Parsons Foundation give $1M to Barrow Neurological Foundation

Bob and Renee Parsons. (Submitted photo)

Bob and Renee Parsons. (Submitted photo)

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation has gifted $1 million to the Barrow Neurological Foundation in continued support of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center — the nation’s most comprehensive center for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.

The gift underscores The Foundation’s commitment to improving care for patients treated at the Phoenix facility, as well as advancing research and education to benefit the medical community worldwide, according to a press release.

The recent gift, announced at Celebrity Fight Night XXII in April, brings the foundation’s cumulative total to more than $5 million in support of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute.

The center was established in 1997 by Muhammad Ali with founding director Abraham Lieberman, MD, and support from Celebrity Fight Night. The Parsons have worked closely with Dr. Lieberman in recent years to transform the future of Parkinson’s and movement disorders, establishing The Bob & Renee Parsons Fall Prevention Center at Barrow through an initial $1 million grant in 2014.

At least one-third of adults 65 and older fall at least once a year, making falls the leading cause of injury-related deaths and the most common cause of hospitalization among this segment of the U.S. population.

“Ultimately it is our hope that the talented team at the Fall Prevention Center will be able to determine the root cause for falls and help to reduce or eliminate the risk for those affected by this disease,” said entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Parsons in a prepared statement.

The Parsons’ generosity has enabled the center to purchase essential research equipment, including a trans-cranial magnetic stimulator, biosensors and an innovative walkway to record patients’ step data, according to the release.
Funding also supports employment of physicians, nurses, researchers, therapists, psychiatrists, fellows and graduate students to evaluate and treat patients, while compiling critical research data.

Additionally, the foundation has established the Bob & Renee Parsons Chair in Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorders, ensuring that the most visible and important position at the center will continue to be held by distinguished and talented leader-researchers, the release states.

The chair was recently awarded to Dr. Shill as director of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson’s Center. Dr. Shill has more than two decades of experience in medical research and care, having completed a neurology residency and a movement disorders fellowship at Barrow in the late 1990s, followed by three years as a clinical fellow in the Human Motor Control Section at the National Institutes of Health.

“The industry is on the cusp of major breakthroughs and I want to be sure that our center is helping to lead those accomplishments,” said Dr. Shill in the release. “The support of the Parsons—and others in the community—is critical in achieving that goal.”

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