Home Warner, Kaine cosponsor legislation to honor Wexton, create plan to fight Parkinson’s

Warner, Kaine cosponsor legislation to honor Wexton, create plan to fight Parkinson’s

jennifer wexton The Dr. Emmanuel Bilirakis and Honorable Jennifer Wexton National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act would create and update a national plan to combat Parkinson’s and related diseases.

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, both of Virginia, are cosponsors of the bill. In April 2023, U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton, who represents Virginia’s District 10, shared her diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, and in September 2023 her diagnosis was upgraded to progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a rare and incurable brain disorder that rapidly deteriorates mobility and speech.

The legislation would direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to set up a National Parkinson’s Project, under which HHS would create and update a national plan to address Parkinson’s and related conditions, including Wexton’s diagnosis of PSP, provide an estimate of research needs, and establish an advisory council that would report to Congress.

“Our friend, Jennifer Wexton, has been a model of grace and perseverance in the face of a difficult diagnosis,” the senators said of the legislation. “We are proud to introduce this legislation that will devote time and resources towards tackling Parkinson’s disease and its related conditions so that one day we can find a cure for this devastating disease.”

The National Parkinson’s Project is modeled after the National Alzheimer’s Project which, as co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, Warner led efforts to introduce and pass. Kaine leads the bipartisan Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Reauthorization Actlegislation to reauthorize funding for public health initiatives across the country to combat Alzheimer’s disease and preserve brain health.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.