Nun Study Award

Sisters Gabriel Mary Spaeth (left) and Charlene Zeisset (right) accept the Special Service Award on behalf of the SSND Nun Study participants.

Nun Study participants win Special Service Award

MAY 5, 2013

Nun Study participants from the School Sisters of Notre Dame were recognized for their unique contributions in the field of Alzheimer’s disease care and treatment during the 27th Annual Wisconsin Network Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias May 5 at the Kalahari Resort Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells.“The findings of this study continue to provide groundbreaking insights into aging and Alzheimer’s disease,” said Judy Gunkel, representative of the Milwaukee Chapter. “For their dedication and commitment to this important research, the Alzheimer’s Association honors the Nun Study participants of the School Sisters of Notre Dame.”

Sisters Charlene Zeisset and Gabriel Mary Spaeth accepted the Special Service Award on behalf of the congregation and the sister participants. The award was one of eight presented to winners who were selected based on their outstanding contributions to those with Alzheimer’s disease in Wisconsin.

“I accept this award for all School Sisters of Notre Dame and particularly the 678 Sisters who volunteered to participate in the study,” Sister Gabriel Mary said upon receiving the award. “Without their willingness and generosity, there would not have been a Nun Study.”

Sister Charlene spoke of the ongoing utilization of the data from the Nun Study and the researchers at the University of Minnesota who are developing a new study that will be open to all the SSNDs in North America.

The Nun Study began in the early 1990s and enrolled 678 sisters ranging in age from 75-106. Ten sisters remain in the study.

The Wisconsin Network Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias is one of the largest in the country with more than 800 attending from Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Each year, the Alzheimer’s Association Wisconsin Chapter Network invites nominations to recognize outstanding caregivers. Diane Baughn from the Milwaukee Chapter nominated the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

These individuals, professionals, and organizations are dedicated to serving those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The Special Service Award recognizes an individual or a group that has made a unique contribution in support of the work of the Alzheimer’s Association.

– Sister Charlene Zeisset