2012 Nominees Section
William R. Shankle
Position: Judy and Richard Voltmer Chair of Memory and Cognitive Disorders and Director of the Orange County Vital Aging Program
Organization: Hoag Neurosciences Institute
Why should this person be nominated? (What makes nominee unique; why should they be selected the winner of this category?
Dr. Shankle is a board certified neurologist, specializing in the diagnosis, treatment and management of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD). As the Judy and Richard Voltmer Chair of the Memory and Cognitive Disorders program, and the director of the Orange County Vital Aging (OCVA)Program at Hoag Neurosciences Institute, Dr. Shankle works with and enables primary care physicians to identify and manage an individual’s risk factors for ADRD. Under Dr. Shankle’s guidance, the program also provides the support of a comprehensive triage and clinical research team, utilizing the most sensitive cognitive assessment tool to detect the first stage of mild cognitive decline leading to development of Alzheimer’s disease, and tailors the best possible prevention and treatment options for each individual.
He is also the director of a community based dementia program, the Shankle Clinic, which he founded in 1997 to deliver his medical knowledge and share his personal experiences as a caregiver to more patients and families. He is also a co-author of various neuroscience textbooks as well as “Preventing Alzheimer’s” (Putnam Press 2004/2007).
What is this nominee’s involvement in senior care or senior issues
As the director of the Orange County Vital Aging (OCVA)Program at the Hoag Neuroscience Institute, Dr. Shankle's passion is to help people maintain a healthy brain for life. In order to reach out to people in Orange County with this positive message, he launched the OCVA program two years ago with support from the UniHealth Foundation. OCVA is a multi-disciplinary program involving our community residents, county organizations, and various physician and industry partners, to help people prevent and delay the onset and progression of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD)through risk reduction, early detection, accurate diagnosis, plus effective treatment and management.
In just two years, more than 1,583 area residents, with a mean age of 70 years, have received free OCVA assessments at one of four locations. Many more have attended Dr. Shankle's frequent public lectures on vital aging, including ADRD risk-factors, causes of memory loss and positive lifestyle changes that can be made to reduce risk.
Throughout his career, Dr. Shankle has shown his personal commitment to ADRD prevention and research as well as the education of the public and the medical community about these issues. He co-founded the Alzheimer’s Research Clinic at University of California, Irvine, in 1987 and served as a clinical director for 10 years. Following that endeavor, he initiated a community based dementia program, the Shankle Clinic, in 1997 to deliver his medical knowledge and share his personal experiences as a caregiver to more patients and families. In 2001, Dr. Shankle received the Alzheimer’s Association’s most prestigious honor, the Zenith Fellows Award. This award is given annually to an independent researcher with a substantial personal commitment to the advancement of Alzheimer’s disease research. His findings on human brain development were reported by The New York Times to be one of the most important scientific discoveries of the 1990s. He is also a co-author of various neuroscience textbooks as well as “Preventing Alzheimer’s” (Putnam Press 2004/2007).