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PDF News

New Members Elected to PDF Board of Directors

George Pennington Egbert III     Stephanie Goldman-Pittel

George Pennington Egbert III and Stephanie Goldman-Pittel 

PDF warmly welcomes to its Board of Directors two new members: Stephanie Goldman-Pittel and George Pennington Egbert III.  Both individuals bring great passion for the cause, arising from their personal connections to Parkinson’s disease (PD) and from their extensive backgrounds in philanthropy.

Ms. Goldman-Pittel, active with PDF for many years as a member of the leadership committee for the annual gala, was honored with her family at the 2007 event for their contributions to PDF’s research programs.  She is currently the President of the UJA Federation of New Jersey, following several years of service as Vice President of the Women’s Division, which awarded her its Rising Star Award in 2005.  She also serves on the Board of the Lighthouse International.  Ms. Goldman-Pittel and her husband Andrew have three children.

Mr. Egbert, along with his sister Melissa Egbert Sheehan, was instrumental in forming, in 2008, the Young New Yorkers Against Parkinson’s committee, which sponsors PDF’s annual Celebrate Spring fundraiser.  He is a Vice President at Barclays Capital.  His philanthropic activities include roles as Chairman of the Young New Yorkers for the Philharmonic Committee, member of the Board of Governors of the Union Club of New York City and Chairman of its Younger Members Committee.

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2011 Konecky Fellow Named for Long-time Friend

Ronald Konecky

Ronald Konecky

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) is pleased to announce the award of a special 2011 Fellowship in Movement Disorders in loving memory of Ronald Konecky, a long-time friend of PDF who died in New York City in early June.  It is one of several such fellowships that PDF funds across the country, including six at Columbia University, to ensure that the best young minds are attracted to Parkinson’s disease science and care.

This Ronald S. Konecky Fellowship will support the training of Christopher Hess, M.D., whose research interests include understanding impulse control disorders and bringing hi-tech video analysis methods to measure how Parkinson’s disease progresses. 

His work could help clinicians to accurately quantify a person’s PD which will, in turn, speed the clinical research process as a whole.

Mr. Konecky was married for 49 years to Isobel Konecky, who has served on PDF’s Board of Directors for 30 years and as its secretary for 20 years. 

He was a noted entertainment lawyer who represented celebrities and major names in television news. 

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Tribute to a Founding PPAC-er

Joanna Steichen

Joanna Steichen

The Parkinson’s disease community mourns the loss of Joanna T. Steichen, M.S.W., who died suddenly in July.  Ms. Steichen was a founding member of PDF’s People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council (PPAC), a 13-member group founded in 2006 to provide PDF with perspectives on research-funding priorities, community needs and ways to better serve people living with Parkinson’s through information and education programs.

Ms. Steichen was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2001.  Among her various contributions to PDF, she was known for her passionate dedication to exploring the therapeutic value of creativity, dance and exercise for people living with Parkinson’s disease.  In this capacity, she served on the steering committees for both the PDF Creativity and Parkinson’s project and the Parkinson’s Quilt Project.  More recently, she served as PDF’s Team Captain at the Parkinson’s Unity Walk.

Ms. Steichen was a practicing psychotherapist for 30 years, a clinical teacher, and the author of two books.  She resided in New York City.