What is the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA)?

The following fact sheet is provided by the Alzheimer’s Association to summarize the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), including it’s requirements and importance in overcoming Alzheimer’s.  More than 50,000 emails, nearly 10,000 phone calls, and more than 1,000 meetings by the Alzheimer’s Association and its advocates led to the historic legislative victory for the Alzheimer’s community.


What is NAPA?

  • National Alzheimer’s Project Act (Public Law 111-375) was passed unanimously by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011.
  • The law will create a national strategic plan to address the rapidly escalating Alzheimer’s crisis and will coordinate Alzheimer’s disease efforts across the federal government.
  • This national strategic framework will include outcome-driven objectives, recommendations, implementation steps and accountability in the fight to overcome Alzheimer’s.

What does the law require?

  • An annually updated national plan submitted to Congress on how to overcome Alzheimer’s.
  • Annual recommendations for priority actions to both improve health outcomes for individuals with Alzheimer’s and lower costs to families and government programs.
  • The annual evaluation of all federally funded efforts in Alzheimer’s research, care, and services – along with their outcomes.
  • The creation of an Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services.

What will the Advisory Council do?

  • Coordinate federal agencies conducting Alzheimer’s related care, services and research.
  • Allow participation in the evaluation and strategic planning process by patient advocates, health care providers, state health departments, Alzheimer’s researchers and health associations.

Who will be participating in the Advisory Council?

Federal Representation:

  • Administration on Aging
  • Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Indian Health Service
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Science Foundation
  • The Surgeon General

Non-Federal Representation (2 each):

  • Alzheimer’s Caregivers
  • Alzheimer’s Patient Advocates
  • Health Care Providers
  • Researchers with Alzheimer’s Experience
  • State Health Departments
  • Voluntary Health Associations

Why is NAPA important?

  • For too many individuals with Alzheimer’s and their families, the system has failed them and today we are unnecessarily losing the battle against this devastating disease.  The government must make a meaningful commitment to overcome Alzheimer’s.
  • Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression.
  • By making Alzheimer’s a national priority, we have the potential to create the same success that has been demonstrated in the fights against other diseases.  Leadership from the Federal Government has helped lower the number of deaths from other major diseases such as HIV/AIDS, influenza and pneumonia, and stroke.
  • NAPA will allow Congress to assess whether the nation is meeting the challenges of this disease for families, communities and the economy.  Through its annual review process, NAPA will, for the first time, enable Congress and the American people to answer this simple question:  Did we make satisfactory progress this past year in the fight against Alzheimer’s?

How is the Alzheimer’s Association supporting implementation?

The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to ensuring that the National Alzheimer’s Project Act’s full potential is realized, and is already working to support its committed, effective implementation throughout the federal government and with stakeholders over the coming years.

  • Friends of NAPA:  The Friends of NAPA effort, created and led by the Alzheimer’s Association, brings together groups with an interest in helping those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers to support NAPA implementation.  The participation of key stakeholder groups in the “Friends of NAPA” initiative will help to convey the broad, deep, and united support for NAPA’s swift, successful implementation.  The first action of this group drew the endorsement of 35 organizations.
  • Public Input:  Building on our commitment to provide platforms of engagement for those directly affected by Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Association plans to hold a series of public input sessions to provide the Department of Health and Human Services with the perspectives and views of individuals in the Alzheimer’s community.  We will invite key government officials to participate in these listening sessions and ensure the findings of these sessions are publicly available and accessible.
  • Expert Leadership:  In consultation with our vast network of experts, the Alzheimer’s Association will tap the deep knowledge of scientists, researchers, experts and professionals in the Alzheimer’s community to help shape the principles and concepts that will inform the strategic planning process.
  • Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care and Services:  The Alzheimer’s Association also plans to be active participants in the planning process and will continue working with government officials to ensure the strategy is effective and outcomes-driven.  The Association intends to closely monitor progress every step of the way and be vocal in how this very important effort develops.
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