A recent survey of Aware in Care Kit users demonstrated the need for additional local support for the Aware in Care initiative. More than 95 percent of responses rated the kit as useful, and 97 percent said they would recommend the kit, including almost 60 percent who had already recommended the kit to a loved one or community member. However, while 80% felt confident educating hospital staff about the needs of a person with Parkinson’s, only 50% received medications on time (up from 25% without the kit).
To address the need for additional education among people with Parkinson’s disease and those who treat them in every corner of the community, the Parkinson’s Foundation has launched a new branch of the Aware in Care initiative — the Aware in Care Ambassador Pilot Program.
Aware in Care Ambassadors are a volunteer group organized to help distribute Aware in Care kits that serve to bolster best practices in treating patients with Parkinson’s disease to both patients and healthcare providers. The dedicated volunteers, selected from a competitive pool of applications, are tasked with kicking off this new program to bring Aware in Care into more communities and hospitals around the country.
Ambassadors will work directly with the Parkinson’s Foundation to share the Aware in Care kit with their local communities and create connections in local hospitals to help change the culture and policies around Parkinson’s care. A total of 81 members make up the newly appointed Aware in Care Ambassadors across 30 states. Ambassadors are charged with educating hospitals and communities nationwide to make life better for people with Parkinson’s.
The Ambassadors Program has three primary goals:
Educate the Community
If people with Parkinson’s know what they need, they are more likely to get appropriate care.
Educate Clinicians who treat Parkinson’s
If clinicians help spread the word about resources, we can share them with more people with Parkinson’s.
Educate Hospital Staff
If staff know what people with Parkinson’s need and why, they are more likely to adjust the care given.