Executive Director – Christopher Jamele – Jamele Freelance Services, WBFO 88.7 FM
Board member since 2009; voted onto the Board while momentarily stepping away from a dinner meeting.
Chris was born and raised in Medina, NY, a friendly, rural community about one hour northeast of Buffalo. After two years at SUNY Geneseo and a hitchhiking stint around the country, he was drawn to Buffalo to finish his college degree, earning two Bachelor’s degrees and an MA in English at SUC at Buffalo. He has been a Buffalo resident since 1982.
Working as a local freelance writer, an announcer at NPR affiliate WBFO and as a longtime bartender, Chris has developed deep connections to the community and the people of this wonderful city. He has a passion for art, music and all creative endeavors as well as for baseball. Riding his motorcycles, camping, reading and visiting galleries are among his favorite activities.
Chris became connected with PD when his father, Carl, was diagnosed in 1995. Carl passed away in 2011, and the years displayed the devastation that PD wrought on this wonderful man. Chris wishes to commend his mother, Elaine, for her undying devotion to Carl and her incredible strength and fortitude in going above and beyond the role of caregiver. Chris’s hope is that his work with NPF of WNY will bring some hope to patients and assistance to caregivers across the region.
“This Board is talented, dedicated, and concerned. It is a pleasure to serve with them.”
President – Vicki Glamuzina, Owner/Operator Georgetown Liquors Lori Soos, MA, BSN, RN, Director of Health Services, Niagara University.
Vice President –
Treasurer – David Lever, CPA, Tronconi Segarra & Associates
Assistant Treasurer – Nicholas Terranova, ITT Enidine – Nicholas was born and raised in Buffalo NY, and attended Saint Joseph’s Collegiate Institute. In 2008, he graduated from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY, with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and returned to Buffalo to start his career in public accounting. Nicholas became a New York State Certified Public Accountant in 2009, while working in both the audit and tax departments at Freed Maxick CPAs in Buffalo. He then served on the Corporate Finance team for a small public ‘green energy’ start-up Company in Niagara Falls, where he served in the capacity of Corporate Controller and then Chief Financial Officer. He now works with ITT Enidine in Orchard Park, a supplier of highly engineered products for various industries and also serves on the Board of Advisors of Heads Up Display, a local hi-tech start-up Company.
Nicholas was introduced to the Foundation and its wonderful team during the summer of 2015 and is very excited to help contribute to the growth and continued success of the NPFWNY. He hopes to contribute to the business/treasury side of the Foundation as well as helping to spread the word and outreach all of the foundation’s successful events. Nicholas is married to his wife, Kayleigh, who is firmly rooted within the non-profit community of Western New York through her work with the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, where he also volunteers. Nicholas also coaches part-time at Saint Joseph’s Collegiate Institute with the football and Lacrosse programs.
He enjoys spending time with his family, playing sports, music, and travelling.
Secretary – Susan Nichter, RPA-C, Buffalo Medical Group
Medical Advisor – Robert J. Plunkett, MD – Surgical Director, Comprehensive Movement Disorders Center. Associate Professor of Neurosurgery University at Buffalo Neurosurgery State University of New York at Buffalo
Dr. Plunkett was born in Chicago and grew up nearby, in Northern Indiana. He began his medical training at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and from there completed a Neurosurgical Residency at Vanderbilt University Hospital. It was during the next four years as a Research Scientist at the National Institutes of Health, however, that his interest in surgical treatments for Parkinson’s Disease was sparked. He has been a pioneer in this field ever since, providing Deep Brain Stimulation surgery as a treatment option for people with Parkinson’s Disease, and other neurologic disorders, in the Western New York region.
For over 20 years, Dr. Plunkett has been at Buffalo General Hospital, where he co-founded the Comprehensive Movement Disorder Center. He has also served on the medical advisory staff for the National Parkinson’s Foundation of Western New York for the past 12 years. When Dr. Plunkett is not practicing medicine, he often indulges in his passions for woodworking and gardening.
“Being on the board is giving back to the community; I have been very fortunate and healthy thus far. I see what patients/families with PD go through, and want to help.”
Director of Patient Services – Patricia Weigel – RN, BSN, RNFA / Clinical Nurse Coordinator University at Buffalo Movement Disorders Center/ National Parkinson’s Foundation Care Consortium
Pat was unanimously voted President in July of 2011. She assisted in developing our formal relationship with NPF and lent her signature to the document that confirmed PAWNY’s affiliation with the national organization.Pat is a graduate of Erie Community College and Robert’s Wesleyan College. She has advanced training and 14 years experience as Clinical Nurse Coordinator of the Deep Brain Stimulation Program. As the Nurse Coordinator of the clinic’s National Parkinson’s Foundation’s Care Consortium, she has several roles including, co-founder and co-leader of the Parkinson’s Wellness Group of WNY, Director of the annual Parkinson’s Disease Education Symposium and she assists with various outreach events, fundraisers and meetings throughout our community. Pat has completed interdisciplinary Allied Team Training for Parkinson’s Disease with the National Parkinson Foundation. She also works as an RN Surgical First Assistant in the operating room and is a member of the national Neuroscience Nurses Association.
“When you care for someone with Parkinson’s Disease, you get to know patients and their families on a personal level. I feel part of a team that truly cares about each patient and makes a real difference in people’s lives. Nothing can compare to that satisfaction.”
Mark Burkard, RN, University at Buffalo Neurosurgery.
Lori Soos, MA, BSN, RN, Director of Health Services, Niagara University
Dr. Vilasini Shanbhag, CCS Oncology – Dr. Shanbhag is an oncologist who brought an innovative practice to Western New York. Her concept for free standing oncology centers was introduced in Williamsville in 1985. Her network soon spread to Hamburg and Niagara Falls. The network allowed patients more convenient access to Radiation Therapy and provided a more comfortable environment for the treatments. She merged her practice with CCS Oncology in 2012, and she continues to practice.
Dr. Shanbhag graduated from India’s Osmania University in 1966 before traveling to England for surgery training. She married her husband, Dr. Madhakar Shanbhag in 1973, and the couple immigrated to the United States in 1975. She brought with her a deep compassion for her patients, focusing on easing their pain and bringing comfort to their caregivers and family members. Dr. Shanbhag found an even greater motivation for her compassion when her husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. She was his loving caregiver until his death in 2014.
As a caregiver to her husband and to the many cancer patients that she treated, Dr. Shanbhag believes that “it is ingrained in me that we all have to address and care for our friends and family.” She brings to the Board that same compassion along with her vast experience in medicine and business.
Advisory Staff Members – Rick Lipka, President Emeritus Parkinson’s Association of Western New York; Tom O’Donnell, Co-Founder of the Parkinson’s Association of Western New York; Xilui Li, MD, Dent Neurological Institute