November is National Family Caregivers Month

Late Night Health
Late Night Health
November is National Family Caregivers Month

John L. Lehr leads the Parkinson’s Foundation as President and Chief Executive Officer. He has nearly three decades of non-profit fundraising and management experience, with a strong focus on the voluntary healthcare and medical research sectors. John was key in merging two legacy Parkinson’s organizations into the Parkinson’s Foundation in 2017. Since joining the Foundation, fundraising revenue has grown each year by double digits, allowing the Foundation to greatly expand its mission programs. John led the efforts to open 17 regional chapters to better serve local Parkinson’s communities. These developments and other initiatives have allowed the Foundation to earn a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, and to be named to the 2020 list of Best Places to Work by The Non-Profit Times. During his tenure at the Foundation, John has overseen several major initiatives including:

• Expanding the Foundation’s Center of Excellence Network to 47 Centers globally.

• Launching PDGeneration: Mapping the Future of Parkinson’s Disease, a groundbreaking study to gather genetic data for research and drug development on thousands of people with PD by offering free genetic testing and counseling.

• Co-hosting the Parkinson’s Policy Forum to align the Parkinson’s community around key issues and to petition state and federal lawmakers to take action on pressing patient needs and policy changes.

• Launching the Newly Diagnosed Initiative to reach the more than 60,000 individuals diagnosed with PD in the US each year and to connect them to the Foundation’s many educational resources.

During his time with the Foundation, he has directed more than $30 million in research and clinical grants for promising Parkinson’s disease studies. In advocating for the PD community, John recognizes the importance of expanding community services and resources that are offered for free, notably extended hours and Spanish-language capabilities for the Helpline, which receives thousands of calls each year. John earned his BA and MA in History from Villanova University. From 1990-1991, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sri Lanka.

Parkinson’s advocate and caregiver Gil Kim is the primary care partner for his wife, Gina, who was diagnosed with PD in 2011. A 40-year Veteran of the Army Corps of Engineers, Gil has worked tirelessly to build a PD infrastructure in their home state of Mississippi that benefits rural residents of the state. Gil also serves on the Parkinson’s Foundation People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council, striving to improve the quality of life for his wife, people with PD, and their care partners.