Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute awarded Kendal Charitable Funds grant to conduct East Tampa memory screenings

Tampa, FL (Nov. 9, 2012) — The USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute has been awarded the Kendal Charitable Funds’ first Promising Innovations grant to develop an Alzheimer’s disease screening program that can be adapted for use in minority communities nationwide.

 The $25,000 grant will allow the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute to bring an innovative, community-based approach to providing screenings for Alzheimer’s and other diseases causing memory loss to East Tampa, FL, an underserved, predominantly African-American community. Older African-Americans are about twice as likely as older whites to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

The Institute will collaborate with the National Black Nurses Association, Tampa Bay Chapter, to conduct the memory screenings, offer education about risk factors and explain screening results. Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, early diagnosis allows patients to enjoy a higher quality of life because current treatments can slow progression of the disease.

“We are fortunate to have a partnership with the Black Nurses Association of Tampa Bay to provide free memory screenings to East Tampa residents, and that the Kendal Corporation recognizes the value of providing this service to underserved communities,” said Jessica Banko, associate director of the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute.

A panel of experts on aging selected USF’s proposal for funding from among more than 450 grant applications submitted to Kendal Charitable Funds from across the nation for model projects to improve services for older adults.  Projects that fit this broad purpose are in keeping with Kendal’s Values and Practices.

“By providing this grant, an underserved group with dementia will get help from nursing professionals — this is an innovative approach to a very substantial issue in an aging population,” says Bruce Stewart, chair of Kendal Charitable Funds. “Besides being innovative, this project also has the potential to be replicated to serve minority communities across America.”

“Kendal’s pursuit of better ways to address the unmet needs of older adults, coupled with the generosity of Kendal residents, board members, staff and others outside Kendal, led to the creation of the Promising Innovations grant program,” said Cheryl Wade, executive director for Kendal Charitable Funds. “Promising Innovations grants provide an outreach opportunity that allows us to collaborate with others outside the Kendal System in developing new ways to improve the quality of life and care for all older people.”

-USF Health-

USF Health’s mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences; and the USF Physician’s Group. The University of South Florida is a global research university ranked 50th in the nation by the National Science Foundation for both federal and total research expenditures among all U.S. universities.

- Kendal Charitable Funds -

Kendal Charitable Funds was established in 1989 to raise and disburse funds in support of the charitable purposes of Kendal and its affiliates, including many outreach efforts. Those served by Kendal organizations and their boards and staffs, together with the wider constituency, support various funds for resident and member financial assistance, reaching out into the wider world, increasing the diversity of those served, and improving the experience of aging far beyond Kendal retirement communities and services. For more information contact: Larry Elveru, (610) 335-1232 or 484-623-6203, lelveru@kcorp.kendal.org

Media contact:
Shani Jefferson, Communications & Marketing, USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute
(813) 396-0675 or sjeffers1@health.usf.edu