Board-certified neuropsychologist Karen Sullivan, owner of Pinehurst Neuropsychology Brain & Memory Clinic and the ‘I Care For Your Brain’ education program, was selected as the only North Carolinian among the 44 participants for the 2021 Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses National program.
The 10,000 Small Businesses program began in 2009 with Goldman Sachs’ pledge to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing access to education, capital and business support services.
Sullivan saw applying to the program as an opportunity and next logical step to grow her small business.
“My goal is to learn more about the business side of what I can do to take my vision of brain health for all to the next level,” Sullivan said. “I’m so excited to learn from fellow business owners about how they have scaled their businesses to impact more people.
Science-based brain health information is vital and needs to be more accessible not only in our local community but also around the world.”
After opening her private practice in 2013 where she specializes in evaluating cognitive issues in older adults like memory loss, Sullivan set her sights on education and reaching more than just her patients in the formation of a second small business with her I Care For Your Brain programming in 2016.
“There was a strong need in the community to have a trusted source for science-based brain health information,” Sullivan said. “There are so many too-good-to-be-true scams out there that claim to treat or erase cognitive symptoms, including dementia, so I sought to create a lecture series that empowers attendees with high-quality education that truly impacts the quality of their brain health.”
In the five years since, Sullivan fully developed her nine-part lecture series complete with companion workbooks to engage the audience–both in person and online–and help translate their new knowledge into action. She also wrote an “Interactive Stroke Recovery Guide,” that is now provided to all stroke survivors at discharge at all of the FirstHealth of the Carolinas hospitals in the region.
Having presented the lecture series for organizations including Penick Village, The Forest at Duke, St. Joseph of the Pines, and The Foundation of FirstHealth in North Carolina, she has recently transitioned into offering her education program as part of employee wellness programs for Founders Federal Credit Union in South Carolina and Southern California Gas Company.
“Older adults, in particular, want to know more about this very important part of their health and are highly motivated to make better choices that improve the health of their brain,” Sullivan said. “What I love is that the I Care For Your Brain program empowers them to become better consumers of brain health information, and they’ve become savvy about media reports or products that have no return on their time or money investment. We teach people how to understand brain health and what evidence-based steps they can take with a true return on their investment.”
While still seeing patients in her practice and presenting her I Care For Your Brain lectures, Sullivan is also committed and honored to be included in the Goldman Sachs program. Its fall curriculum requires at least 20 hours a week, consisting of meetings with a Babson College faculty advisor, an executive coach, business advisor and small groups, as well as project work, networking and developing a growth plan for her business. The learning concludes with a five-day gathering at Goldman Sachs headquarters in New York City, where participants present their business plan to their peers and business leaders.
“I’m excited and ready,” Sullivan said. “I love learning and feel like this program is the missing piece I need to make my big small business dreams a reality.”