A Virtual Walk Through The Pat Summitt Clinic

by Teresa Levey, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer
by Teresa Levey, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer


It’s an exciting time as teams continue to work very hard to create The Pat Summitt Clinic. The space continues to look more like the vision we all have of a clinic to expand and advance the diagnosis, treatment, family support, and research for Alzheimer’s and other dementias in an ultimate effort to find a cure for the disease.

While renderings are a great way to help us understand what the physical space of a new medical clinic or building will look like, we may actually need to share a little about what you’re seeing to give you a better understanding of some of The Pat Summitt Clinic design elements and how they’re in place specifically to benefit Alzheimer’s and dementia patients and their families.

In the exam rooms, for instance, we have comfortable exam chairs with hand rails, placed lower to the ground than the typical high exam table. This is helpful because many Alzheimer’s patients can be at risk of falling from a higher space. Additionally, the use of well-placed lighting in the exam rooms allows for a soothing effect, while also helping remind our patients that it’s daytime.

Likewise, recognizing the unique and varying preferences of our patients in the Alzheimer’s and dementia clinic, we’ve created a large waiting room with separate sections. One has a lower ceiling, which is inviting to patients who prefer a little more privacy. The section with a higher ceiling provides an open concept and will appeal to patients who enjoy a broader view and space. 

Also in the waiting room area, we’ll have a large aquarium. We can all identify with going somewhere and feeling a sense of comfort when we see fish in an aquarium. We’ve seen research that for those facing Alzheimer’s aquariums with brightly colored fish can provide an appealing and soothing reaction.

Throughout the clinic, we’ll have furniture, materials and window coverings that look more like a home than a doctor’s office. We’ll also have elements in place to keep sound levels low. As we work our hardest to fight this disease, we want our patients and their loved ones to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible when they come to The Pat Summitt Clinic.