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CCHD Awarded Healthy Brain Initiative Grant to Address Brain Health in Barnes County

Today, City-County Health District (CCHD) announced it has been selected by the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) for the Healthy Brain Initiative (HBI) Road Map Strategists. The initiative will allow the City-County Health District to enhance its capacity to address cognitive health and dementia for the citizens of Barnes County.


“As a local public health district, we are already working with older adults and caregivers as they access needed services. This new partnership will allow us to provide education and increase awareness about dementia,” stated Theresa Will, CCHD Administrator and HBI Road Map Strategist.

Through this initiative, City-County Health District designated Theresa Will as the HBI Road Map Strategist, a systems change agent working to advance brain health equity. Working in support and in coordination with public health partners across the community, the Road Map Strategist will conduct a public health needs assessment, train local officials and key community partners, and lead implementation of public health action on dementia, consistent with the State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia: The 2018-2023 Road Map.


“We’re excited that Barnes County was selected to be a part of this innovative initiative,” said Susan Parriott, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota-North Dakota chapter. “Working together, we can better support the growing number of North Dakotans impacted by Alzheimer’s and dementia and build on the programs and services for them in Barnes County.”


CCHD was one of only eight grantees in the cohort. Other recipients included:

  • Alaska — Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association

  • California — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

  • Georgia — West Central Health District

  • Ohio — Franklin County Public Health

  • Tennessee — Knox County Health Department

  • Texas — Cameron County Public Health

  • Wisconsin — Village of Greendale Health Department

People living with dementia and their family caregivers require support as cognitive, behavioral and physical functioning worsens over time. A strategic public health response is needed to mitigate this impact on all communities, and the addition of the HBI Strategist will help to improve Barnes County’s response.


According to the Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota-North Dakota, there are more than 15,000 North Dakotans currently living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias; they are supported by 19,000 unpaid caregivers. North Dakota reports the fourth highest mortality rate for Alzheimer’s disease in the United States at 53 per 100,000 North Dakota residents. Visit alz.org/mnnd/newsandmedia for more facts and local statistics.

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