Health Equity

“The bottom line is minorities have a greater chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias more than any other population. At present, as we do not have a cure, it is our job to do everything we can do to support these families of color, and also educate our community on the impact of this disease.”

- Gina Green Harris, Director, WAI Regional Milwaukee Office

African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans are 1.5 to 2 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias as Caucasians, but are less likely to seek services and a diagnosis. Latinos are also the fastest growing population in the United States. This means that during the first half of the 21st century, the number of Latino elders with Alzheimer’s and related dementias could increase more than six-fold equaling as many as 1.3 million by 2050. At the UW, we are not only committed to finding a cure for AD through our research efforts, but we have also established significant programs throughout Wisconsin designed to engage communities of color and underrepresented groups. These programs focus on providing culturally tailored community outreach, professional education, advocacy, service, and research. This model empowers these traditionally underserved groups to actively participate in providing culturally specific healthcare services for its aging populations affected by AD, dementia, and other health disparities.


The UW is looking to identify $7 million to enhance our minority based programs. These funds will be used in the following ways:

  • Create new educational and outreach activities with partners in the African American, Latino, and Tribal communities focused on aging and memory loss
  • Expand currently offered programs like the Amazing Grace Chorus, Oneida Tribe Support Group, Community Advisory Boards and Minority Health Month Breakfast Dialogue to engage and impact greater numbers of participants
  • Implement new (and expand existing) memory screenings within underserved areas to achieve early diagnosis and improved care for people with dementia and their families
  • Increase the number of minority research participants to help clarify modifiable Alzheimer’s disease risk factors in African Americans and other underrepresented groups thereby building a programmatic approach to health equity through innovative and impactful science
  • Improve cultural diversity education for health care providers in order to increase quality of care for patients from diverse backgrounds/communities

Dr. Carey Gleason (center), Co-Leader Wisconsin ADRC Minority Recruitment Satellite Program, meets with guests at a community outreach event.

To learn more about supporting the UW Alzheimer’s disease health equity mission during your lifetime or through your estate plan, please contact Steve Ramig at 608-206-1250 or