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 “Research is beginning to prove what the medical community has long suspected: that women experience Parkinson’s differently as it relates to diagnosis, symptoms, progression, treatment complications and care. I applaud the Foundation for putting the unique needs of women on the map with Women and PD TALK, a project that may lead to breakthroughs for women and men.”

Allison Willis, M.D., M.S., co-lead, Women and PD TALK


Women and PD TALK

The Parkinson's Foundation has received a $250,000 Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Engagement Award to support, “Women and PD Teams to Advance Learning and Knowledge (TALK)," the country’s first national effort to address long-standing gender disparities in Parkinson’s research and care.

Women and PD TALK will develop the country’s first patient-centered recommendations to improve the health of women living with Parkinson’s disease.

Why Women and PD TALK?
Historically, Parkinson’s care has been based on research that has focused too narrowly on men or neglected to consider relevant gender differences. For example, treatment protocols have not taken into consideration the fact that women can react differently to medications or are less likely to see specialists.

How Does It Work?
Over its two-year term, the project charges multidisciplinary leadership teams, comprising experts in the patient, research and health care communities, with creating recommendations to advance women’s health care.

  • The project will establish a national network of 10 sites that will engage communities in identifying women’s needs and prioritizing solutions.
  • Regional forums, designed to educate and collect the insights of women with Parkinson’s, will drive the project.
  • Experts will utilize these insights to develop action items to change the landscape of Parkinson’s care.

Women and PD TALK National Team:

Ann Boylan, M.A.
Advocate, Parkinson's Foundation

Megan Feeney, M.P.H.
Manager, National Programs
Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, a division of the Parkinson's Foundation

Ruth Hagestuen, R.N., M.A.
Struthers Parkinson's Center, Parkinson's Foundation Center of Excellence

Sharon Krischer, M.A. (Co-Lead)
Advocate, Parkinson's Foundation

Rebecca Miller, Ph.D.
Advocate, Parkinson's Foundation

Clarissa Martinez-Rubio, Ph.D.
Director of Research and Centers Programs
National Parkinson Foundation, a division of the Parkinson’s Foundation

Lisa M. Shulman, M.D.
Director, University of Maryland Parkinson's and Movement Disorders Center at the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Beth-Anne Sieber, Ph.D.
Federal Liaison, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health

Karen Smith
Advocate, Parkinson's Foundation

Veronica Todaro, M.P.H. (Co-Lead)
Vice President, National Programs
Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, a division of the Parkinson's Foundation

Allison Willis, M.D. (Co-Lead)
University of Pennsylvania, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence

“The Parkinson’s Foundation is engaging key stakeholders in Women and PD TALK to ensure that our recommendations for women’s health are not only developed, but also implemented. First, we want to understand how to improve women’s lives, and then we want to make it happen."

~Veronica Todaro, co-lead of Women and PD TALK, VP National Programs, Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, a division of the Parkinson’s Foundation