For the first time, Pate has dedicated one of its treatment buildings to honor one of its own: Dr. Patrick Plenger. The plaque on the wall of our center at Brinlee Creek Ranch tells the brief story of this extraordinary man but there’s so much more that won’t fit.
Dr. Plenger has spent over thirty years in neuropsychology. As Pate’s Clinical Director, he has been known not just for his brilliance, but also for his gift for connecting with people on a deep level.
Patients, families, staff – everyone loves Patrick Plenger. He’s just that kind of guy.
“Dr. Plenger is that rarest of combinations – a scientist who brought his full humanity to work every day. And not only brought it, he used it,” said Pate President Kent Hayden in his dedication speech. “In the rational world of science, it’s easy to just focus on the data. It’s easy to miss the person behind the data. Dr. Plenger never has.”
Patrick Plenger began the road to Pate in the 1980s in Houston when he met Pate’s founder Dr. Mary Ellen Hayden as they both were beginning their careers at Del Oro hospital. Their paths continued to cross over the years as neuropsychology progressed from a small group of experimental scientists to the thousands working today. And, they kept in touch.
Why? “He’s brilliant,” Dr. Hayden said. “He’s the best.”
After Dr. Hayden’s retirement, Patrick Plenger took over as Pate’s Clinical Director and led vital brain research into brain injury treatment and recovery.
“Dr. Plenger has unusual rapport with patients, family and staff,” said Henry Irving, co-founder of Pate and husband of Dr. Hayden. “He’s open, curious, will do anything to help. He’s also unbelievably caring, honest, and conscientious about research and protocols. Dr. Plenger makes sure things are done in the right way. And he has a great sense of humor – he laughs a lot. So he’s great to be around.”
At the company level, Dr. Plenger embodies the spirit of Pate. “You can just look at our core values and see that they really describe…him,” said Kent. “Integrity. Innovation. Empowerment. Respect. Compassion. Relationship. ”
It seemed natural to name a building for Dr. Plenger. After all, everyone who passes through it receives the benefit of his knowledge, research and passion for excellence.
“Dr. Plenger’s work is now part of the foundation of neuropsychology,” said Kent. “He planted a tree that will shade someone else in the future. That person will know a better quality of life because of Dr. Plenger.”
The new Patrick M. Plenger Treatment Center is the main treatment area for all patients who come to Pate’s location near McKinney, Texas. Whether patients live on site or come to treatment daily, we want them to know about Dr. Plenger’s devotion to improving the lives of all people with acquired brain injuries. Dr. Plenger proves that one person really can help change the world.
We’re proud of all that Dr. Plenger has accomplished and what he continues to accomplish. Thank you Dr. Plenger for your many achievements!