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EP 979B - The Parkinson's Foundation: Improving Care and Advancing Research Toward a Cure

Summary: John L. Lehr, President & CEO of the Parkinson's Foundation, shares information about the foundation's mission, as well as provide information about the disease itself.
Air Date: 2/18/20
Duration: 25:56
Host: Michael Roizen, MD
Guest Bio: John L. Lehr, President & CEO of the Parkinson's Foundation
John L. Lehr leads the Parkinson's Foundation as president & chief executive officer (CEO) with more than two decades of nonprofit fundraising and management experience and a strong focus in the voluntary healthcare and medical research sectors.John played a pivotal role in merging two legacy Parkinson’s organizations into the Parkinson’s Foundation in 2017. Since then, the Foundation has nearly doubled its revenue to $35 million. Under John’s leadership, the Foundation earned a 4-star charity rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

At Parkinson’s Foundation, John has overseen the expansion of the Foundation’s Center of Excellence Network, which now includes 47 Centers at leading academic centers globally; the launch of PD Generation, a groundbreaking study that is conducting genetic testing, counseling, and biobanking of genetic data on thousands of individuals with PD for clinical and research purposes; and, most recently, the launch of the Newly Diagnosed Initiative to reach the more than 60,000 individuals diagnosed in the U.S., each with PD, and to connect them to the many Foundation educational resources. John has also overseen the build out of the Foundation’s regional network, expanding the Foundation’s signature grassroots fundraising and awareness event ― Moving Day ― to more than 45 markets, and opening 17 regional chapters to better serve the Parkinson’s community.

Before joining the Parkinson’s Foundation, John served as President of Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI), a consulting firm that serves the nonprofit sector. Among his clients were Georgetown University, Arthritis Foundation and Special Olympics. Previously, as CEO of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) John merged two legacy organizations into one national organization focused on finding medical solutions for people with food allergy. At FARE, John led advocacy efforts that resulted in the signing of the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act by President Obama.

From 2009 to 2012, John served as CEO of CureSearch for Children's Cancer, a national research and advocacy organization focused on children’s cancer. From 2004 to 2009, John directed the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Milestones to a Cure Campaign which raised $175 million for CF therapeutics discovery and development. Earlier in his career, John spent many years at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in various roles.John earned his BA and MA in History from Villanova University. From 1990-1991, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sri Lanka. He is a published expert in the Parkinson’s and nonprofit industry with notable features:

  • Foundation envisions a world without Parkinson’s disease, Miami Herald
  • Parkinson’s Foundation is Investing in Research to Create Better Lives, Parkinson’s News Today
  • Debunking Common Parkinson’s Disease Myths, Neurological Disorders Insert for USA Today
  • Guest Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/parkinsondotorg
  • Guest Twitter Account: @ParkinsonDotOrg
EP 979B - The Parkinson's Foundation: Improving Care and Advancing Research Toward a Cure
Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's (PD) disease each year, and more than 10 million people worldwide are living with PD.

While the disease currently has no cure, one of the goals of the Parkinson's Foundation is to explore why Parkinson's develops in the body, how it manifests, and ways it can be managed from a medical perspective.

The foundation also focuses on quality of life, making life better for people with the disease by improving care and recognizing the role of loved ones and caregivers. 

John L. Lehr, President & CEO of the Parkinson's Foundation, joins Dr. Roizen to share information about the foundation's mission, as well as provide information about the disease itself.

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