Alzheimer’s Disease: Facing the Facts Wins Regional Emmy Award

PHILADELPHIA - A film with roots at Penn Medicine, Alzheimer’s Disease: Facing the Facts, won a 2009 Emmy for Documentary Program at the 32nd Boston/New England Emmy Award Ceremony of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on May 30. The one-hour documentary examines the personal and societal impact of Alzheimer’s disease, powerfully juxtaposing vignettes of families devastated by Alzheimer’s with medical experts on a quest to understand, treat and prevent the disease.

Carol Edwards, Associate Director of Education and Outreach for the Penn Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center, is executive producer of the film, and managed the project through several stages over nearly three years before the film took final form. She also co-produced and co-wrote the film, with long-time colleague Glenn Orkin of Motion, Inc, the film’s director.

Researchers from six National Institutes on Aging-designated Alzheimer’s Disease Centers (ADCs) are among 17 scientists and experts featured, including researchers and clinical investigators from the Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

“Thanks to these dedicated patients, families, researchers and inspired filmmakers, this film has touched the lives of PBS viewers around the country, exposing the devastation and bravery of those touched by Alzheimer’s,” said John Trojanowski, MD, PhD, Director of the University of Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center.

“This is no longer a silent epidemic – Alzheimer’s disease is the fifth leading cause of death in America and will bankrupt our economy if we don’t take swift action to fund research, strengthen social support systems, find treatments and figure out a way to prevent this fatal disease.”

The film is narrated by Tony and Emmy award-winning actor Edward Herrmann, and previously won the CINE Golden Eagle Award for a short independent documentary. It has aired on PBS affiliates reaching more than 80% of television markets since its broadcast premiere in January 2009. The broadcast license permits repeated airings of the program through 2010. Local listings and additional information is available at

This film reflects an outstanding collaboration between MetLife, Motion Inc., Connecticut Public Television, and four NIA Alzheimer’s Disease Centers whose leaders and researchers feature prominently in the film: University of Pennsylvania ADC and Director Dr. John Trojanowski; University of California, Irvine, ADC and recently retired Director Dr. Carl Cotman; Mayo Clinic ADC and Director Dr. Ronald Petersen, and Washington University in St. Louis ADC and Director Dr. John Morris. These Centers – supported by the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health – worked closely with the producers to provide access to Alzheimer’s patients and their families, the courageous stars of this award winning documentary. Rush University ADC Director Dr. David Bennett, and Indiana University ADC Director emeritus Dr. Hugh C. Hendrie also appear in the program.


Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2013 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2013, Penn Medicine provided $814 million to benefit our community.

About the University of Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Disease Center
Since 1991, the University of Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Disease Center has been one of 28 centers designated by the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health, working to translate research advances into improved diagnosis and care for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients while finding a way to cure and possibly prevent AD. Comprised of the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research and the Penn Memory Center, the Penn ADC sees more than 500 patients annually and is currently conducting 16 clinical trials investigating new treatments, diagnostic techniques, genetic links, and ethical approaches to Alzheimer’s care.


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