Parkinson’s Foundation Names Three New Centers of Excellence

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by Mary Chapman |

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The Parkinson’s Foundation has added three Centers of Excellence to its international network of expert care providers for Parkinson’s disease  patients.

The new centers are the University of Colorado Movement Disorders Center, Jefferson Health’s Comprehensive Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorder Center, and Indiana University School of Medicine. The addition brings the foundation’s total number of centers to 48, including 34 in the United States.

The network’s hospitals and academic centers provide specialized teams of neurologists, movement disorder specialists, physical and occupational therapists, and mental health professionals, who are at the leading edge of  treatments and innovations for Parkinson’s.

”The newly designated Centers of Excellence join a network that is setting the highest standards of care for people with [Parkinson’s] worldwide,” John L. Lehr, CEO and president of the foundation, said in a press release. “We are proud to further our commitment to improving the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s and making a difference in underserved communities across the country.”

In making its selections, the foundation gave priority to medical centers that, in their applications, emphasized underserved populations. Each selected center also had to demonstrate the ability to provide top-shelf, evidence-based, patient-focused care, and to conduct pertinent clinical investigations that center on patient needs. In addition, each center had to show leadership in professional training, and be meaningfully involved in patient education and community outreach.

“We learned so much about our own program going through the rigorous process to receive the designation as a Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence,” said Maureen Leehey, MD, professor of neurology and chief of the movement section at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

”The team at the University of Colorado is thrilled to be part of a larger network of high-performing sites that allow us to share what we do well and create opportunities to raise the bar by incorporating successful programs from other sites,” Leehey said.

According to the press release, it’s likely only a “small percentage” of those living with Parkinson’s get optimal care from medical experts who specialize in the complicated disorder. The Center of Excellence network seeks to help remedy that. After five years, each center must recertify to ensure continuance of mandatory care standards.

Several centers are involved in the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project — the largest clinical investigation the foundation funds — which follows some 12,000 patients over time to learn which therapies work best. Indiana University participates in the PD GENEration effort, which provides free genetic counseling for the study.

Visit this website to find a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, or call 800-4PD-INFO.