Podcast Episode 69: Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence: What Does it Take and What Does it Mean?

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Since the early 2000’s, centers of excellence for various diseases or procedures have become common. These are specialized programs within healthcare institutions that bring together experts and resources to target different aspects of the disease or condition to give patients a unified resource for addressing their needs in a comprehensive manner. Besides optimizing resources for patients, the centers of excellence provide advantages for healthcare providers by integrating experts and resources to draw upon within one organization.

Much work goes into assembling and being designated a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence. At this point, the Parkinson’s Foundation has recognized 47 CoE’s – 34 in the United States and 14 international. Not only do they have to have clinical expertise, but part of their mandate is to do research, education, and community outreach to underserved communities that otherwise could not access the CoE or find appropriate care within their own locales.

In this episode Clarissa Martinez-Rubio, Senior Director of Clinical Affairs of the Parkinson’s Foundation, describes what these centers are and the criteria for earning a designation as a CoE. Then Joe Salvatore talks about his mother’s experience getting a second opinion at a Parkinson’s Foundation CoE and how it helped change the course of her disease.

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About This Episode

Released: December 3, 2019

Clarissa Martinez-Rubio, PhD

ClarissaClarissa Martinez-Rubio is the Sr. Director of Clinical Affairs at the Parkinson's Foundation. She completed her PhD in Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Center followed by her postdoctoral training at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School focusing in Deep Brain Stimulation and Neuromodulation. She worked at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School as an Instructor in Neurosurgery for 3 years before joining the Parkinson’s Foundation in 2016. Since joining, Clarissa has led the foundation’s global Centers of Excellence network with designated centers in 9 countries, 34 US and 14 international.

Joseph M. Salvatore

JoeJoseph M. Salvatore joined Miller Tabak Asset Management in October 2008 as Senior Municipal Credit Analyst. Mr. Salvatore has analyzed municipal bond credits since 1990.  At MTAM, Mr. Salvatore reviews and approves (or denies) all municipal bonds before purchase and assigns internal ratings and credit trends to all municipal holdings.  Mr. Salvatore maintains strategic relationships with issuers, rating agencies, and credit enhancers. Prior to joining MTAM, he was a municipal consultant for MacKay Shields (New York Life Insurance Company’s investment subsidiary).  He was responsible for the credit research of all municipal assets and made buy/sell recommendations with the criteria of no defaults and no surprise rating downgrades.  Prior to this experience, Mr. Salvatore spent 16 years at BlackRock in their Fixed Income Municipal Credit Research Department where he became a Director. He is an active member of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts and the Philadelphia Area Municipal Analyst Society.  Mr. Salvatore holds an MBA from LaSalle University in Philadelphia. Mr. Salvatore is also a history buff, sports enthusiast, and amateur chef.  He lives in Worcester, PA with his partner of 20 years.

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


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