UAMS Receives Parkinson’s Foundation Plaque for Comprehensive Care Center Designation

By Linda Satter

The Parkinson’s Foundation created the designation in late 2021, reserving it for just 15 medical centers across the country whose specialized teams have met rigorous standards of excellence in providing outstanding care for Parkinson’s disease patients.

The UAMS Movement Disorders Clinic in the Department of Neurology was notified in July 2022 that they were one of the first six medical centers nationwide to receive the designation. There are now 10 Comprehensive Care Centers in 10 states.

Rohit Dhall, M.D., chair of the Department of Neurology, credits this national recognition to the excellence and close collaboration between the clinic’s entire multidisciplinary team, including faculty, nurses and staff from neurology, neurosurgery, neuropsychology, health education, social work, clinical research and rehabilitation/therapy services, as well as Alan Diamond, D.O., from UAMS Northwest Regional Campus.

The plaque was presented to the team at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum after a symposium sponsored by the Parkinson’s symposium to educate patients, caregivers and professionals on mid-stage Parkinson’s disease management. Speakers from UAMS included Dhall, Tuhin Virmani, M.D., Ph.D., division chief of neurodegenerative disorders, and Aditya Vikram Boddu, M.D., a movement disorders specialist who with Dhall co-directs the Parkinson Foundation Comprehensive Care Center at UAMS.

Dhall has also credited the support of the UAMS Translational Research Institute for helping establish clinical trials to better treat the disease and slow its progression and funding patient and caregiver education through a virtual education library.

Funding from the Comprehensive Care Centers designation, along with philanthropic support through the UAMS Office of Institutional Advancement and Chancellor’s Grant awards, have allowed the center’s health educator to establish ongoing outreach, education and support programs including a series of art, cooking and music classes, patient and caregiver support groups for people with Parkinsonism.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that is associated with a loss of motor control, such as shaking or tremor at rest and slowness with movements, as well as nonmotor symptoms such as depression and anxiety. It affects an estimated 10 million people worldwide.

The UAMS Movement Disorders Clinic shares the mission of Parkinson’s Foundation in making life better for people with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. The UAMS clinic is also amongst a select group of programs in the U.S. to receive designation as a center of care or center of excellence in Huntington’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple system atrophy and Parkinson’s disease.