West Virginia Health Care Leader Shana Phares Named CEO of the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute

Jun 14, 2010, 15:14 ET from Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute

Longtime State Health Advocate Joins the World's Only Nonprofit Institute Dedicated to the Study of Memory and Memory Disorders

MORGANTOWN, W.Va., June 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute (BRNI) announced the appointment of Shana Phares as Chief Executive Officer today. Phares joins BRNI's team of renowned medical and health care specialists working to unravel the mysteries of behavior, learning, and memory to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of neurological disorders.

"I have seen first-hand the devastation Alzheimer's causes families here in West Virginia and across the nation," said Phares, "We are on the front line of a battle against memory diseases and disorders and I am proud to be a part of such an amazing institute."

Phares has a long history of supporting the health of the people of West Virginia, having served as Deputy Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources from 2003 to 2005, and again starting in September 2009.  In that capacity, Phares supervised the Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities and the Bureau for Public Health. During the period between her appointments as Deputy Secretary, Phares served as acting state pharmaceutical advocate in the Governor's office, helping to increase access to medications and reduce drug costs for Mountaineers in need.

"We are excited to have a new CEO who has so much history in improving the health of the state where BRNI came to fruition," said Lane Bailey, Chairman of the Board.  "With her leadership and expertise, we are confident that the Institute will continue its global leadership in neurological research, and move forward in bringing advances in treatments and diagnosis from the lab to the patients who need it most."

Since its founding, more than a decade ago by Senator John D. Rockefeller (D, WV), the Institute has attracted internationally recognized scientists to conduct cutting edge research on brain function,  memory disorders such as Alzheimers Disease, stroke and traumatic brain injuries.  The Institute utilizes a "translational science" approach, intended to bridge the gap between fundamental research in memory processes and the development of products and treatments for patients with memory impairments by actively promoting innovation.  BRNI is the world's only non-profit institute dedicated to the study of both human memory and diseases of memory.

"BRNI is doing important research on the brain – from fighting to cure neurodegenerative disease to unraveling the complexities of traumatic brain injury, their work is cutting edge and greatly needed," said Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV).  "With the addition of West Virginia native Shana Phares as Chief Executive Officer, the Institute's efforts will reach new heights.  Shana is a natural leader with broad expertise in health sciences and an abiding passion for making people's lives better.  She will be an outstanding asset to the BRNI team at this important time."

For more information on the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute please visit www.brni.org.  

About Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute:

Created in 1999, BRNI is the world's only non-profit institute dedicated to the study of both human memory and diseases of memory.  Its primary mission is to accelerate neurological discoveries from the lab, including diagnostic tools and treatments, to the clinic where it can benefit patients who suffer from neurological and psychiatric diseases.

BRNI is operated in alliance with West Virginia University in Morgantown as well as in collaboration with other academic institutions such as Johns Hopkins University.  West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller founded the Institute in memory of his mother, Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller, who died of Alzheimer's disease.

SOURCE Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute