During COVID-19 Outbreak, MJFF Creates Information and Resource Hub

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by Mary Chapman |

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To support the global Parkinson’s disease community during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) is spotlighting its new information and resource hub.

The dedicated site includes webinarspodcasts, online educational events, insights and tips regarding PD and the coronavirus, and a virtual events hub to see how the community is staying connected.

“COVID-19 is testing us all in ways we never imagined,” said Michael J. Foxactor and MJFF founder, in a video accompanying the announcement. “Around the globe, individuals, families, and nations are rising to this challenge with courage and grace. “…Together we will pull through this, and be stronger than ever.”

Today (April 29) at noon EDT, the organization will present a 30-minute webinar about how to participate in Fox Insight, the MJFF’s online clinical study aimed at providing the research community with critical insight into the experience, genetics, and variability of Parkinson’s. (Register here.)

Recent webinars are now available on demand and via podcast. In one, panelists discuss how the Parkinson’s care and research community is responding to COVID-19, as well as actions patients and caregivers can take during the pandemic. In another, experts discuss strategies — including mindfulness and meditation — for coping with Parkinson’s during this uncertain time.

The hub also features educational events from the MJFF’s Parkinson’s IQ + You sessions, which have been moved online. In collaboration with the Parkinson’s Disease Education Consortium, an on-demand presentation discusses telemedicine and how it can work for Parkinson’s patients. The event also features a conversation with a patient and care partner about optimizing virtual doctor visits.

In the MJFF’s “Ask the MD” program, Rachel Dolhun, MD and vice president of MJFF medical communications, offers practical tips and insights on COVID-19 and Parkinson’s disease. Topics include “Coronavirus and Parkinson’s,” “Staying Active,” “Easing Mood Changes and Isolation,” Living with Parkinson’s Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic,” “Smell Loss in Coronavirus and Parkinson’s Disease,” “What We Know and Don’t Yet Know,” and “Making the Most of Your Telemedicine Doctor Visit.”

For more information and updates on managing your health during this unprecedented period, you can follow the MJFF on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Patients and caregivers are invited to share across those sites how they are coping. Responses could be featured in the #TogetherAtHome global campaign that seeks to encourage a united pandemic front.

Because many institutions are prioritizing the public health crisis, many foundation grantees are feeling the pinch. That motivated the MJFF to establish for scientists FAQs: Coronavirus (COVID-19) & Research Support. The site is for current grantees and applicants, and answers questions related to COVID-19.

“Our commitment to these researchers, and to you, is to keep critical Parkinson’s research moving forward with as little disruption as possible by being flexible and responsive to their needs as the situation evolves,” the foundation stated. “Our staff continues to work with urgency and determination to move our programs forward.”

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