From the groundbreaking discovery of a Parkinson’s (PD) biomarker to critical wins on Capitol Hill and in statehouses, 2023 has been a year like no other for PD research and policy. These victories belong to each one of you — our PD community. You took more than 78,000 actions to support our advocacy work this year!
By calling, writing and meeting with Congress, publishing op-eds, posting on social media and more, you’ve helped policymakers understand what matters to patients and their families. Read on to find out how your 2023 advocacy has accelerated science and gotten us closer to a future free from this disease.
The National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act Advances to the Senate
Cue the confetti! With overwhelming support, on December 14, 2023, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the first-ever federal legislation solely devoted to ending Parkinson’s disease. Now, the bill heads to the Senate for consideration next year.
Over 850 advocates joined us for more than 350 meetings with members of Congress on the National Plan this year! It’s safe to say that your advocacy helped build bipartisan support for this legislation, which will unite the federal government on a mission to treat, prevent and cure PD, and bring better care to patients and families. See how far this bill has come in just a few short months.
EPA Proposes Ban of a Toxic Chemical Known to Increase Risk of Parkinson’s
This October, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a ban on nearly all uses of trichloroethylene (TCE). TCE is a toxin known to cause serious health issues including a 500 percent increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. Due in part to nearly a decade of advocacy by MJFF and Parkinson’s advocates nationwide, this news comes as a massive breakthrough in our work to stop the use of dangerous chemicals like paraquat and TCE. Learn more about how we're following the science on the link between toxic exposures and PD.
Thousands of Advocates Rally Together for National Day of Action
On October 25, 2023, MJFF hosted our annual National Day of Action to encourage our Parkinson’s community to ask members of Congress for their support of the National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act. In just 24 hours, advocates from all 50 states sent 7,500 messages to their lawmakers! Many others signed our petition, posted on social media and even wrote opinion pieces and letters to the editor to urge their representatives to cosponsor the bill. The National Plan passed the House of Representatives only a few weeks later!
15 States Pass Legislation to Support the Parkinson’s Community
Not only is state legislation a powerful tool for change on its own, but it also serves as an incubator for innovation, testing fresh ideas and modeling effective approaches. One such example is the use of state-level research registries. These rich data resources help researchers, health care providers and policymakers identify patterns that deepen their understanding of PD and how to treat it.
This year, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada and Ohio passed bills to create registries, while Nebraska — home of America’s first PD registry — boosted funding to modernize its registry. Find out how states prioritized registries and other PD policies in 2023.
Inspired? Here Are Five Ways You Can Advocate Before the End of the Year
Use our simple online forms to contact your lawmakers and urge them to take action on these issues, and more. It only takes a few minutes — and yet, your advocacy can help effect real change.
- Ask your senators to support the National Plan
- Make sure your state lawmakers prioritize Parkinson’s policies in 2024
- Tell Congress that veterans with Parkinson’s deserve comprehensive health care
- Urge the federal government to ban harmful toxins linked to PD
- Advocate for legislation that would help people with Parkinson’s access the medication they need
Don’t forget to sign up for the Parkinson's Policy Network to stay informed about future opportunities to advocate for policy change that makes a difference!