Ecumen To Receive National Award for Excellence in Dementia Care

Ecumen will receive a national honor March 17 as the winner of the Excellence in Dementia Care Award presented by LeadingAge and EMA at the Great Minds Gala in Washington, D.C.

Ecumen is receiving the award for its Awakenings program, which over the last five years has significantly reduced the use of antipsychotic drugs on dementia residents in its communities by implementing non-pharmaceutical approaches to managing challenging behaviors associated with dementia.

"Alzheimer's Disease affects more than 5 million people, many of whom are cared for by our members or informal caregivers," said Larry Minnix, LeadingAge's president and CEO. "We hope that the examples set by this year's honorees highlight the work that is being done to care for those affected while we search for a cure."

The awards gala will be held in conjunction with the PEAK Leadership Summit of LeadingAge, the national trade association for not-for-profit aging services organizations, focused on education, advocacy and applied research.  EMA is a nationally recognized leader in dementia and memory related illnesses with its Copper Ridge Model of Care© and The Copper Ridge Institute affiliated with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. It is a leader in the research, education and treatment of dementia and memory related illnesses.

Along with Ecumen will be three other honorees, all selected for their “exceptional leadership in the quest to improve the lives of those affected by Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.”

Country music entertainer Glen Campbell and his family will receive the Senator William Proxmire Award for their advocacy for research, education and support related to Alzheimer’s disease since 2011, when the disease was diagnosed in the country singer. Sharing the award will be film director/producer James Keach and producer Trevor Albert, whose documentary about Campbell's career and experiences with Alzheimer's disease is expected to be released soon.

The award is named for the late U.S. Senator, who had Alzheimer’s disease and lived at an EMA facility. "The Great Minds Gala is the realization of the vision of Ellen Proxmire, wife of the late Senator William Proxmire, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1994 and spent the last 5 years of his life at Copper Ridge," said Jackie Harris, president and CEO of EMA. "We're delighted to bring Ellen's passion for supporting caregivers to a national platform through this partnership with LeadingAge."

The Family Caregiver Award will be presented to Kathy Ritchie of Phoenix, a dementia advocate whose mother has dementia and who writes a blog for young caregivers.

Proceeds from the event will be benefiting the LeadingAge Innovations Fund and the Copper Ridge Institute (CRI) for the creation and advancement of dementia programs.