Parkinson’s Foundation Awards $2.2M in Community Health Grants

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by Patricia Inacio PhD |

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The Parkinson’s Foundation has awarded over $2.2 million in community health grants to 143 programs that will benefit Parkinson’s disease patients across 42 U.S. states, as well as efforts in Australia and Taiwan.

This year’s grants, which mark the program’s 10th year, range from $5,000 to a maximum of $25,000 and aim to support local health, wellness, and educational programs. Of the $2.2 million, $1.6 million will fund programs for diverse and underserved Parkinson’s communities.

A full list of this year’s awardees is available here.

“We are pleased to be able to provide these community grants and to expand programs and resources throughout the Parkinson’s community,” John L. Lehr, president and CEO of the Parkinson’s Foundation, said in a press release.

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“Every one of these grant recipients shares our commitment to making life better for people with Parkinson’s disease,” he added.

Three main areas of intervention — services for diverse and underserved populations, initiatives for newly diagnosed patients, and programs addressing mental health and Parkinson’s — were the focus of this year’s grants.

As such, the programs funded include wellness, dance, and music therapy, plus educational classes that help to improve quality of life.

One grant recipient is a team of researchers at the University of Texas at Tyler that is developing a telehealth program addressing life quality through a focus on mental health and wellness support sessions.

“Thanks to the generous support of the Parkinson’s Foundation, the University of Texas at Tyler’s Parkinson’s team will be able to provide mental health and wellness programs via telehealth for people with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners in the East Texas region,” said Julie Hebert, clinical assistant professor, coordinator of the master of Occupational Therapy program at the university.

“We truly appreciate this opportunity to support and provide resources to rural communities who have had limited access to needed Parkinson’s programs in the past,” she added.

One of two grants supporting programs outside the U.S. went to the Monash Medical Centre in Australia, developing rehabilitative strategies for people with Parkinson’s disease.

The other grant was given to the National Taiwan University Hospital, which is developing a multi-disciplinary and innovative service for people with early onset Parkinson’s.

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