Meet the New Members of PDF's Advisory Council

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) is pleased to introduce the newest members of its People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council (PPAC) and to thank our departing members for their years of guidance.

PPAC is comprised of 14 people with Parkinson’s and care partners. Since 2006, they have driven PDF’s mission to support research and ideas that will improve the lives and futures of people touched by Parkinson’s. Among their contributions, advisory council members: (1) provide input on PDF’s priorities and programs of research, education and advocacy; (2) help to identify unmet needs; and (3) serve as liaisons between PDF and members of the Parkinson’s community. Meet our newest members and learn why they wanted to be a part of PPAC.

“I was diagnosed with Parkinson's ten years ago. I am interested in doing whatever I can in the fight for more effective treatments, better services, and (dare I say it?) a cure.”
–Claire Berman, New York, NY

Ms. Berman is the author of several books including Caring for Yourself While Caring for Your Aging Parents: How to Help, How to Survive. She authored the PDF booklet, Diagnosis Parkinson’s Disease: You Are Not Alone.

“The voice of the patient is critical to developing programs and services for the Parkinson’s community. I want to use my voice to better inform neurologists and put the right tools in the hands of the patients who need them.”
–Diane Cook, Denver, CO

Ms. Cook is Managing Director of Cook & Company. She has 25 years of experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors, focusing on leadership development, team building, coaching and training.

"My personal and professional experiences have encouraged me to take a more active role in the fight against Parkinson's. I am serving as a tribute to every patient, family and caregiver who lives with this disease."
–Christine Colón, M.S., Pleasantville, NY

Ms. Colón is a specialist in genetic counseling, who serves as Patient Outreach and Support Manager at the Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation. She holds a Masters of Science in Human Genetics from Sarah Lawrence College.

“Working with PDF, I hope to get the word out that all of us with Parkinson’s can find activity that works for us. I was never a great athlete, but after my diagnosis I cycled across Iowa twice and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.”
–Nan Little, Ph.D., Seattle, WA

Ms. Little is the former Director of the Sciences and Tribes Educational Partnership at the University of Washington. Her doctorate is in anthropology.

“It seems my life up to this point has uniquely qualified me for my new purpose; to do what I can to help spread awareness of the disease and to voice the concerns of people with Parkinson’s who live in smaller communities where resources are not available.”
–Karen Smith, Evansville, IN

Ms. Smith is a former member of the pharmaceutical quality control department at Bristol-Myers Squibb. She holds a Certificate in Fundraising Management from The Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University.