The Brain Awareness Project

Mission Statement:

Our national mission is to educate the American public as to the seriousness of Alzheimer's, Dementia and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) by raising the necessary donations to accomplish our objectives. We are also dedicated towards helping fund the necessary research to find a cure for both Alzheimer's, Dementia and TBI while promoting awareness, education, and research.  As the only national foundation to link all Cognitive Impairment, we feel a moral responsibility to also educate the youth of America as to the know factors of our causes.

Current Activity:

We are the only non-profit that links Alzheimer’s, Dementia, & Traumatic Brain Injuries. We have developed a program for kids and youth. It provides nutritional guidelines on brain health. Our goal is to show the youth of America. Health Brain = Health Heart = Heath Life “Big Heart needs Healthy Brain”.

Along with the nutritional component, we also educate on protecting the brain. TBI is the #1 cause of death for children ages 1-10 . That includes  "unintentional injuries", falls & Traumatic Brain Injuries are a part of that.

Because there is no cure at this time for Alzheimer’s, Dementia, & Traumatic Brain Injuries and the American Neurological Association, along with our researchers have stressed their limitations. The best course for our Foundation is prevention.

Prevention is our number one tool to assist children. They will share The Brain Awareness Project™ with friends and family as their attitudes change regarding food habits. In the end, our goal of social change occurs as the children become parents themselves. This is the more cost effective method of changing nutritional habits and decreasing the cost of health care.

Pilot Program:

The program will initially be in (Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah & North Carolina)

The “Brain Awareness Project” powered by FAN (Fitness and Nutrition)  has been Developed by:

 Melani Duffrin , PhD, RDN  Professor of Nutritional Science, East Carolina University

With Collaboration from:

Mark ORavitz, Founder & CEO of The Johnny O Foundation (

Melanie D Hingle. PhD, MPH, RD Professor of Nutritional Science, College of Agriculture and Life Science at University of Arizona 

The Love Sea Turtle Project (


We will provide a nutritional educational program to after school kids in America

The nutritional content of the project encourages a healthy lifestyle for all ages. There is a huge deficit in America's nutritional health and people find their diet lacking. Our program is centered on Brain Health. In American it is know there are approximately 16 Million American kids who go hungry everyday (Feeding American).  Additionally, in contrast there are 5.7 Million  of those 16 million children who are obesity from eating the wrong foods (CDC). 

What has been discovered is that obesity leads to Diabetes and correlated to risks of Dementia. (American Neurological Association). This educational program will address the effects certain foods and food groups have on the health and stimulation of the brain. Children who suffer cognitive impairments (Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion) can benefit from this diet while recovering. The program will additionally address good foods vs bad foods for the brain. We will also address the need for Fitness and Nutrition to go hand in hand as both can help prevent cognitive impairment later in life.

Brain Health = Heart Health = Long term Health

Brain health and exercise go hand in hand.


A couple of quick facts: 

  • Increase in cognitive Impairment deaths since 2000 – 66%
  • Number of deaths from cognitive related causes in 2012 - 152,000
  • Number of American’s with Alzheimer’s, Dementia and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) in 2012 – 17.5 Million (Source CDC)
  • Cost of care to the American public from cognitive impairment - in 2012 - $260 billion
  • Cost of care to the American public from breast cancer -in 2012 - $26.9 billion

Many of us have heard on the radio and on TV the group Feeding American talking about the 16 million American kids who have no food. They forget to tell you 5.7 million (30%) of those 16 million kids are obese!  You see it is a proven fact, obesity can lead later in life to Type 2 Diabetes which can lead to Cognitive Impairment (Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's and TBI) etc. 

Getting kids food to eat is the first steps. Now it is time to take the next step and insure they are eating the right foods. This educational program addresses youth (after school programs), regarding the nutritional benefits of eating the right foods and how eating the proper foods will increase your brains ability to function. Additionally, the program addresses how eating certain foods will enable increased brain function and decrease the possibility of obtaining cognitive impairment. The program also addresses possible effects certain foods have on improvement of brain function as it pertains to TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). (Source CDC)

By the year 2040, our causes (Cognitive Impairment) will be the #1 Cause of Death and #1 Cost to the American Public over Heart Disease and Cancer (Source Rand).

Cognitive Impairment is at an epidemic stage and little is being done at present to avoid a critical bypass as we approach 2040 and beyond! It is critical we educate the youth of America today!

In addition, to the nutritional benefits on the brain of certain foods, we will also project the benefits such foods might have on TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury for civilians & Military) recovery. 

Our goal is for America to have the tools to be proactive in maintaining good brain health, since our foundation has a number of research partners and nutritionists who are working with us on the program. We are filling the gap and spreading the word about how people can actively play a role in their health now and as they age.

The program will be offered to kids. Our kids program will concentrate on Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA, and local School Districts Brochures will be provided and available, but a qualified nutritionist/doctor will share the scientific information to each group attending workshops. 


Hosted by The Johnny O Foundation, the only national foundation to link Alzheimer's, Dementia and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)