Supporter Shares Her Take on Marriage of Research and Public Policy

Today, The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) and the Parkinson's Action Network (PAN) announced plans to operate as a single organization, with the goal of advancing public policy priorities and better treatments for people living with Parkinson's disease (PD).

This unification builds on the strengths of both organizations, combining MJFF's research expertise and PAN's extensive knowledge of public policy to speed a cure for PD. Key staff members from PAN will join the Foundation and programmatic activity will transition to MJFF.

The Foundation launched a dialogue with patients and close supporters of both organizations to ensure MJFF's policy work reflects the top concerns of the community. The conversations began with a webinar and a panel discussion at the annual PAN Forum, and additional feedback was captured through a survey.

Claudia Revilla, one such supporter of both MJFF and PAN, has been living with Parkinson's disease since 2010. As a Fox Trial Finder Ambassador, Team Fox member and PAN Illinois Assistant State Director, Revilla has played an active role in the work of the two organizations. We asked her to share her thoughts about what unification means for the future of Parkinson's public policy.

As a PAN grassroots advocate and an MJFF supporter, everything I do is to speed research toward a cure for Parkinson's disease. But there is another, equally important part of finding a cure: supporting public policies that improve the lives of patients.

We can't conduct studies if federal research funding is cut. We can't bring new drugs to market if they get stuck in complicated regulatory approvals. And we won't have the best quality of life if we lose access to therapy services.

I see nothing but benefits of this unification. Public policy will further MJFF's mission to find a cure, and to ensure better quality of life for people living with Parkinson's today. We are all in this together: all for one and one for all.

To read a white paper summarizing community input on top priorities for Parkinson's public policy, visit www.michaeljfox.org/policy.

Contact your elected representatives and encourage them to support important Parkinson's policy initiatives.

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