Collaboration in the Fight Against PD

Wilkins Parkinson’s Foundation joins Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council

The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s newly formed Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council will organize leaders from state, regional and national Parkinson’s organizations to represent the community and shape Parkinson’s policy priorities.

In news of interest to Parkinson’s patients and families, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) and the Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) have announced their intention to operate as a single organization to advance public policy priorities and better treatments for people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Key staff members and programmatic activity from PAN will transition to MJFF.

WPF will continue contributing to the unified voice of Parkinson’s public policy as a member of MJFF’s newly formed Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council.

The Council comprises representatives from state, regional and national Parkinson’s disease organizations who provide input on field-wide policy priorities, ensuring continuation of a unified voice of the PD community on all public policy matters.

Wilkins Parkinson’s Foundation Co-Founder Bill Wilkins said, “Since my PD diagnosis in 2006 and the formation of WPF in 2010, we have advocated for the unification of PD resources and increased patient engagement. This announcement marks a huge step forward in consolidating and strengthening the PD community.”

Todd Sherer, PhD, MJFF CEO, said, “The Parkinson’s research and care landscapes have changed significantly over the last decade, and as a result, so have the policy and advocacy priorities of people living with the disease. Input from the Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council will help to ensure a well-informed approach to shaping programmatic activity in public policy on behalf of Parkinson’s patients and families.”

“The priorities of people with Parkinson’s define the work of both MJFF and PAN,” said Ted Thompson, president and CEO of PAN from 2014 to 2016 and incoming senior vice president of public policy at MJFF. “Working as a single entity, we can use our joint expertise to move the needle on policy issues that matter most for those living with the disease today.”

Learn more and read a white paper summarizing community feedback on top priorities for Parkinson’s public policy at

WPF Co-Founder Bill Wilkins to participate in the next Hope Flies Health Series Webinar: Research Connecting Mitochondrial Disease and Parkinson’s Disease

The Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine (FMM) hosts its next Hope Flies Health Series Webinar: Research Connecting Parkinson’s Disease and Mitochondrial Disease on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 1:00 pm EST.
The Foundation developed the webinar with partners including the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF), Wilkins Parkinson’s Foundation and Sharecare to particularly bring greater awareness to mitochondrial disease and its connection to Parkinson’s disease.

This webinar is complimentary. We ask that your pre-register each participant by Tuesday, April 5th at midnight.

Webinar Panelists
Wolfdieter Springer, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic
The research interests of Wolfdieter Springer, Ph.D., revolve around cell biology in aging and age-dependent disorders. His primary research focus is on the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease and other related neurodegenerative disorders.
Dr. Springer’s lab takes a combinatorial approach using biochemistry, cell biology and advanced imaging techniques, such as multicolor live cell and high-content microscopy. His lab aims to identify novel genetic and chemical modifiers in cell-based assays, as well as in vivo using C. elegans as a screening tool.Functional insights gained through Dr. Springer’s research will provide the basis to address unmet medical needs, such as identifying faithful biomarkers and developing novel therapeutic strategies that halt or prevent devastating neurodegenerative diseases.
Laura Stanley, Executive Director, Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine
Laura joined the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine in January 2010 as FMM’s first Executive Director. Laura’s professional experience is in corporate human resources, sales and marketing, yet when her eldest son was diagnosed in 2009 with a mitochondrial disease, she was eager for a way to accelerate action. She has transferred her corporate business skills to non-profit leadership. Formerly, Laura served in senior human resources leadership roles at EarthLink and an Atlanta based technology start-up, EzGov, Inc. Her early career experience evolved in executive search with Korn/Ferry International and sales and marketing in the paper and packaging industries both in Paris, France and the southeastern U.S. FMM website:
Bill Wilkins, Co-Founder, Wilkins Parkinson’s Foundation
Diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2006, Bill Wilkins, Co-Founder of the Wilkins Parkinson’s Foundation knows firsthand about the disease and has worked tirelessly for treatment every since his diagnosis. In addition to his fundraising and advocacy efforts through the Wilkins Parkinson’s Foundation, he is also a charter member of Emory University’s Udall Parkinson’s Disease Research Center’s Community Outreach Board and serves on the Patient Advisory Council for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Wilkins Parkinson’s Foundation (WPF) is a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to funding programs to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease (PD). It is the Foundation’s belief that increased awareness creates a general groundswell of support for the entire PD community, from research to patient care to education and support groups. The Foundation works to build awareness through local, regional and national marketing efforts. To find out more, please visit
Moderator: Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD MBA FACEP, SVP Clinical Strategy Sharecare
Darria Long Gillespie, MD MBA, FACEP, is Sharecare’s Senior Vice President of Clinical Strategy, an Emergency Department physician at Emory University, and national spokesperson for the American College of Emergency Physicians. Dr. Long Gillespie is a frequent health expert on national TV and has appeared on CNN, CNBC, FoxNews Network, and The Dr. Oz show. … More
On Sharecare, she contributes and authors articles on health topics and health news, writes “The Busy Woman’s Guide to Health…and Sanity”, and also hosts Sharecare Radio, an international radio show on iHeart Radio’s RadioMD. Sharecare website is

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Source:: Wilkins Summer Newsletter

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