An important part of celebrating Black History Month is to learn about the many contributions made by Black Americans to our overall culture, society, and even tight-knit communities. In addition to community celebrations within our residences, we at LCB Senior Living also want to highlight the groundbreaking contributions made by Black men and women in the Memory Care field. Here we’re shining a spotlight on three brilliant healthcare professionals whose work in the Memory Care industry is fueling the important work that our associates are doing for our senior living communities every day.
Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller
In 1897, at the young age of 25, Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller became the nation’s first Black psychiatrist, earning his Medical Degree from Boston University School of Medicine. This alone was quite a feat in the late 1800s, but BU’s School of Medicine was a homeopathic institution which was open to students of all races and genders.
Dr. Fuller was a pioneer in Alzheimer’s research, working under Dr. Alois Alzheimer, and ultimately helping to establish Alzheimer’s as a physical disease in the brain rather than the often-assumed result of insanity or aging.
Dr. Fayron Epps
Fayron Epps, Ph.D, RN., is an Assistant Professor at Emory University, and the Founder and Program Lead for Alter. Dr. Epps created the Alter program in 2019 “to address the lack of resources and awareness around dementia in African American and faith communities in the state of Georgia.”
She’s dedicated her 20+ year career to helping better support families affected by dementia, and via the Alter program, she is helping faith communities create inclusive dementia-friendly opportunities. She discovered disparities in care that she was inspired to rectify, thus she explored ways that religious and spiritual connections can promote engagement among people with dementia. By connecting these dots, she is connecting families and communities.
Dr. Floyd Willis
Another notable Memory Care Dr. Floyd Willis, a physician and investigator at the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
Throughout his 30+ year career practicing family medicine, he’s been a problem-solver, helping to connect minority patients to research, clinical trials, and therefore better care. According to this interview, Dr. Willis says, “It’s extremely important to understand how we can predict who might get it and, if possible, discover early treatments for (Alzheimer’s disease).”
Other health issues, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes have been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, so Dr. Willis has made strides in helping to identify those who might be at a disproportionately higher risk.
By making a healthy body = healthy mind connection, Dr. Willis is creating positive change for communities.
These are just a few of the very creative, passionate, and inspiring Black women and men who are helping to make strides in Memory Care. At LCB Senior Living, we are proud to have a team so very dedicated to Memory Care via our Reflections Memory Care communities, we are also proud to have a truly diverse community of residents, associates, and care partners! They are all heroes in our eyes.