ON BEHALF OF: Kirk Gutekunst – Advisory Board President
It is with mixed emotions that I share with you Jane Ann Gorsky’s decision to retire from her position as Executive Director of the Heartland Chapter, effective early March.
Jane Ann came to us during a pivotal time in our organization. From the first interview we conducted with Jane Ann, she provided a warm sense of strength and energy that naturally brought people together inspiring servant leadership and meaningful relationships. It is this natural drive that has guided Jane Ann to add unimaginable change and depth to the Parkinson Foundation of the Heartland. Jane Ann’s leadership and direction has transformed the organization into a consistent source of support for those of us impacted by Parkinson’s Disease. The vast access to information, education, support services and medical resources has dramatically increased thanks to Jane Ann and her ability to develop key relationships.
For the past five years, Jane Ann has been a stellar advocate for the Parkinson’s community. Some of Jane Ann’s noteworthy accomplishments include:
- Restructuring the organization for success by leading the effort to unify with NPF and then merging with PDF
- Establishing a successful board and development plan for the organization
- Growing Moving Day Walk revenue from $75K to $280K
- Established a strong partnership with the Center of Excellence
- Significantly increasing the support group coverage throughout the Midwest
- Hiring and maintaining a talented staff
- Providing the most comforting smile and hug as needed
We are truly happy for Jane Ann however her energy and enthusiasm will be missed. We will be scheduling time to honor Jane Ann’s service in the near future and will share that information as it becomes available
The Parkinson’s Foundation Heartland Chapter seeks to:
- Provide programs that support those living with Parkinson's and their caregivers,
- Educate those affected by Parkinson's about the entire spectrum of Parkinson's disease and,
- Serve as a bridge between people with Parkinson's and their healthcare providers, to help patients and families get the best care possible.
Founded in 1981 as the Parkinson Association of Kansas City with the purpose to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease; to help find its cause and cure; and to provide education and support to patients, their families and caregivers. Initially, the Association focused on raising money in support of a cure and of clinical services for people with Parkinson’s disease. Much of this funding supported the KU Medical Center Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder Center, a designated National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence.
In 2003, the Parkinson Association of KC became an independent nonprofit organization and improved patient services and programs. The mission was expanded to include a wider geographic presence in Kansas, and Missouri and its name changed to Parkinson Foundation of the Heartland.
In 2011, Parkinson Foundation of the Heartland strengthened its relationship with the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF), and signed an affiliation agreement to operate as the Heartland Chapter of the National Parkinson Foundation.
In 2013, the Heartland Chapter unified with NPF, officially becoming part of the highly regarded organization that was founded on making life better for those with Parkinson's.
In 2016, the National Parkinson Foundation merged with the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, becoming the Parkinson’s Foundation. At this time, our chapter name changed to the Parkinson’s Foundation Heartland Chapter and the Heartland region expanded into Nebraska.
The Parkinson’s Foundation Heartland Chapter develops partnerships with a variety of organizations in the community who also serve the Parkinson Community. These can include clinics, medical and therapy providers, pharmaceutical companies, senior services providers, retirement communities and government agencies.
If you and your organization would like explore potential partnership opportunities for serving the Parkinson Community in the Heartland please call the Heartland Chapter at 913-341-8828.