The fourth goal laid out in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease is how public awareness and engagement about the disease can be enhanced. And one of the main ways in which health officials will go about this is through an education initiative.
"The initiative will be carried out in collaboration with federal partners, states, local governments, and non-governmental entities," the plan states. "Formative research on population targets and the perceptions of diverse populations regarding AD will inform the initiative."
Thus far, 19 states and several local entities have published plans of their own that address Alzheimer's disease, many of them offering similar ideas to the National Plan. Drawing on these strategies and states' available resources should help the initiative achieve its goals, the report indicates.
Just as the National Plan will call on state and local agencies for their help in launching the initiative, it will also coordinate efforts with the global community, as Alzheimer's disease is a worldwide epidemic.
"In implementing the actions in this plan, HHS and its federal partners will coordinate with global partners to enhance these plans, avoid duplication of effort, and optimize existing resources," the report indicates.
Some of the groups that will be reached out to include the Office of Global Affairs, the World Bank and other federal agencies. Meetings will also take place so officials can learn what practices are being carried out and whether they're working.
Goal 5: Improve Data to Track Progress
It's this tracking of progress that is the fifth goal of the National Alzheimer's Plan. More resources are being deployed to address Alzheimer's, but if these efforts aren't tracked and accounted for, they're of little use. Therefore, the plan stipulates that HHS will look to expand and enhance the capital needed to track data and ensure that it's easily accessible to federal agencies and Alzheimer's researchers. According to the report, the federal government will spend $1.3 million in 2013 to go toward improving data collection "to better understand Alzheimer's disease's impact on people with the disease, their families and the healthcare system."
To ensure that the National Plan's recommendations are carried out, HHS notes it will designate an officer and contact person who will see to their implementation. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation is slated to be the contact point. The ASPE will then report to Congress.