The most successful basketball coach in history, battling her dementia, is opening the new Pat Summitt Alzheimer’s Clinic. It promises to be a huge help to patients and their families, caregivers, and friends, who are living with Alzheimer’s.
The Pat Summitt Foundation and The University of Tennessee Medical Center announced the establishment of the Pat Summitt Alzheimer’s Clinic.
The clinic is a new strategic partnership that will significantly expand the scope and capacity of the Medical Center’s existing Alzheimer’s Clinic.
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The joint announcement was made by the Foundation’s Advisory Board Chairman James A. Haslam II and The University of Tennessee Medical Center President and CEO Joseph R. Landsman, Jr.
“The Pat Summitt Foundation Advisory Board with Tyler and Pat have been exploring how our three-year-old Foundation could have the most significant impact at this point in time on the ever increasing need for Alzheimer’s services,” said Haslam.
“We are unanimous in our belief that this alliance with The University of Tennessee Medical Center is the right fit for the mission of Pat’s foundation and will benefit an enormous number of families in our region and the state.”
At the event, the Foundation presented the initial grant of $100,000 to support The University of Tennessee Medical Center in the launch of this milestone initiative as part of their commitment to raise $500,000 per year over the next five years - $2.5 million - to support the Clinic’s operation and services. As a kick-off to the national fundraising campaign, it was reported that an anonymous donor has stepped forward with a challenge pledge to match the first $1,000,000 in donations to the Foundation for this initiative.
“We currently serve 3,000 patients and their families at our Alzheimer’s clinic and project the need will double to 6,000 in the next five years. The Pat Summitt Foundation partnership will allow us to help so many more families and expand discovery by virtue of new national clinical trials, made possible by the establishment of a clinic dedicated exclusively to the care, family support and advancement of new treatments of Alzheimer’s disease.”
The American Alzheimer’s Association’s 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report that more than 120,000 senior citizens in Tennessee faced Alzheimer’s disease in 2010, a 20% increase from a decade prior. By the year 2025, more than 160,000 Tennesseans are expected to have Alzheimer’s disease.
“The Pat Summitt Alzheimer’s Clinic will provide timely, comprehensive and compassionate care, with an experienced multi-disciplinary team, to East Tennesseans faced with cognitive disorders,” said Dr. Monica Crane, a geriatric medicine physician at The University of Tennessee Medical Center. “It will allow us to further grow the services we’ve provided to patients and families faced with degenerative neurological disorders for the past 35 years at the medical center. Further, it will assist us in our unending goal of discovering a cure for Alzheimer’s disease through expansion of our participation in clinical trials.”
A key step in the launch of the Pat Summitt Alzheimer’s Clinic, according to foundation and medical center representatives, is to recruit and retain a full-time medical director with national recognition for work in both treating and researching Alzheimer’s disease. The medical director will lead the development of the Clinic including recruitment of other clinicians and researchers to advance its scope and impact.
In a joint statement Pat and Tyler Summitt said, “We could not possibly be any more excited about The Pat Summitt Foundation and the University of Tennessee Medical Center partnering in the creation of the Pat Summitt Alzheimer’s Clinic. We are looking forward to the clinic becoming a huge help to patients and their families, caregivers, and friends, who are living with Alzheimer’s disease and its related dementia's. It is our hope that by creating this clinic, everyone will have access to resources that will help them as they walk through this difficult journey.”
Pat and the Foundation’s leadership are committed to aggressively raise funds to fulfill her vision and support this milestone initiative. Pat is inviting individuals, corporations, and foundations to help with this battle by joining her team and making a contribution to The Pat Summitt Foundation. For more information, visit www.patsummitt.org to learn about the many ways anyone can give or get involved.
- The University of Tennessee Medical Center