BrainHealth Group Gets High-Profile Help at Launch
Former First Lady Laura Bush Make Impassioned Plea for Research Support
Oct. 6, 2009
Former First Lady Laura Bush made a special visit to the UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth last week to help launch a new endeavor called the Think Ahead Group, or TAG. Mrs. Bush, who lost her father to Alzheimer’s disease, discussed with guests her commitment to brain research and treatment.
TAG members hope to raise awareness about brain health through the engagement, education and enlistment of younger generations. TAG will also raise funds for center research. The group’s motto is “Think Big. Think Bold. Think BrainHealth.”
“We know how to keep other parts of our bodies healthy: our heart, teeth, skin. The reality is, more can be done to modify the brain than any other part of the body – yet as a society, we do almost nothing,” said Sarah Monning, who co-founded TAG with Maggie Flagg. “TAG was created as a way for a new generation to begin educating each other on what it means to have a healthy brain.”About 300 people attended the TAG launch party Thursday night, Oct. 1, at the center, where they mingled with Mrs. Bush after her talk. The invited guests learned about new research projects clinicians and scientists at the center, who demonstrated their work in such areas as brain imaging, virtual training for people with autism and the center’s Brain Health Physical for cognitive assessment.
“All of us have parents or grandparents with issues being addressed by the Center for BrainHealth, or friends with children that have brain issues,” guest Ryan Johnson said after the TAG presentation and Mrs. Bush’s supportive talk.
Dr. Sandi Chapman, founder and chief director of the Center for BrainHealth, said the TAG group’s energy and leadership will be essential to helping the center become the world’s leading brain research institute in the next 10 years.
“The center could not be more excited about the formation of the Think Ahead Group, and we are very grateful to Mrs. Bush for helping us introduce this new organization to Dallas,” said Dr. Chapman.
TAG is led by a six-member executive board and a 16-member advisory board. Guests at the event were offered the opportunity to become members of the group.
Guest Katie Hankinson was candid about the amount of time she spent thinking of brain health before the subject thrust itself into her life. “I never thought about brain health, to be honest, until a close friend’s mother was stricken with brain disease. But now that I am aware of it, I want to do what I can to help so that others won’t have to suffer in the same way that he and his family have,” she said.
The UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth is a research institute focused on maximizing human cognitive potential. The Center currently has more than 50 studies under way, including investigations into the effects of physical exercise on the brain, stress, multi-tasking, post-traumatic stress disorders in soldiers, autism, Alzheimer’s and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Laura Bush discussed her commitment to brain health research at a launch for the Think Ahead Group..
TAG is led by a six-member executive board and a 16-member advisory board.
For more information about the Think Ahead Group, or to learn how to become a member, please visit or contact Maggie Flagg at [email protected].
A $100 membership fee includes invitations to social and educational events along with a subscription to the BrainHealth Center’s quarterly newsletter Brain Matters.