NPF’s Centers of Excellence exemplify our clinical think-tank: a group of the world’s leading Parkinson’s specialists focused on changing the course of Parkinson’s disease. Forty-one leading medical centers worldwide –
- Deliver care to more than 50,000 Parkinson’s patients
- Create a community of health care professionals dedicated to Parkinson’s care
- Work to advance a comprehensive approach to care that addresses the whole person and full range of symptoms.
Our Centers of Excellence are widely renowned for outstanding performance in Parkinson’s research, care and outreach. Centers are recognized by their professional (medical) peers as leaders in Parkinson’s care and each center meets rigorous criteria for research, comprehensive care delivery, professional education and patient outreach services.
More than half of our centers are participating in the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project, which measures variations in treatment and patient outcomes to zero in on best-practices in Parkinson’s care. This effort has produced one of the largest patient databases in the field, with almost 8,000 patients, that also serves as the basis for research into the disease. The project is raising awareness about the diverse approaches to the treatment of Parkinson's disease and the impact these have on outcomes.
To be a Center of Excellence the movement disorders team must:
- See a sufficient volume of patients to have exposure to the diverse manifestations of Parkinson’s disease and wide array of treatment options;
- Deliver care to patients in a team model that addresses the broad spectrum of symptoms and treatment options for PD;
- Employ neurologists with training in movement disorders or a specialization in Parkinson’s disease who balance research, education, and care in their practices;
- Provide support services to families and caregivers;
- Provide access to the full spectrum of evidence-backed therapeutic options including a neurosurgery team experienced with surgical options for Parkinson’s patients;
- Demonstrate commitment to clinical training;
- Empower patients and caregivers by promoting and educating around self-directed activities such as managing exercise and nutrition;
- Provide patients and families with access to current information about Parkinson’s disease;
- Advance our understanding of Parkinson’s disease through collaborative and investigator-initiated clinical research;
- Provide patients access to experimental therapies through participation in clinical trials.
NPF brings all Centers together at least annually to provide updates on care activities and research initiatives and provides funding so that the medical director and nurse coordinator of each center can participate. Each Center of Excellence must re-certify every three years. This process includes a review of achievements by a peer-review committee as well as NPF staff.
The NPF Center of Excellence designation is widely recognized and sought out by the best academic medical centers as a model to guide their progress from good care to best in class.