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PDF Mourns the Loss of PPAC Member Joanna Steichen

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) mourns the loss of Joanna T. Steichen, M.S.W., who died suddenly this past weekend.

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.

She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2001. Among her various contributions to PDF, Ms. Steichen was passionately dedicated to exploring the therapeutic value of creativity, dance and exercise for people living with the disease. In this capacity, she served on the steering committees for both the PDF Creativity and Parkinson’s project and its Parkinson’s Quilt Project, and provided the perspective of the Parkinson’s community at PDF’s Exercise and Parkinson’s Roundtable Series.

In addition, she served on the Planning Committee for the Clinical Research Learning Institute, now in its third year. Most recently, Ms. Steichen served as PDF’s Team Captain at the Parkinson’s Unity Walk in April.

Ms. Steichen was a practicing psychotherapist for 30 years, a clinical teacher, and the author of two books and numerous articles and poems. She served on the Board of Trustees for the George Eastman International Museum of Photography, The Edward F. Albee Foundation and the Arts Committee of Long House Reserve. She resided in New York City.

PDF Executive Director Robin Elliott noted, “Joanna was one of PPAC’s wisest and most active contributors. For elegance, intelligence, tenacity and loveliness of manner, this lady was one of a kind. She was also a true and beloved friend of PDF. We will certainly miss her.”

If you knew Joanna and would like to comment on your friendship and work in the PD community with her, please visit PDF's blog.

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Source Date: Jul 28 2010