Paula Rice


Paula Rice 
Board Member

Paula Rice came to Harlem Advocates for Seniors (HAS) in her role as Manager of African American Outreach for Caringkind  (formerly the Alzheimer’s Association) to educate the community on risk factors and treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.


Ms. Rice is a graduate of Rutgers University Graduate School of Management where she received her MBA. Prior to her journey as caregiver and advocate for Alzheimer’s disease she was an entrepreneur and founder of women’s sportswear company.  When her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Ms. Rice’s life was forever changed.  She dissolved her business to become a full time caregiver.

Ms. Rice is a healthcare activist on a mission to demystify Alzheimer’s disease in the African American community.  A real-life role model who was the primary caregiver for her mother with Alzheimer’s disease for eight years, she is keenly aware of the need for early detection, diagnosis and treatment as well as a comprehensive plan for caregivers and their loved ones.

In 2008 she was appointed by former Governor Elliot Spitzer to sit on the State Coordinating Council for Services Related to Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, where she advocates for delivery systems for caregivers in the State of New York.

In 2010 she joined Caringkind (formerly the Alzheimer’s Association of New York City) after being a client of theirs for ten years.  In her capacity as Manager of African American Outreach she addresses health disparities and risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity, which can lead to cognitive decline.  She accomplishes this through special events, such as speaking engagements and interactive workshops centering discussions on identifying early warning signs and the importance of early detection.

In celebration of Brain Awareness Month in June of 2014, Ms. Rice created the Brain Awareness Summit, which was sponsored by then NYC Councilwoman Inez Dickens and Congressman Charles Rangel.  In attendance was the Berkel Christian Education Foundation of St. Eustatias Dutch Caribbean.  At their request, the Summit was replicated the following year on the Island.

Today, Ms. Rice consults on special projects and events for community partners, the faith based community, legislative officials and the medical community who are aware of the need to educate the African American community on early detection.  In 2017 Ms. Rice co-sponsored a workshop with former NYS Senator Bill Perkins at the Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus entitled “Aging Alone in our Communities: Dementia Among our Seniors”.  In 2019, Ms. Rice co-sponsored a Black History Month symposium with Columbia University Medical Center where she was a featured speaker along with Neurologist, Christiane Reitz, MD on “Alzheimer’s in African Americans: Symptoms, Treatment and Research.”

She gives presentations at senior centers, public libraries, NYCHA and faith based congregations, and lectures at local colleges to Geriatric students throughout the five boroughs regarding the disproportionate risks of Alzheimer’s disease among African Americans. She also collaborates with health organizations to develop workshops and seminars in the community and also helps identify support services for persons in the community who think they or their loved one may have the disease. Part of these support efforts included leading two caregiver supports groups in Harlem and Queens.

Having southern roots, Ms. Rice likes to cook and also likes to sew and design comfortable clothing.