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DPH Commissioner to Appear in Alzheimer’s Documentary Premiering This Week

April 29, 2014

On Tuesday, in its prime time programming lineup, Georgia Public Broadcasting will premier a new documentary highlighting the need for additional Alzheimer’s care in Georgia, and providing resources for caregivers. Alzheimer’s: Hope for Tomorrow, Help for Today, will “incisively examine the current status of Alzheimer's in the state and nationally,” according to program producers.

“The effects of Alzheimer’s can be devastating, not just for the patient, but for the patient’s caregivers as well” said Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., who was interviewed for the documentary in March.

The GPB original program delves deeply into Alzheimer’s in Georgia, but also provides “actual resources and tips from experts and professionals to assist caregivers and care-receivers living with this degenerative disease,” producers say, underscoring what has been a long time public heath issue.

Commissioner Fitzgerald believes that the creation of a state Alzheimer’s Registry - approved by the Georgia Legislature this year - is crucial to the state’s planning for the future.

“We don’t know how many Alzheimer’s patients there are in Georgia today, but we suspect at least 50 percent of people with the disease are undiagnosed,” Fitzgerald said. “A state registry of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients is a priority for public health. We have to know the numbers so we can gauge what our resources should be.”

Alzheimer’s: Hope for Tomorrow, Help for Today premieres on GPB Tuesday April 29 at 10:00 pm. The documentary will air again on Sunday, May 4 at 6:00 p.m., with additional dates to be announced.

On Tuesday, April 29 at 7:00 p.m., a related GPB original production, On the Story, will feature select clips from the documentary and an in-depth panel discussion about Alzheimer’s. Check your local listings.