A Legacy of Dedication to Medical Innovation in Parkinson’s Research and Friendship
A group of over 250 community members gathered at Mary’s Woods to celebrate residents John Hammerstad, MD and Jay Nutt, MD and their lasting impact on neurocognitive research and the treatment of Parkinson’s disease at the Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) Parkinson Center.
In 1979, Dr. Hammerstad recruited Dr. Nutt to create the OHSU movement disorders clinic with Julie Carter, RN, MN, ANP. Together, their research, teaching and patient care grew into the OHSU Parkinson Center, now recognized as a Center of Excellence by the Parkinson’s Foundation as among the 45 best in the world. Over 40 years later, Hammerstad, Nutt and Carter continue to be involved with the OHSU Parkinson Center.
A significant, anonymous donation to OHSU Parkinson Center enabled the creation of two endowed professorships, the first of their kind for the Parkinson Center. The center chose to name these professorships after Drs. Hammerstad and Nutt to honor the legacy of their research, commitment to education and exceptional work in patient care.
At the celebration, Director of the OHSU Parkinson Center, Dr. Joseph Quinn, a former student of Drs. Hammerstad and Nutt, shared with those in attendance the history of the center and provided an overview of the internationally recognized program. Drs. Hammerstad and Nutt shared insights, anecdotes, and milestones from their careers in neurological research and medicine, before introducing recipients of the professorships: Vivek Unni, MD, PhD; the first recipient of the John Hammerstad, MD, Professor of Basic Research of Movement Disorders and Fay Horak, PhD; the first recipient of the Jay Nutt, MD, Professor of Clinical Research of Movement Disorders. Unni and Horak shared about their current work, focus and hopes for the future.
“This event, in partnership with OHSU exemplifies the commitment we have at Mary’s Woods to celebrate life at each life stage,” said Colette Rees, Mary’s Woods VP of Philanthropy and Strategic Communications. “We are a senior living community that is made better because of the exceptional people who choose to call Mary’s Woods their home. John and Jay show us that when we all rise up, using our gifts with passion and generosity, beautiful communities are created and that makes an impact on the world.”
The event closed with a champagne toast and an exhibitor showcase featuring health and wellness partners available to Mary’s Woods residents with Parkinson’s or other movement disorders and their caregivers.