February 24, 2010

SMH Approves Grant to Fund Parkinson Partners

This month, the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation (SMHF) voted to provide $75,400.00 in grant funding to Sarasota’s Neuro Challenge Foundation (NCF), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with Parkinson Disease (PD) and their caregivers. This is the first grant from SMHF toward Parkinson patient outreach, and will cover start-up costs related to NCF’s Parkinson Partners Resource Education Program, the first comprehensive out-patient care management program for Parkinson’s patients in Florida. Plans are underway to provide office space for program staff at Sarasota Memorial’s Institute for Advanced Medicine.

There are an estimated 9,000 people living with Parkinson Disease in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties. NCF’s Parkinson Partners Program will provide customized resource recommendations for these patients and their caregivers, along with individualized education about the importance of utilizing PD-trained community resources as part of their overall health plan.

“This is important community work that will touch the lives of thousands of people living with Parkinson Disease in Sarasota,” says Dean Sutherland, MD, PhD, founder of the Southeastern Center for Parkinson Disease in Sarasota.

The multi-level Parkinson Partners program will include a PD crisis phone line, online resources, and individualized care plans based on physician recommendations and patient and caregiver-reported needs and interests. Parkinson Partners representatives will provide a valuable outreach channel to PD patients, particularly those who may not otherwise seek assistance. This innovative model envisions remarkable strides in patient outcomes through individualized education and the development of specialty-trained resources.

This summer, NCF will offer specialized PD care training to area businesses including home care services, rehabilitation services, independent, assisted and skilled living facilities, transportation and integrative medicine providers. Patients can be enrolled by their physicians beginning in April. The program will provide arm-in-arm guidance for patients and caregivers from the moment of diagnosis onward.

About Neuro Challenge Foundation: The Neuro Challenge Foundation (NCF) is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of people with Parkinson Disease and their caregivers through service, education and research. NCF funds programs and activities that promise to ease the burden of Parkinson Disease through patient-centered professional education, community forums and scientific and clinical research. Patients, caregivers and nationally recognized scientific experts advise us and lead the way as we invest in the science and services that will lead to a cure. For more information, please call (888) 623-4483 or visit www.neurochallenge.org.