LIVE from the 4th World Parkinson Congress (Day 1, Part I)

wpc-genericThis week, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation is on site at the 4th World Parkinson Congress (WPC) in Portland, OR. Our team of 100 staff, patient advocates and PDF-supported researchers and health professionals joins more than 4,000 delegates from around the globe who are all working toward the same goal: a world without Parkinson’s.

Each day, we’ll bring reports to you. Yesterday (Tuesday) was a pre-congress day before the formal program had begun, but it kicked off in full force! Here is what our team saw and heard.

Advancements in Parkinson’s Care

wpc16-gwynThe PDF team hosted a pre-congress session called “Changing how care is delivered: A success the Parkinson’s community can take pride in.” Along with our colleagues from the National Parkinson Foundation (with whom we recently announced a merger), we discussed our innovative evidence-based efforts to improve patient care. James Beck, Ph.D., Vice President of Scientific Affairs, PDF, moderated the session.

Highlights included a talk by Gwyn Vernon, R.N, (pictured at left) who discussed the impact of PDF’s efforts to train nurse faculty in Parkinson’s through the Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Program at PDF. To date the program trained 180 nurse faculty. Each year they reach 11,000 nursing students! They are not only better preparing the next generation, they are also changing nurse education and PD care.

wpc-nursingcollageLater that evening Scholars of this program gathered for a dinner to re-connect and discuss advances (see photo at left).

At the same pre-congress session, Peter Schmidt, Ph.D., of NPF discussed the results of the Outcomes Project, which is helping us to better understand the current state of Parkinson’s care and how to move forward.

Quote of the day from this session:
“Who is your best advocate in the hospital if the doc has not ordered your meds? Your nurse” Improve Parkinson’s edu for nurses #WPC2016.” (Credit @JillianSaxon)

Understanding the Fundamentals of Parkinson’s Disease

For those newer to Parkinson’s who arrived to the Congress here, the WPC offered a day-long ‘Fundamentals of PD Course’ that was chock full of information and practical advice. Speakers included scientists, neurologists, health professionals and people living with Parkinson’s.

wpc_panelHighlights included a panel comprising three members of the PDF team: Pat Davies, a PDF Research Advocate from Washington, DC; Israel Robledo, a PDF Research Advocate from Midland, TX; and Veronica Todaro, PDF’s Vice President, National Programs (see photo at left).

Their panel entitled, “So you want new treatments? How are you helping bring new treatments to the pharmacy? Or are you waiting for someone else to do the work?” discussed the ways in which people with PD can help to advance research.

wpc16-beccamiller-adjustedIn the same session later in the day, Becca Miller, Ph.D., a member of the PDF People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council, (see her bio here), spoke as well.

Dr. Miller discussed the ‘The Patient Experience,’ including her own diagnosis of Parkinson’s and how she learned to cope with the disease. See Becca pictured in photo at left.

Quote of the day from this session:
We often talk about experts in Parkinson’s but ‘YOU (people with #Parkinson’s) are the real experts.” Veronica Todaro, M.P.H., Vice President, National Programs, PDF, @rtodaro_pdf)



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