About Us

The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) was founded in 1961 to facilitate patient and family support, medical research, and education. APDA carries out its mission through a network of chapters, Information & Referral Centers and affiliated support groups which provide education, counseling, assistance and referrals throughout the United States. There are now 65 chapters, 62 Information & Referrals Centers and more than 250 affiliated support groups from coast to coast. The Atlanta Chapter was chartered in 1985 to further the mission of APDA in the Atlanta area. The chapter was then changed to the Georgia Chapter in 2002.

The American Parkinson Disease Association, Inc. has placed a vast emphasis on grassroots organizing of Information and Referral Centers, chapters and support groups. Since the initiation of Operation Outreach in 1983, the number of chapters, their efficiency, and the funds they have raised have grown dramatically. It is this grassroots structure that distinguishes APDA from other organizations serving people with Parkinson's disease.

An estimated 1.5 million Americans have Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's is a slowly progressive brain disorder resulting in the loss of dopamine production. Dopamine is the neuro-transmitter responsible for aiding in body movements. Symptoms include slowness of movement, tremor, muscle stiffness, and postural instability. To date there is no cure.

The primary purposes of the Georgia Chapter are:

  • To raise awareness about Parkinson’s disease
  • To raise funds for Parkinson’s disease research
  • To plan and execute educational programs with the local Information and Referral Center
  • To raise funds to support the work of the Association
  • To raise funds to support the work of the Chapter
  • To plan and execute Chapter outreach programs for the Parkinson’s community

Those Who We Serve

Our target audience is people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers. However our goal is also to serve the medical community and the community at large by raising awareness of the disease and the treatments and support available. The Georgia Chapter works in close cooperation with the Information & Referral Center to provide educational programs featuring topics that relate to Parkinson’s disease and to the caregivers. The Georgia Chapter initiates, funds and implements other outreach programs as requested by our members and our target audience.

Georgia Chapter Executive Board

President - Eric Burkard, CLTC
Medical Director - Jorge L. Juncos, M.D.
Information & Referral Center Coordinator - Lynn Ross, LMSW
Administrative Manager - Barbara Mooney
Treasurer - Heather DiFiore, CPA, CFA, CFE

Board Members

Ken Alfiero
Katie Beasley - Beshara
Melissa LeBoeuf
Annemarie Schwarzkopf
Jessica Sherrill
Cory Thompson


To become a member of the Georgia Chapter APDA, please visit our Membership page for information and instructions.