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Alzheimer's Association Selects FGCU Professor to National Task Force
2/20/2006

FORT MYERS, FL - The national Alzheimer's Association announced this week Linda L. Buettner, Florida Gulf Coast University professor of Health Science and director of the FGCU Center for Positive Aging, has been selected to become a member of the Alzheimer's Association Early Stage Professional Task Force to focus on the challenges facing people with early stage Alzheimer's disease and help develop recommendations to increase their participation in the leadership and services offered by the Association.

"I am excited to be joining this important initiative of the Alzheimer's Association," Buettner said. "There are millions of people living with Alzheimer's now and as baby boomers age, the prevalence of Alzheimer's will increase. It's important to focus on early stage individuals and to work with those affected to address their unique needs and to find ways to reduce the stigma associated with diagnosis so we can empower and support individuals and their families now and in the future."

Buettner previously served on the faculty at Ithaca College's School of Health Sciences and Human Performance. She was an assistant professor at Binghamton University's Decker School of Nursing and served as director of that institution's Casella Alzheimer's Education Center.

A recognized authority on memory loss and therapeutic programming for older adults, Buettner has focused her research and clinical work on the clinical aspects of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.

In addition to creating the master's program in geriatric recreation therapy at FGCU, Buettner has presented her research findings at various local, regional and national conferences. A recipient of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association's Scholarly Achievement Award, Buettner was also the recipient of an Alzheimer's Association Pilot research grant in 1994 and an Investigator Initiated Research grant in 2001 at FGCU.

The Alzheimer's Association Early Stage Professional Task Force will be made up of a multi-disciplinary group of health care professionals involved in the diagnosis, treatment and program services for people with the disease, volunteers and Alzheimer's Association national and chapter staff. The task force will work closely with its counterpart, the Advisory Group of People with Dementia, which is comprised of individuals diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's disease. The two leadership groups met in Chicago for the first time in January.

In Florida, there are 400,000 people with Alzheimer's and nationwide, 4.5 million people. By 2025, that number could increase to as much as 6.5 million; and by 2050, that number could range between 11.3 million and 16 million.

The Alzheimer's Association (www.alz.org), the world leader in Alzheimer research and support, is the first and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to finding prevention methods, treatments and a cure for Alzheimer's. For more than 25 years, the Alzheimer's Association has provided reliable information and care consultation, created supportive services for families, increased funding for dementia research and influenced public policy changes.

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