Published On: Tue, Apr 18th, 2023

The Mind Music and Movement Foundation Announces Partnership with FAU

The Voices of Parkinson’s Chorus

News highlights annual symposium showcasing research and alternative therapies for neurodegenerative diseases

Jupiter, FL – The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at FAU Jupiter served as the perfect setting for the Mind, Music and Movement Foundation for Neurological Disorders (M3F) to announce an exciting partnership with Florida Atlantic University’s Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute and Schmidt College of Medicine. Over 200 guests gathered for M3F’s annual symposium to discuss alternative therapies and research for Parkinson’s and neurodegenerative diseases. This “Extraordinary Evening” offered an opportunity for attendees to hear about the benefits of incorporating the arts in medicine and watch demonstrations of a few classes offered by M3F programming.

“My mission has always been to help people become the best version of themselves,” said Beth Elgort, a social worker since 1986 and Founder of M3F. “I have seen, firsthand, how alternative therapies help people thrive and possibly delay the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. We hope to keep the community informed about our work through these informational events. This next step with FAU will help us reach even more people with our programming and events. And we are excited to participate in the Palm Beach County NeuroArts Collaborative with Palm Health Foundation and others.”

M3F, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supports comprehensive integrative programming to address movement, mobility, balance, speech and mental well-being in patients with neurological disorders. M3F’s goal is to instill confidence, hope, strength, wellness, friendship and commitment in all the class participants and their families.

According to Elgort, FAU and M3F plan on integrating alternative therapy programs into FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine to further provide resources and motivation for people to live well with neurodegenerative diseases. Early programming will include FAU High School STEM students volunteering community service hours to assist with their daily classes. The clients participating will also have access to be part of current research studies related to neurodegenerative diseases at FAU.

“We are excited to partner with M3F to expand the programs and services we provide to our students and our community to include the arts such as dance and music to enhance quality of life for those with Parkinson’s Disease,“ said Julie G. Pilitsis, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A, Dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine and Vice President for Medical Affairs at FAU. “Importantly, this collaboration will help us to advance evidence-based clinical studies on alternative methods to improve movement, mood and cognition in those affected by neurodegenerative disorders, especially Parkinson’s disease.”

The educational event featured demonstrations of a few classes available to the public including The Voices of Parkinson’s Chorus, Yoga, Movement, Dance, Boxing and Support Services. The event was a part of the Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute’s annual “Brainy Days,” program, sponsored by Palm Health Foundation, which exemplifies the Institute’s commitment to providing the community with the knowledge needed to understand and sustain brain research. Each March, the Institute hosts brain-centered lectures by authors, scientists and physicians that includes highlighting evidence-based strategies to improve brain health, as well as hands on activities for children that encourage youth to explore careers in brain science while dispelling the stigma of brain disorders.

“The FAU Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute and the Mind, Music and Movement Foundation for Neurological Disorders share a mission and passion for advancing research, education and community outreach in neuroscience,” said Randy D. Blakely, Ph.D., Institute Executive Director, and David J.S. Nicholson Distinguished Professor in Neuroscience, and Professor, Biomedical Science in the Schmidt College of Medicine. “Our partnership with M3F will enable us to combine our expertise and resources to provide our community with the latest advances and tools for brain health and will help to propel the arts in neuroscience in this region. In particular, the programs of M3F will provide an opportunity for faculty and trainees of the Institute’s David and Lynn Nicholson Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research to engage closely with members of the community whose disorders are those they strive to understand and ultimately cure.” 

Other noteworthy speakers at the symposium were Henriette van Praag, Ph.D., M.A., Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine and FAU Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute; Patrick J. McNamara, LCSW, President and CEO of Palm Health Foundation; and Frances Fisher, philanthropist and board member to both M3F and Palm Health Foundation, who announced a $30,000 grant from Palm Health Foundation to M3F.

According to McNamara, “the NeuroArts Movement has proven that artistic experiences, both observational and experiential, measurably change the brain, body, and behavior leading to improved physical and mental health, disease prevention and enhance brain development.”

Several sponsors were in attendance including Clinics Can Help, ComForCare, Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, Medtronic, Palm Health Foundation, Parkinson’s Foundation, Saylor Physical Therapy, Scripps Research, Sollis Health and Simply Grab Bars.

For more information on the Mind, Music and Movement Foundation for Neurological Disorders, Inc. ongoing programming, please visit, call (561) 510-8611 or email

Photos by CAPEHART

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