Podcast Episode 55: Changing the Hospital Experience through Aware in Care

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People with Parkinson’s disease (PD) need their medications on time, every time. Getting them too soon or too late can cause problems. So when a person with PD enters the hospital, which happens 50 percent more often than their peers, the staff often needs to be educated on the importance of delivering medications at the right dose and at the right times - times that may differ from the usual times that medications are dispensed. When medication timing is off or doses are missed, there can be serious complications that are sometimes then treated with medications that make the situation even more dangerous.

The Parkinson’s Foundation has developed a kit, called Aware in Care, that patients can take with them to the hospital to specify the critical nature of getting medications on time, and the medications that should always be avoided. Annie Wallis, Associate Director of Education at the Foundation, and Leslie Peters, Vice Chair of the People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council for the Foundation, Aware in Care Ambassador, and a care partner for her husband with PD, talk about problems that can arise in the hospital, how to prepare for a hospitalization using the Aware in Care kit, and how the Aware in Care Ambassador program is dedicated to educating hospital staffs around the country to help make the kit most effective.

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About This Episode

Released: May 21, 2019

Annie Wallis, MSW

Annie Wallis, MSW currently serves as the Associate Director of Education at the Parkinson’s Foundation. As part of the Education department, her primary focus is providing quality informational resources and programs for people with Parkinson’s disease, their caregivers and loved ones, and the professionals who are part of the medical and care team.

Annie oversees the Aware in Care Initiative, the biennial Caregiver/Care Partner Summit, and the production and distribution of educational materials in English and Spanish. She also serves as a liaison from the Education department to the foundation staff working across the country and works with the Education department on outlining the educational agenda and managing online and in-person educational courses.

Annie completed her Master of Social Work focused in Community and Social Justice from The Ohio State University and her Bachelor of Social Work from Florida State University. She is passionate about empowering diverse communities to achieve their best health and social outcomes.

Leslie Peters

Leslie Peters’ journey with PD began in 1998 when her mother in law was diagnosed. In 2007 her husband developed his first symptoms. She currently serves as the co-chair of the Parkinson's Foundation's People with Parkinson's Advisory Council. She was also part of the planning committee for the 2018 Caregiver Summit| Cumbre Para Cuidadores and shared her story as part of the Caregiver Panel. Leslie has gone to Capital Hill 4 times to speak with her State Representatives to discuss policies impacting people with PD. She was awarded Outstanding Advocate Award by the Parkinson’s Foundation and the Michael J Fox Foundation at the 2018 Policy Forum. She says “getting involved with the Parkinson's Foundation and advocating for people with PD has changed the course of my life. This is a wonderful initiative that is very close to my heart. Many thanks to the Parkinson's Foundation for all of the wonderful things you are doing.”

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For all of our Substantial Matters podcast episodes, visit parkinson.org/podcast.

For more insights on this topic, listen to our podcast episode “Pharmacy Challenges with PD", “Practicing Hospital Safety” and “An Aware in Care Success Story.”


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