Steering Committee

The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) is thankful to the members of the steering committee that led in developing this toolkit including:

  • Gordon Hardacre, MD and PD patient
  • Janis Miyasaki, MD, Movement Disorder Specialist
  • John Morgan, MD, Movement Disorder Specialist
  • Fleur Sack, MD, Family Physician
  • Mickie Welsh, RN, PhD

Thanks also to NPF medical director Michael Okun, MD<, and staff lead and primary care physician Jorge Zamudio, MD.  Many other contributors from around the NPF network also helped make this possible. Additional content is based on work by Monique Giroux, MD.

More about our steering committee:

Gordon Hardacre, MD

A 1966 B.Sc. at the University of Toronto was followed by research at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, earning him a research degree along with his M.D. in 1970.  He then pursued General Practice throughout the 1970s, moving to full-time academic Medicine in 1979 at the Toronto General Hospital where he was Deputy Chief of his hospital department for almost 20 years. He was Acting Chief in 1993 and an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto.  He was Chairman of his hospital’s Research Ethics Board from 1986 to 1999, and was Director of Undergraduate Family Medicine Education at the University Health Network.  He received a Fellowship from the College of Family Physicians of Canada in 1994, and, along with numerous hospital and university teaching honours, was the inaugural U of T "Academic Family Physician of the Year" in 2003.  He was a chapter president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the organization which in 1985 won the Nobel Peace Prize.  His own Parkinson's Disease was diagnosed in 1996, and in 2005 he was given the highest volunteer recognition by Parkinson Society Canada, the Dr. Morton Shulman Award. After 35 years of practice, he is retired but actively teaches his GP colleagues and the public about Parkinson’s and about the ethics of medical research.  He sits on the Central & Northern Ontario Region’s Advisory Board, on the Ontario Advocacy Committee, and writes a regular column for the  “LiveWire” newsletter.  He has reestablished his love of choral music, and sings with Canada’s first Parkinson choir, “Voices of Hope”. For the past decade, he has  written on many subjects.


Janis Miyasaki, MD

Dr. Miyasaki is a graduate of the University of Toronto Medical School and Neurology Residency Program.  She completed a 2 year fellowship with Dr. Anthony Lang at the University of Toronto.  She is currently the Associate Clinical Director of the Movement Disorders Centre at Toronto Western Hospital and the Edmond J Safra Parkinson Program at the University of Toronto.  She is the Founder and Director of the Palliative Care Program for Parkinson Disease and Related Disorders at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Miyasaki wrote many evidence-based guidelines in Movement Disorders and was the Chair of the Technology and Therapeutics Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology.   This background with a Masters in Education was the inspiration for the toolkit for Primary Care Physicians. 

On a personal note, Dr. Miyasaki’s mother was diagnosed with Parkinson disease and therefore, she is experiencing many of the challenges your families are facing.  


John Morgan, MD

Dr. Morgan is Director of the NPF Center of Excellence at Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU) in Augusta, Georgia.  He is an Associate Professor in the Movement Disorders Program at GHSU and he also practices at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta.

John’s major interest is in Parkinson’s disease.  He runs the Interdisciplinary Clinic for movement disorder patients at GHSU.  He routinely interfaces with primary care providers (PCPs) in the care of PD patients.  John has lectured extensively to PCPs, PA and allied heath students, medical students, and support groups on PD.  He has been on NPF’s core faculty for Allied Team Training for Parkinson’s Disease II (ATTP II) from its inception. He also has significant clinical and research interests in Huntington’s disease, Restless Legs Syndrome and various other movement disorders.


Fleur Sack, MD

Dr. Sack is a board certified family physician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. After graduating from  Medical School from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa she completed her residency  at  the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital . For 20 years she was  in private practice for 20 years and then  joined the Miami VA Healthcare System in 2005.

She is a Past President and Chairman of the Board of the Florida Academy of Family Physicians and  is a past recipient of the prestigious” Florida Family Physician of the Year “award.


Mickie Welsh, RN, DNSc

Dr. Welsh is a Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology  and Director of Clinical Research for the Division of Movement Disorders at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine. Since 1999, as director she has been involved in all aspects of disease course management for people with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Within the division, Dr. Welsh mentors nurses, medical students as well as students from Occupational and Physical Therapy and the school of Pharmacy in all aspects of clinical research. Dr. Welsh’s research interests include Quality of life as well as other outcomes which influence and are influenced by chronic illness.