A health care program for veterans with Parkinson’s, called the Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Centers, or PADRECCs, was created in 2001. Its coordinated care model is the top standard of care in the treatment of Parkinson’s in veterans, ensuring that complex symptoms are recognized and treated with the best possible care. PADRECCs were rolled out in six locations and only given $6 million in funding. Now, more than 20 years later, there are at least 110,000 U.S. veterans with Parkinson’s disease, and the program still exists at only six locations. It’s funded only at $7.9 million, despite an entire defense budget of $788 billion.
However, Congress can now provide these specialized centers with at least $12 million in the current appropriations process. This funding would allow PADRECCs to expand and allow for better, more comprehensive health care than they currently can provide, and dramatically improve care for many veterans with Parkinson’s. With today’s service members exposed to chemicals and burn pits overseas on military bases, the number of veterans with Parkinson’s disease will increase. The Veterans Health Administration should be able to accommodate and treat our heroes after their service to our country is over.
Please join us in asking Congress to give PADRECCs the funding they need.
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