Lakewood Ranch Community Fund Opens Brain Health Initiative Fund

The Lakewood Ranch Community Foundation, established at the Manatee Community Foundation in 2000 to enhance the quality of life in and around Lakewood Ranch, has created a separate fund under Manatee Community Foundation to facilitate donations to the Brain Health Initiative.

The Board of Advisors has approved a grant of $15,000 per phase, for a total grant of $45,000, to the new fund, the “Lakewood Ranch Community Fund Brain Health Initiative”. In addition to the grant approved by the Board of Advisors, the new fund already has facilitated more than $105,000 in donations from supporters throughout the region.

The Brain Health Initiative was formed by The Academy for Brain Health and Performance (ABHP) in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital. This three-phase, large-scale effort is designed to uncover the factors, both positive and negative, that affect brain health and performance, as well as discern, develop and test interventions aimed at optimizing brain health throughout the lifespan.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this additional support from the Lakewood Ranch Community Foundation,” said neuropsychologist Stephanie Peabody, Psy.D., HSPP, who serves as the founder and executive director of the Brain Health Initiative. “These grants will serve greatly in our efforts to carry this landmark, multi-generational initiative through its next two phases, ultimately leading us to a healthier future.”

Fundraising for The Brain Health Initiative began in March with a $600,000 donation by Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, developer of Lakewood Ranch. Since then, the Brain Health Initiative has received $1.4 million in funding via strong support from leadership throughout the greater Gulf Coast region, enabling Phase 2 – planning for the Pilot Study – to launch this September.

Over eight months, the Brain Health Initiative team will build from insights gained during the initial Phase 1 surveys that were conducted last year with more than 500 Lakewood Ranch residents. Throughout Phase 2, researchers will conduct focus groups across the region and use the findings to create strategies for the pilot study, as well as receive input from additional scientific leaders and develop the brain health baseline survey to be implemented in Phase 3.

Launch of the Pilot Study (Phase 3) will begin in Spring of 2020. In addition to implementing the pilot study, the team will begin developing early plans to facilitate clinical trials and unveil plans for the Brain Health Innovation Lab. Located in Lakewood Ranch’s 305-acre CORE (Collaboration Opportunities for Research and Exploration) campus, the lab will serve as a space where global innovators, entrepreneurs and investors can come together to validate brain health solutions and evaluate innovations for commercialization purposes.

The Brain Health Innovation Lab will bring brain health science and solutions to where Gulf Coast residents live, work, learn and play. For example, brain healthy schools, workplaces, grocery stores and restaurants will be developed. Schools and businesses can be supported across a variety of brain health protective factors that contribute to enhanced brain health and optimal brain performance across a person’s lifespan. Grocery stores and restaurants can be enhanced to offer brain healthy shopping lists and menu selections to their customers.

“The mission of the Lakewood Ranch Community Foundation is to enhance the quality of life in Lakewood Ranch and surrounding areas,” said Garrett Shinn, President of the Board of Advisors. “The Brain Health Initiative not only allows us to achieve our mission, but it will give The Fund, businesses and residents of Lakewood Ranch the opportunity to enhance the quality of life for people around the world for generations to come.”

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