Welcome to Memory Center Charlotte.
Memory Center Charlotte is a nonprofit delivering a unique model of care to the patients and families fighting Alzheimers and related dementias. The crucial element of our approach is the time and attention that we devote to addressing the unique needs each patient and family may face. Behavior challenges and difficult transitions are inherent in all cases of Alzheimers and related dementias. Our staff is trained to help you navigate as the disease unfolds.
MEMORY CENTER CHARLOTTE'S INNOVATIVE APPROACH.
The elderly population in the Carolinas increased by 28% between 2000 and 2010, outpacing elderly population growth in both the south and the nation. Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, affects one in seven North Carolinians over the age of 65. In North Carolina, over 160,000 people are living with Alzheimer’s disease, a number projected to increase to more than 210,000 by 2025. This dramatic increase in the elderly demographic and its associated healthcare costs will overwhelm our local healthcare resources.
Memory Center Charlotte’s innovative approach, spending extended time and attention with patients and caregivers, has been shown to reduce emergency room visits and readmission rates compared to national benchmarks. Statistics from the MemoryCare Asheville demonstrate that 66% of patients were able to still reside at home at the time of death, and only 39% had been hospitalized during the last year of life, dramatically reducing cost, improving overall quality of life, and better managing caregiver stress. 100% of patients and families had advance care plans in place, and 77% were under Hospice care at the time of death, a stunning improvement over the general population in this demographic.
Meet Our Staff.
Dr. Charles H. Edwards II is the visionary and driving force behind Memory Center Charlotte. Raised in Charlotte, Dr. Edwards was deeply affected by caring for his elderly parents, both of whom had dementia. Following 30 years of practicing cardiovascular surgery, Dr. Edwards was accepted at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute where he completed his training in dementia care. All of these factors contribute to his unique approach to patient care.
Dr. Chaconas has practiced neurology in Charlotte for twenty-five years. He completed his medical school and neurology residency at Georgetown University Medical Center, and his neurophysiology fellowship at the University of Texas in Dallas. He has dedicated his career to the care of Alzheimer’s patients and the support of their families.
Dr. Shepard was born in Charlotte but spent most of her life in Maryland. She decided to pursue medicine after watching her grandfather’s battle with dementia. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maryland School of Medicine where she was inducted into the Gold Humanism and Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Societies. She completed her residency training in psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where she served as Chief Resident. Dr. Shepard has focused her training and research efforts on geriatric and neuropsychiatry, especially the care of patients with Parkinson disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and related dementias. Dr. Shepard is passionate about helping people with memory loss and their families live fulfilled and comfortable lives through all stages of the disease. Outside of work, Dr. Shepard loves spending time with her sweet toddler, Cora, and wonderful husband, Christopher.
Dr. Iyer is a fellowship-trained Movement Disorders Neurologist who specializes in the care of people with Parkinson’s Disease, tremors, dystonia, tics and other movement related problems. Before joining our center, he spent more than a decade at Carolinas Healthcare System/Atrium Health, where he served as Department Chair of Neurology and Director of the Movement Disorders Center. He completed his formal training at the Medical College of Georgia. Having practiced for 15 years at large academic centers, Dr. Iyer was attracted to the Memory—Movement—Mood multi-disciplinary model we have put into practice here with our team of specialists. He is a big proponent of exercise for his patients and believes in the power of positive thinking. When not at work, Dr. Iyer enjoys spending time with his family, cheering on his favorite sports teams and visiting Hilton Head Island as often as possible.
Robyn is a graduate of Penn State University, where she received her degree in Nutrition. She attended Duke University PA Program, graduating in 2000. She worked as a Physician Assistant specializing in gastroenterology and nutrition counseling for 7 years. When her grandmother developed and ultimately passed away from Alzheimer’s disease, she gained firsthand knowledge of the needs of families caring for loved ones with dementia. She brings her professional and personal experience, as well as energy and enthusiasm to care for our patients at MCC.
Connie Bonebrake has over thirty years healthcare leadership experience and in advocacy for patients and families. She has a Masters’ Degree in Social Work with a concentration on aging from the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill and is a licensed nursing home administrator. She is an energetic visionary and is passionate about insuring patients and families receive the highest quality of care and an experience that is engaging, informative and respectful. Connie and her husband Tom have been married over 30 years. When not working or spoiling grandchildren, Connie is active in her church and in anti-human trafficking efforts in the Charlotte Region.