On February 15, Anna Maria College and the Molly Bish Center hosted its 3rd Annual Legislative Breakfast. The Molly Bish Center, located on the Anna Maria College campus, focuses on the protection of the most vulnerable among us, children and the elderly. The Legislative Breakfast gathered senators and representatives throughout Massachusetts to voice their support for current bills about Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.  

Members of the legislature in attendance included Representative David LeBoeuf (17th Worcester); Representative Meghan Kilcoyne (12th Worcester); Representative James J. O’Day (12th Worcester); Representative Danielle Gregoire (4th Middlesex). The Legislative staff representing Representative David Muradian, Jr. (9th Worcester) and Senator Ryan Fattman (Worcester and Hampden) also participated in the discussion.  

The proposed legislation discussed included: 

H.629/S.383 – An Act to improve Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Senior Care Options (SCO) programs 

S.1408/ H.2245 – An Act to strengthen the direct care and dementia workforce 

S.1380/ H.2178 – An Act to strengthen our public health infrastructure to address Alzheimer’s and all dementia 

H.614 – An Act relative to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease 

The Alzheimer’s Association represented by Central Regional Office & Community Outreach member Julie McMurray and Public Policy & Advocacy Manager Lainey Titus Samant served as Keynote Speakers for the event and delved into the way Alzheimer’s impacts not only patients but also family caregivers as well.  

Most of those present had a family member who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia and could relate to one another including Lenore Rust, MSW, LICSW, Director of Anna Maria College’s Master in Social Work Program and Co-Director of the Molly Bish Center, who also had a family member impacted by the disease.   

“The most vulnerable of our Commonwealth deserve the best compassionate care, resources, and advocacy that we can give them, so together we can all join the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease,” Rust said, “The Molly Bish Center continues to advocate for the protection and safety of children and the elderly and we are committed as a priority in the work we do, and I hope all of you will be committed as well.” 

Kelly Sullivan, Co-Director of the Molly Bish Center and Director of Anna Maria’s Bachelor of Social Work Program said, “In September of 2022, we heard from experts in the field that, ‘It is estimated that more than 53% of Massachusetts residents are experiencing behavioral health issues. This includes children, adolescents, adults, seniors and veterans. They represent every income and education level, profession and occupation. Fifty-three percent, that number tells me, tells all of us, there is much work to be done.  At Anna Maria College, our strength is in public service, and we are committed to educating and training professionals who want to help get that work done! Anna Maria is oriented toward serving the public good.” 

The Alzheimer’s Association’s Awareness Advocacy Presentation can be viewed at: