteristics important when researching providers or selecting a new provider, with quality of care at the top of the list, followed by education, ratings/reviews, specialization in age/condition, and treatment philosophy.
Six in ten respondents report using their health insurance plan’s website to gather information on providers, which underscores the important role health plans have in facilitating trusting relationships between patients and providers. By offering more robust provider information in their online directories, health plans can enable individuals to self-select a provider who they share traits with and can trust. While sharing more detailed provider information will not solve decades of unequal access to care and discrimination, it is one step in the right direction to improving access and outcomes.
At HealthSparq, we help people make smarter healthcare choices by partnering with health plans to share cost and quality information about doctors, hospitals, medical services, and medications. Serving more than 80 million members across the country, we put people at the core of everything we do by conducting continuous usability testing, turning consumer research into product innovations, hosting industry panels featuring everyday people, and bringing human stories to the forefront through our #WTFix campaign. Using these insights, we create solutions to help people understand and navigate the healthcare system better than ever before.
Born inside a health plan in Portland, OR, we’ve been growing since our 2012 corporate founding. In 2021, we became part of Kyruus, the leader in provider search and scheduling solutions for health systems, to pursue a shared vision of connecting people to the right care. Contact us at HealthSparq.com or tweet us @HealthSparq.
HARTFORD, Conn., July 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — From 1994 to 2020, public acceptance of LGBTQ+ people rose from 46% to 72%. This meteoric rise is due, in part, to the pioneering work of American colleges and universities.
Some began their efforts even before the American Psychiatric Association dropped its categorization of homosexuality as a mental illness in 1973
Given the progress, College Values Online studied and ranked the top 30 colleges that continue to find innovative ways to recognize and include the LGBTQ+ community into society.
“During pride month, we took the opportunity to examine which colleges were finding ways to break down barriers and make their campuses a safer, more inclusive space for their LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff,” said Julia McCaulley, College Values Online Editor. “What we found was very encouraging. Acceptance of diversity is a crucial aspect, not only to those within the LGBTQ+ community but to everybody who works, studies, and lives on college campuses across the country. We are pleased to present the schools that earned top marks for promoting these changes!”
The University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan Thanks to LGBTQ+ activists at the University of Michigan, the college made history in 1971 when it opened the first staff office for LGBTQ+ students in an American institution of higher learning. The two-person staff created a system of peer advisors trained to help LGBTQ+ students. Today, LGBTQ+ issues are promoted throughout the college. For instance, its medical school ensures that all of its students learn about LGBTQ+ health concerns. Campus Pride names it one of the best LGBTQ+ colleges in America.
University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, California This university has led significant achievements in LGBTQ+ rights. Perhaps the earliest indirect accomplishment was the graduation of John Burnside, who later founded the Los Angeles Gay Liberation Front. In the 1950s, a college urologist performed one of the earliest gender-reassignment surgeries. One of its psychologists published research showing that homosexuality was not a psychological disease. Pioneering achievements continue at UCLA. For instance, the college’s health department has been tracking transgender and nonbinary experiences during the pandemic in the hopes of providing better care.
University of Oregon Eugene, Oregon The University of Oregon has seen more than four decades of grassroots activism by LGBTQ+ students, faculty and staff, and community allies. In 1969, the University became home to the Gay People’s Alliance. The first accommodation that the college provided to LGBTQ+ people took place in 1971, when the college adopted equal employment opportunities, by stating that it would not regard any “extraneous considerations” in hiring decisions. In 1992, the college formed the Standing Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT). Today, the college encourages equality in many ways, such as the John R. Moore Scholarship, which gives students $2,000 for excelling in contributing to the LGBTQ+ community at the college.
Purdue University West Lafayette, Indiana The first LGBTQ group on the Purdue University campus was the Purdue Gay Alliance, formed in 1971. A few years later, the college became home to the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Women’s Alliance. Today, the college’s LGBTQ+ Center hosts a wide range of welcoming activities. Higher Education Today notes that Purdue University has one of the best LGBTQ inclusion policies in America.
Stanford University Stanford, California The Stanford Sexual Rights Forum was founded in 1965. This student organization became the first student group to advocate nationally for civil rights for LGBTQ+ people. In 1968, the college also saw the foundation of the Homophile League of Stanford University, the second homosexual student group in America. It was followed up in 1970 with the Stanford Gay Students Union. More achievements included the first gay studies course in 1973 and the tenured hiring of the first openly gay professor at the college in 1977. More recently, the college introduced the Stanford LGBT Executive Leadership Program in 2016.
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania The University of Pennsylvania is home to the second oldest LGBTQ+ center in America, which opened in 1982. It has grown over the years and today occupies an entire building on campus. Additionally, the college’s hospitals are renowned for LGBTQ+ patient care. In fact, in 2018, Human Rights Campaign stated that the hospitals were leading LGBTQ+ healthcare equality efforts. Fastweb names the University of Pennsylvania the most LGBTQ+-friendly college.
For the complete list and ranking methodology, click here.
DENVER, July 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC®) 2021 suggests COVID-19 is associated with long-term cognitive dysfunction and acceleration of Alzheimer’s disease pathology and symptoms. These studies were among several pieces of groundbreaking research featured at AAIC 2021.
“These new data point to disturbing trends showing COVID-19 infections leading to lasting cognitive impairment and even Alzheimer’s symptoms,” said Heather Snyder, Ph.D., Alzheimer’s Association vice president of medical and scientific relations. “With more than 190 million cases and over 4 million deaths worldwide, COVID-19 has devastated the entire world. It is imperative that we continue to study what this virus is doing to our body and brain.”
Other new data reported at AAIC 2021 included:
Improving air quality may reduce dementia risk.
Global prevalence of dementia is expected to nearly triple to more than 152 million by 2050.
Transgender and gender nonbinary adults in the United States are more likely to report worsening memory and thinking, functional limitations and depression than cisgender individuals.
Communities of color, historically underrepresented in dementia research, are more willing to participate if they are invited, want to contribute to the study’s goal or have a family member with dementia.
With FDA-accelerated approval of aducanumab (Aduhelm, Biogen/Eisai) for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and mild Alzheimer’s, there is new energy and interest in other treatments in the Alzheimer’s/dementia therapeutic pipeline. Reports at AAIC 2021 included new data and analyses of the furthest advanced investigational anti-amyloid drugs — donanemab (Eli Lilly) and lecanemab (Biogen/Eisai) — plus a wide variety of other approaches, including anti-tau strategies, anti-inflammatory targets, and neuroprotection and regenerative medicine.
“As the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s research, care and support, the Alzheimer’s Association believes we’re living in a new era of advancement. We’re seeing at AAIC this year dozens of novel treatment approaches that are gaining momentum in clinical trials,” said Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D., Alzheimer’s Association chief science officer. “Alzheimer’s is a complex brain disease, and very likely will need multiple treatment strategies that address the disease in several different ways along the length of its course. These treatments, once discovered and approved, may then be combined into powerful combination therapies.”
AAIC is the premier annual forum for presentation and discussion of the latest Alzheimer’s and dementia research. This year’s hybrid conference event took place both virtually and in-person in Denver and attracted over 11,000 attendees and more than 3,000 scientific presentations.
COVID-19 Associated with Long-Term Cognitive Dysfunction, Acceleration of Alzheimer’s Symptoms Much has been learned about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the novel coronavirus, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, questions remain about the long-term impact of the virus on our bodies and brains. New data presented at AAIC 2021 from Greece and Argentina suggest older adults frequently suffer long-term cognitive impairment, including persistent lack of smell, after recovery from SARS-CoV-2 infection.
These new data are the first reports from an international consortium — including the Alzheimer’s Association and teams from nearly 40 countries — who are researching COVID-19’s long-term effects on the central nervous system.
Improving Air Quality Reduces Dementia Risk, Multiple Studies Suggest Improving air quality may improve cognitive function and reduce dementia risk, according to several studies reported at AAIC 2021. Among the key findings are:
Reduction of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and traffic-related pollutants (NO2) over 10 years was associated with 14% and 26% reductions, respectively, in dementia risk and slower cognitive decline in older U.S. women, according to results from the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study-Epidemiology of Cognitive Health Outcomes (WHIMS-ECHO).
In a French study, reduction of PM2.5 concentration over 10 years was associated with a 15% reduced risk of all-cause dementia and 17% reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.
Long-term exposure to air pollutants was associated with higher beta amyloid levels in a large U.S. cohort, showing a possible biological connection between air quality and physical brain changes that define Alzheimer’s disease, according to a team at University of Washington.
Global Dementia Cases Forecasted to Triple by 2050 Positive trends in global education access are expected to decrease dementia prevalence worldwide by 6.2 million cases by the year 2050. Meanwhile, anticipated counter-trends in increased smoking, high body mass index and high blood sugar are predicted to increase prevalence by nearly the same number: 6.8 million cases. A team from the University of Washington modeled these projections on health data collected and analyzed by a worldwide consortium of researchers between 1990 and 2019 as part of the Global Burden of Disease study. Also reported at AAIC 2021:
Each year, an estimated 350,000 individuals develop early onset dementia (prior to age 65) globally, according to researchers in the Netherlands. To address the need for services for this population, the Alzheimer’s Association helped launch the Longitudinal Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Study (LEADS) to look at early onset disease progression.
From 1999 to 2019, the U.S. mortality rate from Alzheimer’s in the overall population significantly increased from 16 to 30 deaths per 100,000, an 88% increase, according to researchers at Emory University. Among all areas of the U.S., mortality rates for Alzheimer’s were highest in rural areas in the East South-Central region of the U.S., where the death rate from Alzheimer’s is 274 per 100,000 in those over 65. Lowest Alzheimer’s mortality was found in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Transgender Adults More Likely to Experience Subjective Cognitive Decline, Depression Transgender and gender nonbinary adults in the United States are more likely to report worsening memory and thinking, functional limitations and depression compared to cisgender (non-transgender) adults, according to two studies reported at AAIC 2021. Key findings include:
Transgender adults — individuals who identify with a gender different than the one assigned to them at birth — were nearly twice as likely to report worsening confusion or memory loss (subjective cognitive decline, or SCD) and more than twice as likely to report SCD-related functional limitations, such as reduced ability to work, volunteer or be social, according to researchers at Emory University.
Prevalence of depression was significantly higher for transgender and gender nonbinary adults (individuals who identify outside the male/female binary) (37%) compared to cisgender adults (19.2%), according to a team at University of Wisconsin.
Little is known about dementia and cognitive impairment among transgender individuals. However, transgender adults experience a greater number of health disparities considered risk factors for dementia, including cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes, tobacco/alcohol use and obesity. Social inequities may also play a role in increasing risk of cognitive impairment.
Addressing Diversity in Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials At AAIC 2021, the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, launched a new online tool, Outreach Pro, to help researchers and clinicians increase awareness and participation in clinical trials on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, especially among traditionally underrepresented communities. Other key findings reported first at AAIC 2021 include:
Historically under-represented individuals are most willing to volunteer for a clinical trial if they are invited to participate (85%), want to contribute to the goal of research (83%) or have a family member with the disease (74%), according to a team at University of Wisconsin.
They also found that African American, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian respondents are significantly more likely to volunteer if asked by a person of the same race, and are more concerned than Whites about disruption of work and family responsibilities and availability of transportation and childcare.
Commonly used Alzheimer’s clinical trial exclusion criteria have the potential to disproportionately affect African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos, which may play a role in their reduced enrollment in research, according to NIA researchers.
About the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) is the world’s largest gathering of researchers from around the world focused on Alzheimer’s and other dementias. As a part of the Alzheimer’s Association’s research program, AAIC serves as a catalyst for generating new knowledge about dementia and fostering a vital, collegial research community.
About the Alzheimer’s Association The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia®. Visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.
SOURCE Alzheimer’s Association
CONTACT: Alzheimer’s Association Media Line, 312.335.4078, email@example.com; AAIC 2021 Press Office, firstname.lastname@example.org