Mother, Daughter Give $3M to Recruit Brain Health Expert at UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute

Gift establishes the Dorothy Wood Whitaker and D. Elizabeth Price Chair in Brain Health

CINCINNATI – February 17, 2017 – A $3 million gift from noted Cincinnati philanthropist Dorothy “Bunny” (Wood) Whitaker and her daughter D. Elizabeth Price of Chicago has established a new endowed chair within the Memory Disorders Center at the University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute – The Dorothy Wood Whitaker and D. Elizabeth Price Chair in Brain Health. Funds will be used to recruit an expert in brain health and expand programming to serve more patients with Alzheimer’s and other brain-related health areas.
“My daughter and I are proud to support the important work happening at the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute,” Whitaker said. “Our hope is that the gift helps advance brain health studies and research to ultimately improve patient treatment and care.”

In addition to supporting the new chair, their generous gift also will support comprehensive clinical care, research and clinical trials within the Memory Disorders Center. The center helps families affected by the challenges of aging by distinguishing between normal forgetfulness and more serious memory issues that are the byproduct of more than 100 cognitive health conditions.

“We need to build a different infrastructure and model of how we approach brain health. This generous gift will enable our team to approach research and care in new ways,” said Rhonna Shatz, DO, medical director of the Memory Disorders Center, the Bob and Sandy Heimann Chair in Research and Education of Alzheimer’s Disease and associate professor of neurology at the UC College of Medicine.

The UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute is a collaboration of UC Health and the UC College of Medicine, and is the region’s leading treatment, research and teaching center for complex neurologic and psychiatric conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. Across the United States, more than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease. That’s one in 9 people aged 65 and older, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, a leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.

“This generous investment from Dorothy Whitaker and D. Elizabeth Price will help advance patient-centered neurologic and psychiatric care, life-changing research and comprehensive education at the institute,” said Joseph Broderick, MD, director of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute. “We are so grateful for their unwavering support of our work and mission.”

Whitaker’s support to the institute dates back nearly 25 years. In 2013, Whitaker’s husband passed away after suffering from progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a rare brain disorder that causes progressive problems with control of gait and balance and problems controlling eye movement. Whitaker, a long-time friend of UC Professor of Neurosurgery John M. Tew Jr., MD, searched for a way to help others battling the rare brain disorder. Through a $100,000 gift, she established the Caleb C. Whitaker, III Fund for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy to support PSP research.

The UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute is in the middle of a $54.5 million fundraising campaign to help fund the creation of a new world-class outpatient facility and expand programming. More than $39 million already has been raised, including a $14 million pledge from the James J. and Joan A. Gardner Family Foundation.
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