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$1M Grant From The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation Enables New Initiative

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The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation has awarded Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center $1 million to establish a medical center dedicated exclusively to researching and preventing falls.

The new Parsons Fall Research & Prevention Center will focus on identifying patterns in accidental falls, the leading cause of injury-related deaths among older adults.

According to the RAND Corporation, direct medical costs associated with accidental falls in 2012 alone approached $40 billion. The Emergency Department at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center receives approximately 5,000 fall-related visits each year, and it’s estimated that a third of these patients are at risk of falling again.

“Our goal in founding the center is to establish a way to systematically evaluate the neurological impetus for falls; identify and interpret patterns and triggers; and develop predictive mechanisms to lessen the risk of future episodes,” said the center’s Medical Director Abraham Lieberman, MD.

Although falls are an issue across many medical conditions, the new Parsons Fall Research & Prevention Center will focus primarily on patients who suffer from Parkinson’s disease or other movement disorders. The new center, which will open later this month, will be located within the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow.

“Approximately one out of two people over the age of 65 fall each year,” Dr. Lieberman continued. “For those with Parkinson’s disease, that number is closer to two out of three.”

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation’s grant will enable Barrow to hire additional staff, including dedicated physicians and nurses who will not only evaluate patients in the clinic setting, but will also compile critical data as patients come into the emergency room. The grant will also fund the purchase of essential equipment including a trans-cranial magnetic stimulator. In time, the center will offer new techniques and therapies to help monitor and improve gait and balance.

“Ultimately it is our hope that, through the center, the talented neurological team at Barrow will be able to determine the root cause for falls and help to reduce or eliminate the risk of recurrence for those affected,” said entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Parsons.

To learn more about the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, visit

For more information about The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation, visit

About Barrow Neurological Institute

Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center is an internationally renowned medical center for brain and spine disorders. Barrow performs more brain surgeries and trains more neurosurgery residents than any other hospital in the country. Its physicians and scientists collaborate on research aimed at improving patient care and developing cures for some of humankind’s most devastating diseases. Barrow is home to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center and the Gregory W. Fulton ALS and Neuromuscular Disorders Center.

About The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation inspires hope by providing critical funding at critical times to communities striving to make a difference. The Foundation primarily focuses on issues in the greater Phoenix area. The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation believes every person is entitled to an education, good nutrition, medical care, a stress-free, happy environment and the hope that they too, will share in the American Dream. The Foundation provides funding to non-profit organizations that are successfully addressing these essential needs. The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation is also committed to the children of Haiti, helping to grow and improve schools, medical services and overall well-being for communities in rural Haiti through the Hope for Haiti organization.

Contact: Lynne Reaves, (602) 406-4734

Publish date: 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Media Contact

Carmelle Malkovich, External Communications Director

p: (602) 406-3319

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