NEW YORK & MIAMI — February 25, 2019 — The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced the first members of its Aware in Care Ambassador Pilot Program, 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, which consists of tools and information to share with hospital staff during a planned or emergency hospital visit, with their local communities and create connections in local hospitals to help change the culture and policies around Parkinson’s care. A total of 113 members make up the newly appointed Aware in Care Ambassadors across 30 states, who are charged with educating hospitals and communities nationwide to make life better for people with Parkinson’s.
“The Aware in Care kits are saving lives and helping tens of thousands of people with Parkinson’s, but we need to share this important resource with more communities and hospitals across the country,” said Anne Wallis, Parkinson’s Foundation associate director of education. “We can all play a role as Parkinson’s advocates to change the way that people with Parkinson’s receive care in hospitals.”
Since the launch of the Aware in Care campaign in 2011, the Parkinson’s Foundation has distributed more than 85,000 Aware in Care kits, providing people with Parkinson’s the tools they need to get the best care in the hospital. Recently, the Parkinson’s Foundation conducted a survey among Aware in Care kit recipients. 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.
“When my husband suddenly developed debilitating pain, I took him to the local emergency room. Each time a hospital staff member came in his room, I gave them one of the forms from the Aware in Care kit that outlined that he has PD, needs his medications on time/every time and provided them with a list of the contraindicated medicines,” said Karen St. Clair, Aware in Care Ambassador and People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council member. “The hospital staff was very impressed with the form and thanked me each time for the information provided. It was our first time using the kit and it worked perfectly!”
For more information about the Aware in Care kit, visit Parkinson.org/AwareInCare or call 1-800-4PD-INFO for a free kit today.
About the Parkinson’s Foundation
The Parkinson’s Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. In everything we do, we build on the energy, experience and passion of our global Parkinson’s community. For more information, visit www.parkinson.org or call (800) 4PD-INFO (473-4636).
About Parkinson’s Disease
Affecting nearly one million Americans and 10 million worldwide, Parkinson’s disease is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s and is the 14th-leading cause of death in the United States. It is associated with a progressive loss of motor control (e.g., shaking or tremor at rest and lack of facial expression), as well as non-motor symptoms (e.g., depression and anxiety). There is no cure for Parkinson’s and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone.