Because every person’s version of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is different, having a partnership with the right doctor makes a difference. A movement disorder specialist — a neurologist with additional training in PD and other movement disorders — can help patients manage symptoms and connect to the latest research, while supporting overall well-being. But for many, this care isn’t possible because there aren’t enough of these specialists, due to lack of funding or training.
In 2014, The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) and longtime partner the Edmond J. Safra Foundation, established The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders to address this growing need.
Connecting research and care is fundamental to MJFF’s mission and core to the Edmond J. Safra Foundation’s commitment to the patient community. The specialists trained through the program can deliver expert patient care and, at the same time, lead research to better understand and treat their patients’ diseases. To date, The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders has graduated 10 movement disorder clinician-researchers across the world, including five esteemed candidates who recently graduated in the Class of 2019, entering careers in Parkinson’s clinical care and research.
Natalie Witek, MD, 2019 graduate, notes the important role a movement disorder specialist plays: “While having Parkinson’s can slow you down, patients are learning that we can help them continue to live healthy, happy and successful lives.” Placing an emphasis on patients’ needs allows for advances in optimizing care, and ultimately a difference in the lives of people with PD.
Visit michaeljfox.org/safrafellows to learn more about the program and its graduates.