In 2004, PDF took the lead in creating an independent, nonprofit organization, the World Parkinson Congress Inc. This organization staged the first-ever World Parkinson Congress (WPC) in Washington, DC, in February 2006 and more recently, held its 2nd WPC in Glasgow, Scotland in 2010.
The WPC represents true collaboration between all of the stakeholders in the Parkinson’s community. The first won the support of more than 100 organizational partners; the second boasted 157 organizational partners from 46 countries. This group included strong support from the National Institutes of Health, the research programs of the Department of Defense, The Movement Disorder Society and dozens of patient-voluntary associations.
Both the inaugural WPC and the 2nd WPC drew more than 3,000 participants, including scientists, researchers, people living with Parkinson’s, caregivers, members of the media and industry representatives.
A distinctive aspect of the Congress was its comprehensive scope, combining issues of medical and scientific research with education and training, care initiatives and quality of life issues.
PDF’s leadership role included volunteering seed funding and providing space in our New York headquarters to host the project’s professional staff and volunteer committees. Dr. Stanley Fahn, PDF’s Scientific Director, served as Chair of the WPC, and several members of our Board and professional staff served on key Congress committees.
At the 2nd WPC, the US contingent included 14 PDF research advocates and one member of our People with Parkinson's Advisory Council. During their time at the WPC, members of this group spent time reporting on happenings for those unable to attend.
The next WPC is scheduled for October 1-4, 2013 in Montreal, Canada.