Philadelphia VA Medical Center

Parkinson's Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center

The Parkinson's Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Center (PADRECC) at Philadelphia VA Medical Center serves as only one of six nationwide referral centers in the VA providing comprehensive care to patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and other movement disorders. Read more about the national PADRECC program. 

In addition to clinical services, the PADRECCs are dedicated to advancing national awareness and outreach through educational programs for patients, families and healthcare professionals.  They also promote breakthrough research by performing studies on all features of PD.   For example, the six sites are currently performing a large, national study examining the effects of Deep Brain Stimulation.  Deep Brain Stimulation is an FDA approved surgical procedure that alleviates the symptoms of PD by implanting electrodes in the brain, which are connected to a stimulator device implanted over the ribcage.

The PADRECC teams are considered leaders in the fields of PD and related movement disorders.  They are composed of expert neurologists, neurosurgeons, nurses and researchers as well as consulting clinicians from various fields of healthcare.  This structure allows all aspects of PD to be addressed at every visit.

The Center specializes in applying advanced surgical techniques to the treatment of:

  • Parkinson's disease
  • essential tremor
  • dystonia
  • other movement disorders

Services Offered

Clinical Care
The Philadelphia PADRECC prides itself on comprehensive clinical care.  It provides "one stop shopping", meaning that a wide variety of services are available on site. These include:

  • Examination by an specialized advanced practice nurse and neurologist
  • Examination by a physiatrist (rehab issues)
  • Examination by a geriatric psychiatrist (psychiatric issues
  • Examination by a neuropsychologist (cognitive issues)
  • Examination by a speech and swallowing specialist
  • Consultation with a social worker
  • Consultation with a pharmacist
  • Consultation and examination by a neurosurgeon and neurophysiologist for surgical interventions and/or follow-up care

In addition, the Philadelphia PADRECC can provide referrals through the VA system for physical, occupational and speech therapy, wheelchairs, walkers, and other services to ensure complete therapeutic care. The PADRECC team is willing to work with your private neurologist and/or become your primary PD care providers.  


Education
The Philadelphia PADRECC is actively involved in both local and national educational initiatives for patients, families and clinicians.  These programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Educational fairs for patients and families on various PD topics
  • Development and distribution of educational materials and handouts
  • Monthly PADRECC support group
  • Partnership with community support groups and area PD societies
  • Collaboration with national PD not-for-profit organizations
  • Nationally communicated PD programs
  • National and international lectures for healthcare professionals
  • Training opportunities for healthcare professionals

The Philadelphia PADRECC also houses an Education Room for patients and families to use while visiting the Medical Center. Please see our Activity Calendar for upcoming PADRECC events.


Research
The key to discovering new ways to control, delay and eventually cure PD is by testing new therapies and theories.  The Philadelphia PADRECC performs research in the following areas:

  • Drug therapies
  • Surgical interventions, including Deep Brain Stimulation
  • Gait and falling issues
  • Depression and other psychiatric comorbidities
  • Non-motor fluctuations
  • Basic science research (laboratory)
  • Olfactory function (sense of smell in PD)


The Philadelphia PADRECC is proudly affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania's  Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder Center at Pennsylvania Hospital.

 

PADRECC FAQ


How do I make an appointment at the PADRECC?

Patients Currently Registered in the VA Healthcare System:
If you are currently registered in the VA Healthcare System, you can simply call the Philadelphia PADRECC at 215-823-5934 to schedule an appointment.  You do not need a referral from your VA primary care provider.  Appointments are typically scheduled in a one-month timeframe. 

Individuals Not Yet Registered in the VA Healthcare System:
Unfortunately, the Philadelphia PADRECC can only evaluate individuals currently enrolled in the VA Healthcare System.  Please contact your local VA Medical Center registration and/or eligibility office for further information.  You can also visit the web at www.va.gov. The PADRECC is more than willing to answer any of your questions however, will not be able to register you in the system.  Feel free to call us at 215-823-5934. 


Who is Eligible for Care at the PADRECC?
 
The PADRECC offers care to any veteran currently enrolled in the VA Healthcare system. This includes veterans who have been previously diagnosed with PD or veterans who have just started to notice Parkinson-like symptoms.  We also treat veterans who have been diagnosed with other movement disorders, such as essential tremor.

Contact Info

Location

  • Philadelphia VA Medical Center

Contact Number(s)

  • 215-823-5800 Ext. 4331

Hours of Operation

  • Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.