Rep. Fred Upton Named Special Guest at Udall Awards Dinner

PAN is pleased to announce that Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) will be the special guest at the 2014 Morris K. Udall Awards Dinner on October 1.

NPR host and recent recipient of a National Humanities Medal, Diane Rehm, will sit down with Rep. Upton to discuss the 21st Century Cures Initiative and his commitment to Parkinson’s as both a sponsor of the Morris K. Udall Parkinson’s Research Act and founding co-chair of the Parkinson’s Caucus.

Rep. Upton currently serves as the chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which deals with issues regarding energy, health care, the environment, telecommunications, commerce, manufacturing, trade, and oversight and investigations. As chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Rep. Upton launched the 21st Century Cures Initiative with Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO), which aims to take a comprehensive look at what steps Congress can take to accelerate the pace of cures in America.

One of the key contributions Rep. Upton has made to the Parkinson’s community was through his sponsorship of the Morris K. Udall Parkinson’s Research Act, which passed in 1997 with bipartisan support from hundreds of cosponsors, including this year’s Morris K. Udall Award for Public Service recipient, Representative Henry A. Waxman (D-CA). Rep. Upton was also the recipient of the 1997 Udall Award.

Upton, a republican, and Waxman, a democrat, joined together to introduce the landmark Parkinson’s legislation on April 9, 1997 on the floor of the House of Representatives. The bill authorized the expansion and coordination of Parkinson’s research and established the Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research across the country. Having both Rep. Upton and Rep. Waxman at the 2014 Udall Awards Dinner will rightfully honor the spirit of Morris K. Udall, who was well known for working with his colleagues across the aisle to get important work done.

Rep. Upton, like Rep. Waxman, was also a founding co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Parkinson’s Disease, which was created in 1999 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.

Ms. Rehm and Rep. Upton’s interview will be the main feature in the Udall Awards Dinner program. The Udall Awards Dinner is held each year in Washington, DC to celebrate the Parkinson’s community and raise much needed funds for PAN, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. To learn more, visit

Date originally posted: August 29, 2014.