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Parkinson's Disease Foundation Announces New Advisory Council Members

7/1/2014 11:53:51 AM

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NEW YORK, July 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Parkinson's Disease Foundation® (PDF®) is pleased to announce new members of its People with Parkinson's Advisory Council. The council is made up of individuals from around the US all of whom live with Parkinson's or are a care partner to a loved one who bring the professional skills and personal experiences that will help advance PDF's goals of supporting families and ultimately ending the disease.

Parkinson's Disease Foundation logo.

"PDF created this council in 2006, the first of its kind in the Parkinson's community, to ensure that the perspectives of the people living with the disease are fully integrated into our work," noted Robin Elliott, President, Parkinson's Disease Foundation. "We welcome our newest members, whose insights are already proving invaluable to our programs. As the people who have the most at stake, they are the ones who can keep us on track toward solving, treating and ending the disease."

Advisory council members guide PDF's mission and priorities; identify and solve unmet needs; provide input on programs; and serve as liaisons to the community. In recent years, the advisory council's efforts have led to some of the organization's most successful programs. For example, the advisory council has steered PDF toward new initiatives such as one studying the unique impact of Parkinson's disease on women and another that allows the community to provide ideas for research grants. Additionally, its members have played a vital role in the development of educational materials to help inform their peers, including PDF's popular Parkinson's Disease ResourceList and 40 educational webinars.

The advisory council's newest members include the following individuals:

Elaine Casavant, R.N., of Lansing, MI, a care partner, nurse educator and former practicing nurse with over 40 years of experience in trauma, the emergency room, the intensive care unit and the operating room.

Carol Fox, of Sarasota, FL, a care partner and public policy advocate in the field of early childhood education, who served as co-founder and board member of Voices for Virginia's Children and executive director and chairman of the Parent Child Development Center.

Anthony Geraci, M.D., of Canandaigua, NY, a retired emergency room physician and former Vice President of Medical Affairs for Emergency Medicine and Physician Practices at F.F. Thompson Hospital.

Jay Phillips, of Summerville, SC, a person living with Parkinson's and a retired accountant, who held senior positions in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors, in the Washington, DC, area.

Marilyn Phillips, P.T., of Summerville, SC, care partner to Jay and a retired physical therapist, who spent 14 years in academia and 20 years as the director of professional development at the American Physical Therapy Association.

Judi Sechter, of Merrick, NY, a person living with Parkinson's, who spent a career in both education and customer service.

In other actions at the same meeting, two existing advisory council members assumed new roles. Linda Morgan, M.B.A., R.Ph., of Asheville, NC, becomes Chair of the Advisory Council, and subsequently, a member of the PDF Board of Directors. Karen Smith, of Evansville, IN, assumes the role of Vice Chair.

"Each day, PDF lives up to its promise to engage people with Parkinson's disease and care partners in its work. My colleagues and I are determined to use our time on PDF's advisory council to represent the voices of the one million people in the US living with Parkinson's disease who so urgently need better treatments and a cure. We promise to work tirelessly on their behalf," noted Linda Morgan, M.B.A., R.Ph., newly appointed Chair of the council.

For a complete list of PDF's People with Parkinson's Advisory Council, visit

About Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly one million people in the US. Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for Parkinson's.

About the Parkinson's Disease Foundation
The Parkinson's Disease Foundation® (PDF®) is a leading national presence in Parkinson's disease research, education and public advocacy. We are working for the nearly one million people in the US who live with Parkinson's disease by funding promising scientific research while supporting people living with Parkinson's disease through educational programs and services. Since its founding in 1957, PDF has dedicated $100 million to fund the work of leading scientists throughout the world and $42 million to support education and advocacy programs.

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SOURCE Parkinson's Disease Foundation

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