Visiting Nurse Notes: Scholar & Student Partner with Community Health Workers in Nicaragua

image3How would you help your patients with PD if levodopa were unavailable? It is a difficult question. But it is one that Elizabeth K. Keech, Ph.D., R.N., an adjunct clinical assistant professor from Villanova University College of Nursing and a scholar with The Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Program at PDF, sought to answer along with one of her students, Elizabeth Yates, B.S.N., R.N.

The EJS-VNF Program at PDF trains nursing faculty in Parkinson’s disease, so that they can prepare the next generation of nurses — their students — to care for the growing number of people living with PD.

After Dr. Keech completed the program, she partnered with Ms. Yates, to improve care in PD in communities that need it most. As part of a partnership between Villanova and community health workers in a rural area of Nicaragua, the two put together educational materials to help local workers identify PD and encourage people living with it to seek treatment.

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Celebrating Spring to Benefit Parkinson’s, Boston Edition: A Q&A with Rehana Ashraf

Celebrate Spring Co-Chairs

From left to right: Anne Green, Kate Evans and Rehana Ashraf. Credit: Michael Blanchard Photography

Rehana Ashraf and her partners-in-planning Kate Evans and Anne Greene, are focused on getting young Bostonians involved in the Parkinson’s cause. In fact, in part to honor their own loved ones affected by the disease, next month they are hosting their fourth annual Celebrate Spring Boston to benefit PDF on Friday, April 24, building on previous years’ successes. The festive evening features cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and dancing.

Over the past few years, the women have used PDF’s New York event of the same name as a blueprint for success, raising more than $130,000. In the interview below, find out why the Parkinson’s cause is so important to Rehana and how her group is getting their generation involved in Parkinson’s philanthropy.

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Teaming Up to Fund Research: Q&A with Alan Zimmerman

Alan Zimmerman“Can’t” isn’t part of Alan Zimmerman’s vocabulary. That’s why he is on a mission to end Parkinson’s disease, along with an enthusiastic team.  This month, he and fellow members of the PDF People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council (PPAC) are launching a special team fundraiser to support PDF research programs.

Their goal? Raise $25,000 to support PDF’s Community Choice Research Awards, which support research into unmet needs in PD that are identified by the community. Hear from Alan, known by friends as “Z man,” about why he’s excited to work with his PPAC team to make a difference.

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May We Have This Dance?

Photo credit: Joy Esterberg

When was the last time you danced? In recent years, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) has seen growing popularity and availability of dance programs designed specifically for people with Parkinson’s disease. In fact, the trend was discussed a few weeks ago in a National Public Radio segment.

Have you or a patient or a loved one tried dance classes for PD? If not, what should you know and how can you find a class?

Let’s explore the answers. And don’t miss our video, “A Celebration of Movement,” which may leave you inspired to get up and dance.

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PAIRed Research Into Mood Disorders in PD: Q&A with Dr. Stark-Inbar

Ronnie Wanetick and Dr. Stark-Inbar

From left to right: PDF Research Advocate Ronnie Wanetick and Alit Stark-Inbar, Ph.D. at UC Berkeley

Did you know that anxiety and depression are common in Parkinson’s disease (PD)? Both of these fall under the umbrella of mood disorders. But despite being common in PD, they often go undiagnosed (or incorrectly diagnosed) and under-treated.

By combining forces, a scientist-patient advocate team involving Alit Stark-Inbar, Ph.D., at UC Berkeley and Ronnie Wanetick, a PDF Research Advocate, is finding solutions.

The two received a PDF PAIR Leadership Award to study EMOTE, an iPad app that can help to monitor depression and anxiety throughout the day, and even offers games to help ease symptoms. While the app is still being tested (it’s not yet available to the public) the initial results are promising. We sat down with Dr. Stark-Inbar to hear about the research, and how the insights of people with PD helped to make it happen.

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The Power of Self in Parkinson’s: Q&A with Diane Cook

Diane CookAre people newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s finding the right support? Many people, when first diagnosed with Parkinson’s, are given little guidance on facing life with a chronic progressive disease. And that diagnosis is life changing — it entails changes to health, relationships, family life, employment and finances.

Diane Cook, a member of the PDF People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council, is passionate about changing this. She wants to support the newly diagnosed so they can begin their PD journey on the right foot.

Over the past few years, she has developed a program called PD SELF. It provides tools and information to the newly diagnosed, and asks them to learn “self-efficacy” — to tap into their personal power to manage their PD and improve their health and well-being.

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