Tag Archives: Down Syndrome

Armando Contreras, CEO of United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona

Circle K Raises $5.3 Million for UCP of Central Arizona

Through fundraising efforts at local stores and events throughout the State of Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada, Circle K employees, customers and vendors generously helped raise over $5.3 million for UCP of Central and Southern Arizona, and Opportunity Village in Las Vegas, Nevada.    The funds donated support the organizations’ mission to help children and adults with disabilities including Down syndrome, autism, developmental delays, learning disabilities, and cerebral palsy.   Donations are collected every day when Circle K employees ask customers to donate their extra change at the register to benefit families and children with disabilities.  And vendors participating in the Aces High and Desert Klassic golf tournaments result in additional funding for UCP of Central Arizona’s important mission.

UCP would like to acknowledge Circle K for its extraordinary efforts in supporting UCP and its families.  “Circle K promotes a culture that is deeply rooted in corporate responsibility, giving back to the community and making a positive difference in the lives of others,” said Armando Contreras, CEO of United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona.  “UCP has been working in collaboration with Circle K for over 30 years, and with their help, thousands of children, adults and families have received the essential services they desperately need.  Because of the generosity from Circle K employees, customers and vendors, we have children and adults who were given the opportunity to speak their first words, take their first step, and give a loved one a hug for the first time,” he added.

“Our record contribution level this past year is testament to the caring and generous community spirit of everyone we have the great privilege to employ and serve,” said Paul Rodriguez, Vice President of the Arizona Division of Circle K.   “Our 30 year partnership speaks not just to the sincerity of the effort but also to the good and important work being done by UCP. Breakthroughs happen every day at the Dozer Center that our employees have the honor to witness and participate in. It lends greater meaning and higher purpose to each and every workday at Circle K. Everyone benefits,” Rodriguez added.

Circle K will be honored at United Cerebral Palsy’s annual event, Champions in Life Night Gala, scheduled for the evening of November 15, 2013 at the Ritz Carlton-Phoenix.  Circle K will be receiving the Laura Dozer Award, named after the daughter of Rich and Karie Dozer, who had cerebral palsy and passed in 2008.

Founded in 1952, the Central Arizona chapter of the nationally recognized agency has served as a private, non-profit health and human service organization for adults and children with disabilities and their families. UCP of Central Arizona’s programming is designed to help children and adults reach their full potential and improve the quality of life of their family members.

UCP is committed to creating possibilities and nurturing opportunities for children and adults with disabilities. To accomplish our vision, we’ve become a leader in providing therapies, independent living services, inclusive and integrated educational based programs, innovative social opportunities, and basic research. We also bring support to families as they face the daily challenges of raising a child with a disability and hope for a life without limits for their son or daughter.

To learn more, visit www.ucpofcentralaz.org.

child.hospital

UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation Offers Grants

The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) is seeking grant applications from families in need of financial assistance to help pay for their child’s health care treatments, services or equipment not covered, or not fully covered, by their commercial health insurance plan.

Qualifying families can receive up to $5,000 per grant to help pay for medical services and equipment such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids.

To be eligible for a grant, children must be 16 years of age or younger. Families must meet economic guidelines, reside in the United States and have a commercial health insurance plan. Grants are available for medical expenses families have incurred 60 days prior to the date of application as well as for ongoing and future medical needs. Parents or legal guardians may apply for grants at www.uhccf.org, and there is no application deadline. Organizations or private donors can make tax-deductible donations to UHCCF at www.uhccf.org. Donations are used for grants to help children and families in the region in which they are received.

“The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation is dedicated to improving a child’s health and quality of life by making it easier to access needed medical-related services. The grants enable families to focus on their children’s health instead of worrying about how they’ll pay their medical bills,” said Jeri Jones, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Arizona. “Eligible families are encouraged to apply online for a medical grant today and take advantage of this valuable resource.”

In 2012, more than 36 grants totaling more than $95,000 were awarded to families in Arizona. Nationwide, more than 1,300 grants, worth more than $4.1 million, were awarded for treatments associated with medical conditions such as cancer, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, hearing loss, autism, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, ADHD and cerebral palsy. As successful fund-raising efforts continue to grow, UHCCF is hoping to help more children and families in 2013.

child.hospital

UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation Offers Grants

The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) is seeking grant applications from families in need of financial assistance to help pay for their child’s health care treatments, services or equipment not covered, or not fully covered, by their commercial health insurance plan.

Qualifying families can receive up to $5,000 per grant to help pay for medical services and equipment such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids.

To be eligible for a grant, children must be 16 years of age or younger. Families must meet economic guidelines, reside in the United States and have a commercial health insurance plan. Grants are available for medical expenses families have incurred 60 days prior to the date of application as well as for ongoing and future medical needs. Parents or legal guardians may apply for grants at www.uhccf.org, and there is no application deadline. Organizations or private donors can make tax-deductible donations to UHCCF at www.uhccf.org. Donations are used for grants to help children and families in the region in which they are received.

“The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation is dedicated to improving a child’s health and quality of life by making it easier to access needed medical-related services. The grants enable families to focus on their children’s health instead of worrying about how they’ll pay their medical bills,” said Jeri Jones, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Arizona. “Eligible families are encouraged to apply online for a medical grant today and take advantage of this valuable resource.”

In 2012, more than 36 grants totaling more than $95,000 were awarded to families in Arizona. Nationwide, more than 1,300 grants, worth more than $4.1 million, were awarded for treatments associated with medical conditions such as cancer, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, hearing loss, autism, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, ADHD and cerebral palsy. As successful fund-raising efforts continue to grow, UHCCF is hoping to help more children and families in 2013.

medical.research

BIO5-TGen collaboration targets Alzheimer’s disease

BIO5 Oro Valley today announced a collaboration with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to develop new therapies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

BIO5 Oro Valley co-Director and University of Arizona College of Pharmacy medicinal chemist Dr. Christopher Hulme’s collaborative effort with TGen Assistant Professor Dr. Travis Dunckley will focus on the development of novel, small molecule inhibitors of dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinase 1A (DYRK1A). Upregulation of this kinase is implicated in promoting memory deficits associated with Down syndrome and neurodegenerative pathologies, particularly Alzheimer’s disease.

“DYRK1A is a well-validated, recently discovered target, ready for translational efforts to deliver an oral medication to patients suffering from this insidious disease,” said Dr. Hulme. “Indeed, coupled with the advanced small molecules in-hand that target DYRK1A, further efforts are underway that will broaden our therapeutic presence in the Alzheimer’s arena to other Arizona-based biological discoveries.”

Statistics from the National Institutes of Health indicate that 5.1 million older Americans – or 1-in-8 – suffer from Alzheimer’s, which makes it the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. Estimated to effect 45 million people worldwide by 2020, dementia is currently a leading, major unmet medical need and a costly burden on public health. Seventy percent of these cases have been attributed to Alzheimer’s, a neurodegenerative pathology characterized by a progressive decline in cognitive functions.

“This collaborative partnership is a critical step in advancing discoveries of the role DYRK1A plays to developing therapeutics that could alter the course of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Dunckley.

Drs. Hulme and Dunckley will focus on providing a significant alternative to common approaches that focus on small molecules that inhibit the production of neurotoxic fragments of amyloid proteins and antibody immunization approaches targeting the build up of these fragments.

The joint effort will explore the decrease of DYRK1A activity in the brain with proprietary small-molecule inhibitors. This approach could lead to new therapeutic strategies to alleviate cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer’s and Down syndrome.

PhoenixChildrensHospital

PCH opening Down Syndrome Clinic

Phoenix Children’s Hospital will announce the opening of Arizona’s first and only Down Syndrome Clinic at a press conference that will be held at the hospital between noon and 1 pm on Thursday, March 21. Patients, families and physicians will be available for interviews. A light lunch will be served.

Last year, 160 babies were born in Arizona with Down syndrome and more than 900 children with Down syndrome have been treated at Phoenix Children’s Hospital during one 5-year period. The new clinic will provide services in a clinic present on site three times a month, half day clinics. Specialties include: Developmental pediatrics, Genetics, PT, OT, Speech and a clinical coordinator.

Because of the complexity of the syndrome, other specialties could also be involved in the child’s care.  Some of the virtual team members will include: Cardiology, Hem/Onc, GI/Nutrition, Dental, Psychology, Ophthalmology, ENT, Surgery, Neurosurgery, Sleep Lab, Pulmonology, Immunology/Allergy, Neurology, Endocrinology and Psychiatry.

“The goal of the clinic is to provide multi-disciplinary evaluations and interventions for children with Down Syndrome from birth to 18 years within one center, so families spend less time pursuing services through multiple agencies and professionals; we want to become a one-stop-shop for families in Arizona,” said Dr. Robin Blitz, MD, FAAP, Director, Developmental Pediatrics, Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

 

Barrow Clinical Trial - Down Syndrome Patients

Barrow Launches Novel Clinical Trial For Down Syndrome Patients

Physicians at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center are conducting a novel research study to evaluate a medication that could improve intellectual function in young adults with Down syndrome. Participants for the clinical trial are currently being recruited.

“To my knowledge, this is the first trial of its kind,” says Benjamin Seltzer, MD, Director of the Center of Alzheimer’s Disease and Cognitive Disorders at Barrow Neurological Institute. “Down syndrome is the most important cause of development delay. Many of the medical problems associated with Down syndrome, such as low thyroid and heart defects, can now be corrected. But, until recently, there has been little hope that we could ever truly improve intellectual function (in Downs people). Now, however, researchers have developed a medication that may have such a benefit. (A study like this has been needed for a long time).”

There are more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States. One in every 691 babies is born with Down syndrome.

The clinical trial at Barrow will last about 15 weeks. Participants will be required to take the newly developed medication twice daily and to have periodic blood and memory testing and brain wave examinations. The study is also being conducted at several other research centers in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Participants can be male or female and should be between 18 and 30 years of age. They must be in good general health and have a reliable person who can accompany them to all appointments.

For more information on how to enroll in this study, please call: Catherine Young at 602-406-3719.

For more information on Barrow Neurological Institute, visit their website at thebarrow.org/.