RICHARDSON, Texas (Oct. 6, 2004) – A $1.5-million gift from a Dallas couple, Sallie and Frederic B. Asche, Jr., to The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) Center for BrainHealth will fund a new wing where scientists and clinicians work together to develop and provide cutting-edge treatment to victims of stroke and other brain injuries.
The gift will enable the establishment of the Sallie and Frederic B. Asche Jr. Advanced Treatment Wing at the Center for BrainHealth’s new home – a completely renovated, 63,000-square-foot building at 2200 Mockingbird Lane in Dallas expected to be ready for occupancy in mid-2005.
“We are deeply grateful to the Asches for their generous gift, which will have a direct and lasting impact on the development of new treatments and on the quality of lives of countless people now and in the future,” said Shelia Schlosberg, chairperson of the Center for BrainHealth’s Advisory Board. “Their thoughtfulness will make it possible for us to develop an entire wing of our new building and dedicate it to an unparalleled program that will provide advanced intervention following a stroke or other form of brain injury and will be focused on ensuring that individuals have access to the highest level of ongoing, coordinated care and rehabilitation for continued recovery.”
Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, director of the center, added, “The Asches’ gift will allow the creation of a facility for individuals and their families to go to after the initial interventions by the admitting hospital have ended and provide support for the family throughout the life-long recovery stages of a brain injury. The Asche wing will provide a national showcase effort offering new treatment options, hope for further recovery and long-term assistance to overcome the consequences of brain damage. The efforts will represent new models of treatment arising from collaborative partnerships involving experts in brain imaging, biomedical engineering, cognitive neuroscience and other areas.”
The Asches’ gift has a very personal meaning for them. Frederic Asche, known as “ Tex” to family and friends, suffered a stroke in 1997 at the age of 68.
“Our lives changed in a matter of minutes and would never again be the same,” said Sallie. “It has been seven years since Tex’s stroke, and there still are major issues that must be faced every day, 24 hours a day.
“With brain damage, there is a daily struggle just to do the smallest of tasks; you must struggle with the loss of independence every hour of every day,” she continued. “That is why we, as a couple, feel so strongly about this center – we believe with more long-term rehabilitation, daily applying new research breakthroughs and creating brain health awareness, the brain can and will repair itself in time.
“Tex and I live every day with his stroke and hope through our gift that many will be spared the struggle of this awful brain attack,” she said.
According to Chapman, stroke is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States, and is a growing concern as the nation’s aging population expands. However, she said that new findings offer hope for both the prevention and treatment of stroke.
“Recent research reveals the importance of routine cognitive screenings, since subtle cognitive decline is a warning signal of an impending stroke,” she said. “If cognitive changes are detected early, major stroke could likely be prevented.
“In addition, science has discovered that the window of time for the brain to recover after trauma is a lifetime rather than the widely held view that recovery is limited to one year,” Chapman said. “As a result, the numbers of people needing long-term services is increasing dramatically.
“Both of these facts underline the urgency for advanced interventions like those that will be offered at the new Asche wing,” she said.
The Asches are long-time Dallas residents. Tex, a native of Houston, is a graduate of Amherst College. He is a former member of the board of directors of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce. An avid automobile buff, he served as secretary of the Dallas Sports Car Club of America. A sportsman, he is a lifetime member of the Safari Club of Dallas. Sallie was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Jefferson Medical Hospital University School of Nursing Radiology.
The Center for BrainHealth was created by UTD in early 1999 to bring together researchers and clinicians to integrate brain research with clinical interventions and provide innovative programs and treatment for individuals with brain injuries, progressive brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and natural aging. The center, which has embarked on a major fundraising drive, currently is located at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders on Inwood Road adjacent to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
Last July, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the purchase and renovation of a nearby building on Mockingbird Lane to house the research and clinical activities of the center. Located on a three-and-one-half-acre site, the three-story building, to be named the Frances and Mildred Goad Building, will provide office and laboratory space for numerous research projects currently ongoing at the Center for BrainHealth, as well as several current and future collaborative research efforts involving the center and other universities and medical centers.
Anyone interested in more information on the center may contact Dr. Chapman at 214-905-3007 or [email protected].
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 14,000 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s web site at www.utdallas.edu.