Supporting 57,287 Angelenos Living with Parkinson’s Disease

Meet PCLA

In the face of a life-changing diagnosis such as Parkinson’s disease, it can be a constant challenge to maintain hope and positive energy needed to move ahead and maintain balance in life.

There are abundant resources available in Los Angeles to help provide emotional support, medical treatment, physical training, and other sources of wellness and relaxation for individuals with PD and their care partners.

The mission of Parkinson’s Community Los Angeles is to improve quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s disease throughout the greater Los Angeles area.

Our goal is to connect individuals and families to the information, support, programs, and activities they need to enhance wellness and live an active, engaged life. PCLA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Mobility equipment gifting program Los Angeles

Meet the Team

Gail Buckley PCLA member

Patrick LoSasso

President, Board of Directors

Patrick LoSasso

President, Board of Directors

Patrick LoSasso has been an advocate for people living with Parkinson’s disease since 2000, serving on the board of Parkinson’s nonprofits before the formation of PCLA, and presiding over the largest Parkinson’s walkathon event in Los Angeles. Patrick is an internationally recognized authority on Parkinson’s exercise. He has developed products and strategies used by physical therapists and trainers to improve function for those living with Parkinson’s Disease. Patrick often appears as a speaker to support groups and educational events, encouraging people with Parkinson’s to fight back and become proactive in the management of their disease by maintaining a comprehensive exercise program to address the symptoms.

Gail Buckley PCLA member

Robert Potter

Vice President, Board of Directors

Robert Potter

Vice President, Board of Directors

Robert Potter holds a Master’s of Arts in Television and Film from The University of Texas at Austin. He has worked in various capacities in the entertainment industry, mainly as writer, producer, director and editor of non-fiction and documentary programming for various clients including CBS, NBC, Fox, Fox Sports, PBS, Discovery Channel, History Channel, A&E, E-Entertainment among others. In 2006 Robert was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Since then he has been involved with the Parkinson’s community in Los Angeles as an advocate and organizer. In 2014 he was Co-Chairman of the APDA Los Angeles Walkathon, raising over $120,000.

Gail Buckley PCLA member

Judy Yaras

Vice President, Board of Directors

Judy Yaras

Vice President, Board of Directors

Judy Yaras has an expansive professional background that encompasses the healthcare industry, retail business management and marketing, teaching as well as extensive boardroom experience on a number of nonprofit organizations. Currently she is the Director of FIDM Museum Shop Operations at The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. After her husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Judy became a board member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, serving on this board for six years. She also served two years on the board of The Parkinson’s Association of San Diego.

Gail Buckley PCLA member

Gail Buckley

Secretary

Gail Buckley

Secretary
Gail Buckley had a 30-year career in social services, holding a master’s degree in social work. Now retired, she has been pursuing her passion of mentoring young women, traveling the world, and making art. Gail has served for many years on the Board of her family’s nonprofit charitable foundation. The organization, founded by her parents, supports educational and health related causes. Most recently Parkinson’s disease has been a focus for her in deciding funding priorities for the foundation. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2011, Gail stays active and has found dance, Tai Chi, exercise and Pilates to all be beneficial.
Mike Weinman Treasurer

Michael Weinman

Treasurer

Michael Weinman

Treasurer


Michael Weinman is an experienced finance/operations executive with over 20 years of experience at Teleflora, West Coast Custom Rooms, and Infinilux LLC, where he is currently employed as Chief Operating Officer. In addition, Michael has previously served as President of Temple Emanuel Day School Board of Regents and the Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills Board of Directors as a member of the Finance, Human Resources, and Building Operations Committees. In 2000, at the age of 36, Michael was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He is an active support group leader.

Gail Buckley PCLA member

Lora Kurtenbach

Board Member

Lora Kurtenbach

Board Member


Lora Kurtenbach has an extensive background in entertainment and consumer goods marketing with companies such as Game Show Network, Nickelodeon and Mattel. She currently spearheads digital strategy as a consultant for multiple small businesses, start-ups and nonprofits. Lora has been an advocate for people living with Parkinson’s disease, and a volunteer in the Los Angeles PD community, since her father was diagnosed in 2004.

Joe Moller PCLA Board Member

Joe Moller

Board Member

Joe Moller

Board Member
Board member Joe Moller is the founder of Joe Moller Events (JME), a national experiential marketing agency based in Los Angeles. Joe has worked with clients including the City of Santa Monica, Estee Lauder, Lexus, Piper-Heidsieck, Saks Fifth Avenue, Los Angeles Magazine, British Airways, Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Dre, and many more. Joe’s extensive philanthropic work has included projects with non-profit organizations such as the Southern California Special Olympics and St. Vincent’s Meals on Wheels. He also worked to help establish the local chapter of KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now), and co-founded the Skid Row Carnival of Love with the Wayfarer Foundation. A family connection to Parkinson’s has led him to advocate for those living with the disease through his work with PCLA.
Barbara Rubin

Barbara Rubin

Board Member

Barbara Rubin

Board Member

Barbara Rubin is a past member of the Florida State Museum committee for formulating educational programming. She is the founder and President of a successful wholesale bakery. As a consumer advocate in Virginia, she developed toy safety regulations that became a national standard. In 2001 Barbara was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Mark Siegel Board Member PCLA

Mark Siegel

Board Member

Mark Siegel

Board Member

Mark Siegel was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when he was 47 years old.  He became an activist in the Parkinson’s community shortly thereafter. He served for 10 years as president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease. Association. During his tenure the chapter raised over $2 million for research and services to the community. In 2004, Mark headed a team of activists and public health doctors and researchers, who successfully passed legislation creating the California Parkinson’s Disease Registry, the first such registry in the United States. The registry is an important research tool that can be used to identify disease clusters and correlation between pesticide usage and the disease.

Staff

Parkinson’s Disease Information & Referral Specialist

Gail Buckley PCLA member

Sarah King

Information & Referral Specialst

Sarah King

Information & Referral Specialist


Sarah King has worked as an advocate for people living with Parkinson’s since 2011. As State Director for Southern California for the Parkinson’s Action Network from 2012-2015, Sarah worked with a network of grassroots leaders and volunteer advocates to implement PAN’s initiatives on the state and national levels. Sarah’s 15+ years in project management, public relations, and development in the non-profit sector has helped inform her advocacy and community work. In 2014 she was awarded the “Louis Fishman Award for Outstanding Advocacy” from the Parkinson’s Action Network.

Medical Advisory Board

The Medical Advisory Board provides feedback on non-clinical care needs as well as insights into the latest in Parkinson’s care.

Arik C. Johnson, PsyD

Arik C. Johnson, PsyD

Medical Advisory Board Member

Arik C. Johnson, PsyD

Medical Advisory Board Member
Arik C. Johnson, PsyD, is a Clinical Psychologist within the Movement Disorder Program at UCLA. As the Fenton Coordinator of the Atypical Parkinsonian Disease Clinic, Dr. Johnson provides clinical services to patients and families living with Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Atypical Parkinsonian disorders.
Dr. Keener

Adrienne Keener, MD

Medical Advisory Board Member

Adrienne Keener, MD

Medical Advisory Board Member
Adrienne Keener, MD is a board-certified neurologist and Movement Disorders specialist at UCLA and the West Los Angeles VA PADRECC (Parkinson’s Disease Research Education and Clinical Center). Dr. Keener participates in clinical research and patient care, and is interested in interdisciplinary treatment approaches for movement disorders, including DBS, botulinum toxin injection, and rehabilitation therapies.
Gail Buckley PCLA member

Dr. Nicholas Szumski

Medical Advisory Chair

Dr. Nicholas Szumski

Medical Advisory Chair

Nicholas Szumski, MD is a fellowship-trained Movement Disorders specialist within the Cedars-Sinai Medical Group. He completed his residency at UCLA and advises PCLA on current medical issues which affect those living with Parkinson’s.

Clinical Research Advisor

The Clinical Research Advisor at Parkinson’s Community Los Angeles provides consultation on the most current research available.

Gail Buckley PCLA member

Dr. Michele Tagliati

Clinical Research Advisor

Dr. Michele Tagliati

Clinical Research Advisor

Michele Tagliati, MD, FAAN, is the Director of the Movement Disorders Program at Cedars-Sinai, where he is Vice Chair of the Department of Neurology. Tagliati pioneered the use of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson’s. His current research is focused on non-motor and non-dopamine related mechanisms in further understanding the physiology of Parkinson’s.
Local Parkinsons Support Groups Los Angeles - Nessa

Hi, I’m Nessa.

I care for my husband who has had Parkinson’s for 19 years, he was diagnosed when he was 36. I’m active in the PCLA community and for years I’ve volunteer to run two support groups a month for caregivers and people with Parkinson’s.

How we inspire, connect and support

6,070

Event Attendees

We’ve hosted more than thousands of people at our virtual and live events, helping those with Parkinson’s live better and connect with the PD community.

250

Annual Referral Inquiries

Our Information & Referral staff helps connect Angelenos to resources, support groups, exercises classes, clinical trials, research and more.

$150k

Donations Earned

Supporting the community through medical device donations, free ride grants to get to doctor’s appointments, events, support groups, local resources and programs.

WAYS YOU CAN HELP

SHARE

Whether you’re living with Parkinson’s or you are a caregiver, we want to hear from you
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SPONSOR

Organizations large and small can make a difference
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DONATE

$50 helps someone with Parkinson’s get to their doctor’s appointment
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Get Involved

“Through all of these groups and resources there has been an opportunity for connection and community for us. We have found people with PD and their caregivers are open to connection, and when you find a kindred spirit, it is a real gift.

We would encourage everyone living with Parkinson’s to seek out this kind of connection.”

–Stephen Rubin with Barbara Rubin