Adjust Text Size:change font sizechange font sizechange font sizechange font sizechange font sizechange font size

Ending Parkinson's

By empowering leaders who multiply our investment, PDF empowers the community to work together to solve, treat and end Parkinson's. 

Learn More

Press Releases

Parkinsonís Disease Foundation Announces New Advisory Council Members

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) is pleased to introduce its 2012 People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council, a group of 14 people living with and affected by Parkinson’s disease who drive PDF’s mission to support research and ideas that will improve the lives and futures of people touched by Parkinson’s.

Tell the Advisory Council What You Think

The advisory council is made up of people living with Parkinson’s and care partners from 11 states who were selected after a national application process. Members include business leaders, health professionals, seasoned advocates and other individuals who bring a rich diversity of backgrounds and skills to the Parkinson’s cause. For example, among the group are Maria De Leon, M.D., of Nacogdoches, TX, an experienced movement disorders specialist; Tom Palizzi of Denver, CO, an executive at one of the world’s leading software companies; and Marc Sherman, J.D., of Forest Hills, NY, an attorney knowledgeable in estate planning. (Read each member's biography here.)

Advisory council members are charged with providing input on PDF’s priorities and programs; helping PDF identify and meet the needs of people living with Parkinson’s; and serving as liaisons between PDF and the community. PDF considers the perspective of these individuals essential to assuring the relevance and usefulness of its work. 

The group’s work is already underway for the new fiscal year that began July 1, with members strategizing about Parkinson’s community needs and program priorities for the coming year.

David Eger, Ph.D., the advisory council's founding Co-Chair and a psychologist from White Plains, NY, noted, “I am excited to report that our initial meetings have been filled with energy and a strong feeling of possibility that we can make a difference in the lives of people affected by Parkinson’s, whether through research or education and disease management.”

PDF’s Executive Director Robin Elliott noted, “Among PDF’s deepest beliefs is that our work should be a partnership with the people to whom we are ultimately accountable. We trust that the perspective of the newly appointed Advisory Council members will help PDF come closer to its goals of understanding and curing Parkinson’s, while supporting those living with it. We ask the community to join us in welcoming our new members and thanking our departing members for their years of guidance. ”

As the Advisory Council begins its work, its members would like to hear from the community about the most pressing needs faced by people affected by Parkinson’s and invites them to share their thoughts and opinions by visiting our website at

People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council Members

Maria DeLeon, M.D.
Nacogdoches, TX

Hao Dong, Ph.D.
Tallahassee, FL

Steve DeWitte
Washington, CT

David J. Eger, Ph.D., Co-Chair*
White Plains, NY

Eric Hellinger
Cedar Park, TX

Rhona B. Johnson*
Greenwich, CT

Daniel J.B. Kiefer, J.D.*
Los Angeles, CA

Linda M. Morgan, M.B.A., R.Ph.
Asheville, NC

Tom Palizzi
Denver, CO

Michael O’Leary*
Anthem, AZ

Marc Sherman, J.D.
Forest Hills, NY

Ann Wasson, Co-Chair*
San Francisco, CA

Peggy Willocks
Johnson City, TN

Fred Woodlief, D.D.S.
Richmond, VA

Founding Members
We thank the following members for their years of service.

Carey Christensen
Stanwood, WA

Joy G. Dryfoos, Ph.D.
Boston, MA

Melinda L. Hermanns, M.S.N., R.N., B.C.
Tyler, TX

Jo-Anne Lazarus, Ph.D.
Madison, WI

Meredith N. Mucha, M.D.
Westerville, OH

Lillian Snyder+
Wheaton, IL

Joanna Steichen, M.S.W.+
New York, NY

Bruce Talbot+
Moretown, VT

James Trussell
Rome, GA

*Founding member

About Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly one million people in the US. Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s.

About the People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council
First formed in 2006, the People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council is the first board of its kind in the Parkinson’s community.  It was created to provide the perspective of the Parkinson’s community to PDF’s program development and priority setting.  Its members serve on the Council for two consecutive two-year terms and advise PDF on its work in Parkinson's research, education and public advocacy.

About the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation® (PDF®) is a leading national presence in Parkinson’s disease research, education and public advocacy. We are working for the nearly one million people in the US who live with Parkinson’s by funding promising scientific research while supporting people living with Parkinson’s through educational programs and services. Since its founding in 1957, PDF has dedicated over $90 million to fund the work of leading scientists throughout the world and over $37 million to support national education and advocacy programs.


Source Date: Jul 19 2011