More than 500 people came out to beautiful Napa Valley last Saturday for the 23rd annual Music Festival for Brain Health where famed country singer Lyle Lovett thrilled guests with an intimate performance. This event is known for its high profile concerts and consistently raising significant money. This year was no exception, with nearly $5.5 million raised to support One Mind and its efforts to find new ways to treat depression, traumatic brain injuries, bipolar disorder and other brain conditions. Since its inception, the festival has raised more than $280 million to fund neurological research.
This event provided an opportunity for all of us to come together to celebrate our accomplishments, but also to find hope in the research,” said Kafui Dzirasa, MD.
The event was held at Staglin Family Vineyard where Shari and Garen Staglin, and their children Brandon and Shannon, were joined by Congressmen Mike Thompson, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and One Mind CEO Pete Chiarelli.
“The support we continue to receive that fund these important scientific discoveries is amazing,” said Garen Staglin, who chairs One Mind and owns the vineyard. “As we near a quarter of a century with this effort, we are beginning to see the breakthroughs that will unlock the mysteries of the brain and make a difference in so many lives.”
This year’s event featured actor and singer Lyle Lovett and his Acoustic Group, which entertained the enthusiastic crowd from the vineyard stage with songs old and new. But the festival was about a lot more than entertainment. The event began with a scientific symposium, featuring a keynote by Joshua Gordon, director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Gordon discussed the NIMH’s role in finding cures and the essential role public-private partnerships play to advance this work. Samuel McLean, Jeffrey Houpt Distinguished Investigator at the University of North Carolina, discussed how the scientific and medical communities can better understand disabling brain changes following traumatic events.
“We use the term brain health, not mental health because there is not discrimination or stigma about the brain. There is no shame, no blame about the brain. It’s about brain fitness and brain health”, said Shari Staglin.
“To see in person what the Staglin’s have done over these 23 years is incredible. What a privilege it is just be able to see what all these folks do by coming together. It’s important work and I’m proud to be able to be here,” said Lyle Lovett.
The symposium also announced the 2017 Rising Star Award. Sponsored by One Mind and Janssen Research & Development, these awards fund innovative brain research to better understand the factors that cause brain disorders and find novel cures. Alik Widge, an assistant professor in Harvard’s Department of Psychiatry, received the Translational Research Award for his work on brain stimulation. Ian Maze, a professor of Neuroscience at Mount Sinai, received the Early Diagnostics Basic Research Award.
“We just need to all work together so that we can make some serious progress in the area of brain health and this organization is doing that and I intend to be here every year,” said event attendee Mary Nicholson.
After the symposium, guests enjoyed the Staglin Family Vineyard winery caves, where they were treated to hors d’oeuvres and lots of wine, with more than 75 local wineries pouring reds, whites and bubbly. The post-concert, four-course gourmet dinner was served outdoors with perfect weather and featured the cuisine of well-known Napa Valley Chef Cindy Pawlcyn of Mustards Grill and Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen paired with Staglin wines.