CBS Sports Commentator Jim Nantz and The Methodist Hospital Launch Nantz National Alzheimer CenterHouston, TX - 1/19/2011
Emmy Award winning CBS Sports commentator Jim Nantz and The Methodist Hospital in Houston have created the Nantz National Alzheimer Center (NNAC), an all-inclusive center committed to accelerating the progress of cutting-edge Alzheimer's research and treatment in hopes of one day finding a cure. The Center will provide an environment for comprehensive care of Alzheimer's patients and their families.
Nantz returned to his adopted hometown of Houston to make the announcement with Dr. Stanley Appel, Chairman of Neurology at The Methodist Hospital, and Ron Girotto, president and CEO of The Methodist Hospital System.
Nantz's father, Jim Nantz Jr., died in 2008 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and was treated at The Methodist Hospital. Every 72 seconds, someone in the United States is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and it is projected that as many as 16 million people will have Alzheimer's by 2050.
"Through my personal giving and fundraising we are creating the NNAC in honor of my father; as a lasting tribute to my mother Doris, and sister Nancy who represent the millions of people who have lived through the hardship of caregiving; and my daughter Caroline, who symbolizes the hope and the future of the next generation," Nantz said. "It is our hope the NNAC will help discover what causes Alzheimer's, how to prevent it, how to treat it, and ultimately how to cure it – and that's our goal. We will do everything possible to raise awareness and develop resources for this Center to not only battle Alzheimer's disease but to bring additional focus to neurological trauma of all kinds."
"The awareness Jim Nantz brings to this effort and the ability to create the Nantz National Alzheimer Center is a hopeful step for Alzheimer's patients and their families," said Appel, director of the Methodist Neurological Institute. "With forward-looking research into causes and treatments, we look to provide new hope and a better quality of life to Alzheimer's patients while easing the burden that the disease places on families."
Appel said the NNAC will also focus on the possible connection between concussions and other head traumas in athletes and the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
"For decades, Methodist has provided comprehensive neurological care to patients in our community as well as to others from around the world," Girotto said. "We truly appreciate Jim Nantz and his dedication to this cause, and I believe this is a first important step leading to a breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer's disease."
In 2010 Methodist named acclaimed Alzheimer's clinician-researcher Dr. Gustavo Román to lead the Alzheimer's center and become holder of the Jack S. Blanton Distinguished Endowed Chair. He leads a multi-disciplinary team that is conducting translational research on memory disorders and the relationship between brain circulation and dementia.
Jim Nantz Jr., himself a former college football player and a lifelong inspiration to his broadcaster son, suffered from the ravages of Alzheimer's disease for 13 years and Nantz chronicled his father's story in the New York Times bestseller Always By My Side: The Healing Gift of a Father's Love.
Nantz joined CBS Sports in 1985. He is the voice of CBS Sports and leads the network's coverage of the NFL including the Super Bowl, the PGA Tour including the Masters, and the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
The NNAC will be part of the Methodist Neurological Institute, which provides state-of-the-art research and comprehensive care to patients with neurological diseases and disorders, and injuries to the brain and spinal cord. It is a technologically advanced and uniquely collaborative environment, employing a team approach to bring a remarkable range of neurological subspecialties and services to the care and treatment of complex neurological disease.For more information on Methodist and the Nantz National Alzheimer Center, please see www.NantzFriends.org.