Big Step for Parkinson’s: Q&A About the National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act

The National Plan to End Parkinson’s Disease is becoming federal law! This is the first-ever federal legislation dedicated to curing and preventing Parkinson’s disease (PD) and striving for quality care for those impacted by this chronic and progressive neurologic disease. But what does this really mean?

In this exciting special program, APDA President and CEO, Leslie A. Chambers interviewed a very special guest, Ted Thompson, the Senior Senior Vice President of Public Policy at the Michael J. Fox Foundation who led the advocacy team that was instrumental in getting the bill passed. Leslie and Ted discussed the importance of this new law and the latest updates on its status. 

This legislative victory marks a significant step forward for the PD community! 

Watch the broadcast now on APDA’s YouTube Channel and be sure to subscribe to the APDA YouTube channel for more informative and important resources for Parkinson’s disease.ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS

Leslie A. Chambers, MSPH

Leslie A. Chambers was appointed President and CEO of the American Parkinson Disease Association in August 2012, bringing to the role a rich background in successful leadership and management experience with more than 30 years of experience in the non-profit, voluntary health sector.

Throughout tenure with APDA, Leslie has increased patient-focused programs and services, educational initiatives, and expansion of its research funding. She continues to push APDA forward with the drive and focus necessary to fulfill its mission of helping everyone impacted by Parkinson’s disease live life to the fullest. Leslie leads a team that is responsible for implementing a nationwide network dedicated to fighting Parkinson’s disease, and together they work tirelessly every day to deliver impactful programs and services to local communities across the country.

Prior to APDA, Leslie held leadership positions with several major non-profit health organizations including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Massachusetts in the fields of human nutrition and public health. She received an award from U Mass in October 2016 for Significant Contributions to the field of Public Health and Health Sciences from the Dean of the School of Public Health and Health Sciences.

Since her first day at APDA, Leslie has been  a passionate advocate for the Parkinson’s community – and even more so since her own brother was diagnosed – and looks forward to the day when the mysteries of Parkinson’s disease have been solved – once and for all.

Ted Thompson, JD

Ted Thompson, JD, is the Senior Vice President of Public Policy for The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Ted has more than 30 years of experience in public policy and government affairs, serving in several nonprofit leadership positions and as staff to two members of Congress.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Ted served as President and CEO of the Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit focused on federal policy issues affecting people with Parkinson’s disease. Prior to PAN, Ted was the Vice President of Federal Government Relations at the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society. He was also the Senior Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Mission Advancement for the National MS Society, Minnesota Chapter; the President of the National Association to Prevent Sexual Abuse of Children; and the Legislative Counsel/Director of Federal Relations at the Minnesota Medical Association. Ted has also independently consulted for several nonprofits, for-profit companies, and political entities.

Prior to his work in nonprofit policy, Ted spent nine years working for two members of Congress. He served as Chief of Staff and Communications Director to Rep. Bill Luther (D-MN) and Deputy District Director for Rep. Gerry Sikorski (D-MN). He also ran for the state senate in Minnesota and while unsuccessful, the experience gives him another point of view in helping to shape policy.

Ted holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and political science from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and a law degree from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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