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Parkinson’s Association of San Diego honors Dr. David Barba as its 2012 Health Hero

Neurosurgeon performs Deep Brain Stimulation surgery for Parkinson’s patients

SAN DIEGO, CA, March 13, 2012 – The Parkinson’s Association of San Diego (PASD) is pleased to announce that Dr. David Barba has been chosen as its 2012 Health Hero honoree. Dr. Barba will be honored at the Combined Health Agencies 2012 Health Hero Awards breakfast on Thursday, March 15 at the Prado in Balboa Park.

A prominent neurosurgeon at UCSD Medical Center, Dr. Barba performs Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery for people with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions. DBS is a surgical procedure that implants a battery-operated medical device called a neurostimulator under the skin near the collarbone. Similar to a heart pacemaker and approximately the size of a stopwatch, the device delivers electrical stimulation to targeted areas in the brain that control movement, blocking the abnormal nerve signals that cause tremor and Parkinson’s disease symptoms.

“We are delighted to honor Dr. Barba with this well-deserved award,” said Ron Hendrix, Ph.D, PASD Executive Director.  “Dr. Barba has long been a leading advocate in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. In addition, he has spearheaded a patient symposium at UCSD to spotlight the medical advances being made with respect to Parkinson’s.”

Dr. Barba, who is also on staff at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Medical Center, is excited about starting a program at the VA to provide DBS surgery for San Diego veterans. A resident of Point Loma, Dr. Barba shares the PASD’s vision of offering a suite of neurological services for the veterans of San Diego County. To that end, the VA and the PASD have started a support group for veterans with Parkinson’s. The group meets twice a month at the VA Medical Center. San Diego is home to one of the largest veteran populations in the U.S.

“I am truly honored and thrilled to receive this award,” said Dr. Barba, who has performed DBS surgeries since 1998. “It serves to validate the commitment of the UCSD movement disorder group to improve the quality of life for Parkinson’s patients.”

About the Parkinson’s Association of San Diego:  The Parkinson’s Association of San Diego is the county’s only comprehensive source of support and information for persons with Parkinson’s disease.  Parkinson’s is a neurological disease the effects over 60,000 local patients, families, and caregivers.  The Mission of the organization is to improve the quality of life for those affected by Parkinson’s disease through education, family services, and support of promising research.