The Center for Outreach in Alzheimer’s Aging and Community Health (COAACH) is the nation’s most prominent academic research and outreach institution focused primarily on the impact of Alzheimer’s on African Americans.

The COAACH Story – Legacy, Leadership, Hope

Founded by North Carolina A&T State University’s former leading Alzheimer’s researcher and biologist, Goldie Byrd, Ph.D., COAACH opened its doors in 2014 as part of a $1 million dollar grant from pharmaceutical giant, Merck & Co. to conduct research on Alzheimer’s disproportionate impact on African Americans. Throughout her tenure, Dr. Byrd sought to narrow the racial disparity through increased representation of African Americans in groundbreaking scientific and genetic research, promoting disease literacy and awareness, and finding a cure.

In her time as COAACH’s executive director, Dr. Byrd’s leadership was both effective and beneficial. She led COAACH to receive more than five million in grants and corporate gifts from the National Institute of Health and National Science Foundation. Dr. Byrd also established a sense of trust and connection between COAACH and African American communities in the state of North Carolina. She built symbiotic relationships between COAACH and its surrounding African American communities through successful outreach programs and her display of transparency in research studies.

What started as a $1 million grant has evolved into a research, education, and outreach center, with a passionate, multi-disciplinary team that is committed to honoring Dr. Byrd’s legacy of representing and serving our community.

  • Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in America—fifth amongst African Americans, who are twice as likely to suffer from age-related dementias than Caucasians.
  • African Americans have been severely underrepresented in clinical trials, so we’re determined to uncover why our communities are disproportionately impacted by Alzheimer’s.
  • COAACH is devoted to designing the most innovative programs and services to raise disease awareness and literacy amongst our most vulnerable communities, foster early detection and treatment solutions, and advance research toward a cure.
  • COAACH also knows the burden of care is significant, so we offer targeted education, tools, resources, and support for caregivers, families, and loved ones.
  • Our ongoing research helps us create culturally sensitive, impact-driven educational programs, conduct informative workshops and events, and advocate for African Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

We believe African Americans should age with dignity.


Our Vision