Jaime Martin, MD, PhD, FAAN Movement Disorders Neurology on advocacy

An interview with Jaime Martin, MD, PhD, FAAN Movement Disorders Neurology on advocacy on October 3, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.



Please tell me a little about your background.


I am a physician scientist who specializes in Movement Disorders Neurology. My love for neuroscience started in high school when I attended a summer program at Washington and Lee University. I first got involved in research in undergrad doing vaccine work in Alzheimer’s disease. I then pursued a physician scientist training program at Emory where my PhD work was in environmental risk factors in Parkinson’s disease.


Can you tell me more about your advocacy?


I’ve been involved in advocacy both at the local and the national level. I first got involved by participating in the American Academy of Neurology’s Neurology on the Hill on more than one occasion. This is a program that teaches participants about the political process. We meet with our own senators and representatives to advocate for the needs of our patients and progression. Since then, I’ve participated in other advocacy leadership programs and met with Senators and Representatives in Georgia


What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?


My biggest passion is increasing access to care for people with neurological diseases. I started a telemedicine program in 2016 for people living in rural Georgia and Alabama and since then have focused my efforts on advocating for telehealth and improving the ability of anyone, anywhere, have access to subspecialty neurological care.


What effect can your advocacy have on an individual with Parkinson’s?


My goal is to improve access to Movement Disorders Neurologists for those people living with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders such as Atypical Parkinsonism, Lewy Body Dementia, Huntington’s Disease and more.


What events do you participate in?


Various events for the American Academy of Neurology, American Parkinson’s Disease Association, Parkinson’s Foundation, Michael J Fox Foundation as well as other non-PD related events.


How does your advocacy also assist the caregivers?


By advocating for better access to care, people living with PD and other neurological disorders have access to subspecialty care which can provide better quality of life and less adverse outcomes. This leads to less impact on care partners. In addition, our company focuses on ways to help caregivers reduce the weight of care by helping navigate various medical nuances, therapies, insurance navigation, and care coordination so they don’t feel like they always have to be their own quarterback.


How can someone get in touch?  What is your website?


How can others also become advocates for awareness?


The easiest way to start is to get involved with foundations such as the MJFF, APDA, and Parkinson’s Foundation as they can teach one about the various aspects of advocacy including at the local and national level. MJFF has a program where participants can go to Capitol Hill to advocate for what is important to them. They also often send out emails and form letters to sign that go directly to your Senators and Representatives. Additionally, you can email your representatives directly regarding things that are important to you. You can also reach out to them on social media so others can see your thoughts and help boost your message. Be sure to include relevant hashtags to improve visibility.


If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?


Do not hesitate to ask for what you need or to try different resources until you find the right combination of support that you are your loved ones need!