Parkinson’s Foundation Supports Training for Doctors, Nurses

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by Mary Chapman |

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The Parkinson’s Foundation invested $1.1 million in two fellowships programs aimed at giving neurologists and nurse practitioners more specialized and expert training in Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Specifically, the investment supports the Institutional Movement Disorder (IMDS) Fellowship Program for neurologists and the newly opened Nurse Practitioner (NP) Fellowship in Movement Disorders.

Those chosen for this year’s fellowships will receive training in and experience with Parkinson’s, with neurologists also given financial support for research projects into the disease and its treatments that aim at improving patients’ lives.

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“Physicians and nurses are vital players in improving care for people with Parkinson’s, and these fellowship programs continue our long-standing commitment of bolstering care teams,” John L. Lehr, Parkinson’s Foundation president and CEO, said in a press release.

“We are thrilled to launch the Nurse Practitioner Fellowship in Movement Disorders as the first program of its kind globally, extending the foundation’s international impact,” Lehr added.

4 doctors, 3 nurses awarded fellowships

Four neurologists were recipients of the two-year IMDS Fellowship Program, which includes an award of up to $207,000:

  • Ekhlas Assaedi, MD. During her fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic, Assaedi will hone her skills in research methodology. Her research interests include deep brain stimulation, a surgery to ease motor symptoms in those with more advanced disease, and parkinsonism disorders.
  • Nathaniel Bendahan, MD, who will use his fellowship at Toronto Western University to further his skills in diagnosing and managing Parkinson’s and other movement disorders.
  • Jason Chan, MD, PhD. Chan will focus on cognitive and motor control in Parkinson’s, neuromodulation, and deep brain stimulation during his fellowship at the University of Florida.
  • Joseph Seemiller, MD, who will complete his fellowship at Johns Hopkins University with a focus on research development and the use of PET imaging in the study of proteins connected to neurodegeneration.

Three nurses were selected for the NP Fellowship program, offering advanced subspecialty education in Parkinson’s, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. The training’s focus includes clinical investigations as well as deep brain stimulation, and offers an array of interdisciplinary resources. This year’s recipients are:

  • Abigail Corriveau, who will complete her fellowship at the University of Florida. She’s particularly interested in whole body wellness, nutrition and exercise for neurological conditions, and gene mutations contributing to diseases such as Parkinson’s.
  • Kristen Matulis intends to use her fellowship at Columbia University Irving Medical Center to increase her understanding of Parkinson’s care, helping patients retain their independence life quality.
  • Patrick Walker, who will use his fellowship at the University of Florida to expand the knowledge he gained in more than 16 years of caring for patients with neurological diseases and injury, promoting their health and bringing hope to them and their families.

Each NP Fellowship recipient will be awarded up to $118,000 under the yearlong program.

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