Maggie Schmidt Named Executive Director of the Parkinson Foundation of Western Pennsylvania

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Veteran Fundraising executive Maggie Schmidt has been named Executive Director of the Parkinson Foundation of Western Pennsylvania. Her responsibilities will include directing the Foundation's fundraising initiatives, supporting research for the development of new therapies and enhancing outreach and support for those suffering from Parkinson's Disease, as well as their families and caregivers.

Veteran Fundraising executive Maggie Schmidt has been named Executive Director of the Parkinson Foundation of Western Pennsylvania. Her responsibilities will include directing the Foundation's fundraising initiatives, supporting research for the development of new therapies and enhancing outreach and support for those suffering from Parkinson's Disease, as well as their families and caregivers.

Most recently, Ms. Schmidt was a Senior Consultant with Ketchum, Inc. where she served the firm's local and national clients in all aspects of fundraising, in particular, major gift efforts and capital campaigns. Prior to that, she held management and professional positions for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Allegheny General Hospital and Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh. Ms. Schmidt also was an Instructor in the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Sociology.

Maggie Schmidt has served on a number of boards, including the District 5 Board of Education for The School District of Pittsburgh and the American Marketing Association, Academy for Health Services Marketing. She received her M.S. and B.S. degrees from the University of Pittsburgh where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa. A recipient of various Healthcare Marketing and other professional awards, Maggie is a Certified Fund Raising Executive.    

"We are delighted to have an executive of Maggie's experience lead the Foundation into the future," said Foundation Board President Tom Pandaleon. "More 10,000 people in western Pennsylvania suffer from this disease and the impact on them and their families is staggering. It's estimated that that number will double in the next decade due to the aging of the 'Baby Boomer' population and other factors. It's imperative that the Foundation provides information and support programs to them, as well as supports regional research efforts to develop improved treatments, and ultimately, a cure. "

About The Parkinson Foundation of Western Pennsylvania:
The Parkinson Foundation of Western Pennsylvania, formerly the Parkinson Chapter of Greater Pittsburgh, was founded in 1995 with the mission to provide support and education for those afflicted with Parkinson's disease and their families, and to fund medical research to discover the cause and cure of Parkinson's. It received its 501(c)(3) status in 1998 and is affiliated with the National Parkinson Foundation, headquartered in Miami, Florida. Through grants to local scientific projects, the Foundation supports the development of regional research specific to Parkinson's disease. One such project at the University of Pittsburgh helped to confirm the benefits of exercise for people with Parkinson's. The Parkinson Wellness Program was initiated in 2001 to provide physical exercise, cognitive stimulation, and socialization, all tailored to the needs of people with PD. As of 2006, the Foundation offers the Parkinson Wellness Program at seven sites in Allegheny, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. For more information, visit http://www.pfwpa.org.

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