Connie Carney Memorial Award

The Connie Carney Memorial Award is in honor of an astounding woman who lived her life graciously with Parkinson’s Disease while donating a significant amount of her time to the Parkinson’s Awareness Association of Central Indiana, Inc. (PAACI) and the local Parkinson’s Community. In honor of all that Connie Carney did in the name of PAACI we have established an annual award to honor and celebrate a person who has given of themselves to PAACI and the Parkinson’s Community in a gracious and loving manner.

In 2020, the PAACI Board elected as the honoree of the Connie Carney Award, Sheri Kauffman. Sheri Kauffman has been executive secretary of PAACI for approximately 19 years.  She previously worked as Secretary of the Neurology Service at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis.  She brought a wealth of experience and understanding through her work with neurologists, health professionals, and interactions with individuals with neurological conditions.  These outstanding skills have been a great benefit to us all.  She helped develop and implement plans for the many symposiums we have conducted, being invaluable in seeing the setting and needs were met.  She has brought us into the 21st century by enabling us to use technology more, establishing the weekly e-blasts, Caregiver Conferences, and more recently helping us sustain our educational mission with zoom programs.  As editor of our Newsletter, she has sustained and further advanced our efforts to better serve the Parkinson’s community and promote our mission of education and advocacy for those with Parkinson’s disease and their families.

In 2019, the PAACI Board elected as the honoree of the Connie Carney Award, Dr. Joanne Wojcieszek. Dr. Joanne Wojcieszek is Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology, Indiana University School of Medicine and Director of the Movement Disorder Clinic, Indiana University School of Medicine, and a senior member of the neurology staff at the Huntington’s Disorder Clinic.  She has been an avid supporter and provider of services to the Parkinson’s community and promoter of PAACI for more than 20 years.  On numerous occasions, she has been the keynote speaker at the PAACI annual symposium, has been an invaluable resource in assisting us in recruiting nationally recognized speakers for our educational events, and has advocated the importance of Parkinson’s support groups throughout the state of Indiana.  She had the honor of being nominated by the late Senator Richard Lugar to be a “Local Legend.”

In 2018, the PAACI Board elected as the honoree of the Connie Carney Award, Edward Daly, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Daly was born in New York City, grew up in Connecticut, and went to college in Pennsylvania. He came to Indiana over 40 years ago for IU Graduate School in Neurochemistry. He attended IU School of Medicine and completed Internal Medicine and Neurology training at IU Medical Center. Dr. Daly is board-certified in Neurology and has been a member of the Neurology faculty at the IU Medical Center and a staff Neurologist at the Roudebush VA Medical Center for more than 30 years.  Dr. Daly’s special interests include the treatment of headaches, multiple sclerosis, and neurochemical disorders including Parkinson’s disease. His outside interests include genealogy and stamp collecting.  Dr. Daly has served on the PAACI board for over 12 years and was one of the first neurologists to address a PAACI meeting in 1982. We are truly grateful that we’ve had the devoted service and support of Dr. Daly all these years. We are pleased to honor Dr. Daly with the 2018 Connie Carney Award.

In 2017, the PAACI Board elected as the honoree of the Connie Carney Award, Jeff Brodzeller.  Jeff has been living with Parkinson’s for more than 15 years and a few years ago had the deep brain stimulation implanted.  Jeff has also served on the PAACI Board for many years.  He’s been PAACI’s Treasurer for most of that time and he’s also served as President.  Jeff has been an amazing and consistent asset to PAACI.  You can see his smiling face at so many PAACI’s events and he’s always willing to lend a helping hand whenever it’s needed.  Jeff had also served as the treasurer on the board of the Young Parkinson’s of Indiana support group. We are truly lucky that we’ve had the devoted service and support of Jeff and his family all these years.  We are pleased to honor Jeff Brodzeller with the Connie Carney Award.

PAACI was pleased to announce that the Pressner Family (Nancy, Bryan & Sarah) were the 2016 Connie Carney Award recipients.  Nancy’s late husband, Jim, was diagnosed with
Parkinson’s in 2004, and they joined PAACI in 2007.  Nancy served as vice-president of operations from 2009-2011, and present of PAACI from 2012-2015.  She was the author of the Caregiver’s Corner in the Newsletter and a facilitator for the Care Partner Support Group.  Nancy had previously worked as an RN and administrator in a family practice doctor’s office.

Sarah, their daughter and Bryan, their son have volunteered at the PAACI Symposiums and other PAACI events over the last few years.  Sarah has helped PAACI obtain a grant through her employer.  Bryan has been the PAACI photographer for the Newsletter, Symposium and other events for the past few years.  He is also a certified trainer for Rock Steady Boxing.  Jim’s brother, Joseph Pressner, Ph.D., is a psychologist who has also contributed a series of articles for the PAACI Newsletter.

On Saturday, December 5, 2015 we honored Paula Tomlin with the Connie Carney Memorial Award for many years of volunteer service to the Parkinson’s Awareness Association of Central Indiana (PAACI), Young Parkinsons of Indiana (YPI) and the Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN).  Paula has generously offered her help by volunteering on the PAACI & YPI boards, editing the PAACI Newsletter and representing PAN at local events all while living her life beautifully with Parkinson’s Disease.

On Saturday, December 13, 2014, we presented Dr. Eric Siemers with the Connie Carney Memorial Award for more than 25 years of devoted service to the Indiana Parkinson’s community. He was also recognized for his participation in the organizations Newsletter, and for his many years of contributions to our annual Indianapolis Symposium. PAACI is very grateful for all Dr. Siemers years of compassion and service.

In 2013, at the Holiday Party on December 5th, we honored Rebecca Parks. Rebecca has been with PAACI for more than ten years. Over those years Rebecca has either fully or partially planned all of the educational events including the support groups and annual Symposiums. She has been an amazing resource and helped PAACI create some wonderful events and memories.

In 2012, at the Symposium on October 6th, we were happy to give the Connie Carney award to Mrs. Julie Sanderson. Julie had previously been the secretary to and the voice of PAACI. We celebrate Julie and all the awesome things she has done to help continue PAACI’s work.

In 2011, we honored Dr. John Deck as our first recipient of the Connie Carney Award. John is a past president of PAACI and has volunteered his time and finances abundantly over the years. We honor and thank John for all his contributions.