Tuxedo Park resident recognized for commitment to people with Parkinson’s
Tuxedo Park resident recognized for 60-year commitment to people with Parkinson’s
NEW YORK — Dr. Lucien J. Côté of Tuxedo Park, a leading Parkinson’s disease specialist, was honored by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation with its Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual gala on Wednesday at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.
Côté, a professor of neurology at the PDF Research Center at Columbia University Medical Center, was recognized for a career spanning 60 years, during which he has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to patient care and research.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly one million people in the United States. Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s.
Interest begins in the 1950s
A native of Quebec, Canada, Côté was first inspired to pursue a residency in neurology at Columbia during his time as an U.S. Air Force physician in Morocco.
It was then, in the 1950s, that he first encountered patients with Parkinson’s, among them a close friend of Bill Black, who founded PDF and the Chock full ‘o Nuts coffee company.
That era, Côté noted, was a very different one for people with Parkinson's, in which there were few treatments or specialists to help individuals cope with the disease. He made it his life’s work to fill those gaps in research and care, both of which have evolved significantly over the past 60 years.
While times have changed – with the advent of new treatments and the development of a fast-paced system in which the length of medical appointments are often decided by insurance reimbursements – Côté’s approach has remained the same.
'Take the time to listen'
He is known by patients and colleagues alike for his taking his time to provide the best care for each patient, whether that means hour-long appointments or weekend phone calls. His approach has benefitted thousands, creating a loyal following of patients and families and leading to a genetics research program at PDF that is named in his honor.
“The most important thing I do as a doctor," Côté said in the foundation's press release announcing the award, "is to really take the time to listen.”
The foundation's president, Robin Elliott, said Côté also has played been clinical care, he also has been instrumental in developing the research and work of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. He has been at the forefront of Parkinson’s science and care since the 1960s and his contributions are the stuff of legend.”
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