(1) It is the finding of the Legislature that Alzheimer’s disease and similar major memory disorders affect an alarmingly high percentage of citizens, primarily those over 65 years of age, and yet little is known of the cause, prevention, or treatment of this disease.
(2) There is created an Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee, composed of 10 members to be selected by the Governor, which shall advise the Department of Elderly Affairs in the performance of its duties under this act. All members must be residents of the state. The committee shall advise the department regarding legislative, programmatic, and administrative matters that relate to Alzheimer’s disease victims and their caretakers.
(3)(a) The committee membership shall be representative as follows:
1. At least 4 of the 10 members must be licensed pursuant to chapter 458 or chapter 459 or hold a Ph.D. degree and be currently involved in the research of Alzheimer’s disease.
2. The 10 members must include at least 4 persons who have been caregivers of victims of Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Whenever possible, the 10 members shall include 1 each of the following professionals: a gerontologist, a geriatric psychiatrist, a geriatrician, a neurologist, a social worker, and a registered nurse.
(b)1. The Governor shall appoint members from a broad cross-section of public, private, and volunteer sectors. All nominations shall be forwarded to the Governor by the Secretary of Elderly Affairs in accordance with this subsection.
2. Members shall be appointed to 4-year staggered terms in accordance with s. 20.052.
3. The Secretary of Elderly Affairs shall serve as an ex officio member of the committee.
4. The committee shall elect one of its members to serve as chair for a term of 1 year.
5. The committee may establish subcommittees as necessary to carry out the functions of the committee.
6. The committee shall meet quarterly, or as frequently as needed.
7. The Department of Elderly Affairs shall provide staff support to assist the committee in the performance of its duties.
8. Members of the committee and subcommittees shall receive no salary, but are entitled to reimbursement for travel and per diem expenses, as provided in s. 112.061, while performing their duties under this section.
(4) If funds are made available through gifts, grants, or other sources, the Department of Elderly Affairs shall deposit such funds into its Grants and Donations Trust Fund and shall award research grants to qualified profit or nonprofit associations and institutions or governmental agencies in order to plan, establish, or conduct programs in Alzheimer’s disease control or prevention, education and training, and research. The department may adopt rules necessary to carry out these duties.