Press Releases

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, (both D-VA) today applauded the Senate’s passage of the Dr. Emmanuel Bilirakis and Honorable Jennifer Wexton National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act, legislation they cosponsored, which will direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to set up a National Parkinson’s Project, under which HHS would create and update a national plan to address Parkinson’s and related conditions, provide an estimate of research needs, and establish an advisory council that would report to Congress. The legislation now heads to President Biden for his signature.

In April 2023, Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA-10) shared her diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, and in September of last year, her diagnosis was upgraded to progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a rare and incurable brain disorder that rapidly deteriorates mobility and speech.

“Our friend Jennifer Wexton has been a model of grace and perseverance in the face of a difficult diagnosis,” said the senators. “This legislation bearing her name will help all those who are suffering with Parkinson’s and related conditions, and we are proud to see it head to the president’s desk for signature.”

The National Parkinson’s Project is modeled after the National Alzheimer’s Project which, as co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, Sen. Warner led efforts to introduce and pass. Sen. Kaine’s bipartisan Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Reauthorization Act, legislation to reauthorize funding for public health initiatives across the country to combat Alzheimer’s disease and preserve brain health, passed out of the Senate HELP Committee this week.