Alzheimer's Association of NWA

Locations: 210 N Walton Blvd., Suite 25, Bentonville
Phone: 479-273-5559
Website: http://www.alz.org/alzokar

Mission:  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.

About:  The Oklahoma/Arkansas Chapter is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) nonprofit, donor-supported organization.  Programs and services are made possible through contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations.  The chapter uses 76 percent of funds raised for programs, services and research efforts.
The Alzheimer’s Association Oklahoma Chapter began in 1984 as the Tulsa Green Country Chapter.  In 1996 the chapter merged with the Central Oklahoma Chapter of Oklahoma City and became the Oklahoma Chapter.  In 1997 the Bartlesville branch office was implemented and the Oklahoma City office became a branch site.
In fiscal year 1999, the Oklahoma Chapter and Western Arkansas Chapter began talks about becoming a merged Chapter.  Over a period of two years and after several in-person and conference call meetings, an agreement was reached and a Strategic Realignment Plan was developed.  The board of directors of both chapters and the national Chapter Services Committee approved the Plan.  This was formalized on October 1 of 2001.  The National Chapter Services Division asked the Oklahoma and Arkansas Chapter to take on the rest of Arkansas – minus one county, which is served by another Chapter.

Harry Johns, formerly with the American Cancer Society for 23 years, came on board as CEO at the National office in early 2006.  Under his leadership, the Association quickly gained support for shared revenue strategies.  Effective July 1, 2006, the Oklahoma and Arkansas Chapter became the “model” chapter in entering into a “Shared Fundraising Agreement” with the National office.  New priorities were identified – namely, 1) to raise concern about Alzheimer’s disease and the awareness of the Association and Chapter; 2) the review of program strategies with participation from across the chapter to determine most effective focus; and 3) implementation of a shared fundraising model emphasizing cooperation, not competition.  This resulted in other chapters becoming early adopters but our chapter was the first to do so.  This effort will mean that the Association’s mission and priorities will be presented to donors in a unified manner, lending greater weight to our shared goals.  Further, it changes the Chapter and National fundraising relationship to be mutually interested with incentive for the National organization to invest in Chapters.  This plan will serve to strengthen our nationwide competitive advantage, pull us together as an organization, and accelerate our progress toward our mission.

The Oklahoma and Arkansas Chapter is well respected at the National level.  We are most fortunate to have representation from our local chapter who serves (or have served) on the National Board of Directors.  These include Charlie Cole, A. B. Steen and Bob Thomas – and all currently serve on the Chapter’s Advisory Board.

Services:  The Alzheimer’s Association provides various services to help those affected by Alzheimer’s.  These services include:

Helpline - 1-800-272-3900. The Alzheimer’s Association Helpline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in 140 languages.  Our staff is highly trained and knowledgeable about all aspects of Alzheimer’s disease.  Call us if you have any questions out Alzheimer’s disease or memory loss, medications and treatment options, brain health and care options, how the Association can help you, Caregiving tips and respite care options, or services available in your community and referrals.  You can also call us for emotional support – as often as you need!  We know that living with Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming at times.  Remember, we are here for you – all day, everyday!  1-800-272-3900.

Care Consultation - Our professional staff is dedicated to helping people navigate through the difficult decisions and uncertainties people with Alzheimer’s and their families face at every stage of the disease.  We can provide care consultation services to you by telephone, e-mail or in person.  These include assessment of needs, assistance with planning and problem solving, and supportive listening.  Just call our Helpline for all the information!

Support Groups - We offer a variety of support groups for all individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease.  Groups are facilitated by trained volunteers.  Many locations offer specialized groups for children, those with early-onset and early-stage Alzheimer’s, adult caregivers and others with specific needs.

Message Boards - The Alzheimer’s Association message boards and chat rooms provide an online community for persons with Alzheimer’s, caregivers and care providers.  Our message boards have thousands of registered members from around the United States and thousands more who refer to the stories and information that is available 24 hours a day.

Educational Programs - We offer many educational programs each year that address the specific interests of the general public, individuals with the disease and their families.

Professional Training - We offer classroom and Web-based training for healthcare supervisors and direct care workers in assisted living and nursing homes.  Many programs allow you to earn CEUs.

Multilingual Information - Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders that cause dementia know no boundaries.  Many individuals and families in ethnic and cultural minority groups are in need of solid information about Alzheimer’s disease and health resources.

Safe Return - Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return is a nationwide identification, support and enrollment program that provides assistance when someone with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia wanders and becomes lost.  Assistance is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  If an enrollee is missing, one phone call immediately activates a community support network to help reunite the lost person with his or her caregiver.

Local Resources and Referrals - We maintain updated information on home care, adult day care, care coordination assisted living, skilled nursing facilities, eldercare lawyers and transportation available in the community.  Our staff and trained professionals can help assess whether a specific care provider meets the needs of an individual with Alzheimer’s.
We also maintain a variety of educational materials (videos, audiotapes and books) on topics related to Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.  To learn more about our library, call us at 1-800-272-3900.