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International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society
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        VOLUME 27, ISSUE 2 • JUNE 2023  Full issue »

An Introduction to the MDS Communications Oversight Committee 

The Communications Oversight Committee (COC) was established in 2021 to oversee the growing needs of the Society as it relates to communications. The primary purpose of the COC is to provide oversight for MDS communication channels and related editorial boards (Website, Podcast, Social Media), develop and make recommendations on MDS communication policies. 

John Dean, Laura Silveira Moriyama, Francisco Cardoso and Joaquim Ferreira hosted the first World Movement Disorders Day event on November 29, 2023 

Ai Huey Tan and a panel from the MDS-AOS launched kicked off World Movement Disorders Day in the Eastern Hemisphere with a lively discussion on what defines movement disorders and the importance of seeking care with a Movement Disorder Specialist. 

In addition to a dedicated group of core members (Amy Amara, Rui Araujo, Stanley Chen, Laura Silveira-Moriyama, and Kigocha Okeng'o), the COC also works closely with representatives from various committees, special interest groups, and regional sections across MDS. The COC and representatives first met in early 2022 to discuss and prioritize the MDS strategic plan and formulate a more comprehensive action plan for MDS communications.  

One of the initial initiatives was to increase visibility and engagement surrounding world awareness days, including World Parkinson’s Day on April 11. For the last two years, MDS has led global initiatives to recognize and celebrate this day, including live online events in 2022, focusing on movement and exercise tips for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). This year, MDS joined the global alliance of PD organizations and developed a month-long social media campaign to highlight how MDS and our affiliate organizations work to help support the PD community (more details can be found here).

MDS also launched the first-ever World Movement Disorders Awareness Day on November 29, 2022 (the birthday of Jean-Martin Charcot, who is known as the “Father of neurology.”) The aim of this commemoration day is to create a basic, global understanding of movement disorders and what they are, as well as to grow the community of health professionals and patients/caregivers/supporters working towards improving the care of people with movement disorders. Throughout November, MDS released video recordings on introduction to various movement disorders, featuring distinguished movement disorder experts around the world. These videos were promoted on MDS social media platforms and were made available to the public on YouTube. MDS had online live events with panel discussion November 29, with a focus on the importance of seeking professional care for movement disorders. The COC is already planning for the next World Movement Disorders Day later this year, as we aim to build a powerful platform for this vital message to reach the public worldwide. 

In line with the MDS’s strategic priorities, the COC also assisted in the development of a new Social Media Editorial Board that will oversee the society’s social media content and strategy.  Jaclyn Martindale was selected as our new Social Media Editor (effective January 1, 2023) and the new editorial board members include Kasia Smilowska, Massimo Marano, Santiago Perez-Lloret, Jose Ricardo Lopez Castellanos, Shaimaa El-Jaafary, Jaslovleen Kaur, Helen Chiang, and Ece Bayram. 

In collaboration with the COC, the MDS Website Editors have finalized details for new areas or “corners” of the website that will bring together key features for high-priority audiences (Clinical, Basic Science and Health Professionals). The Website Editorial Board has identified valuable content for each key area, as well as a framework to dynamically grow these pages as new content is developed. It is anticipated that these exciting new pages will be launched in the third quarter of this year.  

More recently the COC started to work together with the Officers and International Congress Scientific Program Committee on a communication plan for our 2023 Congress in Copenhagen. This plan aims to increase the Society awareness, the impact of the information and knowledge shared during the Congress and the visibility of MDS scientific journals. 


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