Mission Statement

Parkinson Foundation Western Pennsylvania provides service, support and education for those living with Parkinson disease and their families and supports medical research to discover the cause and cure.

Our Values

Excellence:  We strive to achieve outstanding results by listening and learning from the Parkinson’s community.

Team Work: We bring together and embrace different perspectives, skills and knowledge.

Collaboration: We partner with a diverse group of stakeholders who share our purpose and urgency.

Integrity:  We are honest, accountable and transparent with each other and with the people we represent to achieve our mission.

Positivity: We lead with optimism and always work to find solutions to problems.

Dedication: We are honored to do this important work and approach each day with a renewed focus until all those affected by Parkinson’s have access to the care they need and a cure is discovered.

Responsiveness: We build relationships through trust in order to meet and support the needs of people living with Parkinson’s and their families.

Click below for 2021 audit


Christine Haythorn
Executive Director and CEO

Casey Peluso, LPC
VP, Programs and Outreach

Lauren O’Neil 
VP, Marketing and Design

Duane Hardek 
VP, Operations and Development

Wesley Johnson
Director, Diversity & Minority Outreach

Beth Appanaitis  
VP, Operations


Edwin H. Beachler III, Esq., Co-Chair
Retired Attorney, Caroselli, Beachler, & Coleman, LLC

David L. Harnish, Esq., Co-Chair
Attorney, D.L. Harnish & Associates, LLC

Timothy Leichliter, MD, Vice President
Physician, Allegheny Health Network

Jennifer Rose, Esq., Vice President
Attorney, Julian Gray Associates

Josiah Hoffman, Treasurer
President, Wealth Manager, & CCO, Hoffman Capital Advisors LLC

Meghan Taggart, Secretary
Product Manager, Boston Scientific

Susan Cruz
Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch

Ambrose Murray
Consultant and former ED, Extra Mile Education Foundation

Bill Schmidt
Retired, National City/PNC

Lisa Shaner
Technical Sales Specialist, Hennecke Inc.

Amber Van Laar, MD
Researcher/Physician, Ask Bio/UPMC


Susan M. Baser, MD
Medical Director of Spasticity and Movement Disorder, West Penn Allegheny Healthy System

Sarah Berman, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology & Principal Investigator, University of Pittsburgh


Emily Bayer
Senior Account Manager, Hacker Agency

Jennifer Bittel Derby
Associate Attorney, Tucker Arensberg

Nicolina DiNardi
Senior Electrophysiology-Technical Service Specialist, Abbott

Shannon Mincemoyer
Associate Attorney, Reed Smith

Lauren O’Neil

Laura Teschke, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist, River Therapies

Courtney Williamson
CEO and Founder, AbiliLife

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