|World Parkinson Congress Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Parkinson Community|
The World Parkinson Congress Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Parkinson Community was created to honor those who whose efforts best embody the goals of the World Parkinson Congress: to inspire more community building and expand collaboration on basic and clinical research, medical practices, care partner initiatives, and advocacy that impact the Parkinson community. The WPC is thrilled to honor the three individuals listed below, the first ever recipients to receive this award, for their outstanding contributions and service to the community. Their years of service combined come to 68 years of serving and inspiring the community.
Julie Carter joined the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Neurology and Movement Disorders faculty in 1979 and co-founded of the Parkinson’s Center of Oregon (PCO), where she has been fully engaged as a clinician, clinical investigator, and educator ever since.
For more than a decade, Julie served as the Director of Clinical Research for the PCO. In this role she served as site PI for more than a dozen clinical trials, and has published more than 75 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.
It was in the role of Director of Education and Outreach, a position Julie held for more than two decades that she became a locally and nationally recognized speaker on topics related to the care of people with PD and their families. She is a dedicated, hands-on clinician, providing direct care to people with PD and to their families. Over her career she has identified a number of gaps in patient care and went on to create initiatives to address them, such as: OHSU’s Parkinson Center’s Newly Diagnosed program; “Strive-to-Thrive”, a self-efficacy program designed to engage and empower patients and their families; and the “Next Steps Clinic”, a PD-specific multidisciplinary palliative care clinic at OHSU.
Julie has impacted the lives of the patients and health professionals around her for more than three decades leaving a long legacy of care.
Tom Isaacs was diagnosed with Parkinson disease (PD) at the age of 26. Now aged 48, he has been living with PD for over 21 years. He has one enduring ambition - to see a life where PD can be reversed for the 150,000 people living with this condition in the UK – and ten million people worldwide.
In 2002, seven years into his Parkinson’s journey, Tom took a sabbatical from his career as a surveyor in a property company in London. He undertook an incredible physical and fundraising challenge, to walk 4,500 miles around the coastline of Britain, climb the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales and at the end of all that, run the London Marathon, whilst meeting thousands of people with Parkinson and researchers en route.
The walk united Tom’s interests in research and advocacy. Two years later The Cure Parkinson’s Trust came into being to fund research to slow, stop, and reverse Parkinson’s, with the aim of making a difference to those living with the disease within five years. Since its creation, the Trust has raised £12 million for research.
His vision is to help find a cure for Parkinson’s – a quest that is too massive for one person alone. He believes that only through talking about PD that we can raise the profile of the disease, and with that the necessary funding needed to fast-track research to a cure.
David Leventhal is a former dancer with the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG). Leventhal is currently the program director and one of the founding teachers of MMDG’s Dance for PD® (Parkinson's Disease) program, which was originally conceived by Olie Westheimer. Begun in 2001 as a small monthly class for the Brooklyn Parkinson Group, the program has expanded to include weekly classes throughout New York City, training workshops for teachers in cities around the US and abroad, and a network of affiliated classes in more than 100 cities in 16 countries around the world. With a vision for increasing access to the joys and benefits of dance, he’s co-produced three volumes of a successful At Home DVD series for the program and has been instrumental in initiating and designing innovative projects involving live streaming and Moving Through Glass, a dance-based Google Glass App for people with Parkinson’s. Along with Westheimer, he is the co-recipient of the 2013 Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award from the Parkinson's Unity Walk. He has written about dance and Parkinson's for such publications as Dance Gazette and Room 217, and has a chapters about the program in two books: Multimodal Learning in Communities and Schools (Peter Lang) and Creating Dance: A Traveler's Guide (Hampton Press). He’s a passionate ambassador and spokesperson for the value of dance for people with Parkinson’s at such forums as the Lincoln Center Global Exchange and the Edinburgh International Culture Summit.