by Sherryl Kaufman, National Associates Chair
We did it! The National Committee of Hadassah Associates is proud to announce that we raised double our fundraising goal, bringing in $256,538 for our Men’s Health Initiative 2017 and Beyond. The campaign focuses on raising funds for research into the causes, treatment and cure for Alzheimer’s disease, which affects 1 in 20 adults between the ages of 65 and 85, and some 24.3 million people worldwide. The campaign will continue into 2018.
Alzheimer’s Campaign Update
Research at Hadassah had yielded exciting results. Dr. Shahar Arzy, Director of Hadassah's Computational Neuropsychiatry Laboratory at Hadassah Hebrew University Medical School "hypothesized that Alzheimer's disease is a disorder of orientation, where people lose their way on the cognitive maps of memory, places, and later people."
The Hadassah team was the first in the world to find that neural stem cells have healing qualities that ameliorate harmful inflammation in the brain and protect it from injury. The default mode network, overlapping with the orientation system, is known to be the network which is disturbed in Alzheimer's disease.
Using an innovative brain mapping technique, the Hadassah Medical Organization's neuropsychiatry specialists have identified a cognitive process that has important implications for understanding the disorientation experienced by Alzheimer's patients. Thanks to sophisticated new diagnostic tools, developed at Hadassah's Computational Neuropsychiatry Laboratory, doctors will be able to diagnose Alzheimer's disease much earlier and, consequently, improve the prognosis for millions of people.
Dr. Arzy was the key note speaker at the Alzheimer's Foundation of America Conference held back in May in New York City. His presentation on cutting-edge advances, "Unraveling Alzheimer's Disease," was wonderfully received. Hadassah maintained an informational exhibit and table at the Conference at which the Associates were represented. The AFA made a $405,000 grant to Hadassah for Alzheimer's research.
Alzheimer's disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. One of the costliest diseases in the developed world, last year Alzheimer's drained some $200 billion from the United States economy.
Success Beyond the Numbers — Local Involvement and Associate Promotion
The Associates' 2017 success goes beyond the numbers. Our goal of outreach and engagement to local units to include Associates, and educate them about their fundraising power and abilities, has resulted in many more units holding Associate and member/Associate events, as well as recognizing Associates at their events and meetings.
For example, the Collier/Lee Chapter, which includes Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs and Greater Naples, FL, held its 18th Annual Recognition of Major Donor, Keepers of the Gate, and Chai Society Donors in December. Although the fundraising was not directed toward the Associates project, awareness of their vital role was acknowledged. What a wonderful showing by the Associates, and kudos to Collier/Lee for highlighting their attendance!
To assist local units, we also created a Who are The Associates Information Sheet (now updated for 2018), and Alzheimer's Talking Points.
We were also successful in our goal of putting the Associates on the Hadassah map. Articles focusing the Associates appeared in Hadassah Magazine and in Kol Ha'Kavod.
We thank ALL donors to the 2017 Men's Health Initiative. Those who contributed $50 or more will be recognized on our Associates Website Honor Roll which will continue into 2018.
Thanks for a Job Well Done
The Associates Leadership Team bids a fond farewell to long-time Team member Laura Schiff. Laura brought to us her experience in leadership in the Desert-Mountain Region and L.E.A. Chapter, as well as her institutional memory. Her skills in writing and editing have enhanced our communications. Laura, a hearty "Thanks" to you for your contributions, and we wish you well as you continue to focus on local Hadassah matters.
In our next update, we will introduce our new Team Member Teree Farbstein.