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The California Southland Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association made headlines recently when it decided to separate and form its own independent organization.

Now known as Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles (or simply ALZGLA), the group became the fifth branch to make the split since the Alzheimer’s Association announced “Mission Forward,” a plan to consolidate all of their affiliates into a single entity beginning July 1, 2016.

“Our boards looked long and hard at all of the options and considered multiple factors such as community needs and the diversity of the three counties we serve,” ALZGLA President and CEO Susan Galeas told us. “We decided it was in our clients’ and families’ best interest to go it alone.”

Four other chapters split from Alzheimer’s Association: Greater New Jersey, New York City, Orange County and San Diego. ALZGLA serves Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties.

The group’s decision to split appears to be a move to preserve their autonomy and bolster the efficacy of local campaigns. Existing chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association are required to send upwards of 40% of their revenue to the national office under its current shared fundraising model.

“There is so much more potential for partnerships and collaborations than when we were part of the national organization,” Galeas said. “We can be more responsive to program and support needs. We can be more responsive to fundraising opportunities and many other ways.”

However, she stressed that although ALZGLA would legally be its own nonprofit entity, it’ll still be business as usual for the time being.

“Our name has changed; our mission hasn’t,” Galeas said. “The biggest difference is that 100% of the funds raised will stay local… As we fundraise for specific research opportunities, it’ll be through local groups like UCLA, USC, and Cedar Sinai. We’re looking to fund cutting edge local research.”

ALZGLA currently offers resources such as support groups, consultations, 24/7 helplines, and more to families affected by Alzheimer’s Disease.

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