Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center Receives Largest Gift in Its History Celebrity Fight Night Donates $3 million

PHOENIX, July 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix has received a $3 million donation from Celebrity Fight Night that will be used to help dramatically expand the renowned facility and its programs.

Dozens of doctors, patients and staff applauded as Abraham Lieberman, MD, the center's director, personally received the donation recently from Jimmy Walker, founder of Celebrity Fight Night.  Since the annual charity event began 18 years ago, it has contributed more than $22 million to the Center.  Today's gift was the single largest ever received by the Ali center.

Dr. Lieberman said the funds would be used to more than double the current size of the facility. The expansion will include new clinical areas, physical and speech therapy areas and community education meeting rooms.

The current Ali center was opened 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 centers in the world, coordinating patient care, physical therapy, pharmaceutical and surgical care, 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.

"Thanks to the donations from Celebrity Fight Night, we continue to increase the numbers of patients we see, as well as the number of people who come to the Center for our education and social programs," said Dr. Lieberman. "We have also increased our ability to develop new drugs and treatments for Parkinson's disease."

Muhammad Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1984 and today Celebrity Fight Night is his signature event.  "We are proud that Celebrity Fight Night continues to grow and succeed every year.  Because of its remarkable success we are able to make this large donation," says Sean Currie, executive director of the star-studded charity event. "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 annual event gets bigger and better every year."

-Barrow-

About Barrow: Barrow Neurological Institute of St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, is internationally recognized as a leader in neurological research and patient care and is consistently voted as among the Top 10 hospitals for neurology and neurology in the United States. Barrow treats patients with a wide range of neurological conditions, including brain and spinal tumors, cerebrovascular conditions, and neuromuscular disorders. Barrow's clinicians and researchers are devoted to providing excellent patient care and finding better ways to treat neurological disorders.

SOURCE St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center




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