Blog Archives: Advocacy

What Makes Us Distinctive? The PDF Way: A Letter from the Executive Director, Winter 2013

What makes PDF distinctive?  As you may remember from September’s post, I am now answering such questions in my introductory letter for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s quarterly newsletters, and posting them on the PDF blog, so we can begin a conversation with you. In PDF’s recently published Winter 2013 issue, I discussed what makes us distinctive, what we call The PDF Way. How does it play out in our programs? The PDF Way In our research portfolio, The PDF Way means supporting the creative ideas brought to us by scientific teams and individuals — peer-reviewed and time-tested. We provide long-term support to… read more Read More

Dr. Bill Weiner: Eminent Scientist, Independent Voice and True Friend

Last month, the Parkinson’s community lost a dear member, one who dedicated his career to the treatment of the disease. William J. “Bill” Weiner, M.D.,  known to many at the University of Maryland where he served as Chairman of Neurology and the Director of the Maryland Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center, passed away on December 29, 2012. Involved in treatment trials for Parkinson’s disease since levodopa in the 1960s, Bill was truly one of a kind in his profession – a fine scientist and a dedicated clinician who was committed to thinking for himself and to expressing his views… read more Read More

A Fond Farewell to an Extraordinary Friend, Paula Wittekind

Paula Wittekind In the loss of Paula Wittekind, who passed away on November 8, the Parkinson’s community bids farewell to a lovely friend, a fine mind, and a courageous and indefatigable presence. To the end, she fought quietly but effectively against her own infirmities and against the indifference of institutions that she felt could always do more to wage serious war against Parkinson’s. But in all of these ventures – whether it was the legendary Parkinson’s Pipeline Group, which she co-founded, the Parkinson’s Action Network, or my own organization, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation – Paula served as an effective research… read more Read More

Remembering Arlen Specter

When I learned of the death of former Senator Arlen Specter two weeks ago, I thought immediately of two people in the Parkinson’s community who I knew would strike just the right chord to pull me out of a mood of regret for the loss of a true champion of medical research in America. I got it right. One was of these was Jim Cordy  – a veteran of the 1990’s “Washington Wars” to get Parkinson’s disease recognized – and funded — as a national priority.  He was a close colleague of Joan Samuelson (read on), the founder of the… read more Read More

PAIRing up for Research: The Importance of Saying Thank You

Last week, we were excited to see a great example of pairing up (the slogan for our Parkinson’s Advocates in Research, or “PAIR” program) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). In an article entitled, “Events honor early patients of novel Parkinson’s study,” VUMC reports on their study of deep brain stimulation surgery as a treatment for early stage Parkinson’s. DBS is approved by the FDA as a treatment for mid stage Parkinson’s, but not for those with earlier stage PD. We were impressed to see how VUMC thanked their volunteers, all people with Parkinson’s, who made the study possible. As… read more Read More