Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns and The Judy Fund Honored for Philanthropic Leadership in Alzheimer’s Research

AMSTERDAM, JULY 16, 2023 — The Alzheimer’s Association® honored Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns and The Judy Fund with the Jerome H. Stone Philanthropy Award for Alzheimer’s Research at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC®) 2023 for their wide-ranging impact on Alzheimer’s research.

“Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns, through both her passionate storytelling and leadership of The Judy Fund, is a relentless champion in the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease and all dementia,” said Joanne Pike, DrPH, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association. “We are deeply appreciative of her, and of the Gelfand family’s legacy of advancing care and research, bolstering advocacy efforts and increasing public awareness.”

Inaugurated by the Alzheimer’s Association in 2013, the Jerome H. Stone Philanthropy Award for Alzheimer’s Research recognizes the world’s top philanthropists for advancing dementia science through their generous and transformational financial commitments. The award honors the legacy of the Association’s founding president, Jerome H. Stone, who lost his wife, Evelyn, to Alzheimer’s disease. A visionary leader, Stone was among the first to call for expanded investment in Alzheimer’s research. He also founded the Alzheimer’s Association Zenith Society.

The Gelfand family joined the Alzheimer’s Association Zenith Society in 2003 when the late Marshall M. Gelfand established The Judy Fund in loving memory of his wife. Chaired by daughter Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns, The Judy Fund works to create a world without Alzheimer’s by igniting public awareness and engagement in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease. To date, The Judy Fund has rallied more than 3,000 donors and raised $10 million to advance the Association’s mission, with an emphasis on women’s brain research and public policy initiatives to drive federal funding of Alzheimer’s disease research from the United States government.

“What an honor and privilege to receive the 2023 Stone Award at AAIC scientific conference in Amsterdam during this transformational year in Alzheimer’s science, as we herald in a future of Alzheimer’s disease survivorship,” Gelfand Stearns said. “Special thanks to all The Judy Fund donors nationwide who helped bring us to this milestone.”

“It was the loss of two women’s brains — my mother Judy Gelfand and my grandmother Gertrude Jaffe — that inspired the work of The Judy Fund,” Gelfand Stearns added. “It is especially meaningful for my family to honor both my parents, Judy and Marshall Gelfand, for their unique roles as social and philanthropic catalysts of this change. I know how proud and thankful they would be, as I am today.”

The Judy Fund has fueled more than 20 peer-reviewed research projects, including many awarded as part of the Women’s Alzheimer’s Research Initiative, for which it has provided landmark support. In 2010, The Judy Fund made a grant to pilot the Alzheimer’s Association Ambassadors program, which has grown to a network of over 500 grassroots volunteers who work to influence federal policy. The Alzheimer’s Association Ambassadors have helped secure record legislative achievements in Washington, D.C., including more than quadrupling government funding for Alzheimer’s and dementia research over the past five years. The Judy Fund is proud to lead National Teams for Walk to End Alzheimer’s® and The Longest Day®, two of the Association’s signature peer-to-peer fundraising events.

In 2014, Gelfand Stearns was a co-producer of the award-winning film Still Alice, based on Lisa Genova’s New York Times bestselling novel about Alzheimer’s disease.

About the Alzheimer's Association International Conference® (AAIC®)
The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) is the world’s largest gathering of researchers from around the world focused on Alzheimer’s and other dementias. As a part of the Alzheimer’s Association’s research program, AAIC serves as a catalyst for generating new knowledge about dementia and fostering a vital, collegial research community.
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About the Alzheimer's Association®
The Alzheimer's Association leads 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. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia®. For more information, visit or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.


Media Contacts: 
Alzheimer’s Association Media Line, +1 312.335.4078,
AAIC 2023 Press Office,

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