Philadelphia, PA – The Penn Medicine Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center at Pennsylvania Hospital recently received a gift of one million dollars from Jeff and Anne Keefer of West Chester, PA.
"The Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center (PD&MDC) is a leader in clinical research and the treatment of Parkinson's disease,” said Mr. Keefer, a patient of the Center. “I have received excellent care at the Center and both my wife Anne and I gave this gift because we want to see an acceleration of research to find disease modifying therapies and hopefully, eventually, a cure. We want to help the Center continue to make a difference in research and patients lives."
The PD&MDC was established in 1982 at The Graduate Hospital (now Penn Medicine Rittenhouse at 18th and Lombard Streets) by Howard I. Hurtig, MD, chief of Neurology at Pennsylvania Hospital, co-director of the PD&MDC, and Elliott Professor of Neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Matthew B. Stern, MD, director of the PD&MDC and the Parker Family Professor of Neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine.
Together Doctors Hurtig and Stern wanted to provide comprehensive care to patients with Parkinson’s disease and other parkinsonian syndromes and movement disorders such as dystonia, Tourette’s syndrome and Huntington’s disease. The Center moved in 1997, to its current location on Pennsylvania Hospital’s campus at 330 South Ninth Street.
“This wonderful gift from Jeff and Anne will make a significant impact on our work at the Center,” said Matthew B. Stern, MD, director of the PD&MDC and the Parker Family Professor of Neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine. “Specifically, it will support crucial faculty development, fellowship training, clinical research and clinical services for Parkinson’s patients. A significant portion of the gift will facilitate the collaborative work of the Parkinson’s disease and Movement Disorders Center and the Penn Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research. We are all enormously grateful to the Keefers for their support.”
Combined, the PD&MDC and Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at the University of Pennsylvania is a Morris K. Udall Parkinson’s Disease Research Center of Excellence designated by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), joining 12 other distinguished academic institutions in the US with this designation. Clinical and basic research scientists at the Penn Udall Center are conducting research to understand and develop better treatments for the cognitive impairment and dementia associated with Parkinson’s disease. Penn is the only national Udall Center to focus specifically on cognitive functions in Parkinson’s.
“Research is and always will be an essential cornerstone of the PD&MDC’s mission. Finding a cure for the various neurodegenerative diseases that fall under the broad umbrella of movement disorders is the ultimate dream of all who labor to improve the lives of our patients,” added Dr. Stern. “Hope for a major breakthrough is not only a sustaining force for everyone affected by these progressive illnesses, but it is also an important driver for those who commit themselves to a career as a clinician or clinician-scientist.”
Since its inception, the PD&MDC has grown into one of the dominant clinical programs of its kind in the nation, equally committed to research, professional and community education, and psycho-social support for patients and families. Recognized by the National Parkinson Foundation as one of its 45 worldwide Centers of Excellence, the PD&MDC is one of the largest of its kind in the country and is pre-eminent in the Philadelphia region, providing care to approximately 2,000 patients each year. The PD&MDC partners with the Philadelphia Veteran’s Administration Medical Center as one of only six Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Centers (PADRECC) in the US. The Philadelphia PADRECC offers the same exceptional Parkinson’s care to veterans, as well as opportunities to participate in clinical trials and other research initiatives.