This week's speaker is Dr. Monica Crane of Genesis Neuroscience here in Knoxville. She is hosted by Greg Maciolek.
Dr. Monica Crane has built a career around studying Alzheimer's and other dementias, in an effort to help people deal with or delay the damage the brain diseases do.
The geriatric medicine specialist has been well-known in the area for her work with the Geriatric Assessment Program, or GAP, at the former Baptist Health System, and then at the University of Tennessee Medical Center's Cole Neuroscience Center, where she served as associate director and director of clinical research.
Crane operates a memory disorders clinic, providing evaluation and treatment for Alzheimer's, dementia and other cognitive complaints. Her Genesis Neuroscience Clinic will start small, she said, with just herself, a nurse, a nurse practitioner and an office administrator, all of whom have "passion and expertise" for neurological diseases that affect the elderly, plus an intern working in research.
Geriatric medicine is still an underserved community, Crane said, and the potential for federal funding in that area to be cut provides less incentive for new providers - who will be needed during what Crane said is an upcoming "epidemic" where one-third of Americans 65 and older will die of Alzheimer's or another dementia.
"It is not a lucrative area of practice ... but there is tremendous reward," Crane said. "It's an exciting time for Alzheimer's disease. I do believe we're going to have curative therapy around the corner. I think the key will be to diagnose early and treat aggressively."
Crane's practice will be located in the Provision Medical Office Park in Dowell Springs, off Middlebrook Pike, within the Genesis Brain Health Institute, which targets baby boomers with programs and lifestyle changes intended to prevent or delay cognitive decline. Dr. John Dougherty, who was medical director of Cole Neuroscience Center when Crane worked there, last month became medical director of the Genesis Brain Health Institute, which was co-founded by his son Andrew Dougherty.
But Crane said that although she may refer patients to and collaborate with the Genesis Brain Health Institute, her clinic is "distinct" from the other company, providing medical treatment and evaluation. She also plans to offer clinical trials and is already the site principal investigator for a national study looking at how the use of amyloid PET affects patients with mild cognitive impairment or dementia. Meanwhile, she'll continue to teach at the UT Graduate School of Medicine here and the Health Science Center in Memphis.
Crane said the new practice gives her the freedom to "innovate," but her longterm goal is sustainability -- a practice that can support itself without relying on grants.
"We need to find a way to keep the doors open for the long run," she said.
Knoxville Breakfast Rotary 2016-2017 Club Annual Report
President Michael Holober is proud to publish this year's Club Annual Report. It details all of the efforts of club members during the 2016-2017 Rotary Year.