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Rotary Club’s Alzheimer’s Symposium a success

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On March 31, the Rotary Club of Sun City West held its first “Alzheimer’s Initiative Symposium” at Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church. Approximately 200 people and 22 vendors attended this all-day event, which was open to the public, and designed to educate and inform people of the symptoms, research, resources and treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

Kathy Linton, Rotary member and Director of the Symposium, stated: “The event was just fabulous and I was so pleased with its result. Our Rotary club worked very hard to bring a unique and meaningful program to the community that would hopefully provide them with information and resources in their caregiving journey through Alzheimer’s disease.”

Executive Director Dan Lawler, of the Alzheimer’s Association, opened the program with a presentation on what the Alzheimer’s Association offers. He was followed by keynote speaker Dr. Marwan Sabbagh, who is Director of the Alzheimer’s & Memory Disorders Division, Barrow Neurological Institute. Dr. Sabbagh spoke about the numerous drug trials and research being done here in Arizona to find a cure for the disease.

After a lunch break, Marty Finley from the Sun Health Navigator Memory Care program discussed tips and resources for families and caregivers. Her presentation was followed by Jan Dougherty of the Banner Alzheimer’s Research Institute, who provided insights into finding a meaning with Alzheimer’s disease.

Attendees were able to walk among the vendors during break times to learn of the many resources available to them ranging from care facilities and programs to equipment, insurance plans, and research opportunities. Though the event was a community service project and not a fundraiser, it raised nearly $7,000 in donations that will be devoted to further Alzheimer’s research activity in Arizona.

The Rotary Club of Sun City West meets weekly on Fridays at 11:30 a.m. in the Quail Room at Sun City West Foundation complex, 14465 R. H. Johnson Blvd. Information about the club’s activities and membership opportunities can be obtained by calling Tony Sambol at 623-266-3291.

Photo: Dr. Marwan Sabbagh and Kathy Linton.

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