Just over a year after moving into its cutting-edge facility, the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix is expanding to better accommodate the growing number of patients visiting the center and the increasing number of new drugs and therapies now being evaluated.
Officials made the expansion announcement on the eve of this year’s Celebrity Fight Night, saying the project is being funded by the generous contributions from the annual charity event. Celebrity Fight Night contributed approximately $1.5 million to the center last year and has given more than $17 million to it since the charity event began 17 years ago.
The Ali center moved to its new 10,000-square-foot facility in December 2010 on the campus of Barrow Neurological Institute at St Joseph’s Hospital. It is one of the most comprehensive Parkinson’s treatment center in the world coordinating patient care, physical therapy, pharmaceutical and surgical care and
research, and patient education and outreach. The center has been designated a Center of Excellence by the National Parkinson Foundation. At an inspiring 2010 event, Muhammad Ali and his wife, Lonnie, officially opened the new treatment center in downtown Phoenix.
“We have had a remarkable year in this facility,” said Dr. Abraham Lieberman, director of the center. “We have increased the numbers of patients we are seeing dramatically, as well as the number of people who come to the center for our education and social programs and we have increased out ability to develop new drugs and treatments for Parkinson disease. We give much thanks to the donations from Celebrity Fight Night for making this possible.”
The expansion will include additional clinical space, a new speech lab, increased physical therapy rooms, rooms for innovative treatments for walking and balance. Work is expected to begin shortly. The center is part of the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
“Celebrity Fight Night is proud to be a major reason why the center can expand and include anything a Parkinson’s patient could possibly need in one world-class facility,” says Sean Currie, executive director of Celebrity Fight Night. “Thanks to the participation of many of today’s biggest stars from around the country, as well as some of the nation’s biggest philanthropists, the upcoming event will be bigger and better than ever.”
This year’s event is scheduled for March 19 and more than 1,500 are expected to attend. Included in the entertainers this year is rock star Bret Michaels, who was recently treated at St. Joseph’s for a brain hemorrhage and a heart condition.
Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center is an internationally renowned medical center that offers care for people from throughout the world with brain and spine diseases, disorders and injuries. It includes the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center. U.S. News & World Report routinely lists St. Joseph’s as one of the top 10 best hospitals in the nation for neurological and neurosurgical care.