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About the American Parkinson Disease Association

The American Parkinson Disease Association, Inc. was founded in 1961 to "ease the burden and find a cure" for Parkinson's disease. Headquartered in New York, the organization focuses its energies on research, patient services, education and raising public awareness about the disease. APDA supports nine Centers for Advanced Research, 52 regional Information and Referral (I&R) Centers, 45 chapters, and 250 affiliated support groups nationwide. Each year, the APDA Scientific Advisory Board reviews grant applications, and submits recommendations, for funding researchers whose work shows promise for making scientific breakthroughs or for finding improved treatments for Parkinson's disease.

Here in Connecticut we have been a part of APDA since 1984. We chose APDA because they are a "grass roots" organization dealing with the PD patients and their families. Our chapter's main mission is to promote awareness of PD, provide educational opportunities and support groups for our members and to raise funds for both our APDA organization and for national research. 

The American Parkinson Disease Association, Inc. has placed a vast emphasis on grassroots organizing of Information and Referral Centers, chapters and support groups. Since the initiation of Operation Outreach in 1983, the number of chapters, their efficiency, and the funds they have raised have grown dramatically. It is this grassroots structure that distinguishes APDA from other organizations serving people with Parkinson's disease.

APDA chapters have two functions: fund raising and awareness. They operate as an integral part of the national organization, and their financial statements are combined at the end of the year for reporting to the IRS. The benefits of the chapters' operation assist the national research and education programs, but are most important in their local outreach, programs, and education.

Following is a list of local chapters' accomplishments to "Ease the Burden and to Find the Cure" for Parkinson's disease:

Raise funds for research. The APDA research program has been involved in every major breakthrough in clinical and applied research for more than 45 years. APDA'S prestigious Scientific Advisory Board reviews and approves all research grants on an annual basis. 

Sponsor or assist in sponsoring educational symposia which draw thousands of people annually and feature recognized experts on numerous aspects of Parkinson's disease. 

Secure media attention to provide information about available APDA resources to those unaware of them and to raise public awareness and understanding about Parkinson disease. 

Publish newsletters to keep people informed of local and national events affecting the Parkinson's community. Fund or assist in funding local programs. 

Act as local representatives of APDA for programs, utilization and growth. Assist support groups through referrals, funding, organization, and materials. 

Encourage and support volunteer involvement in the organizations serving people with Parkinson's disease Directly represent and advocate the interests of those afflicted with Parkinson's disease through local organization.

In all cases, flexibility is emphasized, as each chapter is different in its goals and resources. Because chapters vary greatly in size, culture and resources, flexibility is the key to success in meeting their common goal to "Ease the Burden – Find the Cure".

To contact your Connecticut Chapter please call:  860-248-9200  or email:


American Parkinson Disease Association

Connecticut Chapter

PO Box 718

Old Mystic, CT 06372


National Office

135 Parkinson Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10305
Phone: 800-223-2732 or 718-981-8001
Fax: 718-981-4399

Leslie A. Chambers, President & CEO
Michelle H. McDonald, Vice-President for Chapter Development & Field Operations
Charlene Allo, Director of Chapter Relations/Special Events
Cheryl Weiner, Controller 

Scientific and Medical Affairs
G. Frederick Wooten, Jr., MD, Scientific and Medical Affairs Advisor
Heather Gray, Scientific and Medical Affairs Assistant