TMH Launches Parkinson’s & Movement Disorders Program

July 21, 2020

Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) is now home to the region’s most comprehensive Parkinson’s & Movement Disorders Program, focused on diagnosing and treating a variety of neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s Disease, Dystonia and Essential Tremor.

“With close collaboration among specialists, the program’s unique approach utilizes experts in neurology, neurosurgery, neuropsychology, occupational, physical and speech therapy, and nutrition to create individualized treatment plans for patients suffering from the debilitating effects of a movement disorder,” said Andrew Starr, FACHE, VP/Chief Health Operations Officer at Tallahassee Memorial.

As the Parkinson’s & Movement Disorders Program opens its doors today, TMH also welcomes two new physicians to lead this new frontier in the hospital’s history: Tara Kimbason, MD, MPH, movement disorders neurologist, and Matthew Davis, MD, functional neurosurgeon. Together, with the support of their multidisciplinary team, Dr. Kimbason and Dr. Davis offer patients in the Big Bend area a broader range of advanced neurological care close to home.

“For patients experiencing movement problems, such as tremors, rigidity or gait disturbances, we complete a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation for a movement disorder, like Parkinson’s Disease or Essential Tremor,” said Dr. Kimbason. “This approach to patient care allows for a comprehensive evaluation and close collaboration on a treatment plan. It provides patients with a more informed, effective and patient-centered model of neurological care.”

Individualized care plans include a wide variety of treatment options and services, such as rehabilitation therapies, support groups, medications, lifestyle management, nutrition and exercise recommendations. The establishment of this program also offers patients in the Big Bend access to the latest treatment technology, Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), for the first time ever.

DBS is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat Parkinson’s Disease, Essential Tremor, dystonia, obsessive compulsive disorder and other neurological disorders. During the procedure, electrodes are placed in the targeted areas of the brain and connected by wires to a device placed under the skin of the chest below the collarbone. Once activated, the device sends continuous electrical pulses to the target areas in the brain, modifying the abnormal activity in that area that causes symptoms.

“DBS is like a pacemaker for the brain,” explained Dr. Davis. “While there’s no cure for Parkinson’s Disease, the implanted electrodes and pacemaker-type device – which has a battery life of three to five years – provides an entirely new, life-preserving treatment option for those living with the disease and other movement disorders. DBS can lessen symptoms, reduce the need for prescription medications and significantly improve quality of life.”

TMH continues to expand its neuroscience program to offer the most advanced physicians, specialists, procedures and technologies available to meet the community’s growing need for neurological care. “Patients do not need to travel outside of the area for excellent care,” said Mark O’Bryant, President & CEO at Tallahassee Memorial. “In fact, with the opening of the Parkinson’s & Movement Disorders Program, we anticipate patients across the Southeast will travel to TMH to receive these innovative treatments.”

For more information about advanced treatment options offered at Tallahassee Memorial for movement disorders and other neurological injuries or illnesses, please visit TMH.ORG/Neuro.