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Joy Glenner

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Her title reads President/Founder, The George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers, Inc., but there is so much more about the woman behind the title. With the late Dr. George Glenner, she helped to establish the first adult day health care center in the United States for Alzheimer’s patients and supportive services for their families. From the humble beginnings in Hillcrest in 1981, there are now four health centers that serve San Diegans with much needed respite, counseling, and training for their family caregivers. As a result of their pioneering work, Joy and George Glenner were invited to the White House in 1982 where President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation naming November National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. In 1988 the husband and wife team were awarded a White House Presidential Commendation from President Ronald Reagan. Also in 1988, the County Supervisors of San Diego honored Joy for her efforts in establishing the Links-to-Life Identification Bracelet Program through Medic-Alert. Joy has been honored by many groups such as the San Diego Republican Businesswomen Outstanding Leader in Health Services, 1991; San Diego Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business Award, 1995; United Way/J.C. Penney Volunteer of the Year Award, 1996; San Diego Police Department Appreciation Award for Safe Return, 1996; and most recently as the Salvation Army Women of Dedication, 2005.

In addition to her many duties in running the Alzheimer’s Family Centers, Joy has extended herself to the community at large with the many committees she has been appointed to. She has served as the Founder and Chairman of the Alzheimer’s Community Care Consortium and as the President of the Board of Directors of the UCSD School of Medicine Associates. Her appointment to the District Attorney/City Attorney Task Force on Elder Abuse is another contribution to our city. Joy met often in her 2001 appointment by the UC wide President to the Academic Geriatric Advisory Board for all 5 UC Medical Schools. In 1994 and 1995 Joy Glenner’s name can be found in Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans.

Her latest achievement is a soon to be released book that she authored, When Your Loved One Has Dementia, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005. Previously Joy co-authored a comprehensive training manual and video training manual for Dementia Care Specialists and Handbook of Dementia Care. In 1996 she authored The What & Where of Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Dementia Services San Diego County, in English and Spanish.

It is no wonder that the City of San Diego passed a resolution naming April 26, 2003, as Joy Glenner Day.

Submitted by Shelley Perry

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