Alzheimer's Association

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The Alzheimer’s Association, the world leader in Alzheimer research and support, is the first and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to finding prevention methods, treatments and an eventual cure for Alzheimer’s.

Today 4.5 million people over age 65 live with Alzheimer’s and hundreds of thousands more in their 30s, 40s and 50s have early-onset Alzheimer’s. This fatal disease will grow to epidemic proportions by the year 2050.


To eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s.


The Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association was incorporated on April 10, 1980, with a budget of $75,000 and businessman Jerome Stone as founding president. The seven founding chapters were Boston, Columbus, Minneapolis, New York City, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Seattle.

In 1980, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invested only $13 million in Alzheimer research. Then, in 1982, President Ronald Reagan designated the first National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Week. The Association founded more chapters and started its own research program. Things were beginning to happen.

The Alzheimer’s Association, today a multimillion-dollar organization, has been the catalyst and leader for a generation of advancements in Alzheimer research and care. Our organization’s achievements and progress in the field have given thousands of people a better quality of life and brought hope for millions more.


Alzheimer’s Association programs enhance the daily lives of people with Alzheimer’s; fund Alzheimer research; and mobilize to increase federal funding for Alzheimer research and provide equitable Medicare and Medicaid benefits. For 25 years, we have been a catalyst and partner in vital research on Alzheimer causes, treatment, prevention and cure. As the largest, non-government funder of research on Alzheimer’s disease, we have invested more than $200 million in breakthrough science investigations. Our international science conferences on Alzheimer’s and related dementias attract some 5,000 top scientists and researchers. We provide 300 points of service nationwide for the 4.5 million individuals living with Alzheimer’s and for the many millions more family members, friends and co-workers who care for them. Our support and education services help all those affected cope with the special issues of living with the disease. Each year, more than 108,000 people call our 24-hour crisis Helpline, and some 18,000 people with Alzheimer’s enroll in our Safe Return® program. More than 500,000 unique visitors seek information and referrals on our Web site ( Many come for the advice and support of our dynamic 24/7 online community. Others use our interactive CareFinder™ for personalized help in making decisions about professional care.


Our advocacy for Alzheimer research has helped propel the disease from relative obscurity two generations ago to a promising area for researchers studying brain disease and brain health. We have funded our own peer review research grants program since 1982. With sufficient investment in research, our science advisors report that slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease may be achievable in the foreseeable future. Our programs and services in 78 affiliated chapters coast-to-coast serve millions of people with Alzheimer’s, their families and caregivers. Our nationwide quality care campaign, based on evidence-based dementia care practice recommendations, is improving residential dementia care nationwide.


Increase federal funding from diverse sources, through advocacy and other efforts, to a minimum of $1.4 billion annually.

Be the convener and catalyst for collaborations with investigators in industry, academia and other organizations to promote basic and applied Alzheimer research.

Providing and enhancing care and support: Together we will provide and promote quality Alzheimer care, support and services, and empower consumers in diverse communities to access them.

Advocate for integrated systems of healthcare and support that are effective for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families (e.g., disease management strategies, practice guidelines, community/home-based care, hospice care, chronic care management).

Mobilizing public support: Together we will alert the public to the growing millions affected by Alzheimer’s disease and the importance of brain health, and mobilize them to join our movement.

Build and strengthen national and chapter fiscal health through improving infrastructure and operational efficiencies; staff and volunteer competencies; and management and governance capabilities.*

Chief Executive

Harry Johns

Chief Executive Profile

Harry Johns came to the Alzheimer's Association from the American Cancer Society (ACS), where he most recently served as executive vice president of strategic initiatives.

Johns has served on the senior management team of the ACS since 1994. In his most recent capacity, Johns held responsibility for ACS nationwide strategic directions, including information, community programs, advocacy and fundraising. He also held responsibility for enterprise-wide marketing, communications and information technology. In addition to serving at the ACS national office, Johns holds significant field experience, having served in both ACS local and regional field offices.

Johns holds a bachelor's degree from Eckerd College in St Petersburg, Florida, and an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.


Executive Committee Chair
Evan Thompson

Chair Elect
Paul Attea
Mary Guerriero Austrom, Ph.D.
Edward Berube
Patricia Blanchette, M.D., M.P.H.
Randolph D. Brock III
Heather Burns

Laurel Coleman, M.D.
George S. Conklin

Vice Chair
Samuel E. Gandy, M.D., Ph.D.
John Osher
Bettylu K. Saltzman
Gerald Sampson
Tenny Tsai

Michael Urbut

Jerome H. Stone

Marilyn Albert, Ph.D.
Michael Arthur
Thomas Bodkin
Lane Bowen
Robert K. Burke
Heather Burns
Meryl Comer
Steven DeKosky, M.D.
Richard Della Penna, M.D.
Peggye Dilworth-Anderson, Ph.D.
Cathy L. Edge
Shelley Fabares
Marshall Gelfand, CPA
Colleen Goldhammer
Rita Hortenstine
Larry Jodsaas
Deborah Jones
Karen Kauffman, Ph.D., C.R.N.P., B.C.
Tamara Lucero, M.D.
John E. Maggio, Ph.D.
Bonnie H. Marcus
Linda Mendelson
David Moscow
Jim Prugh
Stewart Putnam
Deborah A. Randall, Esq.
Dennis Revell
John Sabl
Ronald Schilling, Ph.D.
Darlene Shiley
Alan Silverglat
Suzanne B. Swift
Robert Thomas
Carl E. Tuerk, Jr.
Joanne Vidinsky
Thomas J. Winkel
Thomas Yoshikawa, M.D.


United States




225 N. Michigan Ave, Fl. 17
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (800) 272-3900
EIN: 13-3039601


Help Caregivers

Crisis helpline call

Alzheimer's Association

Regular price $15.00

People living with Alzheimer’s and caregivers often face an overwhelming number of issues associated with the disease. These may include handling dementia-related behaviors, how to better communicate with the person with Alzheimer’s, assisting with daily needs, safety issues, and where to get local support and resources. The counselor may refer them to a local Alzheimer’s Association chapter or other community resources. A typical situation for...

Help A Person Home

Identification program

Alzheimer's Association

Regular price $40.00

Some families are so drained financially from the tremendous costs of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s that they cannot afford the $40 enrollment fee. Your scholarship enrollment gift will give the family peace of mind knowing that their loved one has identification and is registered with this national program. A typical response from a family member: “I didn’t even know my dad was...