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Meet the People with Parkinsonís Advisory Council

PPACThe Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) is pleased to introduce to you the newest members of its People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council (PPAC). We also want to thank our departing members for their years of helpful guidance and sound wisdom.

PPAC is an advisory board of people with Parkinson’s and care partners who drive PDF’s mission to support research and ideas that will improve the lives and futures of people touched by Parkinson’s. PDF considers this perspective essential to assuring the relevance and usefulness of our work. Among their contributions, advisory council members are charged with:

  • Providing input on PDF’s priorities and programs of research, education and advocacy.
  • Helping to identify unmet needs and ways in which PDF can better serve the community.
  • Serving as liaisons between PDF and members of the Parkinson’s community.

PPAC History

PPAC was formed in 2006 with 14 founding members — 11 of them people with Parkinson’s and three of them care partners. Our founding members made a lasting impact on programs that PDF has shared with you throughout the years, and we are deeply grateful to all of them for these contributions. A prime example of their impact was our decision to create the Parkinson’s Disease Resource List. Now in its second edition, it includes 750 resources from all Parkinson’s organizations around the country in one location (see

PPAC Members

The new Council consists of 14 members from 11 states. Five are founding members and nine are joining us for the first time, and they bring to us a rich diversity of backgrounds and skills. For example, Maria DeLeon, M.D., of Nacogdoches, TX, herself a person living with Parkinson’s, brings to us her valuable expertise as an experienced movement disorders specialist. Marc Sherman, J.D., of New York, NY, who is interested in addressing issues such as estate planning, brings his experience as an attorney.

All PPAC members — the new members along with the new “alumni” — were invited to our offices in New York on April 15 for a day-long meeting about Parkinson’s community needs and program priorities. On the following day, the group gathered again in Central Park to walk as part of the PDF Pacers team at the Parkinson’s Unity Walk.


To quote David Eger, Ph.D., PPAC’s founding Co-Chair: “I am excited to report that PPAC’s meeting was 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 and new therapies or education and disease management.”


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.*, 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*, San Francisco, CA;
Peggy Willocks, Johnson City, TN;
Fred Woodlief, D.D.S., Richmond, VA

*founding members

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., BC, 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



What do you think are the most pressing needs for the Parkinson’s community? Share your thoughts and opinions with PPAC by visiting our website,