Congressman Henry A. Waxman to Receive the Morris K. Udall Award for Public Service from the Parkinson's Action Network

Contact: Kristina Gawrgy Campbell, [email protected], 202-638-4101 x113

(WASHINGTON, July 31, 2014)—The Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) will honor Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) with the Morris K. Udall Award for Public Service for his lifetime of work supporting federally funded research and health policies that improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s disease.

Rep. Waxman was a lead sponsor of the historic Morris K. Udall Parkinson's Disease Research Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-78). The Act established the Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence in Parkinson's Disease Research, which are designated by the National Institutes of Health and produce critical research toward finding better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

Rep. Waxman was also one of the founding members of the Congressional Working Group on Parkinson’s Disease in 1999. This working group is now known as the Congressional Caucus on Parkinson’s Disease and includes 178 Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. The Caucus was created to increase awareness on Capitol Hill about Parkinson’s disease issues and as a means to keep Members of Congress and their staffs informed of the latest developments in Parkinson’s-related legislation and biomedical research.

“Rep. Waxman has been a steadfast supporter of the Parkinson’s community in Congress,” said Hayley Carpenter, acting CEO of PAN. “We are grateful for his commitment to research and sound health policy and are honored to recognize him with the prestigious Morris K. Udall Award for Public Service just shy of his retirement this year.”

In addition to these specific Parkinson’s disease efforts, Rep. Waxman has been a lifetime supporter of research funding and access to health care. In 1984, he also championed the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act, known as "Hatch-Waxman," which incentivized the development of generic drugs and established the current system for generic drug regulation and approval.  

The award is named after one of Rep. Waxman’s colleagues, the Morris “Mo” K. Udall, who served in the House of Representatives for 30 years and was a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1976. During Udall’s distinguished career, he infused American politics with his singular style of humor, grace, and dignity. Many of today’s leaders – both Democrats and Republicans – have cited Mo as an inspiration and role model. As a partisan Democrat, he was a much-feared debate opponent, but he was fair and always decent. It is in this spirit that the Morris K. Udall Award for Public Service is presented to an individual who has made important contributions to public policy with humor, grace, and dignity. Mo was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1980 and died of complications from the disease in 1998.

Rep. Waxman will receive the award at the Morris K. Udall Awards Dinner, PAN’s annual celebration of the Parkinson’s community, on October 1. For more information about the dinner, visit www.parkinsonsaction.org/udall.

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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, PAN educates the public and government leaders on better policies for research and an improved quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s. PAN was founded in 1991 and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. To learn more, visit www.ParkinsonsAction.org.