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Emory School of Nursing program receives Parkinson’s Foundation grant
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Melanie Kieve
Senior Director of Communications and Marketing
Fayron Epps speaking at an Alter event

Fayron Epps provides information to church members about dementia resources at an Alter event.

An Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing program is among the 71 recipients of Parkinson’s Foundation community-based grants for Parkinson’s disease (PD) programs across the United States.

The Foundation awarded the grant to the school’s Alter program, which builds resources and awareness around Parkinson’s dementia in African American faith communities. The funding will enable the program to provide education about Parkinson’s dementia to two African American churches in Georgia.

Led by faculty member Fayron Epps, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN, the Alter program works with African American faith communities on initiatives to support people living with dementia and their families. Initiatives include training church leaders, making church buildings more accessible, creating special worship services for memory-impaired parishioners, finding new ways to make patients and families feel more accepted, and offering memory screenings, coffee hours, home visits, and respite care. The program currently works with more than 55 African American faith communities in 14 states.

“Parkinson’s dementia is a reality for many people dealing with Parkinson’s,” Epps said. “With this funding, we can share resources with African American families experiencing Parkinson's dementia and inform faith communities about how they can offer support and assistance. We thank the Parkinson's Foundation for their generosity, which will undoubtedly benefit the people in these communities."

The Parkinson’s Foundation invests in community programs that impact local communities and help people live better with PD by supporting unmet health, wellness and educational needs. The 2023 grant cycle focuses on programs that educate and support people with PD, reach those who are PD care partners, and address the intersection of mental health and PD.

“Community-based grants can empower leaders of meaningful Parkinson’s programs who both understand and are equipped to handle the local community’s most pressing needs,” said Parkinson’s Foundation President and CEO John L. Lehr. “These investments reflect the Foundation’s continued commitment to making a difference in the lives of people with PD from all walks of life.”

Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $10.4 million in 787 community-based programs. To see the complete list of the 2023 community grant recipients, visit

About the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing  

As one of the nation's top nursing schools, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University is committed to educating visionary nurse leaders and scholars. Home to the No. 1 master's, No. 2 BSN, and No. 6 DNP programs nationwide, the school has been recognized as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League of Nursing. Learn more at

About the Parkinson’s Foundation 

The Parkinson’s Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. In everything we do, we build on the energy, experience and passion of our global Parkinson’s community. Since 1957, the Parkinson’s Foundation has invested more than $425 million in Parkinson’s research and clinical care. Connect with us on, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or call 1-800-4PD-INFO (1-800-473-4636).

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