About PAN

PAN’s Mission

The Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) is the unified voice of the Parkinson’s community advocating for better treatments and a cure. In partnership with other Parkinson’s organizations and our powerful grassroots network, we educate the public and government leaders on better policies for research and an improved quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s.

PAN has a unique structure as the one organization in Washington, DC advocating on behalf of the entire Parkinson’s community. In addition to our network of grassroots volunteers from around the country, PAN represents The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, The Parkinson Alliance, the National Parkinson Foundation, and the Davis Phinney Foundation. Very few other disease communities have this distinct and effective structure.

PAN’s work happens in three main areas: advancing public policy, educating the public, and leading and collaborating. PAN is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and contributions are tax-deductible. (Tax ID: 94-3172675)

Hear more about PAN from former CEO Amy Comstock Rick:

PAN’s Work

Advancing Public Policy

PAN’s public policy work centers on federal research funding and improving access to care. Some examples of the policy areas that PAN focuses on include:

  • National Institutes of Health funding
  • FDA drug approval issues
  • Medicare and Social Security
  • Telehealth

Learn more about our many policy issues, here.

PAN has established a strong national grassroots advocacy program, which drives our success on Parkinson’s-related issues.  Learn more about our grassroots program and how you can get involved.

Educating the Public

PAN leadership, staff, and grassroots volunteer advocates play a critical role in educating the public and policymakers about Parkinson’s disease as well as the important role the federal government plays in patient-support programs and funding biomedical research.

Leading and collaborating

PAN collaborates with leading Parkinson’s and health care organizations across the country to advance the policy goals of the Parkinson’s community.

PAN’s Board of Directors helps lead the organization in its cause to find better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Our staff works with the grassroots advocates and the Grassroots Advisory Board to push for better policies for the Parkinson’s community.  

PAN’s History

PAN was founded in 1991 by Joan Samuelson who, when diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1987, realized the disease was not receiving enough funding or attention from the Federal government.  Joan left the practice of law and put her hard work and creativity into building PAN so that there would be an organization to educate those with Parkinson’s how to advocate for themselves.

Annual Reports and Form 990

Click here to learn more about PAN through our annual reports and financial documents.


PAN relies on your generous donations to do our important work. Please consider a gift today.