OPINION: Thank you, Congressman Dan Crenshaw

By: Claudia Knowlton-Chike
| Published 04/26/2024


Alzheimer’s and other dementia are a rapidly growing public health issue in Texas and throughout the nation. About 460,000 Texans over the age of 65 are living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and there are over 1 million unpaid caregivers in Texas. These caregivers provide to our State an estimated value of $24 billion in unpaid care.

As a daughter, who supported my mom as she took care of my dad, I have seen firsthand how devastating and cruel this disease is. My dad, Dick Knowlton, the former Chairman and CEO of Hormel Foods, was a very talented businessman. Starting from humble beginnings, he knew the value of hard work. He loved people, treated them with respect and always had a never-ending instinct to reach out his hand in friendship. My mom and dad were married for 64 years. It was just a true love story. Dad and mom lived with Alzheimer’s for 11+ years – what should have been the best part of his life was robbed.

Fortunately, since the 2018 enactment of the bipartisan Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (P.L.115-406), progress is being made. Since then, public health departments have made significant progress in improving brain health across the life course in communities like ours. The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Reauthorization Act (S. 3775 / H.R. 7218) would continue to build on this progress. This legislation will reauthorize the BOLD Act and empower public health departments to continue improving brain health and supporting caregivers. The Texas Department of State Health Services Alzheimer’s Disease Program directly benefitted from the BOLD Act, when in 2023 it received federal funds through a BOLD grant. As a result, our state public health agency will be rolling out initiatives across the State to increase early detection and diagnosis, implement education around dementia risk reduction, and help connect caregivers to needed resources and information. We must continue the momentum.

Thankfully, Congressman Dan Crenshaw (TX-2) has played an important role ensuring that we continue to address this critical public health issue. Please join me and the Alzheimer’s Association in thanking Congressman Crenshaw for his support of the BOLD Reauthorization Act.

To learn more about this disease and how you can join the fight to end Alzheimer’s, visit

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