Release of Draft Framework for the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease

As we committed at the December LEAD meeting, we are circulating the attached draft Framework for the National Alzheimer’s Plan just released by HHS. This is not the draft plan itself, whose release has been delayed by HHS until after the release of the President’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget in early February. This draft Framework contains the draft goals and strategies of a national Alzheimer’s plan, but HHS thought it important to await release of the President’s budget, and its decisions on resource allocations, before deciding what more detailed action steps could and would be included in the draft national Alzheimer’s plan.

I encourage you to join our monthly meeting/call at 10am Wednesday when we will discuss the evolving timeline and process regarding the development of a national Alzheimer’s plan.

The Framework being released today was prepared by multiple government agencies in a collaborative inter-agency process and is being transmitted to the Advisory Council for Research, Care and Services for their recommended input. As you may recall, the Advisory Council is independent of the government agencies and has a distinct statutory obligation to provide recommendations directly to HHS Secretary Sebelius regarding the content of a national Alzheimer’s plan.

The Advisory Council will meet on January 17 and 18 in Washington, DC, to review the Framework, to consider possible Advisory Council recommendations on national goals and strategies, and to discuss with government agency representatives the action steps needed to execute the strategies. While the details of the process and time line for finalization of the Plan are not as yet firm, it is anticipated that the plan will be finalized and prepared for issuance in the early-to-mid May time frame.
The draft Framework being released today is open to public comment.

To maximize the opportunity for the voices in the LEAD network to be heard and your input to be considered, we are seeking your comments in two ways.

First, if you would like to provide immediate reactions to the proposed national Alzheimer’s goals and strategies to our LEAD co-convenors (who also sit on the Advisory Council) George Vradenburg and/or Eric Hall in connection with the January 17-18 meeting, please provide comments to Patrick Fritz ( and Stephanie Monroe ( by 12 noon, Friday, January 13 so that they can be consolidated and provided to LEAD’s co-conveners, George Vradenburg and Eric Hall. You may recall that while George is on the Research and Development Subcommittee, and Eric is on the Clinical Care Subcommittee of the Advisory Council, they are able to provide input on all aspects of the plan.

Second, at the last LEAD meeting, it was decided that LEAD would submit a comprehensive set of comments on the draft plan, targeting an early February submission. Given the repeated delays in the release of the draft plan and the continuing uncertainty of the window for public comment, we will discuss on Wednesday’s meeting how best to get the LEAD network’s voices into this process. As we did earlier this Fall, leadership for overseeing the preparation of those comments will be taken by our work team leads: Tim Armour of Cures Alzheimer’s Fund (research), Dan Perry of ACT-AD (drug discovery), Howard Fillit of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Fund (clinical care), and Gail Hunt of the National Alliance for Caregiving (caregiving and long-term services). LEAD members will then have an opportunity to review and sign on to those comments. As this will be a time-sensitive endeavor, a quick turnaround is anticipated.

We are seeking as broad a range of input as we can and, in that ‘open source’ spirit, encourage you share this draft report with your constituencies and colleagues so that they too may comment on the national goals and strategies through this LEAD process or otherwise. LEAD stands ready to do all that it can to reflect those views in the national planning process.

As mentioned, the next NAPA Advisory Council Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 17, 2012 from 9:30am to 4:00pm and Wednesday, January 18, 2012 from 9:00am to 2:00pm at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 800, Washington, D.C. 20201. If you would like to attend the meeting in person please e-mail Dr. Helen Lamont at by COB Tuesday, January 10, 2012, so that your name may be put on a list of expected attendees and forwarded to the security officers at HHS.