World Parkinson Coalition® Welcomes New Board Member

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New WPC board member to elevate awareness of Young Onset Parkinson's Disease

I have personally experienced the challenges of living with Young Onset Parkinson’s and I understand the inequities of care for people with Parkinson’s across the globe

The World Parkinson Coalition (WPC) announced the appointment of a new member to its Board of Directors. Drawing on her incredible advocacy work in the Parkinson’s space, and her commitment to raising awareness about Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease and about Parkinson’s across the African continent, Omotola Thomas, MS joined the WPC Board as of September 2020.

The WPC hosts the most unique international conference in the Parkinson’s space. Every three years the WPC brings together basic scientists, neurologists, general physicians, nurses, rehab specialists, clinicians, as well as people with Parkinson’s (PwP) and their caregivers. The WPC’s mission is to get experts out of their silos to connect with others to better understand how to advance the clinical and basic science of Parkinson’s to not only expedite the discovery of new treatments, but also to better understand the purpose and impact of new treatments and when and how to use them. “Board members play a major role in steering the work of the WPC, so we are thrilled to announce Ms. Thomas’ appointment as our newest board member”, said Elizabeth Pollard, WPC Executive Director.

Omotola Thomas, MS is the founder of Parkinson’s Africa – an association committed to improving access to information, education, research, and healthcare for Africans affected by Parkinson’s disease. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2016, at the age of 35. Born and raised in Nigeria, she has also lived in the United States, South Africa, and most recently, England. She hold a bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering and a master’s degree in Project Management from the George Washington University.

Omotola is currently serving as a patient advocate for the International Parkinson’s Disease Genomics Consortium (IPDGC) Africa; and as an ambassador for the 6th World Parkinson Congress to be held in Barcelona in 2022. She is also a founding member of PD Avengers – an international group of advocates determined to end Parkinson’s. An active writer and story teller, she chronicles her Parkinson’s journey via her blog, ParkinStand® helping to inspire other PD advocates on their own journeys.

“I have personally experienced the challenges of living with Young Onset Parkinson’s and I understand the inequities of care for people with Parkinson’s across the globe. Not only are health care systems serving people differently, the deep misunderstanding of Parkinson’s at a basic level leads to great inequities in care. I am honored to be invited to join the WPC Board of Directors and look for to the great work we have ahead of us”, said Thomas.

“Adding Ms. Thomas to the Board of Directors is wonderful for the WPC and community,” said WPC President, Dr. Marie-Françoise Chesselet, UCLA Professor Emerita. “Her dedication to raising awareness of Parkinson’s across the African continent and her passion to educate the community about what it means to live with Young Onset Parkinson’s is an inspiration to us all, and will help provide fresh insight to our organization as we continue to make great progress in our mission.”

A complete list of the WPC Board of Directors is available at

About the World Parkinson Coalition® and WPC 2022
The World Parkinson Coalition Inc. provides an international forum for learning about the latest scientific discoveries, medical practices, caregiver initiatives and advocacy work related to Parkinson's disease. The triennial World Parkinson Congresses 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 discuss advances in Parkinson’s research, improve understanding and promote advocacy worldwide, while influencing future research and care options. The WPC 2022 will attract more than 4,500 delegates. Learn more at:

About Parkinson’s Disease
Affecting nearly one million Americans and 10 million people worldwide, Parkinson’s disease is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s. There is no cure for Parkinson’s and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone.

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Kathleen Jordan
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