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Dorrance Family Establishes Vascular Neurology Chair at Barrow

June 5, 2020
Dr. Michael Waters, Director of the Stroke Program, Appointed to Chair

The Barrow Neurological Foundation is pleased to announce the establishment of the Dorrance Chair of Vascular Neurology for the Stroke Program at Barrow Neurological Institute. Michael Waters, MD, PhD, chief of the Barrow Division of Vascular Neurology and director of the Stroke Program, will be the named chair.

This endowment allows dedicated time for Dr. Waters’ groundbreaking research to identify genetic mechanisms of stroke and to develop drugs to minimize the damage caused by stroke. This critical research could change stroke outcomes for patients in Arizona and around the world.

“We know that early intervention can reduce damage following a stroke, but there remains much work to be done to advance stroke prevention and improve and expand acute stroke therapies” said Jacquie and Bennett Dorrance. “Dr. Waters will lead the way to a new gold standard for stroke care, increasing speed to treatment, reducing damage and improving recovery.”

Barrow is a destination for stroke care in the Southwest. In the last several years, the number of patients treated has more than doubled. Dr. Waters has implemented a telestroke program so physicians at other hospitals in the region can get virtual assistance from the neurovascular experts at Barrow.  In addition to growing the stroke program, Dr. Waters also leads the Barrow Emergency Stroke Treatment Unit, an innovative program bringing the emergency department to a patient’s driveway, providing life-saving care in a fraction of the time it would take to get to a hospital for treatment. The emergency stroke unit is one of just 12 mobile stroke units in the nation and the first to operate around the clock in a city with a population of more than one million.

 “We are doing a better job of treating individual stroke patients, but we need to improve system-wide care to ensure all stroke patients receive the best care possible,” said Dr. Waters. “I am grateful to Jacquie and Bennett Dorrance for providing the resources to discover advances in treatments and novel ways to protect the brain.”   

The Dorrances and the Dorrance Family Foundation created this endowment with a gift through the 2020 Barrow Grand Ball and the Women’s Board of the Barrow Neurological Foundation, which has raised more than $75 million to advance research at Barrow since 1965.

“Jacquie and Bennett Dorrance have a long history of incredible generosity and supporting life-changing causes in Arizona,” said Katie Cobb, president of the Barrow Neurological Foundation. “We are so grateful for their continued partnership with Barrow and this endowed chair is a fitting tribute to the transformational work that Dr. Waters is doing in stroke treatment and research. “

Barrow donors generously fund 17 endowed chairs. The endowments allow faculty dedicated time to further Barrow’s mission of advancing the knowledge and practice of medicine in neuroscience through basic and clinical research, education of medical professionals and innovation in clinical techniques and technology.