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.
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.
Chris is originally from Indiana and graduated in 1983, with honors, with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Ball State University. Her nursing career started at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Medical Center. After raising two sons, Chris returned to nursing as a health educator and continues to have an interest in health promotion. Her duties caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s Disease sparked her interest in working with patients and family members who are affected by memory loss. Chris finds it very satisfying to work in an environment where there is opportunity to develop a relationship with each patient and their caregivers.
Shelly is a Pittsburgh native where she completed her RN training and college degree culminating with a Master of Education in Health Education. She has practiced in a variety of settings including critical care, nursing education, legal consulting, and college professor. Shelly has a passion for helping others achieve health and wellness through improved lifestyle choices and loves working with the patients and families at Memory Center Charlotte to achieve improved health practices. When not working, Shelly can be found outside playing sports or cheering on the Steelers!
Kelly is a native Charlottean. Upon graduating from Appalachian State University with a degree in Communications, she returned to Charlotte where she earned her RN license. Kelly began her career in the Neurological Intensive Care Unit at Carolinas Medical Center where she worked for several years before becoming a stay at home mom to her three children. During her time working in the ICU she developed a passion for helping patients and families navigate difficult situations. Kelly returned to nursing when she joined the team at Memory Center Charlotte in May, 2016. She enjoys developing relationships with our families and patients and helping them manage their memory problems and the challenges they face.
Margaret, a native Charlottean, graduated from Charlotte Mecklenburg public schools and Mercy School of Nursing in Charlotte. Her early nursing experience included medical-surgical intensive care and infection control. After pausing her nursing career to raise her three children Margaret served in various roles as a community leader and public-school advocate. Margaret was honored to join the Memory Center Charlotte team to care for memory disorder patients and their families. Her family’s personal experience caring for family members with Alzheimer’s disease heightened her awareness of the need for quality services and support for patients and families negotiating this illness. In her off-duty hours, Margaret enjoys cooking and spending time with her family.
Angela joined Memory Center Charlotte in January, 2014 and handles billing and insurance relationships for the practice. She is a native Charlottean, and had a long prior career with AT&T in Sales, Marketing, Management and Data Networking. Angela holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Appalachian State University. Angela realized the importance of caregivers understanding insurance coverages and the mysteries of medical billing while she was caring for her own mother. She strives to assure that our patients and their caregivers understand their bills and how co-pays, co-insurances and deductibles impact their balances.
Dede is an Air Force brat and has lived all over the United States. She graduated from Virginia Tech and moved to Charlotte, where she has lived for the past 20 years. Dede began her career as a paralegal and worked for several years at First Union before becoming a stay at home mom to her three boys. She enjoys working with families and caregivers and loves being a part of the Memory Center Charlotte team.
Anita is originally from Northern Virginia, where she graduated from George Mason University with her BA in Psychology. Upon graduating, she began working as a caregiver for individuals with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Anita returned to caregiving once more as she settled into Charlotte, and joined the Memory Center team in October of 2018. She is currently working toward her master’s degree in social work at the Catholic University of America. When she is not working, Anita can be found hiking with her husband and their three dogs, Maddox, Cooper, and Laika.
LaTeesha is a native of Charlotte, NC. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communications from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, NC and then her master’s degree in Healthcare Administration and Gerontology from the University of Phoenix. LaTeesha has always had a passion for the elderly, dance, theatre, youth and helping people. LaTeesha has over 10 years’ experience in healthcare and has served in home care management, facilitated workshops for elderly communities and provided geriatric consulting to seniors and their families. In her free time, LaTeesha cooks and listens to music with her husband, Michael, and runs TLT (Touching Lives Totally) Dance Charlotte, a community organization that she founded in 2014. LaTeesha joined the Memory Center Charlotte family in October of 2018 and is excited to be a part of an organization that is changing lives.
After studying and then working as a Prevention Coordinator in Wilmington, NC, Mattie moved to Rouen, France to teach English. In June of 2018, Mattie moved back to her native Charlotte and began her career at Memory Center Charlotte. Mattie employs her passions for building relationships and giving back to populations in need at Memory Center Charlotte through her work managing the social media, fundraising, and working with the administrators to keep the office running smoothly. Outside of MCC Mattie can be found on a yoga mat, at the movies, or searching for Charlotte’s best chai latte.
Mary joined her husband, Dr. Charles Edwards, in creating Memory Center Charlotte in November of 2013, as his business manager, bookkeeper and receptionist. She continues today as a frequent volunteer at the clinic.