New plaque marks UAMS as PF Comprehensive Care Center

The university was one of six centers named in June 2022

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by Mary Chapman |

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A patient on an examination table takes her medicine as a doctor standing next to her offers a glass of water.

The Parkinson’s Foundation presented the Movement Disorders Clinic at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) with a plaque last month that marks its recent designation as a Comprehensive Care Center.

The university was one of six centers named in June 2022 as part of the Foundation’s expansion of its Global Care Network, which includes Centers of Excellence. Expanding the Global Care Network is part of an effort to grow nationwide access to high-quality care and to recognize centers that provide it.

The plaque was presented to Rohit Dhall, MD, co-director of the center with Aditya Vikram Boddu, MD, in Little Rock, Arkansas, and members of the team. Elizabeth Guerrero, a senior coordinator of community outreach for the Foundation, made the presentation, which took place at the William J. Clinton Library and Museum after a symposium to educate patients, caregivers, and professionals on how to manage mid-stage Parkinson’s.

To be eligible, Comprehensive Care Centers and Centers of Excellence must show exemplary multidisciplinary Parkinson’s care, with Centers of Excellence playing a key role in advancing research in Parkinson’s disease, which is projected to affect 1.2 million people nationwide by 2030.

Like Centers of Excellence, Comprehensive Care Centers must excel at employing a specialized, multidisciplinary team approach to provide top-shelf, evidence-based, patient-centered care, and be a leader in professional training. While clinical research isn’t required, care centers must engage in patient education and community outreach.

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The new designation, along with philanthropic support through the UAMS’ Office of Institutional Advancement and Chancellor’s Grant awards, have aided outreach efforts and education and support programs that include art, cooking and music classes, along with support groups for patients and caregivers.

The Movement Disorders Clinic treats patients who have tremors, involuntary movements, and gait difficulties, such as those in Parkinson’s disease. It’s staffed with neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, nurses, nutritionists, pharmacists, and therapists who collaborate to provide care with state-of-the-art equipment and treatments that utilize advancements in genetics and surgical techniques.

The clinic’s research efforts include randomized clinical trials in a number of disorders and its coordinators organize support groups, educational programs, wellness activities, and other resources for patients and their families. Parkinson’s can lead to motor symptoms such as slowed movements, tremor, rigidity, and balance problems, as well as nonmotor symptoms.

Each Comprehensive Care Center must recertify five years after its designation to ensure requisite care standards.