NEW YORK & MIAMI — July 30, 2020 – The Parkinson’s Foundation has appointed five new members to its People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council. The council consists of people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and care partners who continue to ensure that the perspective of people within the Parkinson’s community is included across all Foundation programs and priorities.
“The People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council is essential to understanding the needs of the PD community and working to fulfill those needs,” said John L. Lehr, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Parkinson’s Foundation. “We welcome our five new council members who have the first-hand expertise and leadership within their communities to help us make life better for people with Parkinson’s.”
The advisory council’s newest members have diverse professional skills and experiences. They include:
Alejandra Borunda, Phoenix, AZ: Alejandra is passionate about working with the underserved and homeless communities. She was diagnosed with PD at the age of 28 and is actively engaged with the PD community through the Muhammad Ali Parkinson's Center, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, the Parkinson's Foundation Hispanic Parkinson’s Outreach Committee and the World Parkinson Congress.
Lisa Cone, Wheaton, CO: Lisa is a retired healthcare executive who worked for Cerner Corporation as the Managing Director of Cerner’s Home Health and Hospice division. Lisa was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2008 at the age of 45. She uses her professional and personal experiences as a person with Parkinson’s in her volunteer work as a Parkinson’s Foundation Research Advocate.
Lou Eisenbrandt, Leawood, KS: Lou is a former member of the Army Nurse Corps where she served in Vietnam and has since passionately shared her experience with students and community groups. Diagnosed with PD in 2003, Lou has been involved in her local Parkinson’s Foundation chapter focusing on helping others manage the emotional aspects of living with PD.
Joanne Genet, Lafayette, CA: Joanne has more than 35 years of experience in healthcare from clinical work as a physician assistant in women’s health, general medicine and HIV research to many years working in public health. She was diagnosed with PD in 2013 and looks to promote exercise and wellness to help manage PD symptoms.
Steve Newton, Fort Worth, TX: Steve has served in executive leadership roles in healthcare for more than 30 years, including more than 25 years as a hospital president. Diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2017, he has been active in Punching Out Parkinson’s and shares his experience to help raise awareness about PD.
In addition to the five new People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council members, the council has appointed Gretchen Rosswurm of Irving, TX, as the chair of the council and Tom Manak of Glen Ellyn, IL, as vice chair of the council.
“The People with Parkinson's Advisory Council is essential to ensuring that the PD community is actively contributing to the Foundation’s programs and initiatives,” said Gretchen Rosswurm, People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council Chair. “Our perspective is vital to helping the Foundation improve quality of life, care and resources and further research for people with PD.”
In 2006, the Parkinson’s Foundation became the first organization to establish a patient leadership group instrumental to developing programs and research initiatives. A total of 15 People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council members guide Parkinson’s Foundation priorities, identify unmet needs, provide input on programs and serve as liaisons to the community.
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.