In late 2005, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) commissioned a formal evaluation to objectively review the Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence for Parkinson's Disease Research Program (Udall Centers Program). Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) was involved in the Udall Centers evaluation, with PAN CEO, Amy Comstock Rick, serving as a member of the Udall Center Program Evaluation Working Group of the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke NANDS Council.
The evaluation was completed in August 2007. The Working Group found that the Udall Centers Program has significantly impacted the Parkinson’s disease research field and recommended that NINDS continue to support the program. The Council released the following recommendations for the NINDS Udall Centers of Excellence in Parkinson's Disease so that the Institute can enhance its strong Parkinson’s disease research portfolio:
- Develop a Coordinating Committee
- Utilize an Request For Applications (RFA) as the funding mechanism for the Udall Centers Program
- Improve the review process for Udall Center applications
- Develop measures to monitor the progress of Udall Centers
- Establish a Center Administrator for each Udall Center
- Improve the Annual Udall Center Meeting
- Continue to develop and improve research training opportunities
- Continue to support and monitor the scientific outputs and research foci of established Udall Centers
- Develop additional opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration
- Require an Outreach & Education Core
- Continue to provide support from NINDS staff
The formal evaluation process also included a Data Report developed by Booz Allen Hamilton, which was utilized by the Working Group to aid in the development of Udall Center program recommendations. The final Data Report provides background information on the project, outlines the study questions and design, and offers detailed data and analyses on the Udall Centers and a comparison group of Parkinson’s disease researchers. Staff from Booz Allen Hamilton, contracted by the NINDS, developed the study methodology and conducted the data collection and analysis. Download the Data Report (pdf, 3 MB)
The final Recommendations Report outlines findings and recommendations made by a Working Group of the NANDS Council, based on primary data collected in the evaluation and on the Data Report. Download the Recommendations Report  (pdf, 353 KB)
NINDS has developed an implementation plan for the Udall Centers Program Recommendations. NINDS sought input from the Udall Center director, the patient community and the NINDS advisory council. In addition, NINDS took into consideration current budgetary constraints. Read the NINDS Implementation Plan.