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Milwaukee, WI – February 20, 2019 – The Alzheimer’s Association Wisconsin Chapter Network presented Representative Mike Rohrkaste (R- Neenah) with a Leadership in Advocacy Award at the annual Wisconsin State Advocacy Day, held at the State Capitol in Madison on February 19. The award recognizes an individual who has shown great leadership in championing Alzheimer’s legislation or services for the benefit of all those impacted by the disease.
“It is a true honor to receive this award,” said Rohrkaste. “Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia affect many of our friends, families, and neighbors. While we have made progress in helping Wisconsin families, more can be done to improve care and support services. I want to thank the Alzheimer’s Association and my fellow legislators from both sides of the aisle who have continued to support these initiatives. Working together, we can provide help to Wisconsin families facing these challenges.”
In 2015, Representative Rohrkaste was chosen by Speaker Robin Vos to chair the Speaker’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia. This bi-partisan task force gathered input from around Wisconsin on the impact of Alzheimer’s and related dementias, and developed legislative proposals to help the many families affected. Rohrkaste authored the 2015 Assembly Bill 787 which provided a $1,000,000 appropriation increase under the Alzheimer’s Family and Caregiver Support Program (AFCSP) for the purposes of respite care services for fiscal year 2016-17.
The Act also expanded eligibility for the AFCSP to Wisconsin tribes and raised the maximum joint income eligibility to qualify for the AFCSP from $40,000 to $48,000. The collaborative work of the Task Force resulted in ten bills that were introduced in 2016. Rohrkaste’s leadership and guidance resulted in all ten bills passing the Assembly that year.
In 2018, Rohrkaste authored Act 186 Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Grant legislation, allowing the Department of Health Services to appropriate $500,000 for the express purpose of increasing awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in rural and underserved urban counties throughout Wisconsin. Rohrkaste is a member of the State Dementia Plan Steering Committee, has championed the Dementia Care Specialist Program, and has provided funding to expand the program to additional counties in Wisconsin. He has also spoken on his Alzheimer’s related legislative efforts at national
conferences including the National Council of State Legislators.
“Over the last four years, Rep. Mike Rohrkaste has truly been an Alzheimer’s legislative champion,” said Michael Bruhn, Director of Public Policy, Alzheimer’s Association, State of Wisconsin. “He has been an exceptional leader, taking the time to understand the overall trajectory of Alzheimer’s disease as an emerging public health crisis, and what it will take to keep Wisconsin ahead of the curve. We value his leadership and look forward to many more years of continued partnership on important legislation that benefits those impacted by Alzheimer’s.”
About the Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care,
support and research. Our mission is 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. Visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.