Jennifer G. Goldman, MD, MS

Jennifer G. Goldman – Research Investigator


Jennifer G. Goldman, MD, MS

Name of Institution:

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Chicago, IL

Project Title:

Understanding utilization of rehabilitation services across diverse populations

Investigator Bio:

Dr. Jennifer G. Goldman, MD, MS, is the Section Chief, Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and Professor in the Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL. Dr. Goldman is a fellowship-trained movement disorder neurologist with specialty board certification in behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry. Dr. Goldman graduated from Princeton University, received her MD from Northwestern University Medical School, and completed her neurology residency training at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, followed by a movement disorder fellowship and a Master of Science degree in clinical research at Rush University in Chicago. Her work focuses on understanding the mechanisms and impact of cognitive, behavioral, and motor aspects of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other movement disorders, improving treatments and outcomes for these features, and developing interdisciplinary care models.


To understand rehabilitation care needs and utilization in PD across diverse populations


PD symptoms such as loss of balance, falls, reduced dexterity, tremor, dysphagia, and cognitive decline have substantial impact on quality of life, work, self-care, and outcomes. Many of these symptoms are therapeutic target areas for rehabilitation care by physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech language pathology. Rehabilitation therapies can improve functional abilities and quality of life and reduce related complications such as falls and fracture risk. However, healthcare disparities have been found in Parkinson’s rehabilitation care regarding referrals and utilization, among other aspects. In this study, we will examine disparities in referrals, access, availability, and use of rehabilitation care in African Americans with Parkinson’s, understand the specific needs, and identify how we can best work together with the community to help address gaps in quality care.


We will utilize mixed-methods research to understand the utilization of rehabilitation services in the African American Parkinson’s community, particularly in the Chicagoland and Midwest region. In the study, we will conduct community needs assessments, focus groups, and research surveys, which will provide information regarding perspectives of rehabilitation care and yield data regarding utilization.

Relevance to Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease:

Understanding the factors that affect access, delivery, and utilization of rehabilitation care in PD will allow us to address important healthcare disparities, partner with communities, and provide quality rehabilitation care for people with Parkinson’s from its earliest to advanced stages. This will improve the short- and long-term outcomes and quality of life for people with Parkinson’s.