The Movement Disorders Fellowship Program at UHN
How it began
In the fall of 2019, Porridge for Parkinson’s held a hugely successful brunch event and directed our proceeds to the Edmond J. Safra Program in Parkinson’s Disease at Toronto Western Hospital. This world-class program is directed by Dr. Anthony Lang, who is recognized as one of Canada’s leading experts in Parkinson’s Disease.
Our donation that year supported the Movement Disorders Fellowship Program and provided two Fellows with a unique opportunity to receive extensive training in all aspects of clinical movement disorders. Dr. Daniel Garbin Di Luca and Dr. Diana Olszewska were able to continue their research, work toward becoming experts in their field, and ultimately provide patients with the best clinical care possible.
When the pandemic began, Dr. Lang felt it was important to maintain this educational series. “We have the largest fellowship program in the world right here in Toronto focusing on all disciplines—from general movement disorders, to deep brain stimulation and advanced therapies for movement disorders, to people working in electrophysiology and imaging and laboratories. We didn’t want to see our very active academic program curtailed after COVID closed our clinics, so we decided to go virtual.”
In 2021, Porridge for Parkinson’s also went virtual by holding a Zoom event with celebrated chefs Jamie Kennedy and Joanne Yolles. We also delivered 187 brunch packages to our supporters at their homes. Through the generosity of our supporters during a challenging time, we were able to fulfill a fellowship for the program once again.
Fund a Fellow
Dr. Olszewska said recently, “[Porridge for Parkinson’s] support for the fellows at the Toronto Western Movement Disorders department means that we are allowed to learn from the best experts such as Professor Anthony Lang and other faculty [as they] continue patient-oriented research to deliver diagnostics and therapeutics for Parkinson’s Disease.” Dr. Di Luca added, “with the help of Porridge for Parkinson’s, I’ll be able to continue my work with patients with Parkinson’s Disease, as well as advance my research in movement disorders. I truly appreciate the help provided by Porridge for Parkinson’s.”
While we are planning a return to our in-person brunch event in 2023, Porridge for Parkinson’s will stay virtual again this year, with the same bold goal to “Fund a Fellow”. As Dr. Lang says, “[fellows are] the future of our field, they’re the future of the care we provide, and they’re the future of the research.”
Below: Movement Disorders Video Rounds Group, courtesy UHN.