As a kid, I was taught it was bad luck to kill a spider. My mom’s family hails from the tropics, where spiders are prized as natural pest control, so that belief might be based in pragmatism more than mercy, but whatever the genesis, I’ve long been fascinated by spiders. Their bodies produce fiber stronger than steel, woven into intricate webs both complex and beautiful. When I first saw the visual of the PMD Alliance Movement Disorder Care & Support Ecosystem©, I saw a spider web. Interdependent and interconnected, and when carefully woven together and cared for, immeasurably strong and resilient.
This month, we will host our first-ever Advanced Therapeutics in Movement & Related Disorders (ATMRD) Congress in Washington, D.C. It will be an unprecedented gathering of the medical network, featuring healthcare providers across the care team—from nurse practitioners and physician assistants to primary care physicians, gerontologists, residents and fellows, general neurologists, and movement disorder specialists.
This congress matters. Not just because it fills a needed educational gap on cutting-edge clinical science for healthcare providers, but because when healthcare providers are empowered, people impacted by movement disorders are uplifted, too. When healthcare providers understand the research behind the latest therapies, they’re more comfortable prescribing them to their patients. They’re more comfortable offering therapies in combination and providing the education people with movement disorders and their loved ones need.
At PMD Alliance, we’re committed not only to empowering each network within the Ecosystem©, but to drawing the networks together and helping each network learn from the other. We don’t choose one network over the other; we weave the web. Everyone’s strengthened when we’re all supported and connected.
At ATMRD, we will present “Courageous Conversations,” sharing the hundreds of “I wish you knew…” responses we received from families living with movement disorders. We know the best way for physicians to see you as more than a diagnosis is for them to hear your stories. As they read your lived experiences, connections will be reinforced, and empathy will be cultivated. Our web will stand stronger, and more resilient.
Acting CEO, PMD Alliance