October 20, 2009

National Parkinson Leader Comes to Sarasota

Dr. Michael Okun, MD, Medical Director for the National Parkinson Foundation, will visit Sarasota this weekend to tour the Neuro Challenge Foundation (NCF) Parkinson Comprehensive Care Center and to meet with NCF leaders. Dr. Okun has taken a special interest in the Sarasota based foundation, where more than 1,300 Parkinson patients annually receive counseling and recommendations on a broad array of treatments designed specifically for Parkinson Diesease. The Care Center is part of an elite group of Parkinson Disease centers, due to its large caseload and its geographic location outside of a university setting.

Dr. Okun will also participate in the first annual Neuro Challenge Foundation Charity Golf Tournament this Saturday at the Heritage Oaks Golf and Country Club. All proceeds from the scramble format tournament will benefit Neuro Challenge Foundation, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of people struggling with Parkinson Disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Dr. Okun will be the guest of Neuro Challenge Foundation Medical Advisor Dr. Dean Sutherland, MD, PhD and will speak to NCF Foundation supporters at a dinner following the golf tournament. Both doctors are at the forefront of Parkinson research and support services. The mission of Sarasota’s Neuro Challenge Foundation is unique and local, yet consistent with the message of the National Parkinson Foundation: to improve the quality of care for people with Parkinson’s disease through research, education and outreach.

Check-in for the tournament is at 11:00 am, followed by a putting contest and driving practice. Golfers have the chance to win cash and prizes on the course including $5,000 on a par 3 hole. The tournament begins at 1:00 pm and will end with a cocktail hour, dinner, raffle and the announcement of prizes, including a 42” flat screen TV, golf clubs, gift certificates and more. Registration for the tournament is $95 per player, and may be reserved by calling Mark Bisgeier at (941) 400-7867 or emailing golf@neurochallenge.org. Tickets for the dinner only are $35. “Bring your friends and enjoy an excellent day of play,” says Bisgeier. “And create some hope along the way.”About The Neuro Challenge Foundation: The Neuro Challenge Foundation is advised by Sarasota physicians Dean P. Sutherland, M.D., Ph.D., Bernard Feinberg, M..D. and Donald Negroski, M.D., and is dedicated to the fight against Parkinson Disease, MS and related neurodegenerative diseases. The Foundation, operated entirely through volunteer time and charitable donations, maintains a Parkinson Comprehensive Care Center in Sarasota, Florida. At the Center, patients and families receive advice on surgical and non-surgical treatments, counseling, health and fitness, home services and more. The Center offers a level of care that rivals major university medical centers. Patients seen at the Parkinson Disease Center have access to the latest information, medications, surgeries, diagnostic tests, rehabilitation services and alternative therapies. As a result, the reputation of the Center has grown by leaps and bounds, extending to the entire state of Florida and beyond.

About the National Parkinson Foundation: The mission of the National Parkinson Foundation is to improve the quality of care for people with Parkinson’s disease through research, education and outreach. Founded in 1957, NPF is a leading national organization with an extensive grassroots network of Centers of Excellence, chapters and support groups in the United States, Canada and internationally. Unique among the national Parkinson’s organizations, NPF is the only organization with a singular focus on improving the quality of care in Parkinson’s disease. Since 1982, NPF has funded more than $150 million in care, research and support services.

About Dr. Michael Okun, MD: Michael S. Okun, MD is Co-director of the Movement Disorders Center located within the McKnight Brain Institute and the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Okun is dedicated to an interdisciplinary care concept, and since his appointment as the National Medical Director for the National Parkinson Foundation in 2006, he has worked with the 64 NPF Centers to help foster the best possible environments for care, research and outreach in Parkinson disease. Dr. Okun has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, and has served as a reviewer for more than 25 major medical journals. He has been invited to speak about Parkinson disease and movement disorders in various regions throughout the world, and he is currently a faculty and founding member for SUPPORT-PD, which aims to bring functional Parkinson and Movement Disorders Surgery to “countries in need” around the globe.