ALZHEIMER’S: Center Will Close W/ Out Budget ‘Augmentation’
The head of the Alzheimer's Disease Center of Central California in Fresno says she will close the facility June 30 unless Gov. Gray Davis approves a $2 million budget augmentation for the center and others like it throughout the state. Executive Director Dr. Linda Hewett said, "We have no assurance until the governor signs that augmentation. We hope he leaves us in the budget, but he needs to know." Rock Zierman, capitol director for Assemblyman Mike Briggs (R-Fresno) said that a measure Briggs sponsored to provide the funding was left in the state budget after a Senate-Assembly Conference Friday. "It's not a sure thing, but it looks pretty good," said Zierman, who added that the "$2 million would be threatened only if other vital state programs lacked funds, which seems unlikely with the state budget surplus." Hewett said that especially in light of recent funding redistributions that have favored research-based programs at the University of California-San Diego, Davis and Los Angeles medical schools, the "general population ... needs to increase its understanding of a condition that saps memory and personality. It carries a stigma." The Valley Caregiver Resource Center's Margery Minney, who refers patients to the Fresno center, said that one large "stumbling block" is that many HMOs "will not pay for patients to receive services" at the facility (Steinberg, Fresno Bee, 6/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.