The Alzheimer’s Association has appointed Jim Wilgus as the new executive director for the Washington State Chapter, which is based in Lynnwood. Wilgus joined the Alzheimer’s Association in 2010 and has previously served as a regional leader for nine states, including Washington.
“It’s an honor to continue my work with the Alzheimer’s Association here at home in Washington state,” he said. “I’m fortunate to have an incredibly talented and dedicated team of staff and volunteers. I look forward to working with them to grow our impact and expand our reach in communities across our service area.”
In addition to becoming the new executive director in Washington, Wilgus will continue his regional leadership role for local chapters in the Pacific Northwest, including Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. He has more than 30 years of nonprofit experience and previously worked for the American Heart Association and American Lung Association.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. Of that number, 110,000 of them currently live in Washington State and the number is expected to increase 27 percent by 2025. Alzheimer’s disease is currently the third leading cause of death in the state, ranking Washington ninth in the country for Alzheimer’s deaths. The disease currently cannot be prevented, cured or slowed.
“The care and support services offered by the Washington State Chapter are critical for people affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia,” Wilgus said. “My grandmother passed away in October 2017 from the disease, and as her caregiver-from-afar, I witnessed this disease rob her of her ability to remember her own family — which is why I fight for the people we serve today, and with hope for a treatment or medical breakthrough through research, for all of us for tomorrow.”
Local services include care consultations, support groups and educational programs. The Alzheimer’s Association also has a 24/7 Helpline (1-800-272-3900) for anyone needing information, support or resources. Visit www.alzwa.org for more information.