The World Parkinson Coalition® Announces Three Recipients Of Its First WPC Award For Distinguished Contribution To The Parkinson Community

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Julie Carter, Tom Isaacs & David Leventhal are honored by the World Parkinson Coalition for their contribution to the Parkinson's community.

WPC Award recipients David Leventhal (US), Julie Carter (US) & Tom Isaacs (UK)

WPC Honors Julie Carter, Tom Isaacs and David Leventhal with the World Parkinson Congress Award For Distinguished Contribution To The Parkinson Community

'We are pleased to recognize those individuals whose hard work and dedication help the global Parkinson’s community.' — Elizabeth (Eli) Pollard, executive director, World Parkinson Coalition

The World Parkinson Coalition (WPC) is proud to announce for the first time the World Parkinson Congress Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Parkinson Community. This inaugural award is granted to an individual whose efforts best embody the goals of the World Parkinson Congress. Recipients have been selected based on their work that inspires community building and collaboration regarding Parkinson’s in any one or more of the following areas: advancement of science, improvement of quality of life, education about Parkinson’s, and innovation in clinical care.

The Award recipients will be honored at the 4th World Parkinson Congress in September 2016. The WPC 2016 Steering Committee, after reviewing 39 nominations from 14 countries, selected three recipients for this year’s award; two hail from the United States, one from the United Kingdom.

Serge Przedborski, MD, PhD, WPC, president, and A. Jon Stoessl, CM, MD FRCPC, WPC, vice president, state, “We are honored to present this award, and humbled by the excellence and dedication of this year’s award recipients. Their collective work has made living with Parkinson’s easier for many in this community as well as furthered the complicated research needed to study this disease.”

“We are pleased to recognize those individuals whose hard work and dedication help the global Parkinson’s community,” adds Elizabeth (Eli) Pollard, executive director, WPC. “They truly exemplify how to break down barriers, knock down the silo walls around research, and work collaboratively to reach the common goal of better care and treatment for people with Parkinson’s disease.”

The World Parkinson Congress Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Parkinson Community is being given to the following three individuals:

Julie Carter, RN, MN, ANP: Co-founder and past co-director of the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Parkinson Center of Oregon (PCO) and Movement Disorders Program; professor, Neurology, OHSU. Carter developed many innovative programs to improve the lives of patients and families who live with Parkinson's disease. Notable programs are a newly diagnosed program for patients and families, a self-management program for people with Parkinson’s (PwP) and a palliative care program for PwP and their families, of which she speaks to local and national audiences. Furthermore, Carter’s work includes directing multiple clinical trials with a special interest in neuroprotective therapies. Other Parkinson’s disease research projects include its impact on family caregiving, palliative care, how to best deliver the diagnosis and end-of-life experience.

Through her work -- clinical practice, education, and research – Carter has touched, ultimately for the better, the lives of hundreds of thousands of PwP and their families. Carter will be part of a panel of speakers at the pre-Congress program, held on Tuesday, September 20.

Tom Isaacs: Diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 27, Isaacs co-founded The Cure Parkinson’s Trust in 2005 and has become an inspirational public speaker and figurehead for the Parkinson’s community. Isaacs has challenged conventional approaches to funding and facilitating research and has encouraged much needed innovation in the field. Since his diagnosis, he’s be a tour de force fundraiser, raising over £5.5 million for this cause. His work also includes being a board member of the European Parkinson’s Disease Association and has represented the interests of people with Parkinson’s on DeNDRoN (the Dementias and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network). He is also a leading contributor to the SENSE-PARK project, which is a European funded initiative to establish a more personalized, objective measuring device for people with Parkinson’s and those who treat them.

Isaacs currently is on the WPC 2016 Programming Committee and will be speaking at the pre-Congress course on September 20 as well as chairing talks on patient care at WPC 2016. His commitment to the WPC started in 2010 on its Steering and Organizational Committees, as well as a presenter.

The author of "Shake Well Before Use,” Isaacs conveys his living with Parkinson’s experiences with passion, optimism and humor. He speaks regularly about his condition and the ability of people with Parkinson’s to inject urgency into progressing the delivery of new therapies to the clinic.

David Leventhal: A former dancer with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Leventhal is currently its program director and one of the founding teachers of the Mark Morris Dance Group's Dance for PD® (Parkinson's Disease) program, which was originally conceived by Olie Westheimer. Begun in 2002 as a small monthly class for the Brooklyn Parkinson Group, the program has expanded to include weekly classes at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn, training workshops for teachers in cities around the US and abroad, and a network of affiliated classes in more than 100 cites in 12 countries around the world. Along with Westheimer, he is the co-recipient of the 2013 Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award from the Parkinson's Unity Walk. He has written about dance and Parkinson's for such publications as Dance Gazette and Room 217, and has a chapters about the program in two books: Multimodal Learning in Communities and Schools (Peter Lang) and Creating Dance: A Traveler's Guide (Hampton Press). He serves on the Board of Directors of the Global Alliance for Arts and Health.

Leventhal is also on the faculty of the Mark Morris Dance Center, and teaches technique and repertory classes for students of all ages at schools and universities in the U.S. and internationally. He’ll be providing talks and dance workshops at WPC 2016.

About the World Parkinson Coalition® and WPC 2016
The World Parkinson Coalition Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides an international forum for learning about the latest scientific discoveries, medical practices, care partner initiatives and advocacy work related to Parkinson's disease. The World Parkinson Coalition® launched the first Congress in 2006 to provide a space for the global Parkinson’s community of researchers, clinicians, health care professionals, people with Parkinson’s and their care partners to meet in person, network and to share advances in Parkinson’s research, improve understanding and promote advocacy worldwide, and to potentially shape future research, treatment and care.

From its modest beginning to nearly 10,000 delegates who have participated in the previous triennial Congresses, the WPC 2016 is expected to attract more than 4,000 delegates. To learn more about the 4th World Parkinson Congress, please visit:

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