Partners in Parkinson’s Connects Patients and Families with Needed Support and Resources

Date: 05/21/2015
Author: Partners in Parkinson's

NEW YORK, NY, May 21, 2015 – Partners in Parkinson’s, the strategic health initiative developed by The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) and AbbVie, is approaching one year since its launch. People with Parkinson’s continue to take advantage of the program’s tools and resources designed to help optimize care.

In early 2014, Harris Poll conducted an online survey on behalf of The Michael J. Fox Foundation and AbbVie and found as few as 28 percent of Parkinson’s patients are currently seeing a movement disorder specialist (a neurologist with specific training in treating Parkinson’s). And, more than half were unable to identify the definition of this type of doctor. The strategic health initiative was developed to fill these knowledge gaps among patients and caregivers and connect them with crucial resources including building a care team and locating specialists.

The program offers day-long community events including educational sessions featuring clinicians, researchers, therapists and patients who share their experience with Parkinson’s. The events include a resource fair to connect people with Parkinson’s and their families with occupational and physical therapists, support groups, exercise groups and more based right in the local community. Additionally, visitors to the Partners in Parkinson’s website can locate their nearest movement disorder specialist who is a member of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society (MDS) simply by providing a ZIP code in the Finder tool. MDS collaborated on the initiative, helping MJFF and AbbVie develop the tool by drawing information about clinicians from their own membership database. Since its launch, the tool has logged more than 25,000 searches.

“Access to specialty care is critical when living with a progressive neurological disorder like Parkinson’s,” said Matthew B. Stern, MD, president, MDS. “By providing the opportunity for patients to locate specialists in their area, we’re bridging a gap to help patients connect with care specific to their diagnosis.”

Following Partners in Parkinson’s 11 successful community events in 2014, the program will visit eight cities across the United States in 2015. The year’s event in San Diego has been coordinated to take place on Saturday, June 13; the weekend before Movement Disorder Society’s 19th International Congress, which is also taking place in San Diego. The International Congress gathers thousands of experts to share ideas and encourage interest among those involved in the care and research of movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease.

Researchers and clinicians attending the International Congress have been invited to serve as panelists at the Partners in Parkinson’s event. “With so many leading Parkinson’s experts in town for the International Congress, we’re able to bring a wealth of knowledge directly to Parkinson’s patients living in the San Diego community.” says Claire Meunier, VP of Research engagement, MJFF.

Partners in Parkinson’s connects thousands with resources in its first year

Since Partners in Parkinson’s launched, nearly 6,000 Parkinson’s disease community members have attended an event. The program benefits more than just the individuals living with Parkinson’s. Family members are also taking advantage of the opportunity to learn more about the disease. Thousands more have connected with valuable information on the Partners in Parkinson’s educational website.

In 2015, the program expands its offerings through a new webinar series. The first webinar took place in May and saw 424 online attendees. Two more webinars are scheduled for 2015, focusing on caregivers and answering common questions about PD.

For more information about Partners in Parkinson’s or to find an event in your area, visit partnersinparkinsons.org.

A full summary of topline results from the survey referenced in this release is available at the Partners in Parkinson’s website.

About Partners in Parkinson’s
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and AbbVie developed Partners in Parkinson’s in May 2014 to fill in knowledge gaps by providing new educational tools and resources for the Parkinson’s community. The initiative features a comprehensive, educational website with the first online tool to locate a movement disorder specialist, a downloadable Parkinson’s disease guide, access to live educational webinars and the opportunity to connect with an AbbVie Parkinson’s Disease Advocate for one-on-one support. The program educates patients and their families on health care and support resources in their own community through day-long educational events throughout the United States. To learn more about the program visit the website: www.partnersinparkinsons.org.

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