Jefferson Named One of Three New Centers of Excellence in Parkinson’s Care

Parkinson's Disease patient

PHILADELPHIA – Because of its commitment to both the expert treatment of patients with Parkinson’s and the research into a cure, the Comprehensive Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorder Center at Jefferson Health was named one of three new Centers of Excellence by the Parkinson’s Foundation today, August 6.

“Parkinson’s is a complex disease that requires an integrated approach to care,” says Richard Smeyne, PhD, director of Jefferson’s Comprehensive Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorder Center at the Vickie & Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience – Jefferson Health. “So many of our experts came together to demonstrate our commitment to the best treatments, physical therapy approaches and research as part of the application process. And it shows…. thanks to the wrap-around care from our social workers, nurses and staff, our patients often comment on how they feel like they receive VIP treatment.”

A Parkinson's Foundation Center of Excellence is a medical center with a specialized team of neurologists, movement disorder specialists, rehab professionals, mental health professionals and others with deep expertise in the latest PD medications, therapies and research to provide the best care. The Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence network is now comprised of 48 leading medical centers around the world, with 34 based in the U.S.

"Our team's mission is to transform Parkinson's care through innovation, collaboration, scientific discovery and education," says medical director, Tsao-Wei Liang, MD.

Importantly, the clinical Center integrates the latest innovative discoveries in Parkinson’s from the laboratories in Jefferson’s Vickie & Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience. “This ‘bench to bedside’ research pipeline is critical to the discovery of new treatments for the disease and provides our patients with the latest in clinical trials on new and emerging therapies,” says research director, Lorraine Iacovitti, PhD.

“The newly designated Centers of Excellence join a network that is setting the highest standards of care for people with PD worldwide,” says John L. Lehr, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Parkinson’s Foundation. “We are proud to further our commitment to improving the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s and making a difference in underserved communities across the country.”  

In an effort to better serve areas with the greatest need, medical centers that will focus on underserved populations were given priority in the application process. Other criteria included the ability to provide the highest level of evidence-based patient-centered care, conduct relevant clinical research that serves patient priorities, demonstrate leadership in professional training and conduct impactful patient education and community outreach.

“We must solve disparities in access to the very best health care for everyone in our communities, and that includes disparities in Parkinson's care and treatment," says Stephen Klasko President,Thomas Jefferson University and CEO, Jefferson Health. 

Through the collaboration of the Center’s clinical leaders Dr. Liang and Daniel Kremens, MD, JD, FAAN, Dr. Iacovitti, and many others, the Jefferson team demonstrated a high level of coordinated care and programmatic integration. “I am incredibly grateful for all of the work and commitment our team put in, as well as the support of leadership,” says Dr. Smeyne.

Media Contact: Edyta Zielinska, 215-955-7359, edyta.zielinska@jefferson.edu.