The San Diego chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association has decided to withdraw from the nationwide group after the organization revealed plans of consolidating all its affiliates.
With the new restructuring, 100 percent of all donations will make their way to the national office. In addition, moving forward, the organization’s Chicago headquarters will take care of all decision-making and funding endeavors.
All affiliates of the Alzheimer’s Association have time until Jan. 15, 2015 to decide whether they want to be part of the merger or not.
Mary Ball, president of the San Diego chapter said that becoming completely autonomous is the right path to take.
Ball said, “So I think it is important to have a local board of directors, and a local organization that can be responsive to the unique needs of the community.”
The San Diego chapter now has a new website www.alzsd.org. The contact number for the organization continues to be 858-492-4400.
The New York City and Orange County chapters have also taken the decision to secede. In a letter to the national office, the Orange County chapter wrote, “We’ve had a great relationship with the national organization. There was nothing derogatory in any way in our decision.”
Out of the 54 affiliates, 27 have voted against centralizing. The independent chapters have a legitimate concern regarding losing control over their local programs and assets.
The national association had announced its decision to merge all its chapters as a step towards sharpening its attack on the rapidly growing disease. Currently, more than five million Americans are suffering from Alzheimer’s.
According to Ball, the consolidation could have jeopardized local programs that served nearly 30,000 local San Diego residents in 2014. According to statistics, over 60,000 residents of San Diego are suffering either from Alzheimer’s or from another form of dementia.
Ball said, “When you look at the merger agreement, it’s fairly clear that the national association in Chicago will have all the control.”
The national association’s board chairman, Stewart Putnam, said that he is still expecting the majority of affiliates to join the consolidation. Putman said that chapters will be more likely to adopt programs that have proven to work once they are part of a more strictly coordinated association.