Meet the doers and disruptors, advisers and executives who’d alter the path of planets to find solutions that help people and transform this field.
Lauren Schroeder, MPH
Lauren brings to PMD Alliance over a decade of experience leading and supporting the initiatives of local nonprofits and global community-based organizations through strategic planning, grant writing and management, program development and implementation, results-based impact evaluation, and coalition building. She currently instructs persons of all ages living with disabilities to ride horses at Therapeutic Riding of Tucson. She is committed to public service and working with underserved or overlooked populations to address disparities and increase capacity for social equity.
Jennifer Anderson, PT, DPT, NCS
Jennifer is a physical therapist with a passion for Parkinson’s Disease. She founded Root Physical Therapy, with services specifically designed to empower people with PD. Jennifer earned her doctorate in physical therapy (DPT) from A.T. Still University. She is a board-certified neurologic clinical specialist (NCS), a distinguished certification attained by successful completion of a rigorous examination, demonstrating specialized knowledge and advanced clinical proficiency in neurologic physical therapy practice. She is LSVT BIG® certified, and PWR! trained.
Ava Butler, MA
Ava is an organizational development consultant, partnering with business leaders to achieve transformational change. She’s experienced transformational change in her own life too. Her husband died of complications from Parkinson’s and Lewy-body dementia (LBD) when he was 65. As a result of her experiences, Ava has become an advocate for those with Parkinson’s and LBD and their care partners. Her book Parkinson’s: A Love Story with Dementia for Dessert was written as part of her own healing process and to help others on their own journeys.
Sandipan Bhattacharjee, MS, PhD
As an assistant professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ, Dr. Bhattacharjee’s work focuses on health outcomes among older adults with dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and other neurological and neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Bhattacharjee’s peer-reviewed journal articles, abstracts and presentation topics include neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, depression, psychotropic medication use, chronic conditions, and gender differences among older adults. He has received awards from the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics; American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy; and American Public Health Association.
Keith R. Chamberlain, MBA, MA
Keith has discovered that the best successes happen by effectively aggregating organizational assets and human resources in collaborative fashion —a process he calls “collaggregation.” Throughout his blended for- and non-profit career experiences, Keith has used this approach to successfully start a few companies, and build marketing and business development departments at a number of national associations from the ground up — teams that are still innovating today. All told, he’s created countless marketing programs to both launch and support products and services worth millions of dollars.
A member of the National Eagle Scout Association, Keith earned his bachelor of arts in Communications/Broadcasting at the State University of New York, College at Oswego, an MBA in Marketing from Bentley University, and holds his masters of arts in Arts/Nonprofit Administration from Baltimore’s Goucher College. When not solving marketing challenges, Keith plays drums, cycles and participates in community theatre — an activity that truly defines the ultimate collaborative experience.
Jacie’s experience with Parkinson’s Disease began when her dad was diagnosed when she was 16 years old. Watching her dad in his Parkinson’s journey and working with her family to adjust to the many changes the disease has brought has given her perspective about supporting a parent with a chronic illness. Jacie’s BS in Marriage and Family Studies has furthered her understanding of family systems and how each family member plays a role in supporting one another.
By trade, Jacie is a graphic and web designer specializing in marketing and advertising for businesses. She has enjoyed the opportunity to work with PMD Alliance developing graphic and web materials.
David Higgins, PhD
David Higgins earned his PhD. in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Rochester in upstate New York, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute before moving to San Diego in 1990. For Dr. Higgins, Parkinson’s disease is a family legacy. His maternal grandmother suffered from PD – and participated in some of the earliest levadopa clinical trials in the late 1960’s. In early 2014 his mother died with Lewy Body Dementia. His maternal uncle and great uncle also suffered PD. In December 2011 – almost 10 years ago – Higgins was diagnosed with PD himself. Since his own diagnosis with PD, Dr. Higgins has focused most of his volunteer work in the PD community. In 2012, Dr. Higgins and a small group of people with Parkinson’s started a self-run, no cost, open to everyone, peer support group. More by default than by design Dr. Higgins became the group’s leader and worked with his peers to grow the group. This initial support group has now grown into a network of groups that collectively serve more than 400 people in San Diego County.
Andrea Lowe, MPH, CPH
Andrea L. Lowe, MPH, CPH joins our advisory team with an extensive background in public health and human services, supporting opportunities to build equitable policies and practices at the local, state, and federal level. Her career has taken her all over the United States, including Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. She has worked with a variety of entities, including local and state government, local non-profits, physician membership association, and the private sector. Currently, she serves as the Director of the Office Legislative Services for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Here, she works with the Legislative Services team to support Governor Peter Ricketts’ and HHS CEO Dannette R. Smith’s health and human services policy agenda, assist Nebraska senators with DHHS-related questions, and coordinate DHHS’ active participation in legislative activities and hearings. In her free time, she loves to read, play outdoors, and spend time with her friends and family.
Pauline Urbano Hechler
Pauline is a retired nonprofit executive who loves people and connecting them for the greater good. She brings her vast nonprofit experience, as well a 2011 diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, to the PMD Alliance Board. With 30 years of professional experience in fund development, marketing, communications, program development, and grant writing/grantmaking, Pauline has led fund raising campaigns resulting in over $150 million for community foundations and other nonprofit organizations in health care, the arts, education and social services. Pauline has a BA in English Literature from the University of Washington, and a certificate in Fundraising Management from Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. She received her CFRE (Certified Fundraising Executive) certification in 2006. She maintained her accreditation from 2006-2020.