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Emory receives $3 million commitment to expand new Parkinson's clinic

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The Dan and Merrie Boone Foundation made a $3 million commitment to expand Emory's multi-disciplinary Parkinson's clinic to serve more patients and help shape the national model for Parkinson's care. In recognition of this generous endowment from Dan Boone and his late wife, Merrie, the clinic will be named the Merrie Boone Comprehensive Care Clinic for Parkinson's Disease.

Parkinson's disease is a progressive movement disorder affecting nearly one million people in the United States. The cause is unknown and there is presently no cure. Patients often need to see a variety of specialists due to the wide range of motor and non-motor symptoms.

Having a comprehensive, team approach to treating Parkinson's disease aids in educating patients and families. The new model of care at Emory allows patients to see nine different specialists over the course of two days. A nurse practitioner manages the program and follows up with patients to enhance compliance with individual treatment plans.

Merrie Boone lived with Parkinson's disease and was a patient at Emory. She and Dan helped co-found the clinic to realize their vision to help PD patients access more comprehensive care. "Our first objective was to reduce patients' anxiety surrounding a diagnosis of PD by educating them and offering key resources," says Boone. "Since the clinic began seeing patients, we've also found that the integrated assessment can reveal opportunities to improve treatment plans for individual patients."

Stewart Factor, DO, Vance Lanier Chair of Neurology and director of the Jean and Paul Amos Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Program, was Merrie Boone's physician and heads the clinic.

"Timely diagnosis and treatment for Parkinson's disease is vital to helping patients stay active longer," says Factor. "This generous gift will allow us to accommodate more patients with our team-based approach and will lead to greater patient satisfaction and better quality of life."

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