The Alzheimer’s Association has elected Katina Zaninovich board chair of the California Central Coast Chapter.
In addition to her new role, Katina will continue to chair the chapter’s Alzheimer’s Women’s Initiative Committee, which began in 2013.
“It is vital that we find a cure, and that is why I volunteer for this tremendous organization,” Ms. Zaninovich said in a news release. “Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., killing more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. In 2021, the cost to our nation will be $355 billion. I want to be part of the solution for a problem that affects so many.”
According to the 2021 “Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures” report, 6.2 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. In California, the number of people 65 and older living with the disease is expected to increase by 21.7% to 840,000 in 2025. There are currently 1.12 million caregivers within the state providing a total value of $18.126 billion in unpaid care.
Ms. Zaninovich was a caregiver for both her father and mother at the end of their lifespans. She noted the additional difficulties that came from her experience with her father, who lived with some undiagnosed form of dementia.
“Being a full-time caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia is a relentless and never-ending job,” Ms. Zaninovich said. “Fortunately, there is help and support through the Alzheimer’s Association. If we don’t take care of the caregivers, they will never be able to fully take care of their loved ones.”
After graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in 1978, Ms. Zaninovich spent most of her career in Santa Barbara at VNA Health — formerly Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care — as a hospital liaison, director of clinical services and executive director.
She also has served on several boards since 1992, including Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care Professional Advisory Committee, Cottage Health and San Marcos High School Foundation.
She remains involved with the community as a volunteer and board member for Montecito Retirement Association, Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation and Neighborhood Clinics Capitol Campaign, Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara, in addition to the Alzheimer’s Association Central Coast Chapter.
“We have been so fortunate to have Katina as the chair for our Alzheimer’s Women’s Initiative, and I am confident that her strong leadership as board chair will continue to drive our mission forward in the local communities that we serve” said Meg Barron, Region 3 Leader of the Alzheimer’s Association. “I am very pleased that she is dedicating her time to this chapter and to one day seeing a world with Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.”
For more information, visit alz.org/cacentralcoast or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.