The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) has received the Advocacy/Policy Award from the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the Food and Drug Administration, which honors individuals or groups that have made an impact to improve public health through advocacy and public policy.

MJFF received the award at the 2020 Innovations in Regulatory Science Awards Dinner, which was held virtually on Tuesday, December 8, 2020.

Foundation leadership including Michael J. Fox, Co-Founder and Executive Vice Chairman Deborah W. Brooks and CEO Todd Sherer, PhD, jointly accepted the award, according to a media release from MJFF.

“This recognition means the world to us. Twenty years ago, laying out the blueprint for the Foundation, we had no idea it would grow to this extent. With the help of countless individuals, we set out to do whatever it takes to speed tangible results for people and families with PD. If it matters to people with Parkinson’s, we’re on it.”

— Michael J. Fox

MJFF’s Role in Parkinson’s Research, Policy Led to Award

MJFF was selected to receive the award due to its critical role in the Parkinson’s research landscape and national strategy on public policy, per the release.

“The Michael J. Fox Foundation has made a difference in the lives of patients all over the world by funding millions in high-risk, high-reward science; providing vital non-financial resources for Parkinson’s disease researchers serving as the field’s leading convener; and building an action-oriented community.”

— Lynne Zydowsky, PhD, Reagan-Udall Foundation Board member, in her remarks as she presented the award to MJFF

Since formally integrating public policy into its programming in 2016, MJFF has rallied an engaged group of grassroots policy advocates — nearly 20,000 people — to take action on policy priorities that matter to the Parkinson’s community. In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Foundation focused its policy efforts on issues including access to telehealth and mental health services. Thousands of community advocates joined in and sent action alerts, reaching out directly to their legislators to make their voices heard.

With an integrated research and policy strategy, the Foundation also creates onramps for willing volunteers to raise their hand and participate in clinical studies. More than 91,000 people have used the online tool Fox Trial Finder since it launched in 2011, and over 50,000 participants have contributed data to the online study Fox Insight since it launched in 2017, the release continues.

“Since our start, we have funded more than $1 billion dollars in Parkinson’s research. With 17 new Parkinson’s drugs and treatments approved by the FDA in the last seven years, we’re proud of the role we’ve played in improving the lives of families navigating this disease.

“Yet, we are sober about the work that still lies ahead. We remain committed to funding every promising idea until we reach our goal — curing Parkinson’s and closing our doors. This is our responsibility and our promise.”

— Debi Brooks, while accepting the award

[Source(s): The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, PR Newswire]

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