Parkinson’s outreach to African American community to expand

three women smile in their head shot pictures
(From left) Dr. Irene Malaty, Dr. Ashley Rawls and Heather Simpson.

By Todd Taylor

A team led by University of Florida neurologist Irene Malaty, M.D., was awarded a Parkinson’s Foundation grant to fund Parkinson’s disease outreach to the African American community in Alachua County.

Research indicates that African Americans are less likely to receive a timely and accurate Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, which can lead to increased health risks. The new grant will enable the team to launch outreach efforts, including in-person and virtual programs and educational materials, to help reduce the disparity.

“This grant will help us knock down some of the barriers to receiving education about the symptoms, treatment options and resources available for people with Parkinson’s and their families and loved ones,” said Malaty principal investigator of the new grant.

Together with Ashley Rawls, M.D., Heather Simpson, O.T.D., OTR/L and colleagues at the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health, Malaty will lead the outreach efforts.