Alzheimer’s Association has big shoes to fill

Published 4:43 pm Friday, June 10, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

To the editor,

At the end of June, on-e of the shining stars of the Hampton Roads area dedicated to helping others will begin the next journey in his life.

Gino Colombara, who for 27 years has been executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association Southeastern Virginia Chapter, is retiring. Gino’s dedication to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s and his efforts toward increasing resources for the caregiving community cannot only be measured in monetary value.

Email newsletter signup

In 1995, estimates were that 4.5 million people in the U.S. were suffering with Alzheimer’s, and federal research funding was significantly lower than other diseases. Gino’s advocacy has helped increase federal research funding to $3.4 billion. This increase, along with passing of legislation such as the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, has been instrumental in efforts toward finding a cure.

Unfortunately, today there are more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s and 11 million unpaid caregivers. Gino’s legacy is one of raising awareness, increasing contributions, building advocacy and so much more. We can only hope the impact we have over the next 27 years will be as great as Gino’s accomplishments during his tenure.

Perhaps you know someone who is impacted by Alzheimer’s and related dementias? As Gino will tell you, the first survivor of Alzheimer’s is out there, but we won’t get there without you. The Alzheimer’s Association is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to “a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.”

Please go to for more information and to get involved.


Eric Stein

Board Chairman

Alzheimer’s Association Southeastern Virginia Chapter

Virginia Beach