WAI was established in 1998 by a coalition of service providers, community-based organizations, educational institutions, and advocates organized by the Wisconsin Bureau on Aging and Long-Term Care Resources and Bader Philanthropies (formerly known as the Helen Bader Foundation) in Milwaukee. These involved entities created WAI as a public-private partnership working together to provide service, outreach, education and research.
WAI receives core funding from the State of Wisconsin, research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and program funding from Bader Philanthropies.
In 2006, under the direction of Mark Sager, MD, WAI’s founding director, the WAI received $3.5 million from the NIH to support research in Alzheimer’s disease prevention through the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention, or WRAP, program. Today, WRAP is an internationally recognized study of more than 1,500 asymptomatic adult children of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The primary goal is to identify the genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that eventually lead to the development of Alzheimer’s in people likely to develop the disease. This essential first step in research could eventually lead to discoveries that delay the onset or even prevent the disease.