GREENSBORO, N.C. (Jan. 27, 2017) – The Center for Outreach in Alzheimer’s, Aging and Community Health (COAACH) has been awarded a $2 million grant from the Merck Foundation to expand the capacity, operations and sustainability of the center, officials with the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University center announced today.

Merck’s financial support will extend COAACH’s ability to solidify local and state-level partnerships, educate and engage North Carolina’s most vulnerable populations and create a sustainable model for community-based support. COAACH is a university-sponsored center addressing literacy, care management, training and research in Alzheimer’s and other aging-related diseases, such as diabetes.

“The center is extremely grateful to the Merck Foundation for its ongoing support to this university, but more importantly to the aging residents and caregivers in North Carolina who need and deserve our support,” said Goldie Byrd, COAACH’s interim director. “With Merck’s continued financial participation, we are able to build upon past success and further impact education and outreach, community engaged research and health policy in North Carolina.”

Merck helped to establish COAACH with a gift in 2013. This latest financial commitment will enable COAACH to launch a Caregiver College to extend education opportunities, implement a Lay Health Advisor Model of Care to broaden outreach into underserved patient and caregiver populations and create a Family Navigation Program to augment its current early detection and care management programs.

COAACH promotes healthy aging for all communities. It provides education, community empowerment and evidence-based research so that individuals, particularly the most vulnerable, can live life with quality, dignity and independence.