The ICRN began with a partnership between:
- Dr. Raj Shah – Rush University Medical Center -Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center
- Dr. Darby Morhardt – Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine – Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center
- Greg Kyrouac – Southern Illinois University School of Medicine – Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders
The ICRN was developed in 2012 to develop a state-based model to improve interactions among the aging network, the disability network, state Alzheimer’s Association chapters and state Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Centers. The overall goal is to help Illinois residents maintain cognitive health by accessing support services, education, research, and training programs.
Many of the reasons the ICRN was develop include:
- Many residents in Illinois feel disconnected when obtaining services regarding cognitive health. Also, many service providers feel disconnected from other service providers.
- There is a national interest for more collaborative efforts based on the National Alzheimer’s Project Act.
- It is not clear how best to translate national agendas and efforts into statewide and local community efforts.
Rush Philanthropy supported some of the initial funds to develop and maintain the website through a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Moore.
CATCH-On funded by HRSA Geriatric Workforce Engagement Program has supported some of the content for the Dementia Friendly Illinois/Dementia Friends content.
The Illinois Department of Public Health funded the advancement of the content of the website through a grant from 09/2021 to 04/2022.