The Parkinson's Foundation leads the development of new treatments and care models through its Centers of Excellence network. Each Center of Excellence is staffed by some of the world’s foremost specialists in every aspect of the complex, multidisciplinary care that delivers the best results for people with Parkinson’s. The network comprises 45 leading medical centers around the world, including 31 in the United States. These Centers of Excellence:
- Deliver care to 127,000 people with Parkinson’s.
- Represent a community of healthcare professionals dedicated to improving the lives of everyone with Parkinson’s today.
- Represent exemplar care and research to improve the lives of their own patients, people in the community who don’t have the benefit of Center of Excellence care, and for future generations.
Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence status is the most respected and sought after designation in the field of Movement Disorders, with each center required to meet rigorous clinical, research, professional education and patient service criteria. Once focused on establishing exemplar standards of care, today the Centers of Excellence network is working to deliver this standard to every person with Parkinson’s.
Central to this effort is the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project, the largest clinical study of Parkinson’s ever conducted, through which the foundation studies the approaches Centers of Excellence use to deliver the very best care. Through this study, Foundation scientists are studying these techniques so that they can be shared with the community to help everyone treating Parkinson’s to provide Centers of Excellence-level results. The Parkinson’s Outcomes Project is not just a study, it is a platform for the study of Parkinson’s disease, and it serves as the basis for wide-ranging research into the disease.
In selecting Centers of Excellence, the foundation chooses clinics from applicants around the world. Centers are selected based on a detailed application and peer review of the center, its faculty, and the role of that center in advancing our knowledge of Parkinson’s disease and its treatment through research, training of specialist providers, and leadership across the community. The center must also exceed minimum criteria, including:
- Excellence — Center reputation among the Parkinson community.
- Research reputation — Recent work to advance the science of Parkinson’s.
- Shared vision — Center’s commitment to the Center of Excellence network vision of working to provide the very best care to every person with Parkinson’s.
- Outreach, training, and education — Center’s commitment to serving the broader community, beyond the walls of the center.
- Integration of research and care — Synergies achieved in the integration of research and care.
- Quality programs — Center’s demonstration to continuous and systematic improvement.
- Center capacity — Whether or not the center meets the minimum patient and provider criteria.
The Parkinson's Foundation brings all Centers together annually to offer updates on insight into the best care and advances in science to improve patient outcomes. Each Center is represented by the medical director and center coordinator and the program includes joint sessions and break-out groups for professionals to share their insight. Each Center of Excellence must renew their designation every five years, so the foundation can review the Center’s adherence to and advancement of the network vision. This process includes a review of achievements by a peer-review committee as well as Parkinson's Foundation staff.