About Us

At AKALAKA, we believe in providing the best support and resources to those who need and give the greatest care.

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Who needs the greatest care?

"In 2020, an estimated 5.8 million people used paid long-term services and supports (LTSS) delivered in home and community settings and 1.9 million used LTSS delivered in institutional settings, according to [the Congressional Budget Office] estimates. Most people ages 65 and older and many people under age 65 with disabilities have Medicare, but Medicare does not cover most LTSS and instead, Medicaid is the primary payer for LTSS. To qualify for coverage of LTSS under Medicaid, people must meet state-specific eligibility requirements regarding their levels of income, wealth, and functional limitations. An unknown, but probably even larger number of people, used unpaid LTSS that is provided by family, friends, or neighbors. LTSS encompass the broad range of paid and unpaid medical and personal care services that assist with activities of daily living (such as eating, bathing, and dressing) and instrumental activities of daily living (such as preparing meals, managing medication, and housekeeping). They are provided to people who need such services because of aging, chronic illness, or disability, and include nursing facility care, adult daycare programs, home health aide services, personal care services, transportation, and supported employment. These services may be provided over a period of several weeks, months, or years, depending on an individual’s health care coverage and level of need." -Priya Chidambaram and Alice Burns, 10 Things About Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS), (KFF, 2022-09-15)

Who gives the greatest care?

"Family and friends comprise the most basic unit of any society. For individuals who take on the responsibility of caring for another person through sickness or disability, it can often be challenging to see beyond the individual experience. [...] the need to recognize and support family caregivers as the cornerstone of society will only become more important. Today, more than one in five Americans (21.3 percent) are caregivers, having provided care to an adult or child with special needs at some time in the past 12 months. This totals an estimated 53 million adults in the United States [...]." -AARP and National Alliance for Caregiving. Caregiving in the United States 2020. Washington, DC: AARP. May 2020.

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AKALAKA is the community for care partners, including disabled members and caring family and friends, with lived experience navigating the wilderness of disability services. In search of the support and resources we need to live longer, healthier lives at home and in our communities of choice, we find each other and join hand in hand to handle life together.

If you want to share in our support and resources on your journey with care, connect with AKALAKA.


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Victoria Chibuogu Nneji, Ph.D., Founder & CEO

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Carey Jackson, PHR, Operations Lead

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Darcie Crane, Creative Writer & Accessibility Analyst

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Jennifer Ingerman, M.Ed., Project Manager

Photo of Justin Ray smiling

Justin Ray, Ph.D., Lead Engineer

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T'Marek White, Financial Analyst

Photo of Sam Brandsen smiling

Sam Brandsen, Ph.D., Research Analyst

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Kelly Friedlander, MSW, MPA, Policy Analyst & Stakeholder Engagement Consultant for NC Advocacy Leaders Network

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Deja Barber, MS in School Counseling / Mental Health Counseling-Rehabilitation Student & Peer Mentor for NC Advocacy Leaders Network

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Photo of Laurel Powell smiling

Laurel Powell, MS, Family Support Consultant for NC Advocacy Leaders Network

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Shalina Brady, MSW Student & Family Support Assistant for NC Advocacy Leaders Network

Impact Investors

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AKALAKA is funded by Tiger Global Impact Ventures as a winner of Hello Alice's Accelerate(HER) with the Global Entrepreneurship Network 

NIH National Institute on Aging logo

AKALAKA is a finalist in the National Institutes of Health-National Institute on Aging Start-Up Challenge & Accelerator

Duke Office of Durham and Community Affairs logo

AKALAKA works with First In Families of North Carolina through funding from Duke University Health System for Building Healthy Communities

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AKALAKA works with Personal Lifetime Advocacy Networks of Rhode Island through funding from the Rhode Island Foundation for Community Building through Diversity

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AKALAKA works with the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities and the North Carolina Division on Aging through funding from the U.S. Administration for Community Living

Eli Lilly & Company Foundation logo

AKALAKA is funded by the Eli Lilly & Company Foundation as a winner of Flywheel Foundation's Health Equity Innovation Challenge with Advocate Health