Monthly Edition: October 2008

WE MOVE: Raising Awareness of Movement Disorders

By: Judith Blazer, MS
WE MOVE, Executive Director

WE MOVE (Worldwide Education and Awareness for Movement Disorders) is a non-for-profit organization based in New York City dedicated to raising awareness of movement disorders. For over a decade, WE MOVE has been educating and informing the community - healthcare professionals, people living with movement disorders and the public - about these chronic and often debilitating conditions. WE MOVE believes that increased knowledge and understanding promote timely, accurate diagnoses and up-to-date treatments, resulting in a better quality of life."

There are more than 40 million Americans living with a movement disorder. Despite this staggering number, these disorders often go undiagnosed or are mismanaged for years. In 2005, WE MOVE launched Life in Motion, an innovative public awareness campaign. A coalition of over 50 non-for-profit organizations, including the MDS and AAN, has collaborated to raise awareness across America. The initiative resulted in over 200 million media impressions, a Congressional Letter-writing Campaign and the first-ever Movement Disorder Summit in Washington, DC. WE MOVE also designed the Movement Disorder Experience Center to demonstrate to the press and public what everyday life is like for people living with movement disorders. To learn about Life in Motion, visit www.life-in-motion.org.

Mark Stacy, MD, Medical Director of Duke University's Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center, chairs WE MOVE's Education Committee. Members comprise over 50 movement disorder thought leaders. Under the direction of Joy B. Leffler, MLA, NASW, Director of Education and Informatics, WE MOVE's medical writers and the Education Committee create educational experiences designed for the adult learner. According to Ms. Leffler, "education is a time-based repetitive process." Learners are presented with information in varied media including traditional didactic information and interactive activities including clinical case challenges. Known as "blended learning," this approach reinforces uptake of knowledge with the ultimate goal of improving outcomes.

WE MOVE is committed to educating the entire healthcare community about the diagnosis, management and referral of children and adults living with movement disorders. To that end, educational activities are designed not only for movement disorder specialists, but all healthcare professionals who may have the opportunity to diagnose, treat or refer. For example, WE MOVE is updating its popular "Clinicians' Guide to Parkinson's Disease" in collaboration with the Movement Disorder Society. According to Cynthia L. Comella, MD, Chair of the MDS Education Committee, "the collaboration between the Movement Disorder Society and WE MOVE promises new, innovative educational initiatives that will provide the latest information to practicing physicians, and ultimately improve the care provided to patients."

WE MOVE makes its information and educational materials available in print as well as online via its websites. More than 125,000 people visit these HON-compliant, award-winning websites each month:

  • www.wemove.org: for patients, families, caregivers and the public
  • www.mdvu.org: Movement Disorder Virtual University for healthcare professionals

The wemove.org website offers patients and caregivers a variety of educational information and opportunities for support. People living with movement disorders will find active Discussion Forums where they can post questions and receive comments. A free e-newsletter titled We Move News is available along with a directory of Movement Disorder and Rehabilitation Treatment Centers in the United States.

The Movement Disorder Virtual University at mdvu.org features in-depth information for healthcare professionals including free CME activities and case-based learning modules, and E-MOVE research news archives. Advanced search features allow the user to get rapid and targeted results to queries-a fast and informative approach to getting the information users need, when they need it.

Also available at mdvu.org is WE MOVE's Core Curriculum in Movement Disorders (CCMD) designed specifically for neurology residents. The CCMD provides the busy resident with the fundamentals necessary to understand, diagnose and manage patients with movement disorders. Currently, there is no standardized residency curriculum in movement disorders. WE MOVE developed and funded the CCMD to fill this void and to improve patient health outcomes.

Volume One of the CCMD includes: Neurologic Exams; Rating Scales and Other Office Tools; Pathophysiology of Movement Disorders; and Pharmacology One and Two. Genetics of Movement Disorders will be added soon as will Volume Two, addressing the diagnosis and treatment of specific movement disorders.

I invite all MDS members to visit our websites and to refer patients for information and community support.

Judy Blazer

About Judith Blazer, MS
Ms. Blazer earned her Bachelor's Degree in health education from New York University, and her Master's Degree from Columbia University, School of Dental and Oral Surgery. Ms. Blazer combined a career of healthcare administration with a teaching position at Columbia SDOS for over 15 years. She is the Executive Director of WE MOVE. With an extensive background in health care delivery, education, marketing, communications, and administration, Ms. Blazer has overseen WE MOVE's evolution from a small, University-based program, to an internationally recognized and highly respected not-for-profit organization. WE MOVE is an accredited provider of continuing medical education (CME) and has been granted "Accreditation with Commendation." WE MOVE is the only not-for-profit organization that provides medical and scientific information about all movement disorders to patients and their families as well as healthcare professionals. Ms. Blazer, a recognized leader in the movement disorder community, serves on numerous committees and advisory boards. She currently presides over the Life in Motion coalition, a national coalition of over 50 not-for-profit organizations working together to promote awareness of movement disorders.