Maureen Peckman Keeps Memories Alive
December 06, 2011 | by emma trotter | Talk of the Town
The Frank Gehry-designed Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health has brought much attention to Downtown
In four short years, Cleveland Clinic Nevada’s chief emerging business officer, Maureen Peckman, has overseen the construction of one of Las Vegas’s most anticipated new medical advancement centers and negotiated the marriage of Keep Memory Alive with Cleveland Clinic, its chosen medical partner. The thriving Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at Symphony Park has been fully operational since mid 2010.
Raising money for the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and memory disorders, Keep Memory Alive was cofounded by local philanthropist and Southern Wine & Spirits senior managing director Larry Ruvo in the mid ’90s. Its annual Power of Love fundraiser has since raised more than $100 million for the cause. Both the organization and Nevada scored a big win when the prestigious Cleveland Clinic partnered with Ruvo to open a new facility here—named after his father, who passed away from Alzheimer’s disease—as the high-ranking clinic is renowned and only operates in a few select cities worldwide.
Keep Memory Alive now functions as the center’s charitable arm with its dedicated Keep Memory Alive Events Center space, with Ruvo still serving as chairman of the board. “We have early detection, diagnosis, ongoing treatment, and research and caregiver services,” Peckman says. “All of our doctors are highly specialized in this area of neurocognitive [disorders]. This model, in terms of the specialization of physicians, the size and scope of our services, and the space that we have, doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.”
Peckman was first brought on board at Keep Memory Alive in 2007, when Ruvo was looking for someone to manage the completion of the $80 million construction project and direct its operational growth.
“My job is to look ahead 20 years and envision this as a western US campus for the Cleveland Clinic,” she says. “We focus on brain health today, but in 2025, we will have heart and digestive disorders, neurology, pediatrics, and autism.” Additionally, Peckman helps with venture capitalist fundraising, healthcare policy, and bringing new medical lines to Las Vegas.
Despite her prominent position, Peckman loves taking phone calls, speaking with patients and families whom the center helps. “At the Cleveland Clinic, that’s our culture,” she says. “I don’t care how big of a title you’ve got or where you are at in your station in life, we all need each other.”
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JEFF GALE
We go behind the scenes with our cover star.