The Parkinson’s Foundation Western New York Chapter seeks to:
- Provide programs that support those living with Parkinson's and their caregivers,
- Educate those affected by Parkinson's about the entire spectrum of Parkinson's disease and,
- Serve as a bridge between people with Parkinson's and their healthcare providers, to help patients and families get the best care possible.
Dr.’s Kim Trinidad and Robert Plunket, along with Registered Nurse Pat Weigel and patient Tom O’Donnell helped found The Parkinson’s Wellness Group (PWG) in 1997. The first meeting was held in a lonely meeting room in a shopping mall south of the city. Unbelievably, after yeoman efforts to spread the word, seventeen people showed up. This proved that there was a demand for these meetings and that much more had to be done to support the local Parkinson’s community. These first sessions relocated to a nearby church hall and are still meeting on the third Wednesday of most months.
In 2009, the founders of the PWG met with a group of talented and interested supporters. This group became the Board of Directors for what was then to be called the Parkinson’s Association of Western New York (PAWNY). The organization continued under that title until 2012, when they elected to join with the National Parkinson Foundation to become their Western New York Chapter (NPFWNY). The national entity is now known as the Parkinson’s Foundation, and the Western New York Chapter continues to grow. The organization provides local exercise classes and support groups along with an educational symposium and a variety of activities and events, all made possible by generous donors. Programs for patients and caregivers are now established in many towns throughout the region.