Health Leaders

As part of our strategy to end Parkinson's, PDF mobilizes leaders in the health care community to help us more quickly solve, treat and end the disease. PDF has a track record of preparing experts to treat PD on the frontlines. For example, we are the largest private funder of training for early-career neurologists to specialize in PD, with more than 150 doctors trained to date.

Why Health Leaders?

When people with Parkinson's disease work with a health care team — movement disorder specialists, nurses, and physical, occupational and speech therapists — their lives improve. But all too often, professionals on the frontlines are left without sufficient resources or training in Parkinson's disease.

For example, nursing students receive less than one hour of instruction on PD during four years of education. Once in the field, many are left to learn about Parkinson's disease themselves, with few opportunities for continuing education.

What We’re Doing


  • PDF is investing $600,000 a year in growing and empowering health care leaders of today and tomorrow.
  • PDF is preparing future nurses and health professionals by reaching those with the greatest impact — their teachers — through initiatives such as our flagship Edmond J. Safra Foundation Visiting Nurse Faculty Program at PDF, which has trained 190 faculty members at nursing schools nationwide. These leaders are, in turn, sharing their knowledge with 18,000 students each year and are influencing national standards for nursing education.
  • PDF, learning from this success, is implementing a similar model for the field of physical therapy. We expect that within three years, we will have trained 40 faculty leaders, who will in turn train over 1,800 students.
  • PDF is supporting professionals on the frontlines, by arming those in the nursing, physical therapy and occupational therapy fields with the tools they need to stay informed and support their patients. Our offerings include free continuing education opportunities and patient education materials.