Co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers Chuck Feeney, Forbes’ “James Bond of philanthropy” of 2012 has been anonymously donating tens of millions around the globe for years now.
- Billionaire Chuck Feeney offered UCSF and Trinity College Dublin a grant of $177 million
- 47 million people live with dementia
- The joint effort called Global Brain Health Institute will focus on dementia and battling age-related issues
- Caring for dementia patients is estimated to cost $226 billion annually in the U.S.
Feeney’s charitable organization, the Atlantic Philanthropies, is known for operating in the daylight and partnering with various organizations and institutions. The charity is now pledging a large bet on the Trinity College Dublin and the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF).
According to a recent joint announcement, the two universities were awarded by The Atlantic Philanthropies with a long-term grant of $177 million which will be directed at the process of aging, with a specific focus on preventing the rise of dementia.
The partnership between the two universities will make up the Global Brain Health Institute, whose target spans over 15 years. During this time, the grant will be used to train 600 leaders around the world, equipping them with various skills for the battle against age-related issues.
Christopher G. Oechsli, president and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies, said the goal of the grant is creating a new generation of medical leaders who possess the “knowledge, skills and drive to change the practice of dementia care.” At the same time, the GBHI will study the societal factors that influence brain health.
The grant hopes to help the millions of people directly afflicted by this disease and reduce the rate of dementia among older people. Dementia affects disproportionally the socioeconomically disadvantaged.
In the U.S. alone, dementia care is estimated to cost $226 billion annually, according to the Alzheimer’s Society. The number of people living with dementia worldwide has surpassed the 47 million milestone, as the number grows the longer people live. Somber predictions say this number will triple by 2050, affecting societies through a terrible ripple effect.
Dementia patients are still waiting for drugs that can efficiently treat the disease. However, research shows that changes in public health and individual lifestyles could prevent as much as 30 percent of dementia cases. Even though this is not an easy task, some of the changes include reducing isolation, exercise, and training more caregivers.
At the same time, the universities’ joint effort will focus on reducing the stigmatization of dementia. People fear of admitting they have dementia, as they think it will reflect badly on them as a person.
Image Source: Irish Times