In a show of support for the Alzheimer’s Association and its continued efforts to eradicate Alzheimer’s disease, Gov. Ron DeSantis made an appearance Thursday, March 14 at An Evening of Hope, a benefit hosted by the Association’s Southeast Florida Chapter in Palm Beach.
The cocktail reception, held at the Villa Fontana residence, celebrated the generous contributions of Palm Beach Gardens residents Walter and Lucille Rubin to the Alzheimer’s Association while raising nearly $20,000 for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
“Floridians living with Alzheimer’s deserve our support, and as long as I’m governor, they can count on it,” DeSantis said. “I’m proud to announce our administration has taken important steps to ensure our state assists these individuals in getting the care they deserve and prioritizes the advancement of research needed for this disease.”
An estimated 5.8 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s, of which nearly 560,000 are Florida residents. That total makes Florida the state with the second-highest prevalence of the disease in the country.
Noting that Alzheimer’s is also the sixth-leading cause of death in the state, DeSantis announced that he has directed the Florida Department of Health to not only add Alzheimer’s and related dementias as a priority within the State Health Improvement Plan, but also to apply to be a Center of Excellence under the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act to increase awareness and support for Alzheimer’s initiatives in Florida.
Other event attendees included Richard Prudom, secretary of the Florida Department of Health; Dr. Margaret Pericak-Vance, director of the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics; and Dr. Jeffery Vance, professor in and founding chair of the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Expressing her gratitude to all attendees for their continued support, Alzheimer’s Association Southeast Florida Chapter Executive Director Audra Afflito said: “We are always happy to have the chance to work with our great community partners to put on events such as this one. Our hope is that by providing much-needed care, support and education to the community, they will know that they are not alone in their struggles and that they have resources to turn to when needed.