Clinical faculty and graduate students from The University at Buffalo Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic – Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences attended “A Buffalo Knockout of Parkinson’s” fundraiser hosted by Michael J. Fox Foundation board member and former US congressman, Jack Quinn, at The Westin Buffalo on Thursday, October 20th, 2022. The program included a panel discussion featuring 60 Minutes and CBS News correspondent, Lesley Stahl, whose husband lived with Parkinson’s disease, and Dean Eoannou, founder of Parkinson’s Boxing. Also included were Allison Brashear, Vice President of Health Sciences and Dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo and Mark Frasier, Co-chief Science Officer at The Michael J. Fox Foundation.
The event was attended by Clinical Assistant Professor, Laura Roberts, as well as three second-year graduate students, Olivia Hawes, Rebecca Scamacca, and Armina Soroush. All three graduate students have participated in the SPEAK OUT! and LOUD Crowd programs for people with Parkinson’s disease which is supervised by Laura Roberts at The University at Buffalo Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic. This is a two-part program that helps people with Parkinson’s disease regain and maintain effective communication. The program emphasizes speaking with intent and converting speech from an automatic function to an intentional act. Much like Parkinson’s Boxing, this program is based on exercise science principles, but for speech and voice.
Lesley Stahl spoke about caring for her husband in the final years of his life and discussed the impact that exercise had on his quality of life. Current research for Parkinson’s disease was also discussed as well as the importance of remaining active, whether its through boxing or other types of exercise. The graduate students who attended the event learned more about Parkinson’s research, the impact of activities outside of speech-language pathology, and the importance of advocacy for our profession and programs for people with Parkinson’s disease to maximize and maintain their communication and swallowing function.
CDS and the UB Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic represents at the "A Buffalo Knockout of Parkinson's" Fundraiser
From left to right: Armina Soroush, Olivia Hawes, Laura Roberts, Rebecca Scamacca