A $40 million donation from Will and Cary Singleton will support research of treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and related memory and cognition disorders at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute Brain Health Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center, the medical center announced Monday.
“The Singleton gift is the largest single donation we’ve ever received and is a testament to the caliber of research, clinical care and medical talent that resides on our campus,” Saint John’s Foundation President and CEO Bob Klein said. “The Singleton family has been supportive of Saint John’s for generations now, and we hope their gift will inspire other philanthropists to join our campaign. We are immensely grateful for this transformative gift.”
The donation will be counted as part of the Power of Partnership Campaign to raise $200 million for Providence Saint John’s Health Center and its affiliate institutes, including Pacific Neuroscience Institute and John Wayne Cancer Institute.
“We looked at Alzheimer’s and thought, `Who’s going to solve this problem?’ After evaluating programs across the country, we are convinced that PNI and Saint John’s have the right approach, the right people and the necessary spirit of innovation to make significant progress in this critical fight,” Cary Singleton said in a statement.
Will Singleton added, “PNI and Saint John’s Health Center have very innovative programs. They’re able to move quickly with clinical trials, attract top-notch talent and they’re collaborative. We’re confident that this investment will produce results in areas of medical research and treatment that to-date have proven difficult to solve.”
PNI clinicians use leading-edge quantitative diagnostic tools to create personalized treatments, according to Providence. They are conducting a clinical trial assessing a cognitive fitness regimen for patients with early stage Alzheimer’s disease in collaboration with the Institute of Systems Biology, an affiliate of Providence.
Clinician researchers said they aim to improve early detection and profiling the at-risk population while also refining targeted lifestyle interventions to slow or even reverse cognitive decline. They also assess the impact of novel interventions such as stem cells and repurposed drugs for dementia patients.
Given the likely long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team aims to further optimize telehealth platforms and remote care models.
“Given the huge numbers of patients globally succumbing to Alzheimer’s and the tsunami of at-risk patients on the horizon, we want our methods and findings to be translatable and applicable to the wider population, in essence, to develop best practices to help clinicians everywhere alter the trajectory of the disease, from diagnosis to treatment, and the entire cascade of related ailments such as depression, anxiety and caregiver distress,” said Dr. David Merrill, geriatric psychiatrist and director of PNI’s Brain Health Center.
PNI Founder and Director Dr. Daniel Kelly said the institution has a long track record of advancing novel approaches and conducting clinical trials, and he said the gift will greatly accelerate those efforts to develop new standards of care.
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