Parkinson’s Foundation Seeks to Add to Global Care Network in US

Priority will be given to applications in medically underserved regions

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by Mary Chapman |

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To help expand patient access to treatments and other services, the Parkinson’s Foundation is inviting U.S. medical centers that provide outstanding Parkinson’s disease (PD) clinical care and resources to apply for membership in its Global Care Network.

The network comprises Parkinson’s Foundation Centers of Excellence as well as Comprehensive Care Centers. This call for applications is for public or private healthcare facilities — including those based in academic institutions — in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, Great Plains, and Texas.

Priority will be given to applications from facilities that serve communities with limited access to quality care and resources. Special consideration also will go to applicants in medically underserved regions that do not now have a foundation-designated center, and to those that serve bordering cities and states.

The deadline is Oct. 27, and new designees will be announced next summer. Applicants must include a letter of support from a Parkinson’s patient living in the area, as well as from a department chair.

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“Today’s announcement marks the next phase in our planned care expansion and underscores the need to designate centers across a wide range of geographic areas,” John L. Lehr, president and CEO of the Parkinson’s Foundation’s, said in a press release.

“We will continue to broaden our footprint in care settings to ensure that every person with Parkinson’s disease has access to treatments and resources that will improve their quality of life,” Lehr added.

The nonprofit notes that the number of Parkinson’s patients in the U.S., now pegged at an estimated 1 million people, is expected to reach 1.2 million by 2030. Currently, however, around 40% of patients lack care by healthcare providers who have specialized training in neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s.

To date, the Parkinson’s Foundation oversees 51 Centers of Excellence — 37 in the U.S. — and six Comprehensive Care Centers. Together, the centers, which are required to provide exemplary multidisciplinary care, serve more than 260,000 patients.

To ensure required standards of care, each center must re-certify after five years.

Each of the Parkinson’s Foundation Centers of Excellence has on staff neurologists, mental health experts, physical and occupational therapists, movement disorder specialists, and more — all 0f whom must be current on research and therapies. Every Comprehensive Care Center must demonstrate leadership in community outreach, professional training, and patient education, and must offer evidence-based care.

Earlier this summer, as part of its ongoing efforts to expand access to quality care, the foundation launched new centers in several states that previously had none.

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