August 1, 2016
Dear Friends and Supporters,
We are thrilled to share with you the news that National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) and the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) have finalized our merger. Moving forward, we will operate as the Parkinson’s Foundation with offices in New York City and Miami. While we have already begun integrating our programs and operations, each division will continue to communicate with our supporters under the legacy brand until the Parkinson’s Foundation brand is fully integrated.
As we set out to complete this merger, we were adamant that the Parkinson’s Foundation must be greater than the sum of our individual parts. We share a unity of purpose — working toward a world without Parkinson’s disease and focusing on the best possible lives now for people living with the disease. We owe it to them to move the science and care forward. The merger allows us to do just that even better — to expand our reach and our impact and to be more effective in everything we do.
Indeed, the coming together has redoubled our shared spirit of purpose. Our focus will be in three key areas:
- Seeking a cure: We support promising scientific research by investing in individual and collaborative research and training projects as well as in an extensive network of research and medical centers in the United States and around the world.
- Providing care and support: Until there is a cure, we remain focused on the care and wellbeing of people living with Parkinson’s today. This has always been, and remains, a hallmark of our leading research and educational work.
- Championing a better future: To do all this, we will expand our advocacy and community outreach efforts to ensure that the response to this disease matches the urgent need.
Of course, we cannot do this alone. We will continue to collaborate with our allied organizations in the Parkinson’s community. And we will look for ways to further enhance our impact in the field, both through collaborations as well as additional strategic combinations.
The merger presents extraordinary opportunities for the future, but rest assured, we are also very focused on the present. While we do not anticipate any significant changes to our exceptional programs — from our Centers of Excellence and individual and collaborative research and training programs around the world to our helpline services and education and advocacy programs in communities across the country — we embrace the opportunity of integrating the two organizations as an occasion for renewed commitment, improvement, efficiencies and broader impact.
One new element that we are very excited about is the search for a new Chief Executive Officer. A joint Search Committee of the Board has kicked off the search, working with the executive search firm Russell Reynolds to recruit a dynamic leader for the future. We remain enormously grateful to Robin Elliott and Paul Blom for their essential leadership during this important transition.
Meanwhile, the Parkinson’s Foundation will be governed by a Board of Directors that will include 11 members from each of the legacy organizations. The two of us will serve as Board Chairs in consecutive terms, with John, former NPF Chair, serving the first term followed by Howard, former PDF Chair. The full Board list is available here.
As many of you know, the battle against Parkinson’s is very personal to us. Both of our fathers had Parkinson’s when they passed. John’s mother has had two serious falls in the past year while living with Parkinson’s. Each of us, along with our Board and staff, know how important it is to act with urgency, to make a difference and to provide hope for the Parkinson’s community, including caregivers. We are driven by the perspective, needs and priorities of people living with the disease and, together, we will be a formidable and effective force in the fight against Parkinson’s.