Tufts Health Plan Leaders Taking the “Purple Hair Challenge” in Support of the Alzheimer’s Association

Employees challenged to raise $65,000 to support awareness, education and research for disease that impacts more than 5 million Americans

October 30, 2020  

Watertown, MA - Members of Tufts Health Plan’s senior management group took an innovative approach to raise funds in support of the Alzheimer’s Association this year. Senior leaders, including Tufts Health Plan President and CEO, Tom Croswell, agreed to dye their hair purple to support the Alzheimer’s Association’s Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter if the Tufts Health Plan team met their fundraising goal of $65,000 by October 16. Employees smashed that goal, raising more than $71,000.

“Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and it is the only one that has no cure or strategies for prevention,” said Croswell. “I have personally experienced the challenges that families who struggle with Alzheimer’s face, and I am proud Tufts Health Plan continues its commitment to supporting families living with Alzheimer’s and finding effective treatment strategies for this disease.”

Funds raised through the Purple Hair Challenge support vital programs including a 24/7 Helpline for those living with Alzheimer’s, their families and caregivers, in-person and online education and care, research in prevention and treatment, and local and national advocacy work. The Chapter has reported an increased need for their programs and services because of the pandemic.

  • The Tufts Health Plan Walk to End Alzheimer’s team has donated nearly $1.1 million to the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association since 2012. This includes funds raised by the team, plus matching funds from Tufts Health Plan Foundation. This year, instead of large public gatherings, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s took place in neighborhoods and communities across New England. For the past five years, the Tufts Health Plan team has been the number one fundraising team in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Tufts Health Plan and the Alzheimer’s Association work collaboratively in a number of ways. An innovative integrated care management program– the first of its kind in New England – offers Tufts Health Plan members with dementia and their families a dementia care consultant to coordinate services. Foundation grants have supported enhancements to the Alzheimer’s 24/7 Helpline; outreach to caregivers in underserved communities; education for community health center workers on the early warning signs of dementia; and training for first responders and allied health professionals, including nurses, social workers and direct home care workers. The training helps them become more proficient in responding to and understanding the needs of those living with dementia.

To donate to the Tufts Health Plan Walk to End Alzheimer’s team, visit alz.org/tuftshealthplan and select the event you would like to support.

About Alzheimer’s Association®
The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.