Parkinson’s Foundation Receives $1 Million Gift to Expand Access to Research and Care in Kansas
Gift from the Krupp Smith Family Foundation Funds Genetic Testing and Counseling Offerings, Expansion of Clinical Care and Growth of Community Programs
NEW YORK & MIAMI (February 15, 2023) — The Parkinson’s Foundation announced the expanded designation of the University of Kansas Medical Center as a super site for PD GENEration: Mapping the Future of Parkinson’s Disease, the Foundation’s global initiative offering genetic testing and counseling at no cost for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The expansion is made possible by a $1 million gift from the Krupp Smith Family Foundation – made in memory of Gary Smith Sr. – to support research enrollment, expansion of clinical care and growth of community programs for people living with PD in the Heartland area and beyond.
“We are grateful for the generosity shown by the Krupp Smith Family Foundation to help us advance progress in Parkinson’s research, increase access to clinical care and help meet the rising demand for community-based services,” said John L. Lehr, Parkinson’s Foundation president and CEO. “We are honored to provide the team at the University of Kansas Medical Center with the additional support needed to improve the quality of life for people with PD.”
The generous gift will allow the Parkinson’s Foundation Gary A. Smith PD GENEration site to significantly expand its reach in the Heartland area by accelerating genetic testing and counseling, raising the standard of care and providing necessary resources for people with PD and their care partners. The new site will support PD GENEration enrollment through a dedicated fellowship program in which fellows train neurologists or nurse coordinators in neurogenetics and genetic counseling to ensure the team is up to date on the latest PD research and clinical trials.
Over 7,000 patients are treated each year at the newly bestowed Parkinson’s Foundation Krupp Smith Family Foundation Center of Excellence, and this gift will support the center and help provide high-quality, comprehensive care to those living with PD. Community programs will also grow in support of geographic areas that are currently underserved, including the addition of seven new educational programs and funding for five new community grant programs. To distribute and raise awareness of resources amongst members of the PD community in these areas, the Foundation’s local team will also see the impactful addition of an outreach coordinator.
“We are proud to honor our mom and dad through this gift to the Parkinson’s Foundation, and to add their legacy to the future of the Foundation’s research and ongoing care efforts for people with Parkinson’s,” said Gary Smith Jr., chairman of the Krupp Smith Family Foundation. “Our parents were passionate about supporting Parkinson’s research, and about giving back, and we hope we can continue moving that forward for them.”
The Parkinson’s Foundation launched the Reach Further campaign in 2022 to raise and invest an additional $30 million to accelerate progress on PD research, improve care and increase access to quality-of-life programs. This Reach Further leadership gift of $1 million brings the Foundation closer to its campaign goal. For more information, visit Parkinson.org/Reach.
To learn more about PD GENEration, visit Parkinson.org/PDGENEration or call 1-800-4PD-INFO (1-800-473-4636). For questions about enrollment, email Genetics@Parkinson.org.
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. Since 1957, the Parkinson’s Foundation has invested more than $425 million in Parkinson’s research and clinical care. Connect with us on Parkinson.org, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or call 1-800-4PD-INFO (1-800-473-4636).
About Parkinson’s Disease
Affecting an estimated one million Americans, Parkinson’s disease is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s and is the 14th-leading cause of death in the U.S. 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 nearly 90,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S.