News Releases

UWF professor leads the fight against chronic disease in Northwest Florida

Dr. Daniel Durkin, assistant professor in the University of West Florida Department of Social Work, was recently named the Alzheimer’s Association Ambassador for the Florida Panhandle and was selected to the Board of Directors for Covenant Alzheimer’s Care.

“We’re incredibly proud of Dan’s work with the Alzheimer’s Association and Covenant Alzheimer’s Care,” said Dr. Roy “Butch” Rodenhiser, professor and chair of the Department of Social Work. “He’s been very active as an advocate for senior citizens and I’m sure his work will continue in his recent appointments. He will carry the torch in support of advocating for people with and at risk of Alzheimer’s disease.”

The Alzheimer’s Ambassador Program is designed to enhance the Alzheimer’s Association’s federal government relations efforts. That is made possible through personal contact between targeted members of Congress and constituents, who are capable of building relationships with decision-makers and their staff and holding them accountable to their commitment to fighting Alzheimer’s.

Ambassadors are grassroots volunteers selected to serve as the main point of in-district contact for a member of Congress for a one-year term. Ambassadors play a critical role in helping the Alzheimer’s Association meet its federal legislative goals and work directly with National and chapter staff to implement federal advocacy activities at the community level.

“As ambassador, I hope to build relationships with legislators and provide them with information and evidence that will help them make informed decisions about policies and programs for people with Alzheimer’s disease, their caregivers and older adults,” Durkin said.

Durkin developed an interest in becoming an ambassador and helping inform decision makers about evidence on social work topics after working with the state Legislature to get Title IV-E passed for child welfare. He said the ambassador role and his appointment to the Board of Directors for Covenant Alzheimer’s Care provide him with the opportunity to open doors for the Department of Social Work and the University as a whole.

“My involvement with these organizations helps the Department of Social Work present policy advocacy opportunities to further the mission of the department, the College of Education and Professional Studies and the University,” he added. “I am proud to represent the University of West Florida with these organizations.”

For more information about the Alzheimer’s Association and Covenant Alzheimer’s Care, visit and, respectively. To learn more about the UWF Department of Social Work, visit