Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr.
Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. has made serving, helping, and empowering others a focus of his professional and personal life.
Fuschillo has served as President & Chief Executive Officer of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) since 2014. Under his leadership, AFA has seen tremendous growth in its programs, services, membership, revenue, and presence across the nation, while regularly earning Charity Navigator’s highest rating of four stars in recognition of its commitment to fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability.
During Fuschillo’s tenure, AFA expanded its National Toll-Free Helpline hours and accessibility, growing its operational hours from traditional weekday business hours to 7 days a week and implementing a web chat and text message feature capable of serving individuals in over 90 languages. AFA enhanced its memory screening efforts from an annual “National Memory Screening Day” in November into a year-round National Memory Screening Program that provides free, confidential memory screenings to individuals across the country. AFA’s membership has grown to more than 2,000 member offices nationwide.
Fuschillo oversaw the development of many new programs and services, including a national, multi-year “Educating America Tour” which brings free educational conferences to communities across the country to connect them with information about Alzheimer’s disease, brain health, caregiving, and care planning. He opened (and subsequently expanded) AFA’s Education & Resource Center, which enabled AFA to greatly increase the number of professional training seminars and therapeutic/activity programs it can provide, as well as the AFA Teal Room, an online-based library with hundreds of free programs to help individuals with dementia and their caregivers stay active and engaged from anywhere. He directed the creation of AFA’s children’s book, Dancing With Granddad—An Alzheimer’s Story for Children and Their Families, to give adults a way to explain Alzheimer’s disease to children in an age-appropriate way. AFA has donated copies of the book to thousands of libraries in all 50 states.
Embracing innovation, Fuschillo led the creation of The Apartment—a model studio residence built in AFA’s headquarters to demonstrate ways to make a home more-dementia friendly to enhance safety and quality of life for someone living with dementia and their family caregivers. He also guided AFA’s efforts to create a first-in-the-nation Respite Care Relief Park, a dementia-friendly place where individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers can go to enjoy the outdoors, socialize, and learn about services available to help them. The park serves as AFA’s model for future sites across the country.
Prior to joining AFA, Fuschillo served as a member of the New York State Senate for nearly 16 years, authoring more than 200 state laws, including ones to protect individuals with cognitive conditions. He authored New York State’s landmark autism insurance reform law, which enables individuals with autism spectrum disorders to receive insurance coverage for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, including behavioral health treatments, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. The law saved families with autism tens of thousands of dollars a year in out-of-pocket costs for autism treatment and therapies which many insurance companies refused to cover. This built on a prior law he authored to ensure that individuals with autism receive equitable coverage from insurance companies. He also authored a law creating a state license for providers of applied behavior analysis (ABA) services to individuals with autism spectrum disorder. As a member of the Senate’s Health Committee, Fuschillo worked to connect his more than 300,000 constituents with health services by regularly holding free/no-out-of-pocket-cost breast cancer, prostate cancer, and skin cancer screenings throughout his Senate district.
Prior to his tenure in the Senate, Fuschillo was the Chief Operating Officer of a New York-based nonprofit family service agency.
In recognition of his lifetime of community service, Fuschillo has been recognized with numerous honors, including the Excellence in Healthcare Award from the Herald Long Island, Autism Advocacy Award and Legislative Champion Award from Autism Speaks, The Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award for Individual Leadership and Service; the Pendl Badge of Courage Award; and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Grand Lodge Foundation. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the State University of New York and is a former member of the Adelphi University Board of Trustees.