Alzheimer’s disease: it’s personal at Vizient

This is the third year that employees from the Centennial office of healthcare performance improvement firm Vizient, Inc., will be having fun and raising funds to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but it’s a company initiative that was driven by one person’s commitment.

“This effort has morphed from personal to office-wide,” said Jason Pettis, infrastructure engineer for Vizient and spokesman for the company team. “The father of Kathy Eckert (Vizient’s Operations Project director) passed away with Alzheimer’s,” which motivated her to engage with the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and raise funds for The Longest Day.

“The Longest Day is the Alzheimer’s Association’s second signature fundraising event based on and around the summer solstice, June 21,” said Kate Dochelli, development manager for The Longest Day in Colorado. “Advocates from across the world come together to participate in The Longest Day to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s through an activity of their choice – biking, hiking, playing bridge, swimming, knitting and more – to shine a light on the 5.8 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and the more than 16 million family members and friends providing their care.”

Last year, more than 25 Vizient staff in Colorado each conducted their own individual activities to raise funds for The Longest Day, and then gathered for a day of fun, including hiking, biking, tai chi and games with friends, family and coworkers. Collectively they raised more than $7,000 to support Alzheimer’s Association educational programs, services, and research to find a cure for the sixth-leading cause of death of people in the United States.

“Vizient’s involvement in The Longest Day helps create awareness,” said Pettis, who also has a family connection to the disease. “It’s a quiet disease. Bringing exposure to it gets people talking and creates awareness in the community of resources available through the Alzheimer’s Association.”

Pettis noted that people who have Alzheimer’s disease in their family have a tendency to look inward, believing that “no one could possibly understand or know” what they’re experiencing.

“People need to feel more comfortable reaching out for help,” he said.

Vizient’s The Longest Day fundraising goal for 2019 is to top $10,000 – and to help find a cure for the only major disease without a prevention, treatment or cure. To support Vizient’s The Longest Day team, click here.

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