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Alzheimer's Association launches new awareness campaign targeting rural, underserved areas

Coverage of aging is supported in part by AARP Arizona

Getting an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is difficult even if an individual can access health care. For rural Arizonans or those living in underserved areas, that diagnosis might never come. But a new public awareness campaign could change that.

"We have so many people across Arizona that aren't aware of, do they have Alzheimer's? Do they know the signs? Is it just aging?" said Terri Spitz, the executive director of the Arizona chapter of the Alzheimer's’ Association (Desert Southwest Chapter).

Spitz says there’s a new treatment, Leqembi, but it requires an accurate and early diagnosis. So using a one-time $750,000 grant from the Arizona Department of Health Services, the chapter is starting to run an Alzheimer’s Awareness campaign. 

"We are really targeting those underrepresented communities and targeting with different ads, not only television, but outdoor billboards, digital," Spitz said.

Spitz says they’re also educating health-care providers.

Senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.