Gannon University’s LeVan Honored with Audree Parr Parkinson’s Disease Champion Award

Posted: December 26, 2017

David R. LeVan, an assistant professor in Gannon University's Occupational Therapy program, has been honored with the Audree Parr Parkinson's Disease Champion Award recognizing a person or organization that has brought awareness and/or resources to the Parkinson's disease community through leadership, scholarship, and service.

Members of the Parkinson's disease (PD) community nominated LeVan and Lynne Gotham, executive director of Parkinson Partners of Northwestern Pennsylvania Inc., a nonprofit organization, for the honor this year.

"Knowing this nomination comes from the PD community makes the recognition all that more special," LeVan said.

LeVan began consulting with Parkinson Partners in 2009, working with Gotham and Tom Hudson, a retired former faculty member in Gannon's Physical Therapy program, to create a Purposeful Movement and Wellness Program for people with Parkinson's disease. Now in its eighth year, the program is a collaborative effort between Parkinson Partners, Hamot Health Foundation, The Salvation Army and Gannon University's Occupational and Physical Therapy programs. The primary purpose of the program is to engage participants in evidenced-based exercises and activities tailored to people with PD that can be continued at home through a daily routine. 

In 2012, LeVan was elected to serve as president of the board of directors of Parkinson Partners and continued in that role through 2016.  During that time, the organization experienced significant growth in funding for - and services to - the PD community.  In addition, Parkinson Partners scholarship was recognized at international, national, and state conferences for utilizing community partnerships to develop and implement a community based wellness program for PD. 

The Audree Parr Parkinson's Disease Champion Award is named after Audree Parr, a founder of Parkinson Partners and an active board member.