Launch of Alzheimer’s Journey Coordinator Certificate Program

Launch of Alzheimer's Journey Coordinator Certificate Program (Graphic: Business Wire)

CAMDEN, N.J.--()--Today, Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden Board of Governors (RURCBOG) announced a collaboration with Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., (OAPI), as well as its affiliate Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to launch a first-of-its-kind Alzheimer’s Journey Coordination Certificate Program™. The certified Alzheimer’s Journey Coordinators™ will move patients and families through the care continuum, and they will be uniquely positioned to provide support and guidance outside the four walls of a clinic setting to assist with clinical needs, but also non-medical aspects of the disease. Alzheimer’s Journey Coordinators™ assist with issues of home safety, transportation barriers, legal, financial planning, and more.

“More than 85,000 South Jersey families are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, and we must do all we can to help these families,” said Rep. Donald Norcross, U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s First Congressional District. “Alzheimer’s is known as the ‘long goodbye,’ because of the sad, long time interval between illness and death. It’s good to see this new and innovative approach to care coordination, which will provide caregivers the tools and information that can help them during this time. Almost all of us know someone who has cared for or is caring for a person with Alzheimer’s, and it can be an emotional and stressful job. So let’s do all we can to support them.”

RURCBOG and OAPI will lead an advisory committee to develop a curriculum, explore sustainable funding sources, and identify viable career opportunities for Certified Journey Coordinators. The committee will be composed of experts and practitioners in the field and community.

“Alzheimer’s Journey Coordinator Certificate Program™ is a unique, innovative solution for addressing the growing needs of those affected by Alzheimer’s in Camden,” said Mary Michael, Vice President of Patient Advocacy and Stakeholder Management at Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. “The healthcare system is deeply complex and the ecosystem of Alzheimer’s is fragmented and disconnected. Too often, individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers are left overwhelmed and confused. Coordinators who have been trained to understand the unique barriers to Alzheimer’s care can help surmount these challenges. Along with Avanir, we look forward to collaborating with RURCBOG and its partnering higher education institutions.”

“The Alzheimer’s Journey Coordinator Certificate Program™ will become an integral part of the Camden community, and it will generate significant benefits for residents,” said Jack Collins, Chairman of RURCBOG. Kris Kolluri, Chief Executive Officer of the RURCBOG, added: “I am confident that the program will not only improve the lives of those affected by Alzheimer’s, but it will stimulate a vibrant and sustainable health sciences community in Camden. It will also establish the city as a pioneer in addressing 21st-century healthcare challenges for urban areas.”

The Alzheimer’s Journey Coordinator Certificate Program™ will provide person-centered support and guidance for both clinical and non-clinical health needs. It is modeled off successful programs in oncology and other disease areas, which have reduced healthcare disparities, improved health outcomes, and lowered costs. The concept for Alzheimer’s Journey Coordinators™ was created in Otsuka’s work through the Global Council on Alzheimer’s Disease (GCAD). GCAD was created in 2015 to provide practical, on-the-ground solutions for those managing Alzheimer’s. It brings together diverse thought leaders from science, medicine, policy, finance, advocacy, technology, and caregiving to identify goals and near-term projects that can improve lives.

The pilot program is scheduled to launch Fall of 2018 as a one-year certification program offered at Camden County College.

About Otsuka in the U.S.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company is a global healthcare company with the corporate philosophy: “Otsuka–people creating new products for better health worldwide.” Otsuka researches, develops, manufactures and markets innovative products, with a focus on pharmaceutical products to meet unmet medical needs and nutraceutical products for the maintenance of everyday health.

In pharmaceuticals, Otsuka is a leader in the challenging area of mental health and also has research programs on several under-addressed diseases including tuberculosis, a significant global public health issue. These commitments illustrate how Otsuka is a “big venture” company at heart, applying a youthful spirit of creativity in everything it does.

Otsuka established a presence in the U.S. in 1973 and today its U.S. affiliates include Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. (OPDC) and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. (OAPI). These companies’ 1,800 employees in the U.S. develop and commercialize medicines in mental health, oncology, cardio-renal and nephrology, using cutting-edge technology to address unmet healthcare needs. Otsuka’s most recently approved product in the U.S. is indicated for the treatment of adults with schizophrenia and as an adjunctive therapy to antidepressant medications for adults with major depressive disorder. In the medical device field, Otsuka markets a urea breath test used to detect H. pylori infection in the digestive tract.

OPDC and OAPI are indirect subsidiaries of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Otsuka Holdings Co., Ltd. headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The Otsuka group of companies employed 45,000 people worldwide and had consolidated sales of approximately USD 11 billion in 2016.

All Otsuka stories start by taking the road less travelled. Learn more about Otsuka in the U.S. at and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter at @OtsukaUS. Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.’s global website is accessible at

About Rowan University/Rutgers - Camden Board of Governors (RURCBOG)

RURCBOG was created in 2012 to leverage Camden’s existing “Eds and Meds” programs and educational and research assets to support growth in the region’s healthcare capacity. RURCBOG has three overarching goals: to develop educational programs and partnerships in the health sciences; to stimulate broad economic development in Camden; and to engage with the local community on health-related issues.

Alzheimer’s Journey Advisory Committee:

1. Mary Chi Michael, Vice President, Patient Advocacy and Stakeholder Management, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.

2. Kris Kolluri, CEO, Rowan University/Rutgers – Camden Board of Governors

3. Michellene Davis, Chair, Academic Committee, Rowan University/Rutgers – Camden Board of Governors

4. Jackie Pinkowitz, Chair, Dementia Action Alliance

5. Donald Borden, President, Camden County College

6. Ken Blank, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, Rowan University

7. Anita Chopra, Director New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging, Rowan University

8. Cyndy Cordell, Vice President, Physician Engagement Strategy, Global Alzheimer’s Platform

9. Michael Palis, Provost, Rutgers University - Camden

10. Martha Chavis, Executive Director, Camden Area Health Education Center, Inc.

11. Krista McKay, Director Programs & Services, Alzheimer's Association: Delaware Valley Chapter

12. Lisa Winstel, Chief Operation Officer, Caregiver Action Network


Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.
Kimberly Whitefield, 609-535-9259

Release Summary

Launch of Alzheimer’s Journey Coordinator Certificate Program

Social Media Profiles


Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.
Kimberly Whitefield, 609-535-9259