NEW YORK (December 9, 2020) -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) has received the Advocacy/Policy Award from the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the Food and Drug Administration. MJFF is the second organization ever to receive this award, which honors individuals or groups that have made an impact to improve public health through advocacy and public policy. It was conferred to MJFF at the 2020 Innovations in Regulatory Science Awards Dinner, which was held virtually on Tuesday, December 8, 2020.
Foundation leadership including Michael J. Fox, Co-Founder and Executive Vice Chairman Deborah W. Brooks and CEO Todd Sherer, PhD, jointly accepted the award on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of individuals — patients, families, researchers and partners — who enable our work.
“This recognition means the world to us,” said Michael J. Fox. “Twenty years ago, laying out the blueprint for the Foundation, we had no idea it would grow to this extent. With the help of countless individuals, we set out to do whatever it takes to speed tangible results for people and families with PD. If it matters to people with Parkinson’s, we’re on it.”
MJFF was selected to receive the award due to its critical role in the Parkinson’s research landscape and national strategy on public policy.
“The Michael J. Fox Foundation has made a difference in the lives of patients all over the world by funding millions in high-risk, high-reward science; providing vital non-financial resources for Parkinson's disease researchers serving as the field's leading convener; and building an action-oriented community,” said Lynne Zydowsky, PhD, Reagan-Udall Foundation Board member, in her remarks as she presented the award to MJFF.
Since formally integrating public policy into its programming in 2016, MJFF has rallied an engaged group of grassroots policy advocates — nearly 20,000 people — to take action on policy priorities that matter to the Parkinson’s community. In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Foundation focused its policy efforts on issues including access to telehealth and mental health services. Thousands of community advocates joined in and sent action alerts, reaching out directly to their legislators to make their voices heard. With an integrated research and policy strategy, the Foundation also creates onramps for willing volunteers to raise their hand and participate in clinical studies. More than 91,000 people have used the online tool Fox Trial Finder since it launched in 2011 and over 50,000 participants have contributed data to the online study Fox Insight since it launched in 2017.
“Since our start, we have funded more than $1 billion dollars in Parkinson’s research,” said Debi Brooks while accepting the award. “With 17 new Parkinson’s drugs and treatments approved by the FDA in the last seven years, we’re proud of the role we’ve played in improving the lives of families navigating this disease. Yet, we are sober about the work that still lies ahead. We remain committed to funding every promising idea until we reach our goal — curing Parkinson’s and closing our doors. This is our responsibility and our promise.”
To learn more about the award, visit the Reagan-Udall Foundation website.
About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
As the world's largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson's research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson's disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson's patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding $1 billion in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson's research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson's disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson's awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation