Patient Experience

Blending Heart & Science

Barbara and Rusty hope their gift will inspire others to join in their vision
Barbara and Rusty Schlattman are thankful to live in a northwest Houston community where world-class neurology and stroke care are readily available to family and friends in their local health care home of Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital. The Department of Neurology at Houston Methodist Willowbrook offers leading medical experts, state‑of‑the‑art neurosurgical facilities and advanced treatment options for neurological issues ranging from brain and spinal tumors to stroke, epilepsy, sleep disorders and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
“Having a full-service neurology care program in our suburban area has been transformational,” Barbara says. “We have quite a few friends suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and it affects the person and the entire family.” Rusty’s own family endured the difficult challenges of Alzheimer’s, and he has seen the effects of this terrible disease on patients and caregivers he has treated in his dental practice over the past 50 years.
In September 2023, the neurology department earned certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center from DNV Healthcare USA Inc. The prestigious title is awarded to institutions meeting rigorous criteria and offering the resources, infrastructure and expert staff to diagnose and treat the most complex stroke cases.
Apart from accolades, the Schlattmans appreciate Houston Methodist’s holistic approach to health care, which involves caring for not only the body but also the mind and spirit. In providing a generous gift to create the Barbara and Rusty Schlattman Neuroscience Endowment at Houston Methodist Willowbrook, the couple wishes to create a special memory care program and an environment that, together, help the entire family when a loved one is diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease.

“We want to bring together heart and science,” Barbara says. “I visualize a beautiful, serene place — a designated space where people who are suffering and their families will find help, comfort and peace.”
Barbara serves on the board of trustees of Houston Methodist Willowbrook and is active in the community. She and Rusty hope their gift will inspire others to join in their vision of a tranquil space where specialists understand that overall wellness includes nourishing the soul with holistic health and education resources.
“Houston Methodist Willowbrook is definitely on the right path,” Rusty says. “It’s been our family hospital for decades, and we are so proud of the ways it has grown and expanded. It’s a blessing for families to have neurology emergency and long-term care so close to home.”
Keith Barber, CEO of Houston Methodist Willowbrook, agrees. “We are profoundly grateful to our remarkable community members, Barbara and Rusty. Their unwavering support and boundless generosity have lit the path for us to embark on a transformative journey to confront challenging neurological diagnoses in a way that empowers both patient and caregiver to embrace a life defined by hope and resilience.”
Barbara concludes, “Anything we can do to help the caregiver and give dignity to the patient is vital. We want to ensure they are respected, nurtured and given the best quality of life they can have — every day.”